Monday, December 31, 2018

Promo: THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR by RONI LOREN

How hard would you fight for the one you love?
Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life’s work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan…

 Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother’s horrific actions. After losing everything—his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity—he’s changed his name, his look, and he’s finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right? 

When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy…
How do you find your happy ending?

Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/2QFdLas
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2QJPG2k



Excerpt:

Lucas was waiting for her when she stepped inside the main part of the gym. The skylights flashed with the lightning outside, and the rain battered the roof, making it sound like they were inside a huge barrel. Lucas had changed into different clothes—a snug, black T-shirt and a pair of gray track pants. She worked hard not to stare.
Definitely failed.
Lucas smiled, clipboard in hand. “All ready to go?”
She shrugged. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
He didn’t seem deterred by her lack of enthusiasm as he looked down at the clipboard. “All right. Let’s walk or jog a few laps around the track to get warmed up and then we’ll try The Wall.”
He said the last two words as if they were capitalized and should be followed by of Doom.
“Wait, hold up.” Taryn lifted a finger and pointed to the giant curved wall off to the left behind Lucas. “Surely you don’t mean that wall over there.”
He glanced over his shoulder. “The very one.”
“You’ve got jokes, Lucas.”
He gave her an amused glance. “No jokes. You’re trying that wall tonight.”
Yeah, and ice-skating in hell would follow that event. “You’re nuts.”
“Maybe.” He grinned and set aside his clipboard. “I said you’re safe with me. I never said I’d be easy on you.” He clapped his hands. “Now get moving, songbird.”
“Songbird?”
“Yep.” He started running in place. “A talented singer. But also a lady who’s doing a lot of crowing right now.”
She lifted a brow, affronted. “Did you just call me a crow? Don’t make me throw my shoe at you again.”
He jogged away. “You’ll have to catch me first.”
Well, that did it. She hadn’t been a runner in a long time, but that old competitive spirit from track fired up at the challenge. She jogged after him toward the narrow indoor track and poked him in the arm when she caught up. “I’m out of practice, but not slow.”
“Getting cocky already, songbird,” he said, keeping pace with her.
She picked up her speed a little to pass him and put her arms out to flap them like wings. “Caw-caw.”
His deep laugh was a balm to the nerves she’d felt coming in here tonight. This wasn’t so bad. Lucas was easy to be around, and it actually felt good to be moving. She jogged ahead but didn’t push it too hard, still wary of what had happened at the race, and soon Lucas caught up and kept a steady pace with her.
“I want you to stay at the level of effort where you can talk but it’s a bit of a challenge to hold a conversation,” he said, his feet pounding the track next to her. “And never be afraid to ask for a break. I’ll push you because that’s what you’re coming here for, but I need to be able to trust you to tell me when it’s too much.”
“I’ll tell you,” she promised. “I’m not known for keeping my mouth shut.”
“Good. Now let’s sweat.”
Half an hour later, Taryn was warm from the inside out and dripping with sweat. Lucas looked like he was barely glistening. She hated him a little in that moment.
He handed her a bottle of water and a towel and then took a towel for himself. He wrapped it around his neck and nodded at her. “That was good work. Feeling okay?”
“I’m feeling out of shape.” She took a long sip of the water. “But okay.”
“Out of practice. That’s all,” he said, his tone reassuring. “But that’s why you’re here. Today will be the worst day. The only place to go from this point is up.”
“Right.”
“And by up, I mean up that wall.” He cocked his head toward the ridiculous obstacle.
She dried her face with the towel and groaned. “Still with the wall?”
“I keep promises,” he said, a wicked gleam in his eye. “You and I have a date with that wall.”
“I thought you didn’t date,” she teased.
“I make an exception for Wally. We’re in a steady relationship. And we’re about to invite you in.”
“That sounds dirty.” She tossed the towel aside and set her water bottle on the floor next to it. “And is it a requirement for all trainers to be sadists? Do they screen for that? Because I feel like you’re enjoying this a little too much.”
A dimple appeared in his left cheek. “Yes, it’s the third class in trainer school…How to Make Your Clients Hate You Before They Love You.”
“Uh-huh. Gotta be honest. Not loving you so much right now.”
“You’re not supposed to.” He turned. “Let’s get started.”
She frowned, his tone sounding different from the playful one he’d been using, but she followed him to the obstacle course area anyway.
Taryn put her hands on her hips and stared at the giant curved wall in front of her. The thing had to be twelve feet tall, and the rope she was supposed to capture near the top seemed to be miles away. It might as well have been hanging off the side of a ten-story building. “Shouldn’t I have, like, a skateboard or something to get up this thing? A rocket booster?”
Lucas picked up his clipboard from where he’d set it down before their run and then dug around in a gym bag near his feet. He handed her a set of kneepads. “Nope. But don’t freak out. Day one, I just need to see where you are so I can track your progress. It’s a benchmark. I expect you to suck at this one.”
“Well gee, thanks, Coach,” she said as she strapped on the knee pads. “Good speech. Very motivating. You should do a TED talk.”
He smirked, blue eyes crinkling. “Would you rather I lie to you?”
She groaned and bounced on her toes, trying to rev herself up like she used to do before a race. “No, but a little positivity wouldn’t hurt.”
“Okay.” He swung his arm out. “The mat at the bottom is soft, and you’re wearing knee pads so it probably won’t hurt that much when you fall.”
She gave him a droll look. “Are you supposed to want to hit your trainer?”
He set the clipboard aside and crossed his arms over that broad chest, looking like a Greek god with a mean streak. “You should take off the sweatshirt. The bulk is going to make it even harder to build momentum.”
“Right.” She wet her lips and, after a moment of panicked hesitation, nervously tugged off the shirt. When she dropped it to the side, leaving her in what amounted to a skintight tank top and leggings, she felt more than a little exposed and the cold air was probably making things even more visible, but she tried to keep her expression neutral. This was a gym. These were gym clothes. Lucas’s gaze darted down her body and then quickly shifted to a spot over her shoulder.
He cleared his throat. “I’m ready when you are.”



