Perfect for You – Ashelyn Drake BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

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SYNOPSIS

Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan isn’t very self-confident, but what girl would be after her sophomore-year boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker?

Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two gorgeous guys at school. Sounds good, right? What girl wouldn’t want to be in Meg’s shoes? One cute boy happens to be her boyfriend, and the other? Well, he wants to be. And Meg? She’t torn between Ash, the boy she’s been with for nearly five months, and Noah who is pretty irresistible.

But Meg is playing with fire. Pitting two boys against one another, even if she doesn’t intend to, could end badly if she isn’t careful. PERFECT FOR YOU is a teen romance from bestselling author Ashelyn Drake, where one girl will risk everything to find her perfect match.

  • perfect for youTitle: Perfect for You
  • Author: Ashelyn Drake
  • Series: Stand Alone
  • Published: September 2014 by Swoon Romance
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
  • Page Count: 165
  • Rating: B
  • Source: Tour Operator
REVIEW

Teenagers are ridiculous creatures, I say this with some authority not only having formerly been one but now as the mother of one (feel free to tell me that I don’t look old enough to have a teenager anytime now!) I am presented with evidence to support this supposition daily. I remember once in my infinite arrogance, the kind that one has only when they are quite young, asking my mother if she didn’t pine for her lost youth. She would have been about 46 or 47 at the time, obviously a veritable crone. I also remember my disbelief when she told me “no” in no uncertain terms. I was keenly reminded of this conversation when I read Perfect for You.

When I was sixteen I dated a wonderful guy, he was gloriously tall with thick dark hair. He was intelligent and artistic, he was even athletic! Instead of being thrilled at my good fortune that this inhumanly blessed creature was interested in little ol’ me, what did I do? Pined for my “best friend” who had led me on a merry chase for the better part of the previous three years. You will remember this boy, if you have read other posts of mine, the one who called me loquacious and thus earned my undying adoration with his complete disinterest in me. In fact, I am sure I will go down in infamy for my single minded unerring pursuit of him throughout our high school years. Though time has blurred the particulars I find it convenient that my relationship with this paragon of teenage boys ended not long after my “best friend” confessed his jealousy of our relationship. Yeah, in retrospect I kinda want to slap me too.

It was from this viewpoint that I read Perfect for You and I did want to shake Meg…repeatedly. This may not seem like praise, but actually it is. Drake perfectly captured the irrational perspective of the teenage girl in love with Meg. She knows she has a great boyfriend in Ash but that knowledge and her own insecurities don’t prevent her from following Noah down a dangerous path one that will not only risk her relationship with her boyfriend but the one with her best friend Grayson as well.

I enjoyed Perfect for You very much. Drake has crafted very readable and believable story that made me glad that adolescence is a place that I can visit through her words but return to my angst free home as an adult. Come to think of it, perhaps that is what my mother was trying to tell me all those years ago.

About the Author

ashelyn drakeAshelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.


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The HAVOC Series by Autumn Grey

We’re excited to share the gorgeous covers for the HAVOC Series by Autumn Grey! Let us know what you think!

 

Havoc (Havoc #1)

Genre: Adult contemporary romance

Release date: December 2, 2014

Blurb:
Selene Michaels is determined to never let anyone make her feel inferior again. After a painful divorce, she finds herself in Paris on a working holiday, hopeful that this will be the opportunity she has been waiting for. She intends to have fun and maybe find a Prince Charming to flirt with; someone who will show her a good time, treat her right, and awaken her to all she has been missing. What she does not expect to find is Remington St. Germain and his adorable son, Adrien. Remington is intense, devastatingly hot and a Prince Charming on the outside, but a dirty talking, insatiable devil behind closed doors—the opposite of the man she has been hoping for—and not the type to give up on something that he wants. Selene soon realizes that life with Remington is not only interesting, but adventurous. It’s dangerous, and she’s about to find out how dangerous. . . if she is brave enough to take a chance.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22034517-havoc?from_search=true

  Obliterate

Obliterate (Havoc #2)

Genre: Adult contemporary romance

Release date: January 5th, 2015

Blurb:
“I knew the moment I gave in to pursuing Selene that trouble would follow me. It always does. I should have resisted.”

