Incapable by Marie Skye

Incapable book coverTitle: Incapable #1 by Marie Skye
Released: February 19, 2016

Synopsis

Emmalin

Gone.

Everything I ever had is gone. Ripped away, taken before I was ready. So I just hid. Hid in the shadows, hoping to disappear, blending in, fade away. I didn’t want to be found, and I sure as hell didn’t want, to be discovered.

But one man did. He saw me. Saw right through me.
He’s overbearing, egotistical, and did I mention a total asshole?
When I’m with him, I want to scream, Punch him,
And then have him rip my clothes off.

I gave him one night.
He wants more.
And so do I.
I’m his.
Grayson Mandrake owns me.

Grayson

I take, because I can.
I claim, because I can.
She was mine the moment I saw her,
And I will destroy her soul to keep her. Have her. Own her.

I’m ruthless,
And relentless,
A total asshole.
And I will do anything for her.
Emmalin Ross is mine. Continue reading

The Official Essex Sisters Companion Guide by Eloisa James + Jody Gayle

Essex Companion book cover Title: The Official Essex Sisters Companion Guide by Eloisa James & Jody Gayle
Release date: May 24, 2016
Published by: Avon Impulse

Synopsis

This is a book no Eloisa James fan should miss! Eloisa revisits the scintillating world of the Essex Sisters with “A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace,” a new story featuring a young lady, Cece, who would rather ruin her own reputation than endure further speculation about whether her children will be “silly,” like her brother, Billy. Happily for fans of Pleasure for Pleasure, Cece’s best friend is Josie, Countess of Mayne!

Just as exciting, the Companion includes not only Eloisa’s original notes about each book and her “extra” chapters, but a 170 page alternate ending to Kiss Me, Annabel. Eloisa discarded this shockingly different plot after writing one draft, and the published novel went in an entirely new direction. Make up your own mind about which is better-Eloisa’s original, or the final book!

Super fan Jody Gayle’s engaging guide includes essays about fascinating historical details, including period fashion designs. Explore the world of horse racing and tour the London theater scene. Delve into the rich history and deep literary tradition that makes Eloisa one of the top writers of historical romance.

The Companion also gives you a sneak peek at Eloisa’s newest full-length novella, “A Gentleman Never Tells”-which springs from the world of the Essex Sisters! What will happen when one of the men who ruined an heiress’ debut by labeling her a “Wooly Breeder” (and Josie Essex a “Scottish Sausage”) decides that it’s time to make amends? Continue reading

Crystal Kaswell on Play Your Heart Out

Crystal Kaswell play your heart outCrystal Kaswell visits us again and talks about her new novel Play Your Heart Out, the followup to Rock Your Heart Out. 

Can you sum up Play Your Heart Out in two sentences?

Girl accepts offer from rock star to play his girlfriend in return for him paying her law school tuition. Feelings and sexual awakening ensue.

How does this book fit into the Sinful Serenade series?

It’s the fourth book in the series, but it can be read on its own. Each book follows a different couple– one of the guys in Sinful Serenade and his heroine. Pete is the bassist and sometimes lyricist of Sinful Serenade. He’s also the brother of Tom, the drummer slash de facto manager. I must warn– this book is filled with spoilers for the three previous books plus spoilers for Mockingjay and The Force Awakens— so I really, really recommend starting with book one, Sing Your Heart Out, and reading the series in order. It’s a lot of fun seeing new layers to the characters as they grow and let down the walls around their hearts.

But this book is a standalone.You can jump in to Play Your Heart Out without any background and you’ll still understand the plot and the characters.

How is Pete different than the other guys in the band?

All of the guys in the band are fun-loving, passionate about music, and fantastic between the sheets. A lot of people have described them as bad boys with hearts of gold and I think that’s accurate. They sleep around, they curse like sailors, they have tattoos, and they DGAF about what other people think. Pete is more of a straight shooter than the other guys. He’s willing to admit he’s been hurt. He’s more intense and mysterious. He’s also a dirty-talking tease😉

Pete has a long distance girlfriend in the first three books. What is the deal with her? Why did he stay with her for so long?

I write a lot of first love stories. I really enjoy those, but I wanted to do something a little different with Pete’s character. I wanted him to have been through a messy relationship that he grew out of. He started dating Cindy in high school. They were long distance for a long time before they finally broke up (in Rock Your Heart Out, book three). I think a lot of us have the experience of growing apart from our high school friends or lovers. There’s a part of us that wants to stay together or stay in touch because we aren’t ready to let go. There’s a lot to be said for inertia. We don’t change unless something forces us to change. I think Pete does a great job explaining why he stayed in that relationship in his book, so I won’t speak for him.

Your heroines are all ambitious women. Was this a conscious choice?