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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Come chat with us NEW YEAR'S EVE!



Monday night I will be hosting a New Year's Eve chat at Romance Reviews Today. 
Here is the link to the chat room: http://www.chatzy.com/28419404740561


No registration is needed. It is just a free for all chat where we talk about books, food, and pretty much everything else. Oh, and we will ring in the NEW YEAR on the East coast. 

Chat begins at 10:00 PM EST and will run to approximately 12:30 AM EST.

Come one. Come all!

Book Giveaway: A DUKE CHANGES EVERYTHING by Christy Carlyle

A DUKE CHANGES EVERYTHING – Christy Carlyle 
The Duke's Den , Book 1 
Avon Books 
ISBN: 978-0-06-285395-0 
December 2018 
Historical Romance 

London and the Enderley Estate near Barrowmere Village, 1844 

Nicholas Lyon's father, the Duke of Tremayne, hated him. In fact, he refused to acknowledge him as his son, putting it out that the boy is his wife's by-blow. When Nicholas was a youngster, he and his mother escaped the castle and his father's extreme cruelty, moved to France for a while before moving back to England. His mother is now long dead. Nicholas, called Lyon, struggled to stay alive and flourish in London, but has now gained wealth and a good living as owner of a luxurious gentleman's gambling club named after him. Nick recently heard the good news of his father's death. Unfortunately, that news is soon followed by the death of the duke's heir, Nick's not-so-nice brother. Now Nick is the new duke. He plans to travel to the estate and get it ready to lease as soon as possible. (He hates the place but is not allowed to sell it.) 

The staff of the castle and all that goes with it is managed by a capable yet most unusual steward . . . Mina, whose deceased father was the former steward. She and the rest of the staff have no idea what to expect of the new duke, though some of the elderly remember him as a boy. 

A DUKE CHANGES EVERYTHING has it all: complicated but well defined characters dominated by Lyon and Mina. However, lesser cast members are worth the time they take, sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, and often likable. There is reality in the era, and suspense and attraction in the plot. Though not a fast read, it's most unusual and can be very moving. 

Jane Bowers



Happy New Year!
Are you making any New Year's Resolutions?
Post a comment and be entered to win a copy of this print book.
Open to U.S. mailing addresses only.

Book Winner!


The winner of TEN KISSES TO SCANDAL is... Cheryl C!
Please email me your mailing address to pattifischer@yahoo.com by 1/5/19

Friday, December 28, 2018

Promo: HARDER THAN STEEL by JANE GALAXY

A sexy movie star, a desperate photographer, and the secrets that could destroy them both. Contemporary Romance author Jane Galaxy shines in this steamy debut title which fans of Sariah Wilson's #Starstruck will swoon over.


In celebration of the sale for Jane Galaxy’s Harder Than Steel Eventide Press is offering one lucky winner a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
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About Harder Than Steel:

Title: Harder Than Steel
Author: Jane Galaxy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 4, 2018
Publisher: Eventide Press
Series: Super Stars #1
Format: Digital eBook
Digital ISBN: B07DJ42L7S

Synopsis:

A SEXY MOVIE STAR, A DESPERATE PHOTOGRAPHER, AND THE SECRETS THAT COULD DESTROY THEM BOTH...

Henry Jackson (Jax) Butler is Hollywood's hottest bad boy. Ever since the release of STEEL KNIGHT, his first movie in the world-famous Defender superhero film franchise, he's been able to land any girl he wants, even his co-star's sexy model girlfriend. But this dream job comes with downsides—like feeling completely typecast and unable to move on artistically. That and the paparazzi. The evil, privacy-invading scum who tail his every step, smearing his name and reputation just for having some innocent fun. And one pap in particular has become his worst enemy...

Vanessa Reyes would give anything to be a real photographer, shooting for investigative journalism pieces that could make a difference in the world. But with her sister's medical bills to pay, she's stuck tailing Hollywood's latest bad boy Jax Butler through New York, cashing in on every one of his plentiful hookups. She might not love her job, but she feels no remorse about exposing Jax for the heartless heartbreaker he is. Why shouldn't she cash in on his dirty dealing?