Remington St. Germain is at a crossroads. He can either go after the one person who makes him feel as if he matters—the only person to ever calm the demons that roam his mind—or forget about her. The latter is not an option, even though there is a chance she might reject him. But, damn it all to hell, he will convince her. He has to. Otherwise, he will be right back where he was before she came into his life.

Selene Michaels’ stay in Paris is only temporary. She shouldn’t get too attached to Remington and his son, Adrien. But, Remington makes her feel alive and reckless, and Adrien makes her loss almost bearable. They complete her. She has a feeling there is more to Remington than a doting single father and her overprotective Prince Charming. Besides, the risk of being with them still looms closeby and she will do anything to keep them safe.

Sometimes life gives you a second chance. But what happens when danger threatens that chance?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22883564-obliterate

Mend (Havoc #3)

Genre: Adult contemporary romance

Release: February 9th, 2015

Blurb:
Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, especially in love. Remington has played that game before and lost. One thing is certain… Losing Selene is not an option. As the threat on their lives looms closer, he knows one wrong move and she might disappear from his life forever. The clock is ticking, and Remington is competing against time to save the woman who is fast becoming a part of his soul.

But what happens after that? Will she stay, or will his past destroy any chance with her?

Love is what remains after our reservations melt away; when we let our demons come out to play.

Selene knows it is just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose. Whoever is after them is after blood. Her blood. She should have cut ties with Remington the second she read that first letter, but that is no longer a choice. She has fallen too far, too hard, and she is in too deep, both emotionally and physically.

At times secrets unite, and sometimes they destroy lives. Will the secret that binds them be enough to break Selene and Remington, or will it mend shattered bonds and make them stronger?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22883569-mend

HAVOC Excerpt

The past few months had been a blur of tireless workouts, to get back in shape to get back into modeling. If there was a city that’d make me forget the shit plaguing my life, Paris was it. I was here for work and pleasure, and I intended to take the pleasure part very seriously. The only thing clouding my bliss was right there in front of me—the receptionist currently tapping the polished counter of the Hotel L’Arc with his fingers.

I dropped my head in my hands, tired. I’d been waiting for Andrew—my contact with Sara Arden Modeling agency here in Paris—to call me back after having left several voice messages on his phone.

A soft, deep baritone on my right pulled me out of my thoughts. I lifted my head and turned around, momentarily forgetting that I didn’t have a room for the night as my gaze locked with the tall guy standing beside me, dressed in a black pea coat and jeans. Pain and something like devastation flashed in his eyes, before he quickly schooled his expression.

He was tall, with dark, slightly wavy hair that curled at the nape of his neck, high cheekbones, and a chiseled jaw covered in a light scruff. Dark eyebrows with equally long, spiky lashes fringed his emerald-green eyes, which were now fixed intensely on me, his expression unreadable. And finally, his lips—full but not overly so and wide with a touch of rosy pink that gave them a healthy look.

And he was still staring at me, his brow furrowed as though he were trying to figure out something. Or was it confusion?

My gaze moved away from his as I narrowed my eyes, taking in how his navy-blue blazer framed his broad shoulders and his blue jeans hugged his muscular thighs.

God, he was beautiful. And very scary. Why the hell was he staring at me like that?

Being a size-twelve model, I was used to people staring at me appreciatively. Or sometimes in veiled disgust. I saw none of that on this man’s face. Admittedly, not everyone was into full-bodied girls like me. Not knowing what was going on behind those green eyes was as disturbing as the weird pull I felt toward him. I’ve always heard people say how they meet someone, and right there the earth shifts around them or some gravitational shit. This wasn’t that kind of pull, but a primal awareness of two souls.

Covers designed by Louisa Maggio~~ LM Creations

Author bio:
Autumn Grey is the author of the soon to be released contemporary romance, Havoc, Obliterate, Mend (Havoc series). And just like her characters, she is quirky, sometimes funny and definitely flawed. She writes sexy contemporary romances full of drama, steamy kisses and happy ever afters.

