Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

TEMPORARY WIFE TEMPTATION by Jayci Lee – Blog Tour

cover_Temporary Wife Temptation_Jayci Lee

Much more than he bargained for…
“You want me to find you a wife?”
“No. I want you to be my wife.”
Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…

Excerpt

Garrett resisted the urge to glance over his shoulder to check on her. Natalie was a grown woman and he didn’t need to protect her from being swarmed by admirers. Besides, she was the one who had proposed they refrain from other relationships, so she wouldn’t do anything to hurt his reputation or hers.

Earlier, at her apartment, he’d caught fire at the sight of her in her little black dress. It was demure compared to the one she’d worn at Le Rêve, but it hugged her hourglass figure and highlighted the curves underneath just enough to tease his imagination.

He walked to the bar for his Scotch and grabbed a flute of champagne from a server on his way back. As he’d anticipated, Natalie was now surrounded by a group of men and he lengthened his strides to reach her.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, sweetheart.” He pressed a light kiss on her lips and handed her the champagne.

“Thank you.” She leaned her head against his shoulder when he pulled her to his side, playing her part like a pro.

“Natalie was just taking us to task about USC’s new head coach. It seems neither he nor I truly understand college football,” said one of Mike’s college friends.

“Is that so?” Garrett raised an eyebrow at her and she shrugged.

“Taking you to task is a bit harsh.” She hid her grin against the rim of her champagne flute as she took a long sip. “It’s just that I have a better understanding than you guys.”

The audience winced and guffawed at her cheekiness. As Natalie continued with her lecture, all the men listened intently, as did Garrett. She was funny and down-to-earth, and her mind was quicker than lightning. Lost in her words, Garrett belatedly noticed the crowd had grown. Her champagne glass was depleted and her smile was becoming strained.

He leaned down close to her ear. “Tired?”

“And hungry.”

“All right, gentlemen. I’m whisking away my date now. I’m tired of sharing her.”

When the crowd finally dispersed, Natalie slumped against him with a groan. “I need food, champagne and somewhere to sit.”

A server walked over with a tray of bacon-wrapped shrimp and Natalie snatched a couple of them. She popped one in her mouth and mumbled around her food, “Not necessarily in that order.”

Garrett laughed and guided her toward the French doors leading out to the garden. Natalie ate every single hors d’oeuvre she met along the way and finished another glass of champagne.

“Holy cow. Is everything really, really delicious, or am I just famished? I would totally go back for that crab cake if my feet weren’t screaming at me to get my butt on a chair.”

He glanced down at her zebra-print high heels. They did amazing things for her legs but didn’t look remotely comfortable. “There’s a bench around the corner.” 

“Oh, thank God.” She kicked off her shoes as soon as she plopped onto the seat.

Garrett shrugged out of his jacket and draped it around her shoulders before sitting next to her.

“Thank you,” she murmured, gazing at the garden. “It’s so beautiful out here.”

“Is it?” He and Mike had grown up tearing apart that very garden, but Garrett had never sat still and taken it all in, like they were doing now. “I guess you’re right.”

“Mmm-hmm.”

He studied her profile, her high, regal cheekbone and the graceful curve of her neck. Half of her hair had escaped the loose knot behind her head and fell down her back and shoulders. He wanted to sweep aside her hair and feel the softness of her skin, which he absolutely should not do.

“So how do you know so much about college football?” He tore his gaze away from her and stared at an old maple tree ahead of him, hard enough to make his eyes water.

“Long story.”

“We’ve got time.” He made a show of checking his watch. “I’ll give you ten minutes.”

Her laughter filled the garden, then ended on a wistful sigh. “My dad and I, we weren’t very close. The only time he didn’t mind my company was when we watched college football together. He was a huge fan. I don’t think he even noticed I was sitting there half the time.”

Garrett understood what that felt like. As soon as he finished graduate school, he’d thrown himself into his work. It was satisfying in its predictability and it created a common ground for him and his father. His dad had stepped down from the CEO position when his mom died, but returned to Hansol a few years later as an executive VP.