But when Jax is ordered to clean up his public image, he can think of no better media contact to approach for help than his rival. Keep your friends close and your enemies... Well, you know the rest. As for Vanessa, her boss has ordered her to find him newer, dirtier dirt on Jax. What better way to worm her way into his good graces than by accepting his offer to write some fluff pieces about him?

Yet the more time the two enemies spend in one another's company, the more they begin to see different sides to one another. Is Jax really the ruthless hookup artist he seems? Is Vanessa just another shady pap out for his blood? Or do they both have another, deeper self? One that only shines when they're together...

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

!!!!NOW ON SALE FOR $0.99 thru January 2, 2019!!!!
Available:  Amazon

Excerpt:

Copyright © 2018 Harder Than Steel
Jane Galaxy

Jax stayed where he was at the foot of the bed. There was still time, but maybe not as much as he’d counted on. Wardrobe tended to show up early. He brushed his fingertips together lightly.
“They are going to be here soon,” he enunciated clearly. “And I am afraid, my dear,” he leaned over to grasp her foot and playfully pull her toward him to soften the blow, “That you have to make yourself scarce.”
“You said we’d spend an afternoon together!” She pulled herself up to run her hands over his biceps. “You promised me, Jax.”
“Yes, but you were naked at the time, and it doesn’t really seem fair to hold me to a promise in circumstances like that,” he pointed out. She swatted him lightly across the arm, then caressed him. “Besides, I have interviews, and there’s that dual press junket next week. Maybe I’ll see you there.”
Georgina was looking at him more acutely now. When she dropped the sex kitten act, there was a resilience to her that he found encouraging, like hearing about someone small and strong winning against all odds. He leaned in and pressed his lips against her forehead.
“It’s not the same in public,” she said with a sigh, and went to get fully dressed. Jax wandered over to the windows to notice that his view had changed yet again. New York was in real flux these days—going up next door were either luxury condos or an office complex. The sun glinted off glass on the street below. When he’d left for Los Angeles, there had been the rubble of a warehouse that had probably once made pickle jar lids; now there were sidewalk sheds and signs with fantasy graphics of completed structures. Light flickered at him again, and Jax squinted carefully down to the street.
Someone with a very large camera was photographing him from the sidewalk.
“Oh shitting fuck Christ,” he whispered, and looked around to see if Georgina had heard him. She was smiling down into her phone, one index finger playing across her lips in an aesthetically-pleasing pose. “You need to leave,” he said, and gathered up her purse.
“Wha—”
“Now, preferably. We need to get moving.”
“What the hell, Jax?!”
“Listen to me,” he said. Georgina curled her lip and looked down her nose at where he’d set his palms on her shoulders. “There’s paparazzi downstairs.”
Her face twitched into eager surprise, disgust forgotten. “How many?”
“Just one. But they give off a pheromone, and soon it’ll attract others,” he said. She made to move over to the windows, but he held her wrist. “They’ve already seen me.” He felt his hand tug. “Georgina.” That seemed to bring her around to slightly-disappointed sanity.
“Ugh, fine. I can call a car if you tell me where the back door to this place is.”
“There isn’t one. And don’t call a car,” he said, pushing her phone out of her face to look at her. “That’s like a pap magnet.”
“Which is why you take a back way. There’s always a celebrity exit—loading dock, alley entrance, anything?”
“I’d bet good money on the alley door being blocked because of the construction.” The landlords on places like these were more concerned about getting the right color light from Edison bulbs than basic safety regulations. He shook his head in disbelief. “But you need to go now, before there’s a crowd. Walk just a block, or take a taxi.”
“God, you’re no fun when you’re jetlagged, you know that? I know how papping works.” She rolled her eyes.
“I’d like to go light with the tabloids this week.” Jax looked at her significantly.
“You know, there’s no such thing as bad press,” Georgina told him on the service elevator, once they were dressed and had managed to get down the hallway to the service elevator without meeting anyone. “You’re lucky you get this kind of attention, people wanting to know what you’re doing every minute. As if you couldn’t just take a picture of yourself. It’s gotta be this huge production—someone has to actually get in a car or ride the subway to go to your location and report back on what you’re doing. It’s almost vintage, isn’t it?”
He pushed open the metal doors onto the stretch of asphalt between buildings. No one was passing on the distant sidewalk except the usual dog walkers and flocks of tourists in screen-printed t-shirt uniforms, and for a moment Jax felt foolish for an abundance of paranoia. They came up nearly to the street and stood in the shade of a sidewalk shed.
“Maybe it’ll be—”
Through the jolt of pneumatic screw guns and a low grinding hum of heavy equipment, Jax distinctly heard with a chill the horrifying sound of a shutter clicking on a digital SLR.
“Hey, Henry!”
Fuuuuuuck. Fuck.