Yes. I don’t think there are enough examples in popular culture of women who are both career-oriented and loving. In most TV, movies, and even books, women are either ambitious or loving but not both. A lot of romance heroines start off ambitious but end up giving up on their dreams so the hero can pursue his. This is especially true in rock star romance. Tons of the heroines end up quitting their jobs to follow their boyfriends/husbands around on tour. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a woman putting family first, but I don’t like that it’s the default. I want to remind women that their feelings, thoughts, needs, goals and ambitions matter. I don’t think women hear that enough.

Which Sinful Serenade character are you most like?

I think I’m most like Miles. I know how to present myself as being collected and aloof, and I only reveal myself once I really feel like I can trust someone. It might be my fantasies of being a lyricist and having thousands of being analyzing my words and wondering what they mean talking. When I described Ophelia (Tom and Pete’s mother) to my husband, he said “oh, so she’s like you, only older and a lesbian?”

What’s next?

I’m writing a fifth Sinful Serenade book, Sinful Ever After. It’s going to be a collection of novella sequels—one for each couple. I want to check in on them in six months or a year to see how they are doing.

That will be the last Sinful Serenade book but it won’t be the last of the Sinful Serenade guys. They’ll appear in my next series, Dangerous Noise. That name might sound familiar to regular readers. Dangerous Noise is the band Drew left to join Sinful Serenade. You’ll meet Ethan, Dangerous Noise’s new guitarist in Play Your Heart Out. Continue reading

Meet Falguni Kothari, bestselling author

falguni-photoFalguni Kothari is an internationally bestselling hybrid author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with her readers. My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.

Welcome to Plain Talk, Falguni. I’ll jump right in. What is your writing process?

My writing process is a lot of ruminating, wondering, mulling, staring at the TV, getting lost in Facebook, reading and talking to myself. I do this for a couple of months, get to know my characters and their quirks really well, before I start putting words to the page.

Describe your journey as an author so far.

It’s been fast and furious. I don’t think it’s going to slow down for another two years.

How do you stay motivated?

Very easily. But wait, motivated in what? Motivated to write or motivated in life? I’m motivated with life which spills into all areas of my life.

What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?

Let me be a PIA. There’s been no obstacle while writing. That’s the easiest thing that comes to me. It’s the getting published that’s the obstacle. Especially, getting published in the US. I overcame it by going indie.

Why did you write My Last Love Story?

Because every household lives with disease in this world. Every person deals with loss and grief. Every person loves and hates and makes mistakes. I had to write this book because my cousin would have wanted me to. She succumbed to cancer twenty years ago.

What do you hope readers would take away from My Last Love Story?

That there is nothing more to life than love. Love every day and deeply. Don’t judge and don’t quit. Continue reading

If I were stuck in a zombie apocalypse …

While the men of AMC’s The Walking Dead (TWD) are fierce warriors, the women are no slouch. Here are a few of the ladies of TWD I’d want fighting by my side if faced with the zombie apocalypse.

Former victim turned badass – Carol Peletier

Carol Peletier Melissa McBride

Carol Peletier played by Melissa McBride, to me has come the furthest—that’s why she’s first. When we first met Carol, she was an abused housewife and mother. She was terrified by her jackass husband/provider. Carol was so beaten down that she kept her head down and did the chores assigned to the women in the camp—washing, cooking, and child rearing. She seemed afraid to engage in conversation with the other ladies and mostly kept to herself.

After a herd of Walkers (zombies) attacked their camp and bit her husband, she was the one who gladly put him down. You could almost see the smile of sweet revenge curved on the side of her lips as she ended his life. Carol was finally free; she didn’t waste a second feeling sorry for herself or waste a half a teardrop on him. Her goal now was to protect her daughter, Sophia and dodge Walkers.

When Sophia got lost in the forest, Melissa McBride gave the performance of a lifetime. I am sure viewers wept and agonized with her the way I did. She hit the performance out of the park again when Sophia was found. That scene still makes me cry even after seeing it more than once.

While on the hunt for Sophia, Carol and Daryl Dixon formed a really sweet friendship. I loved that it was not sexual, but just a bond in the middle of all the drama happening around them. Within that time, Carol developed her shooting and survival skills, which made her a force to be reckoned with.

Memorable lines between Carol and Daryl (Darol): Continue reading

Blair Babylon’s Working Stiff: Casimir

Book cover Working StiffTitle: Working Stiff: Casimir (Inheritance Trilogy, #1) by Blair Babylon
Publication date: May 17th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

Here’s the problem: when Rox was hired, she told her smoking-hot boss Cash that she was married, but she’s not. Now, three years later, she’s kind of accidentally living with him, and he’s being a perfect gentleman, dang it.