“I thought if I learned enough about the sport, he’d like me a little better.” Her shrug told him it hadn’t worked, but Natalie told her story without an ounce of self-pity—like she owned her past, hurt and all. His respect for her deepened. “But soon I noticed I wasn’t faking my enthusiasm anymore. I’d grown to love the sport. Who knew it’d come in handy at an intimate birthday party for a hundred people?”

“You certainly won over quite a few of them.”

“I did?” Her eyebrows shot up in genuine surprise.

He huffed out a laugh. “Why did you think that crowd was hanging on to your every word?”

“Watch yourself, Garrett Song.” Natalie narrowed her eyes and pointed a finger at him. “I know where you live.”

He snatched her hand and tugged her to her feet. “Yes, and you’ll be living there with me starting Sunday.”

“Ugh.” She hooked an index finger in each of her shoes, not bothering to put them back on. “Do you ever stop thinking about work?”

“Yes.” He cocked his head and pretended to consider her question. “But only when I’m thoroughly distracted.”

Her lashes fluttered and color saturated her cheeks, and his gut clenched with heat. She could definitely become his most dangerous distraction.

Desire_Author photo_Jayci Lee

Jayci Lee writes poignant, funny, and sexy romance. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is semi-retired from her 15-year career as a defense litigator, and writes full-time now. She loves food, wine, and travelling, just like her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal. She hopes her books will do the same for you.

 

Harlequin Series Spine Showcase

Jayci Lee Author Q&A

 

  • Did you always want to write for Harlequin?

 

I read my first Harlequin when I was thirteen and by the time I was fourteen, I dreamed of becoming a Harlequin author. It is truly a dream come true to debut as a Harlequin author.

 

  • Share your favorite memory of reading a Harlequin romance

 

During summer vacation in high school, I used to borrow 10 Harlequin romances per library trip and read them all day, and sometimes all night, long.

 

  • What is a recent book you have read that you would recommend?

 

I really enjoyed Golden Heart Award winner Susannah Erwin’s WANTED: BILLIONAIRE’S WIFE. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys intense, slow burn, billionaire romance.

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Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Nature, October Poetry Challenge, Poetry, writers life, writing

October Poetry Challenge Day 2 & 3

sky space milky way stars
Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

The Stillness Becomes Too Much

 

I press flowers and leaves in between my only book.

For what can I do until the dusky night

and the symbols of another voice

speckle the sky?

 

I flip through the yellowed pages,

pausing at the bud my dear sparrow brought me

years ago when I first arrived at this wretched tower.

 

I’m not alone, I’m not alone,

I whisper to the silence.

*

The Song of the Wind

 

On storming days, when the sway of the wind shakes my prison,

I lay flat on my back and try to breathe.

Counting the flecks of white on the stonewall,

I wait until the swell of the gale hurls away to the next town.

 

Has the Autumn King had his fun?

Slowly, I’ll sit up and gaze outside my window,

taking in the naked trees and the gilded leaves

littering the ground like thin pieces of gold.

 

I want to shout at the wind to come back,

to take me away,

but it has already left.

*

Happy poetry writing, friends 🙂 !

Loie

 

 

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

Author Interview with Candace Robinson

cloudedbyenvy Cover

Hi everyone, I’d like to welcome author, Candace Robinson, to the blog today. Candace has written a number of dark, romantic, and quirky novels: QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT, THE BRIDE OF GLASS, HEARTS ARE LIKE BALLOONS, and co-authored BACON PIE with Gerardo Delgadillo.

 

Her upcoming release, CLOUDED ENVY, was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It releases on February 19th, 2019 but I was lucky enough to receive an ARC last year. I fled through this book in one day. It’s magical and romantic and at times scary.

Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

 

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

 

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.”

 

Candace runs an awesome book blog, at literarydust.wordpress.com

 

Loie: Welcome Candace 🙂 Can you please share with readers where your love of reading and writing began?