Author contact:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AutumnGrey26
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAutumnGrey?ref=hl
Blog: http://autumngreywrites.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7337710.Autumn_Grey

Every Time I Think of You – Tracey Garvis-Graves

We’re celebrating the release of Every Time I Think of You by best selling Author Tracey Garvis-Graves! Check out how Tracey came up with the idea for the book and take a peek at the excerpt below. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Every Time I Think of You

Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Amazon US (e-book and paperback) | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia  | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

 

SYNOPSIS:

Thirty-year-old Daisy DiStefano has two people she holds dear: the grandmother who raised her, and her three-year-old son, Elliott. But when Daisy’s grandmother is killed in a seemingly random act of violence, Daisy must take steps to protect herself and her child.

Despite a thriving career in San Francisco, thirty-six-year-old Brooks McClain has returned home to spend what little time his mother has left before she succumbs to the deadly disease that is ravaging her. The seasoned investigative reporter has taken a position with the local newspaper and been on the job less than twenty-four hours when he’s summoned to cover the death of Pauline Thorpe.

Brooks is all business, but the more time he spends with Daisy DiStefano, the more invested he becomes; there’s something about a single mother, a defenseless child, and an unsolved crime that has stirred Brooks’s protective instincts like nothing ever has before.

And when the unthinkable happens, Brooks will do whatever it takes to clear the name of the woman he’s fallen for and the child he’ll protect at any cost.

Romantic and suspenseful, Every Time I Think of You shows how far two people will go to fight for the ones they love, and the life they’ve always imagined.

An idea was born. 

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How did you come up with the idea for this book?” My books are fairly plot-driven, and Every Time I Think of You was no different. I could see the opening scene in my head like a movie so I knew what the inciting incident – in other words, the event that would send the main characters’ lives in another direction – would be. But in this case, my opening scene was the result of not only plot, but also a character. I have wanted to write a book where the main character was a crime reporter for a while now. I tend to gravitate toward heroes who are regular guys, and I wanted to see what would happen when I put this particular hero into various situations (and a little hot water). What would he do? How would he react? What, exactly, was he made of?

However, if main character Brooks McClain was going to be a crime reporter, that meant I had to come up with a crime (which ultimately, I’d have to solve). I’ve never written a book with a mystery or suspense element before, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in the way of telling this story. I’ve said time and time again that I never want to be an author who writes the same book over and over, but with that motto comes challenges. I have to deal with the discomfort that comes from tackling something different than I’ve done before, and often this means learning new things.

I have a love/hate relationship with research. I keep telling myself I’m going to write a book that doesn’t require as much research, and then I write a book that requires extensive research. I should really start listening to myself! Some of the things I did in the name of research for Every Time I Think of You included taking a four-hour firearms safety course and learning how to load and shoot a gun, which was something I didn’t have any experience with.

I also studied ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, by reading memoirs and poring over countless websites dedicated to the disease. Although the timing of the recent ALS ice bucket challenge is merely a coincidence, it makes me happy to know that this devastating illness is receiving such an outpouring of support from the general public.

I studied addiction, specifically methamphetamine addiction. What I learned was heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and often tragic. In total, I read six memoirs about addiction and read countless online articles. I watched a fascinating Frontline documentary from PBS about methamphetamine addiction and its effects on law enforcement and the community.

I reached out to a criminal defense attorney in California so that I could gain an understanding of that state’s legal processes, and I spent several hours in person and on the phone with my cousin Jack, who is a detective with the Des Moines Police Department. Jack was instrumental in explaining the outcomes of all the different scenarios I proposed (naturally, I named the detective character after him). I interviewed three different crime reporters (who all told me slightly different things), and one of them saved me from a potentially embarrassing gaffe. In Every Time I Think of You, I include an actual newspaper article written by Brooks McClain. Newspaper reporters use the Associated Press Stylebook to ensure that their articles are written correctly whereas The Chicago Manual of Style is the go-to guide for fiction writers. The crime reporter who proofed my article had me make a small tweak so that it was correct in form.

I spoke to a nurse, to make sure I got the details of Daisy’s DiStefano’s work schedule correct. There were less significant things I needed the answers to, such as what kind of jewelry a nurse would be permitted to wear to work and what floor she might work on if she were involved with a particular patient.