Henry Jackson “Jax” Butler closed his eyes for just a moment, hoping Georgina had dosed him with LSD. Or peyote. But not ayahuasca, he hoped. Worst Comic-Con ever. The cloying sing-song voice sounded like a delighted friend seeing him for the first time in a while, and Georgina turned to face it.
“Do you know her?”
Jax turned and raised both fists out in front of him, middle fingers jutting up nonchalantly. The woman with the camera bent her knee slightly to get a better shot of him flipping her off.
“Aww, it’s you!” he said in a mock-enthusiastic voice as he recognized her face—olive skin, dark eyes, hair pulled back into a ponytail. The one girl who could find him anywhere and always create a shitty way to get him into the tabloids. “My least favorite pap of them all! Having a good summer? How’s the life-ruining business going? You know, maybe it’s just me—I feel like our connection is so one-sided, we never talk, does that ever worry you?”
The paparazz—well, it was probably paparazza, now that he thought about it, not that anyone would ever use that word, but there were very few women paparazzi out there, it was one of those markets men seemed to dominate—she lowered the camera to her side and cocked her hip, scrunching up her mouth and looking wickedly thoughtful.
“Nah, my conscience is pretty clean. Mostly because I’m not an accomplice to... whatever this is.” The girl waggled her finger at them and cocked her head to one side, gazing at Georgina’s face intently to try to place her.
Ah, shit.
“Go,” said Jax, and gave Georgina a light push. The camera whipped back up to capture his hand on her shoulder blade.
“Isn’t that your co-star’s girlfriend?”
Only then did Georgina seem to remember that she was Jax’s co-star’s girlfriend, and disappeared along the building.
“Still the worst, Reyes, you know that?” he called out to her. She focused the camera again, and caught him looking overhead suddenly, squinting at something near the fire escapes. “Is that—?” He pointed to it, floating upward on a breeze like a lost balloon. “Is that your clean little conscience?” His hand reached out to grasp empty air. “Oh, it’s getting away, there it goes. Say goodbye, Reyes, better make it a full break. No regrets.”
She was ignoring him, briskly clicking through the images on her viewscreen, just casually scrolling through her power over the situation, over him, over the money to be made off other people’s lives. He started toward her, not entirely sure of what he was about to do, when a screeching thud turned end over end on itself, sounding like a semi jackknifing through traffic. Jax saw it before he heard construction workers hollering at each other.
One of the steel beams had come loose and was coming down.
He took a running start off of nothing and threw himself headlong, tackling Reyes in a dive. The girder slammed onto a flatbed trailer parked next to where she’d been standing, crumpling the cab.
Jax’s head rang. He’d rolled at the last second to avoid throwing his whole weight onto her, and now Reyes was twisting around underneath him to get loose. She had more muscles than her loose, nondescript clothing suggested, hard and compact, but still curving where she ought to. Jax wished she’d give him just a minute, for the dust to clear, and finally stood, breathing hard. Reyes came up to her feet, and he saw why she’d been squirming—she wanted to make sure her camera had survived being pressed between the two of them.
The Butler Did It—Jax Assaults Photographer After Alley Affair Shocker, the headline would read, and the Steel Knight toy marketing executives would haul him into their offices for another lecture.
“Jesus Christ,” he said to her. She was inspecting the lens and hadn’t even bothered to check herself for damage. Or him. “Really? Now?”
Reyes frowned down at her camera, but instead of lining up another shot, she gingerly twisted the focus to feel for damage.
“I can’t believe you managed to do that without breaking it,” she said. “Or me.” He could hear construction workers shouting to one another, footsteps in the distance.
They stared at each other for several moments, and she let the camera drop to the strap on her neck.
“Um,” said Reyes. “Should I—How can I—Thanks? You?”
“How can you thanks me?” said Jax. Reyes’ mouth opened and closed several times, and her eyes shut for a moment, only to open on Jax holding out his palm.
“By deleting those photos.” When she didn’t move, he flexed his hand. “Come on, lemme see it.”
Reyes drew the strap from around her neck carefully, as if it were heavy.
“I’m only interested in the ones of me,” he said, quiet, but her strange expression didn’t change. Jax went into the image review and removed every shot involving him, even the one of his apartment building rising up to loom over the street. He paused and moved his thumb off the delete button on the picture before that: a plump older woman striding through a zebra crossing with one arm flung out as if to welcome or guide, looking directly into the lens. Jax flicked the power off and handed the device back to Reyes.
She stood for a moment as distant sirens echoed off the buildings, and they looked at one another.
“You okay?”
“Yeah.” Her dark eyes flicked back and forth across the pavement in front of him, and her throat moved when she swallowed. “You okay?”
“Uh… yeah. Sure.”
Reyes nodded.
“Okay,” said Jax. “I have to go be on TV now.” He turned and went back into the apartment building through the metal doors.


Other Books in the Super Stars series:

Colder Than Ice (Super Stars #2)

SOPHIE MARKES just landed the ultimate writing gig--turning her award-winning superhero comic 'Shadows of the Imperium' into a screenplay for Card One Studios.