 

Candace: With reading, I first fell in love with R.L. Stine books way back, such as Goosebumps and Fear Street. Then I transitioned to Lois Duncan books when I hit junior high. Then my reading hobby kind of died for a bit. However, I did read 1984 back in high school and seriously fell in love with it. That book made me really think about the world. Anyway, so years pass, right? And I saw the second Hunger Games movie which ended on a cliffhanger. I was like, now what? So I picked up that trilogy and could not put it down, and after that, I needed more and more books. Reading is now my true escape!

 

For writing, I knew I wanted to be an author senior year of high school, but life kept getting in the way. But then a few years back I was like I need to just do it, otherwise it will never happen! So I started on Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault back in October 2016!

 

Loie: Eep! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Great books as well! Yes, life can get in the way. I’m so glad you decided to do it. I was kind of the same. Stopped writing during university and then sat down one day and decided I had to start somewhere 🙂

I loved CLOUDED ENVY. Could you please talk about the initial spark of inspiration behind this story?

 

Candace: Funny story. So I have the companion book, Veiled by Desire, coming out in late fall of this year. This was supposed to be the first book I ever wrote, but I couldn’t get the story right. Humans are in this world, so I thought, how did they get there? And then that brought me to thinking about how humans came to Laith and I had a whole story kind of come up from that! Enter Clouded by Envy!

 

Loie: That’s amazing 🙂 ! Awww, I cannot wait to read the companion book. What a journey :).

When you are writing, does it take you a couple of drafts to find the voices of characters or do some arrive fully formed in your mind?

 

Candace: For me, character voices is the easiest part since most of my stuff is character driven. Sometimes, I don’t know my characters voices before hand until I start writing the first chapter. Usually, it flows from there!

 

Loie: Awesome 🙂 Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What do you have with you when you draft?

 

Candace: I generally write when my daughter is at school. I have a spiral notebook I keep beside me where I write down main scenes of the story, but I don’t have a real outline! Is that bad? Lol!

 

Loie: Not at all 🙂 I write down main scenes as well and usually go from there.

Do you have any stories on the backburner that you can’t wait to write? 🙂 How do you choose what to work on next?

 

Candace: I do. I have a companion book for an unpublished book that I really, really, really want to work on. But I’m trying to figure out if anything is going to happen with the first book or not.

 

Loie: Cool 🙂 Good luck. What’s your most anticipated read (s) of 2019 🙂 ?

 

Candace: Oh man, so many! I’d have to say Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. The Shatter Me series is my favorite ever. Since I already started King of Scars that one doesn’t count, but I’ve been waiting an eternity for this book!!

 

Loie: All awesome books 🙂 Thanks heaps for stopping by ❤ Can’t wait for Clouded Envy to arrive 🙂

You can find out more about Candace on her website or on Twitter and Instagram.

Blogging, Book Love, Giveaway, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS

circle of elephants cover 7-16-18

Title: A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS

Author: Eric Dinerstein

Pub. Date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

 

From the author of What Elephants Know, a 2017 ALA Notable Children’s Book and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, comes this stunning companion novel about the complex relationship between people and nature coexisting in the Borderlands of 1970s Nepal.

Thirteen-year-old Nandu lives in the newly established Royal Elephant Breeding Center on the edge of the jungle. Here, the King’s elephants are to be raised under the protective watch of the stable. Nandu-along with his adoptive father Subba-sahib, his mentors, friends, and the rest of the elephant drivers-is tested by man and nature as earthquakes, drought, wild herds, and rumors of poachers threaten the Center.

When Nandu’s world is thrown into turmoil, so, too, is the world of Hira Prasad, the Center’s powerful bull elephant. An unbreakable bond of brotherhood drives Nandu and Hira Prasad together as they struggle to maintain the delicate natural order of life in the Borderlands.