In addition to the factual research necessary to write this story, I also had to choose the path I’d take to solve the crime. I learned that there were a few different ways I could handle this: One, I could write the story in such a way that the reader would probably not know who committed the crime until the very end. Two, I could choose the slightly-less-suspenseful route and let the reader be privy to clues that would allow them to guess the identity of the perpetrator much earlier. That way, I could let the focus of the story rest on how the person would be brought to justice. I chose option two because I felt it would lend emotional resonance and depth to the story.

Now that I knew how I’d tell the story, I needed to concentrate on the characters. I usually have a pretty good outline in place before I sit down to start writing. This method doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it helps to have a roadmap of sorts so that I don’t waste too much time writing myself into corners. This is not a spoiler because you know from the blurb that the book deals with the aftermath of the death of Daisy’s beloved grandmother.

However, once I was about a fourth of the way through the first draft, I realized that the character I’d chosen to commit the crime didn’t actually do it. I fought it for a while, but the more I got to know these characters, the more I realized my inner muse was right. This person couldn’t have done it.

Delete, delete, delete, delete. Sigh.

The real perpetrator had a motive, but it was subtle and at first I couldn’t see it. And the person who I’d originally intended to commit the crime was actually somewhat responsible. But it will be up to the reader to draw their own conclusions about what transpired that evening in Daisy’s grandmother’s apartment, because the opening chapter of the book is narrated by Daisy’s three-year-old son, who has a very limited ability to explain it. I actually first wrote this opening chapter from the point-of-view of Daisy’s grandmother, Pauline. It gave the book a much darker tone than I wanted so I scrapped it and decided to let Elliott take the reins.

There is also one final plot thread that I chose not to tie up with a big red ribbon. Initially I wrote a paragraph that would have explained why a certain character made the choice that he did, but then I realized it wasn’t necessary. Readers are smart and book discussions are extra fun when there’s a bit of speculation involved.

I’m not an especially fast or prolific writer, and that’s fine with me. Between the research and the actual writing time, this book took fourteen months to complete, and there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. I’d told my husband there were a couple of twists I was hoping to pull off, but wasn’t sure I knew how to accomplish them.

I told several people that writing this book made my brain hurt (but one of the readers who received an advance copy told me she kept saying to herself as she read it, “This book is so smart!”). When I hear feedback like that, it tells me that everything I did in the name of Every Time I Think of You was worth it.

I hope you enjoy Brooks and Daisy’s story.

 EXCERPT

I glanced at my watch. “I need to get going.” I stood and Daisy followed me toward the door. “Don’t hesitate to call the police for any reason. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Keep your door locked. Don’t ever open it without the chain on.” I paused, once again struck by how alone she seemed. Was anyone watching out for her? “Listen, I don’t mean for this to sound as sexist as it’s going to, but is there a guy around?” Rarely did I ask such a personal question, especially when the answer was absolutely none of my business. And I’ll admit to being more than just professionally curious as I waited for her answer.

“There was, but not anymore,” she said. “It’s just Elliott and me. We’ll be okay. When someone knocks, I look through the peephole. If I don’t recognize the person, I leave the chain on when I open the door. I also bought a gun.” She said that last part with such nonchalance that it took me a second to process it.

“You what?” I probably said it with a little more force than I should have.

She looked taken aback. “Shane helped me pick it out.”

I was speechless. “I’m sorry, but you don’t—”

“Look like the type of person who would own a gun?”

It was hard to argue with that statement when it was exactly what I was going to say. “Yes.”

“I didn’t buy the gun because I wanted to. Frankly, I would rather not own one. They scare me,” she said. “But I bought one anyway because the thought of looking something evil right in the eye and knowing that I’m more than likely going to come out on the losing end of it terrifies me. The fear that I’ll be assaulted, or raped and left for dead, or worse yet, that someone will try to harm my child, is the reason I have this gun. That’s the type I am.”