Everybody in the office said that Cash was a heartbreaker, that he’d bump her and dump her, so Rox decided not to become a statistic. She went out and bought herself some rings of the finest cubic zirconia so that she could work with Cash, who was several inches over six feet tall, emerald-eyed, ripped, gorgeous, his tailored suit clinging to his athletic body, sporting a British accent, and loaded.

It had seemed like such a good plan at the time.

But now, three years later, she and Cash have become friends. They travel together for work often, and they’re the best of buddies.When Rox gets thrown out of her apartment, Cash insists that she come live with him until they can find her a place because that’s what friends do.

Now, even though everyone insists that Cash never goes after married women, something about him has changed. There are little touches, little slips, and Rox is more and more tempted to tell hunky, gorgeous Cash that she never was married.

And then he’ll take her and break her, and then he’ll walk away, and then she’ll lose her job, and she still hasn’t found a place to live.

And yet, every time her looks at her with mischief in his dark green eyes, every time they’re teasing and it somehow turns into tickling, every time she swats at him and somehow ends up in his arms, she wants so much to risk everything.

What’s a working stiff to do when she falls in love with her friend, the boss? Continue reading

Special Promo – Power Play by Sophia Henry

Power Play Sophia HenryTitle: Power Play Pilots Hockey #2 by Sophia Henry
Released: February 16th, 2016
Published by: Flirt

Synopsis

In Sophia Henry’s blistering follow-up to Delayed Penalty, hailed as “sexy, fun, and full of angst” by L. P. Dover, a good girl and a hockey hunk face off against expectations—and this match is guaranteed to see plenty of action.

Beneath her innocent facade, Gabriella Bertucci has her reasons to be standoffish with guys. Especially guys like Landon Taylor, a star defenseman on the minor-league Detroit Pilots and the object of a serious crush since he first walked into her family’s market. But when Landon comes through for her in a moment of crisis, Gaby starts to wonder if there might be more to Landon than hard muscles and fast skates.

Landon isn’t afraid of telling Gaby that he’s got it for her bad. The problem is, she seems unwilling to believe it. And though Landon enjoys his reputation as a cool-headed athlete, he hates losing—both on the rink and off. It’s his competitiveness that makes him so damn good at what he does . . . but it also makes him just a little bit complicated.

One minute Gaby’s tempted to give in; the next, she’s getting cold feet. How can she trust a guy who’s destined for bigger and better things to stick around? Then again, when Landon pulls her close with those powerful arms, the only thing that matters is right now. Continue reading

12 Hours in Paradise by Kathryn Berla

12 hours in Paradise Kathryn BerlaTitle: 12 Hours in Paradise by Kathryn Berla
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Twelve hours, thirty-six questions, and a chance to fall in love…

It’s the last day of Dorothy Patmont’s family vacation. Soon, she must head back to Reno, where all that waits for her is the cold and the snow. To top it all off, her brother, Chester, acted like a little jerk and ate one too many cookies from the sample jar in the cookie store. But his antics have an unexpected benefit—attracting the attention of an intriguing boy who could change her life forever.

Treats can be sweet, but love is sweeter still…

Arash Atkinson, fluent in four languages and an adventurous soul, is in Waikiki for a high school band competition. When he meets Dorothy, he realizes their time together is limited. “Come out and play,” he texts her. A night of romantic adventure ensues, and Arash discovers an app that claims it can make people fall in love after answering thirty-six questions in each other’s presence.

With each question asked, their stories and feelings continue to unfold. But with every hour that passes they’re more at risk of being found out—Dorothy, by her parents; Arash by his school chaperone. And then Arash gets the dreaded phone call—he has been discovered missing from his room, and must return immediately. Can they finish the questions before facing their consequences?

When time is running out, true love cannot wait. What Arash and Dorothy have is beyond special, something that comes along once in a lifetime, and begins with Twelve Hours In Paradise…but can it survive the trials of the real world? Continue reading

Julie Ann Levin Talks Writing and More

Julie Ann Levin bookWelcome Julie Ann Levin to Plain Talk Book Marketing. Julie Ann is the author of Worth the Wait.

If you had a choice to live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

That depends on what I’m reading. When I read Kristin Kimball’s, The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love, I swore I wanted to live on a farm in upstate New York.

[bctt tweet=”The books I read make me want to live just about anywhere. @julieannlevin” username=”Gillianfx”]

And I think that’s the point. Every place has it’s good points and bad points. I live in Miami, FL, which some people consider paradise. I live here because my whole family lives here. I lived apart from them for seven years of my adult life and then decided I didn’t want to be away from them anymore. Miami is beautiful, and I love being near the ocean. And the coffee is out of this world. The beach and the coffee are reason enough to be here. But, the people can be rude, and there’s lots of traffic. But I refuse to be away from my family. So I’m right where I am supposed to be. I’m stuck here in Miami forever.