Dinerstein’s poetic prose and scientific expertise come together in this breathtaking tale that transports the reader to the center of dangerous conflicts and heartbreaking friendships.

Review

This book was beautifully written. I really enjoyed Eric’s writing style. This story is a companion to WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW. I found the story was understandable on its own and didn’t feel lost without the previous book.

You’ll find out below more about Eric but I can see how his experience would have helped when crafting this book.

I loved the message about conservation. Personally, I adore elephants but I have yet to meet one. Someday, I hope to. The country of Nepal is drawn out with wonderful description in this book. I felt like I was there.

Nandu and his elephant, Hira Prasad, have a special bond. Their connection is unique and I enjoyed reading about them during stressful times in the book. The characters were flawed but likeable. 5 stars

eric dinerstein hi res

About Eric:

Eric Dinerstein is Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions at RESOLVE. Previously, he was Lead Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund. His areas of specialty include tropical mammals, large mammal biology, biogeography, bats, rhinos, seed dispersal and community ecology. With the World Wildlife Fund, he led many of the organization’s most important scientific projects, including the Global 200 Ecoregions, examples of which form the basis of his book TIGERLAND AND OTHER UNINTENDED DESTINATIONS. Dinerstein is also the author of THE KINGDOM OF RARITIES, THE RETURN OF THE UNICORNS: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros and WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW: A Novel, among other articles and publications.

 

He attended Northwestern University and Western Washington University, and did his post-graduate studies at the University of Washington (Organization of Tropical Studies) and the National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center.

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copy of A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS, US Only.

Giveaway Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2879/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/14/2019- The Reading Corner for All– Review

1/15/2019- BookHounds YA– Interview

1/16/2019- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

1/17/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Excerpt

1/18/2019- dwantstoread– Review

 

Week Two:

1/21/2018- Lifestyle of Me– Review

1/22/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

1/23/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

1/24/2018- The Layaway Dragon– Excerpt

1/25/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review

 

24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, canadian authors, Nature, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 12th Day of Writing: Coming Home to Yourself

abstract painting
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

December 12th

Hi friends!

For those of you interested in writing blogs, there is a submission opportunity with The Relationship Blogger. They are seeking blog posts about self-acceptance.

Coming Home to Yourself

Did you struggle against conformity, perfection standards from parents, or cultural conditioning? Did you ask the question am I good enough as I am?

Share your heart about being your true self and what it took to find that. Self-acceptance is so difficult.

It’s a journey.

Dive into your experiences with self-discovery and self-acceptance. What have you struggled with about yourself and what have you accepted? What was the turning point for you?

The Relationship Blogger seeks poems, essays, or fiction. January submissions are due by December 15th. Send your final piece to: submissions@therelationshipblogger.com

Check out their master submissions page for formatting details.

This is a different call of submissions but might be insightful and interesting to pen.

Big hug ❤

Loie

Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Rockstar Book Tours: Willow Bloom and the Dream Keepers

9781916410305

Title: WILLOW BLOOM AND THE DREAM KEEPERS

Author: E.V. Farrell

Pub. Date: October 9 2018

Publisher: Hookline Books

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 334

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Book Review

A few days before her 13th birthday, Willow Bloom, finds out secrets about her life. She is the Light Keeper, the Awakened. This being is supposed to control light flow between Earth and the Dream Keepers’ world, Thera. This pathway keeps dreams of humans alive. This allows their potential to become real, and ultimately for humanity to move forward.

Willow’s on a quest to find an age old book Kryon. This will keep the world from falling into ruin. I loved how E.V. Farrell describes the world of Thera and this light pathway. I think it was done so well.

This book is an awesome blend of fantasy, sci-fi, and philosophy! Awesome read 🙂 4 stars.

Summary

Willow Bloom’s biggest challenge is to organise her thirteenth birthday party. However, a walk in the woods near her home provides some big surprises – a mystical guardian from another world, a magical forest, and the discovery that her parents are part of a secret order that protects dreams. With the discovery comes a calling. A prophecy tells of a young one who can push back the dark forces that threaten to corrupt our hopes and dreams. Is Willow that young one? Can she take on the forces of evil, the Underlord Maliceius, and win?