I saw her then, really saw her. Five foot seven, maybe, but small-boned. She was wearing a fitted V-neck T-shirt that emphasized her slight build. I could see the prominent ridge of her collarbone and the deep hollow at the base of her throat that I suddenly couldn’t stop looking at. She’d be no match for anyone. If she wanted a gun, I was hardly in a position to tell her she couldn’t have one. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I was out of line. It’s really none of my business what you do.”

“It’s okay. Pam reacted the same way you did. But I’m doing everything I can to be a responsible gun owner. I’ve signed up for the safety class so I can learn how to handle the gun. How to shoot it. I’ll apply for the permit as soon as I have my certificate. I’ll go to the shooting range, and I’ll practice.”

Taking her to the shooting range was something I could do to help her. It would also give me a chance to spend time with her, which was something that was becoming more appealing by the minute. I could feel the boundary between witness and reporter starting to blur, but I really didn’t care. It had been a while since a woman had sparked my interest the way Daisy had. “You don’t have to justify anything to me. It sounds like you’re doing everything right,” I said. “I’ll let you know if I hear anything on the case.”

“I would really appreciate that.”

Elliott put down his coloring book and ambled across the room. Daisy lifted him into her arms. “You look tired, buddy. Are you ready for your nap?”

“I’m not tired,” Elliott said, yawning and rubbing his eyes.

“Oh, my mistake,” Daisy said, smiling at him. “I think we’ll try a nap anyway, just in case.” She looked at me. “Thanks for stopping by.”

“It was no problem. I’ll see you soon.”

As I stepped into the hallway she said, “Brooks?” I turned around.

“Yes?”

“Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but you seem to genuinely care about my safety, and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I need all the help I can get.”

I met her gaze and held it for a moment. “You aren’t reading it wrong at all. Take care, Daisy.”

She smiled and it illuminated her face, making every feature even prettier. She closed the door, and I made my way down the hall. It was true that I cared about Daisy’s safety. Maybe Scott DiStefano had never abused or neglected Elliott, but Daisy’s decision to arm herself made me wonder what he’d done to her.

 

 

GIVEAWAY

ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE (INT):

ONE signed copy of On the Island, Covet, and ETITOY. Also included, a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Also, the winner will receive an ARC of Tracey’s next work-in-progress, The Girl He Used to Know (an adult contemporary second-chance romance novel). And finally, Tracey will either use the winner’s name in The Girl He Used to Know (first name or last name only, or the actual real name if comfortable) OR the winner can suggest a name for a character.

**The restrictions to this are that it will not be the name of a main character. It will be a supporting or minor character. Also, this is a fictional character. It is not a character based on the winner.

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About the Author:

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Todaybestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Timesbestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author ofUncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish. She is hard at work on her sixth book.

Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

If Scotland Had Been Watching Outlander, the “YES” Vote Would Be A Slam-dunk!

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

yes no scotland

 

The premiere of Outlander, the television series, is rather convenient given that on Thursday, September 18th, the people of Scotland will be asked to cast their vote, “Yes” or “No” to the following question:

“Should Scotland be an independent country?”

You can read all about why the Scots should vote “Yes” according to the Scottish government’s website on the vote:

http://scotreferendum.com/

If you want to read why the Scots should vote “No”, check out the UK government’s response:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/scottish-independence-referendum/about

But here’s the irony of it all, the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK, haven’t been able to view the show (unless they have tried online streaming) because none of the television networks have picked it up yet! The fact that the entire show has been filmed in Scotland, and it’s a story involving a rather significant piece of Scottish history as it was the last attempt to force the English out of the country, seems not to matter.

Now before you start… , reminding me that the story is NOT real and it’s just a TV show, I know all of that….I haven’t completely lost touch with reality. But it does beg the question that if the Scots could see the show right now, with the most important vote they will ever participate in their lifetime in two days time, how would the show influence the voting?

In the first few episodes, the most inflammatory acts of British oppression, really only come from one man, Captain “Black Jack” Randall. We know from the first episode, that he is not a nice guy, (to say the least) and as Claire hears more about Jamie’s experiences with Randall, we realize just how bad he is. At that point, we just assume that he is evil incarnate and that he’s just one guy with too much power.