What is your writing process?

First, I write a summary of the plot that I’ve been working in my head. Then, I write a detailed scene for scene outline. I’m flexible, though. I’ll alter the outline as I write if needed. Then, I write the first draft. I write at least two thousand words a day. There is a lot of coffee involved. Once the first draft is done, I go through it to make sure the sentences aren’t too wordy. It’s an edit that only deals with making sure the sentences are clear. I call it my Hemingway edit. Then I read it again and start making notes of things to add, and take away. I go through it maybe two more times, adding and deleting, fleshing out the story. Then I have a couple trusted people read it. Then, I take their comments, which I don’t always agree with, and read it again, edit again, and do this five more times until I feel like it’s done. Of course, it’s not done because then it goes to the editor.

Describe your journey as an author so far.

I graduated from Florida State University, majoring in Creative Writing. Since I was 18, I knew I wanted to write novels, even though I studied poetry more in school.  I wrote my first novel in 2007 – it was YA Romance. It was terrible.  I queried and got all rejections. Then, I wrote two more books, one was paranormal romance, the other was romantic suspense. I enjoyed reading several romance genres and was trying to figure out what I did best. I self-published both of those under a pen name and learned the ropes of self-publishing.  Now I am writing contemporary romance and publishing under my company KINGBIRD PRESS LLC. The Divine Island series is my first go with contemporary romance.

How do you stay motivated?

I like to set challenging goals for myself, and I stick to them. I stay motivated by telling everyone close to me about my plans because it would kill me not to follow-through. I have a fear of failure and care waaaaayyy too much what other people think. This is very egocentric of me, I realize.

I set up writing schedules for myself twelve months in advance, and I stick to them. I wouldn’t even consider not sticking to the schedule. That’s what motivates me. It’s like I’m in competition with myself.

What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?

Life. Work.

I am married, and we have a four-year-old little girl. I also work full-time. My commute is pretty long and I try to maximize my time by taking the train. I get a lot of my plotting done on the train. Just finding time to write and then promote (since I’m self-published) is the biggest obstacle. I don’t sleep as much as I should. But my husband is super supportive. He used to play in a band, so he gets it. He gets the drive to get yourself out there. He has no problem picking up the slack and letting me shut off in the room for three hours while I write. So, what I’m saying is… I overcome the obstacle with coffee and a wonderful partner in life.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote this book to get it out of my head. Because I just had to finish the story. It just wouldn’t go away. It’s probably that way with a lot of authors.

What do you hope readers would take away from this book?

I hope that it helps them understand other people a little bit better. That’s all I hope for in books. That’s why I read books. I like being able to understand people better. I hope the reader gets a few hours of escape, a little bit of laughter; I hope they smile as they’re reading. Continue reading

Inspiration can be found in the strangest places

Inspiration can be found in the strangest places, in this case it came to me within the pages of The Red Bulletin magazine.

For about a year I’ve been getting this magazine called The Red Bulletin from the makers of Red Bull. The magazine consists of people who live extreme lives; their sports are extreme and so is their partying. The magazine also features down-to-earth interviews with up and coming artists (actors, singers, painters, inventors, etc).

At first I didn’t think much of the magazine because all I saw were revelers who partied for three days straight in Ibiza. Recently I took another look, a more in-depth look. I found it to be very inspirational. The writers just seem to know the right questions to ask whomever they are interviewing to get the most honest answers. That right there is a talent that few of us possess.

Red Bulletin RzaIn the March 2016 edition, Rza from the Wu Tang Clan was interviewed. He talked about setting aside egos to accomplish his task and about finding his inner peace. I never would have guessed. I never would have guessed that he was the type who seeks solitude. The interview showed me a different side to Rza, it made me feel connected, like we had something in common. For the first time I saw this celebrity as a real person. That’s the element that I find lacking in typical Hollywood interviews.

Whether the interview is with extreme sportsmen or women, or daredevils who refuse to conform to society, the magazine shows that these people all have a very real, identifiable quality to them. They have the same fears and insecurities like you and me, but the difference is, they don’t let it stop them. A matter of fact they use it to propel them forward and expand their comfort zone.

One prominent theme in The Red Bulletin is that it brings the world together. They feature people from the back country of Greenland to the Caribbean. Being an international, I really appreciate that. I’ve always felt that the world is one place and we are one people.

Society tends to highlight the differences between us. When you think about it, countries are separated by water—an act of nature, but walls are built by man to protect and rule over what isn’t even his. The Red Bulletin bridges that gap by introducing its readers to the lives of these extraordinary people. Continue reading