TRISTAN ECCLESTON just landed the ultimate acting role--playing the icy, brooding Lucius in Card One Studios' newest blockbuster.

Sophie's dream job quickly becomes a nightmare. Card One has completely changed her story, rendering it unrecognizable. Salvaging the script means plenty of on-set time... particularly with one unbearably gorgeous British actor.

Tristan's dream role is more precarious than ever. His father, British acting royalty, and his scheming ex-girlfriend are determined to sabotage his "frivolous" gig. Avoiding them and their snobbish expectations means spending more and more time with the quiet, nerdy, and irresistible Sophie.

But when Sophie learns the truth behind her butchered script--when Tristan learns the truth behind Sophie's icy facade--it'll take more than the might of the Imperium to thaw their hearts.

Releasing January 15, 2019!


About Jane Galaxy:

Jane Galaxy has the heart of a romantic and a brain full of pop culture knowledge. She loves to escape into the world of super-powered heroes and heroines with awesome abs who punch stuff, but putting them through their paces when it comes to the hard work of emotions and true love is even better.
You can usually find her pining over gifs from ComicCon and coming up with the perfect song for a hot guy to play in the background of his latest angst-riddled workout session.






Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon



Promo: NIGHTCHASER by AMANDA BOUCHET




Nightchaser
By Amanda Bouchet
Publication Date: 1/1/19

"Amanda Bouchet blasts off with a series that's full of heart, humor, romance, and action."—JENNIFER ESTEPNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Kill the Queen
Tess Bailey: the galaxy's Most Wanted.
Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who'll take them dead or alive. Tess's best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear...
Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm...and that special something that makes you want to kick him.
With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don't know about each other might get them killed...unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it's too late.
Purchase links:
Amazon: bit.ly/amazonnightchaser
B&N: bit.ly/bnnightchaser
Kobo: bit.ly/kobonightchaser
Apple: apple.co/2SXqd21

Author website: http://amandabouchet.com/

Two Big Giveaways:


  a Rafflecopter giveaway




Excerpt from Nightchaser
by
Amanda Bouchet


Two people on the avenue at the bottom of the Squirrel Tree both directed me to the same place: Ganavan’s Products and Parts. It wasn’t too far—still in the docking district and within easy walking distance—so I figured it was a good place to start.
I found the shop at the base of a towering, warehouse-type structure. It was recessed into the ground a few feet, requiring me to take a short flight of stairs down to access it from street level. A bell tinkled over the door when I swung it open, surprising me with the light, merry chiming. I couldn’t help appreciating the quaint touch in the otherwise industrial setting of the city’s sprawling, somewhat dingy docks.
Inside, the shop was bigger than I’d expected and crowded with metallic shelving packed with more stuff than any space rat could ever possibly want. It was almost overwhelming—and half of it was covered in dust. Motes twirled in the air, floating in the sunbeams streaming in through the high-up windows that let in most of the shop’s light.
I didn’t see anyone behind the register to query about repairs, so I walked the aisles, looking for anything that might be of use. I picked up forty rounds of LW-9 bullets in a sleek metal case for our Grayhawk handguns, but I didn’t really need things like the rest of this—gadgets and doodads and crap. I needed reinforced metal panels and someone who could weld them onto my ship.
I scanned the shelves for fuses and wiring, too, but didn’t see anything. The Endeavor’s electrical components weren’t in great shape, even with Big Guy’s brief help, and my console was currently dead. I’d have to see, but I hoped Jaxon would end up being enough of an electrician to fix it. When it came to a ship’s central power grid, I had some skills myself.
“Can I help you?” a man asked.
I turned and watched the speaker walk toward me from what looked like a back office, his steps silent and almost prowling. Despite his height and imposing physique, I might not have heard him coming if he hadn’t made his presence known.
Was this Ganavan? He was tall, with at least a few inches on me. He was wide, too, but mainly in the shoulders. His body looked healthy and trim. Like me, I thought his origins could probably be traced back to pre-exodus Caucasian. Unlike me, he had a healthy tan.
The fact that he was tall, dark, and hot didn’t stop my usual default mode from kicking in—to assess any stranger I met and determine how I would try to bring that person down in a fight.
I came up with a defensive scenario before he got too close. A ducking spin as he came at me, his own weight hopefully throwing him off-balance as I slid out of the way. A quick, hard kick to the back of a knee to get him lower than me. A sleeper hold from behind with my arm in a tight V around his neck, cutting off the blood flow through his arteries. With any luck, I could knock him out without ever touching his windpipe.
Unfortunately, looking at him, I estimated my chances of success with any of that at about eight percent, which made me glad there was no reason to think he was unfriendly.
He watched me, too, his brown eyes like lasers. I’d rarely been subjected to such a steady stare, especially from a gaze that held definite hints of interest and appreciation. My body started to heat from more than just the sunlight filtering down from the high windows. The light hit him at an angle, turning his eyes a tawny amber, like those of a jungle predator.
No. A jungle animal would scare me, and this man didn’t, despite his obvious physical advantage. His eyes were more the color of dark honey, appealing, all warm and tempting in the sun.
My taste buds seemed to burst to life with the memory of sweetness on my tongue. Starway 8 was one of the few places left in the galaxy with an actual apiary, and the liquid gold the director sold to the wealthy elite in Sector 12 was the main source of revenue for the orphanage. This man’s eyes looked just like honey number seven—my favorite. Almost the darkest. The darker honeys had more flavor.
He stopped a few feet from me, and those honey-brown eyes dipped, taking me in from my head to my toes. My clothing was skintight, and I felt a blush flare under his slow inspection.
Finally, he looked up. “Just checking for weapons.”
I snorted. “Really? Weapons? I haven’t heard that one before.”
He winked at me like the scoundrel I highly suspected he was. “We’re inventive out here in 2. Where’re you from?”
“What makes you think I’m not from here?”
“You’re a 12-er. I can hear it in your posh voice.”