“The Garrison Commander”, S1, Ep6 paints a very disturbing picture of how little respect the English ruling class had for the Scottish people. The scene that I refer to involves Dougal, Claire and a room full of British high-ranking officers. I won’t give the away the details except to say that the appalling arrogance and disrespect demonstrated towards Dougal, was unbelievable. Again, as this a fictional story, and this particular storyline is meant to invoke sympathy for the Scottish clans in its viewers. The unmitigated display of disdain for the people of Scotland, is also the interpretation of the show’s writers and what I assume is loosely based on real events and journals about the attitudes of the time that would have been authenticated in part through research. But I know that as I watched the scene, I was appalled, and I cannot help but think that if I were a Scottish national, it would be a very difficult scene to swallow and not have some kind of reaction. Given the current political climate in the country today, I think that the “No” side is pretty lucky that no network has picked up the show yet.

How is it possible that the UK could be losing Scotland? Perhaps it is a 21st century version of that same English arrogance that is ushering the people of Scotland down a path to separation?

It is clear that David Cameron’s government has been blindsided by the increased support for Scottish independence and now at the 11th hour, his government is scrambling to turn the tide. What will be the final outcome? The polls are declaring it a tight race right now but it could be that after Thursday’s vote we see something that the highland clans could not achieve back in 1745, a free Scotland.

For further reading on the topic check out the following links:

Louder Than Words – Iris St. Clair NOW AVAILABLE

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Louder Than Words

Release Date: 09/16/14

Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson’s life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.

Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.

Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can’t let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm’s length.

But by the time Rex’s charm wears down her resistance, it’s too late.

He’s put Ellen on the “just friends” shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.

With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it’s the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.

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About the Author

Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that’s another bio.)

No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.

In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.

Iris believes in the two-year “fish or cut bait” dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.

Author Links:

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If I Were in Claire’s Shoes: An Exploration of Alternative Reactions to Being Sent Back in Time or “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

GUEST POST – Dude, Where’s My Car? by Auralee Wallace

Disclaimer: This post in no way is intended to insult Outlander. I understand the power of Outlander. I bow to all that is Outlander. Please don’t hurt me.

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So I finally watched the first episode of Outlander the other day, and my reactions were many and varied (actually not so varied). First, the filming was beautiful (Why oh why can’t I see it in HD in Canada? Boo). Second, the costumes, settings, props, they, too, were beautiful (my husband even got sucked in for a minute or two based on his admiration of the cut Frank’s jacket.) Third, Jamie is BEAUTIFUL. Let’s pause for a brief Jamie moment, shall we?

Boom!

Oh my. Yes, that’s better.

I did, however, have one little hiccup in my generally glowing reactions. Claire. I have difficulty relating to Claire. I just don’t get the way she thinks sometimes. It got me thinking, how would I react if I were suddenly sent back in time? Would Claire’s strategies really help her survive? Would mine? I just couldn’t figure out the answer. But maybe you can…

Below I will present the evidence. Then after I ask you:

Who is Woman Enough to Survive 18th Century Scotland?…or …Who Will Get Booted Off the Horse?

off the horse

EXHIBIT A

THE SITUATION: you just woken up after being sent back in time…

CLAIRE:

time travel

Claire: What?

Her lovely figure dressed in flowing white gown wanders over lovely hill and dale.

BANG! Gunshot rings out.

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: When confronted with the impossible, the rational mind will grope for the logical. Perhaps I had stumbled onto the set of a cinema company filming a costume drama of some sort. But there was no logical reason for actors to fire live ammunition.

Runs.


AURALEE:

Beeker

Auralee: What the…? Did I pass out? Think, Auralee think. Did you mix allergy medication with wine last night? No…no…I swore I would never do that again. Where’s my car? Don’t tell me I forgot where I parked again. I hate it when I do that. God, every freaking time! You think I could study a landmark, remember a freaking tree or something.

Her figure, dressed in soccer shorts, t-shirt and running shoes, stomps angrily over lovely hill and dale.

BANG! Gunshot rings out.

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: What the f*#@ was that!

Runs…faster. Running shoes, remember?

Commentary: I think I totally nailed that one, don’t you?