EV

About E.V.:

Elizabeth Farrell was born and raised in rural Victoria, Australia. She worked for the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne before moving to London to work for the Mail on Sunday newspaper there. After spending all of the 90’s living and working in the UK, she returned home. Elizabeth currently resides in rural Gippsland, Victoria where she lives with her husband and two sons.

Fields of interest:  Philosophy, Spirituality, Archaeology, Environmental Sustainability, Health and Nutrition, Yoga, Swimming, Cooking.

The inspiration behind the book: I wanted to write a book that inspired and empowered our next generation of people. With so many dystopian views and stories out there, I felt it was important to portray a more hopeful future.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive eBook copies of WILLOW BLOOM AND THE DREAM KEEPERS, International.

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2866/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

12/10/2018- Mythical Books– Excerpt

12/10/2018- Book-o-Craze– Spotlight

 

12/11/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

12/11/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

 

12/12/2018- Lifestyle Of Me– Review

12/12/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Interview

 

12/13/2018- Jrsbookreviews– Review

12/13/2018- Good Choice Reading– Excerpt

 

12/14/2018- The Suburban Lifestyle– Review

12/14/2018- Jaime’s World– Excerpt

 

Week Two:

12/17/2018- Zach’s YA Reviews– Review

12/17/2018- Parajunkee– Excerpt

 

12/18/2018- mall3tg1rl– Review

 

12/19/2018- Novel Novice– Excerpt

 

12/20/2018- Christine’s Book Corner– Review

 

12/21/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Review

 

 

 

 

24 Days of Writing, Book Love, Country Life, Nature, writers life, writing

On the 5th Day of Writing: Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

shallow focus photography of yellow star lanterns
Photo by 嘉淇 徐 on Pexels.com

December 5th

Hi everyone! How are you all making out?

I’ve finished my Weird Christmas story from Day 1 and started Day 2’s submission 🙂 I’m writing a short story about a robotic dog and a little girl. The dog is inspired by my own Maggie, a sixteen-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who happens to celebrate her birthday on Christmas Day 😀

Yesterday’s submission looks fun too. I think I’ll try and work on that today.

I thought this opportunity looked pretty unique because they are a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) qualifying site. If you get a piece submitted, it will count towards your SWFA qualifications. Kinda cool, huh?

Let’s look at some more details.

Submission Notes

They have four submissions a year. For this season, it begins on December 21st at midnight E.S.T. and ends on December 28th at midnight E.S.T. 

They pay 6¢ per word for new fiction, 2¢ per word for fiction reprints, 2 – 6¢ per word for new fact-based work, 1- 4¢ per word for reprinted fact articles.

Guidelines for Writers

They accept anything from 1000 word flash fictions on up. They do favor shorter pieces. Quality of writing, characters, plot, ideas, and storytelling ability all matter, even if you’re established or new.

Fiction

They seek original work in fantasy, myth, legend, science fiction, and eldritch. It can be written, podcast, graphic story form, or video.

Humor and serious work are welcome. Read the About Us page for more information.

Hard Sells: Anthro, robots with feelings, gritty and despairing post-apocalyptic worlds, vampires, werewolves, zombies, monsters in general, Lovecraftian stories.

They don’t accept explicit language, excessive violence, angst-ridden romance, sex, horror, hate, blood & guts.

Submitting

In the comments, share your name, story title, genre, word count, and if it’s a reprint or new. Don’t send a resume.

No simultaneous submissions, and no multiple submissions to the same genre.

Please follow standard manuscript format . They prefer text in .docx Times New Roman.

Scroll to the bottom of this page, and submit there 🙂

I hope you guys have fun with this submission opportunity! Remember, it opens up December 21st and closes at midnight on the 28th.

Until next time,

Loie xo