Time seemed to slow down as my mind processed his words one by one, even though it only took a second. I hardly spoke to anyone besides my crew, and they didn’t care what I sounded like. Blurring my trail outside of the Endeavor meant it was time to work on a new accent, though. It was too bad. The precise, cut-glass diction was one of the only things I liked about Sector 12.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Promo: LOVE IS NEVER PAST TENSE by JANNA YESHANOVA



1.     Tell us about your newest release.

Love Is Never Past Tense was just released as an audiobook. It is part of a romance, part —a narrative of immigration to America, and it’s hard to pin it down to a single genre. It pushes the boundaries of women’s fiction (some parts are based on actual events), literary fiction and contemporary romance.  Some might even classify the novel as a historical romance — actual recent history fills the book. Love Is Never Past Tense is now seeking a new audience in the form of an audio book.

I searched for years for the right narrator and finally found her. Daniela Acitelli captured the voice I was hearing in my head as I wrote the book. 

And here is a sample: http://bit.ly/2Ah0ESX


2.     Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

Yes, sure. This is the scene when the adventure started. I’ve included it below as an excerpt. I love it because it shows how two people are connecting.


***
Serge didn't try to catch up to the shuffling, thin, leather skirt. He hadn't a clue what he would do if he actually caught up with her. So he continued following her along the high embankment for a fairly long time, until they crossed the whole of Lanzheron Park. But, reaching the beach, the girl quickly descended to the sea. Serge even began to jog a bit to keep her in sight. His head was clear this morning, and soon he would try out his cunning for the first but not the last time this day. The spy set up camp at the upper solarium and watched over her. Maybe she was waiting for some company, or a young man, or a girlfriend (which would undoubtedly seem to be better), but to our spy, all were equally bad possibilities. This guessing game carried on in his head, but it seemed she wasn't looking for anyone. She ducked into the changing room, and her leather skirt momentarily hung over the edge of the stall. After a minute, she exited, and Serge, pulling his long hair away from his head with both hands in anguish, groaned something unintelligible. Her breasts exited the little room first. The spot from where Serge looked down provided such visibility that his knees began to tremble. Her face was impossible to discern through her long hair and sunglasses, but something told him it would also be in order. She laid before her a light beach towel, and laying down she took a book from her bag and began to read. Burning her “landing site” into his mind, Serge took off like a shot to the nearest cabana rental. Fast as lightning, he exchanged his clothes for a key, crammed two metal rubles in the pocket of his swimming trunks, and became Don Juan. He feared, though, that there were already a bunch of admirers slinking ever closer to the sacred beach towel, and that he would simply be too late. He'd have to crawl to his place in line, and like the others, would have a poor chance of success.
He flew down the stairs and quickly found the beach towel, but … its owner was nowhere to be found. There was a book, a beach bag, and sunglasses, but their owner had disappeared. Oh, yes! This would be the second time that a smart thought visited Serge’s head today. People come to the sea to swim, after all! This interpretation of her disappearance comforted and delighted Serge. He became bolder and impudently tossed his glasses onto the same towel and cheerfully marched to the water. With his half-blind eyes, he surely could not see her. And where, among dozens of bathers? He dove into a wave, and swam away from the shore. First, he couldn't stand to watch bathers jumping around like frogs in the shallow water. Secondly, at this moment, his exceptionally quick-witted head told him he couldn't be the first to return to her beach towel. Then he'd have to take his glasses and fiddle around a bit in front of the beach towel to buy time as he came up with a new plan. Perhaps he'd cover himself with the towel, or maybe … no, he needed to work on his initial scenario.
He even came up with a sophisticated opening: "Excuse me, young lady, but I left my glasses here on your towel. I simply didn't have anywhere to put them, or myself for that matter." With this, his stockpile of ideas was depleted …
At last he climbed out of the water and headed along the well-trodden route to her beach towel. The towel was in place, and on this towel lay the magnificent body of its hostess, but Serge's glasses were lying a little bit farther on the edge of the towel. Serge squatted down and mumbled his introduction. He was counting on her to respond with typical beach chit-chat: "Where are you from? How long ago did you arrive in Odessa?" or other such nonsense.
"Your glasses are fine," she responded. "I figured someone just confused their beach towel with mine, but have a seat anyway."
She scooted over, freeing up half the beach towel. He got scared. If he lay down, then he wouldn't be able to resist the urge to nuzzle up to her. Then he'd certainly look like a pervert, a youth brought up with no manners, or a pest—in a word, he would give the exact opposite impression than he wanted. He mumbled something like a "thank you" and lay down beside her on the sand. She motioned towards him with a little bag of sunflower seeds, "Help yourself."