EXHIBIT B

THE SITUATION: You’ve been taken back to what seems little more than a hut to a group of rough looking highlanders. They’re joking about assaulting you. Yeah, not funny. One of them, a rather fine looking lad, is injured and sitting by the fire. His arm is obviously dislocated. You know how to fix it.

CLAIRE:

Jamie

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: The wisest course of action would have been to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and wait for the search parties Frank must have called out by now.

Big man moves to pop handsome and also big man’s shoulder back in wrong way.

Claire: Don’t you dare! Stand aside at once. You’ll break his arm if you do it like that.


AURALEE:

Burn the witch

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: They think I’m witch. Stupid soccer shorts and running shoes. They totally think I’m a witch. I’m just going to keep my head down, and my mouth shut.

Big man moves to pop handsome and also big man’s shoulder back in wrong way.

Auralee: Oh! Pardon me. Pardon! Yes, if I a lowly witch woman, sorry, I mean, just woman, could have a word? I think perhaps I could show you how to do that perhaps without breaking his arm…then maybe you could consider not killing me?

Commentary: I’ll admit, I’m not quite sure which is the best approach here. I don’t like to consider myself snivelling, but I not at all am convinced that Claire’s feisty approach would go over too well…at least not long term. I typed into Google “treatment of women in 18th century Scotland”. Let’s just say I didn’t find anything really great.

EXHIBIT C

THE SITUATION: You’re on a horse with hot highlander. You’re freezing. It’s raining.

CLAIRE:

plaid
Claire: Careful. What are you trying to do?

Jamie: I’ll get my plaid loose to cover ye. You’re shivering.

Claire: Thank you. But I’m fine, really.

Jamie: You’re shaking so hard, it’s making my teeth rattle.


AURALEE:

Auralee: Um…what’s going on back there?

Jamie: I’ll get my plaid loose to cover ye. You’re shivering.

Auralee: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh God, thank you. So, what do you have on underneath that plaid? (Just kidding. I wouldn’t ask that last part. But I’d totally be thinking it.)

Commentary: Feisty be damned. I hate being cold. I always feel like Jack Nicholson when I’m cold.

So cold

EXHIBIT D

THE SITUATION: You’ve been riding forever now. You’ve almost been killed. It’s cold and freezing. Jamie offers you some alcohol.

CLAIRE:

Jamie: Have a wee nip. It willna fill your belly…

Claire angrily yanks head away.

…but it will make you forget you’re hungry.”

Claire deigns to drink.


AURALEE:

drinking

Commentary: Not necessary…I’m mean, seriously.

Well, there you have it. I’ve presented all the evidence. Who do you think would survive being sent back to 18th Century Scotland? I’m dying to know your thoughts, but until that time, I’ll just tide myself over with more Jamie. Ah, Jamie…

 

ABOUT Auralee

photo (1)Auralee Wallace is an author of humorous commercial women’s fiction and occasional guest blogger at Penny Dreadful Book Reviews http://pennydreadfulbooks.me/. She is a member of the RWA, and her debut novel, Sidekick, a superhero urban fantasy, placed as a finalist in the Virginia Fool for Love Contest, The TARA Contest and The Catherine. Sidekick has been picked up by Harlequin’s Escape Publishing and is due for release June 1st, 2014. Auralee has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in English literature and has worked in the publishing industry for a number of years before teaching at the college level.

Auralee has always been fascinated by the power of stereotypes in terms of race, gender, and disability and how those beliefs colour our understanding of the world and of each other.

When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children and three rescue cats isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. She can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog http://auraleewallace.com.

ABOUT SIDEKICK

SidekickHeroes meets Bridget Jones in this brilliant, hilarious debut novel about a girl who just wants to save the world…

Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.

Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.

Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.

Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy

 BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU | B&N | KOBO

Phantom’s Dance – Lesa Howard BOOK BLITZ

Phantom’s Dance

Release Date: 03/01/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theatre halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be.

But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

Available from:

About the Author

I’m not a typical author. I didn’t always enjoy reading or writing.

While in school, I found it to be a chore I’d just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fuelled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I’d written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practising my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practising yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

 

Author Links:

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