” Oh God, what's this?” resounded in Serge's mind. “Are you kidding me … sunflower seeds?” And his hand with a subsequent "thank you" reached in the bag.
"Do you like Ilf and Petrov?”2
” Lord, who is she talking about? I've only heard of them in passing, but I don't know the slightest thing about them …” Serge thought to himself.
"My name's Janna," she came to his rescue.
"Sergey," he stammered in reply, "but at the institute everyone actually calls me Serge, or Seriy …”3
She chuckled.
"Grey. You're actually black as tar. Where did you get such a tan?" she asked, spitting out sunflower seed shells. Not even awaiting a response, she exclaimed: "Here is an interesting moment”—and she began to read her book aloud, something about Ptiburdukov and his Varvara, who was leaving her first husband for him but couldn't make up her mind. Janna read for a while, probably about five pages, and then thrust the book towards Serge and said, "You read from here," marking the place with her fingernail. Serge began to read, but he didn't understand a word. He was too busy worrying about his diction, trying not to miss any letters or words. He fought through two pages, but his audience was clearly not impressed.
"Would you like a cigarette?"
"If he has a smoke, then he'll stop reading.” Serge could almost hear her thinking. He pulled a cigarette from a mashed-up pack of Javas, the best tobacco the Soviet Union could offer at that time. She handed him the matches. He brought the flame close to her face. She took a drag and rolled over on her back. Serge absolutely didn’t know what to do: read, blow sand from her, ask her about something. But she was not waiting for any questions and didn’t ask any questions. It was as if he simply was present. And that was that. The only thing that remained was for Serge to stare dumbfounded into the sand and observe the ants. Having smoked half the cigarette, she jammed the other half into the sand and turned back over on her stomach, brushing her leg up against Serge's. But she did not hasten to remove it. Silent Serge, who really didn't look the part of a reasonable person, turned into an animal. His uncontrollable desire sprang to life, pulling his swimming trunks down into the sand with such force that it became painful. Serge secretly burrowed a hole in the sand, easing the pressure. He became obsessed with a craving to climb on top of her. But this was out of the question, which made his desire even stronger …
"It's hot. Let's go for a swim," she said, lifting herself up on her elbows. For the first time he could see her breasts up close, causing his heart to leap through his ribs like a bird in a cage. He muttered he'd catch up to her, and when she left, his desire ever so slowly began to hide itself away, until he was finally able to get up and head towards the sea.
She splashed around in the waves, which towards midday became quite sizable. He flopped about next to her, often brushing up against her body. Then he suggested tossing her in the waves. He cradled her head and shoulders, gathered her hands into his, and finally lifted her up and tossed her into the waves. Janna liked it, and so did he, but for a different reason: every time she hit the waves, her bathing suit slid down slightly, and when her breasts finally became exposed, he was ready to splash to his very death. Suddenly, she ended up cradled in his arms. With one arm, she grasped his neck, and he now understood that everything will happen, he just needed to patiently wait.
Once something starts, eventually, it ends. The delightful swim as well: they returned from the water and again lay down on the beach towel.
“I want to get tanned like you.” (She had already switched to the informal you4 in the water. He liked this, as it made him feel less uneasy around her). She placed her arm next to his for comparison, and her brown skin seemed much paler than his almost blackened arm. Guiltily, he informed her that he just returned yesterday from his apprenticeship in Baku, and so it was not surprising that he was so dark.
“You have beautiful hands,” she pensively remarked. Then, determined, she added, “No, you just wait. I’ll catch up with you in two days. Just wait and see.” These words poured over his body like oil. For Serge, this meant that he would spend at least two more days with her.
“Get some ice cream. Do you need some money?”
“I have it,” answered Serge, but before he could get up and leave, he had to turn and crawl to hide his “desire” …
***
During their first three days together, Serge (as they called our hero at the time) was the quieter of the two, once in a while muttering some insignificant phrases. The first time he saw her, he silently followed her for a long time. She walked along easily, shifting her long, rather well-proportioned legs. Her thin leather skirt swung from side to side, barely hiding her shapely hips. A green blouse tightly covered her beautifully straight back. All the while, Serge followed her like she was a vision, lacking the courage to come closer or to back away. He knew that making her acquaintance was a long shot; she was simply out of his league. How could he possibly know that she, a complete stranger, would inexplicably impact his life and be with him forever, whether she was at his side or not?



3.     What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

The book is set in several different geographical locations. Parts of the book were written in the same locations years after. I was surprised when doing the work at the scene It helped to revive the detailed description of the environment, emotions, and memories of the events that took place at that time. The details of interaction, how people are communicating, walking in the streets, their cultural habits and conversations. For example, here is a scene with a street vendor …

Excerpt from Love Is Never Past Tense by Janna Yeshanova

The city had awakened. Southern cities are early to rise. The day began and with it, a new life. The Odessans were already bustling in the streets as if they were preparing for an evacuation. They rushed along, nervously gathering at the city’s public transport stop, storming the trams, trolleys, and buses. Housewives scurried about the stores and shops, searching for the best deals and the tastiest morsels. Visitors, on the contrary, behaved as if they’d decided to remain in the city forever. Draped in cameras with exposure meters, they strolled at their leisure, dallying at the souvenir stands.
“Dark blues, dark blues, who wants dark blues?” Onions, cucumbers, reds! she yelled using the local name for tomatoes. “Everything fresh—they were just growing! Hey lady, why did you turn away? Look at this beauty … Dark blues, dark blues!”
“Why are you shouting at the whole street? What kind of dark blue are they—the eggplants you have are actually yellow,” Janna shot back.
“Say what, are you color-blind? To color-blind people I do not sell. Depart and do not bother me …”
Odessa woke up and entered a new day. The colorful public thronged the streets. Girls flitted in short dresses. Old women shuffled in long chintz, and men hid their heads in straw hats.

4.     What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

I think all the writers I read, all people I interacted with contributed to my writing.  I believe that all experiences we have are becoming our legacy that is being retrieved at one or another point of our life. Two stand out, Hemmingway and Tolstoy!
5.     What does your family think about your career as a published author?

They take it as a given.

6.     Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

Love to be with my friends and family, love travel, ocean.  I love to sit on the white sand embracing my knees and watching the waves of the ocean and seagulls above my head! I love to be on the boat with a music and a glass of wine… and the whole ocean in front of you.  It feels like freedom! I like to sit in an outside restaurant at a table covered with a white cloth having a cup of coffee and watching pigeons peck on the cobblestone…

I like to have in my hand the yoke of a Cessna aircraft with my trainer on the right warning me not to turn over the aircraft during my classes.  It’s so enjoyable to look down on the trees and buildings that suddenly become small.  Even all problems from the sky seem small!

Oh!  I totally forgot about reading! I listen to audiobooks when I am driving, cooking or walking. This is the reason that I created the audiobook.


7.     How can readers connect with you online?
Audio Book at audible.com  https://adbl.co/2T473Yp
Audio Book at Amazon https://amzn.to/2Bt9s8W
Audio Book at iTunes https://apple.co/2Kvh8KX
Amazon Author Page https://amzn.to/2AhhY9j


Blurb:
A couple's quick romance and hasty marriage is torn apart by family and fate, leaving them to face the collapse of the Soviet Union separately. Years later, old memories are stirred to give their love a second chance.
Serge and Janna's chance meeting at a Black Sea beach sparks a passionate romance and a quick marriage. Serge's parents, suspicious of Janna's motives and heritage, force him to break up with her. As the Soviet Union collapses, revealing ethnic and social pressures, each faces danger separately. Serge drowns in self-doubt, his life spiraling down and in. Janna plots a dangerous exodus to America with her mother and daughter. Years pass, stirring old emotions.Then, changing circumstances give their love a second chance. Janna Yeshanova tells a story, providing a very personal view of political and social change.
Love is Never Past Tense is part romantic drama and part a look at real people responding to life-changing events, but mostly a suspense adventure about living through one of the biggest changes in living memory.
Love Is Never Past Tense is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle eBook formats. The newly released audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. The audible and Kindle versions are enabled with WhisperSync.
The audio is narrated by Daniela Acitelli, a narrator with dozens of audiobooks to her credit. Even those familiar with the story found new meaning in her presentation. It took me two years to find her.

Buy Links:
Audio Book at audible.com https://adbl.co/2FrEWAs
Audio Book at Amazon https://amzn.to/2Bt9s8W
Audio Book at iTunes https://apple.co/2Kvh8KX
Amazon Author Page https://amzn.to/2AhhY9j


 Author Bio:
Originally from the former Soviet Union, Janna Yeshanova escaped in 1989 when persecution became violent during the crumbling of the Soviet state. This required getting permission to emigrate and a long dangerous train trip across central Europe with her elderly mother, her young daughter, and the $126 she was permitted to take out of the country. She did this by overcoming gridlock in Russia, animosity and graft at the border, and neglect in the west. Safely out of Soviet control, Janna and her family spent months as refugees waiting for permission to come to the United States.
Arriving in the United States knowing not a soul, Janna settled in Ohio and began to rebuild her life. She earned a second masters Degree and was invited as a speaker at the Bosnia and Herzegovina International Peace Conference in 1996. While building her business as a Leadership Trainer and consultant, she has become a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation. She offers life coaching services to individuals, conflict resolution to couples and groups, and soft skills training to organizations of all sizes.
Her book, Love Is Never Past Tense, offers a message of hope and inspiration, showing that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.