Southeastern Virginia Vs West Virginia

Robert Downs The Convenient EscapeAuthor Robert Downs shares his experience of moving from West Virginia to Southeastern Virginia; two towns we don’t hear too much about. Thanks to Robert we know a little more about them. Enjoy!

Southeastern Virginia was the first time I had ever lived on my own for more than just a summer or the college experience. It was my first introduction to the real world, and it’s such a beautiful place that I knew I would write about it someday. It’s often referred to as the Hampton Roads or Tidewater area, and it has a rather large military presence with Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force all located there. It’s filled with diverse cities and communities lined up next to each other like dominoes, and in many cases you’re never far from Chesapeake Bay or the Atlantic Ocean.

Bridge-Tunnels that dive beneath the water as well as rise above it fascinated me, as I had never seen anything like that before, and this was my first time living in a rather large metropolitan area.

The warm weather and rich history appealed to me, and living near the ocean was an entirely new experience. It’s also the longest I’ve lived in one area, since I migrated away from West Virginia. Independence has always been important to me, and that’s when I first truly began to write my own story. It also feels a bit isolated, because you’re over an hour from Richmond and I-95, and you’re also about three and a half hours from Washington, DC. It really feels like it’s own self-contained universe, and I have great memories of my time in that area, so it was easy for me to want to revisit it.

Growing up in a small town in West Virginia, I enjoyed the mountains painted in green, the open space, and interstates that had been carved from between the rocks. The Hampton Roads area had none of this. It was flat and filled with people, and the sand ran right up to the water’s edge. This was such an interesting world for me, and I haven’t read many novels set in Southeastern Virginia, so for a variety of reasons you could say the area appealed to me. Before I even realized it, the location became almost as important as the characters, and I couldn’t have set The Convenient Escape, or my previous three novels anywhere else. Continue reading

Wicked Bride Games by Clarissa Wild (Adult content)

Wicked Bride games coverTitle: Wicked Bride Games by Clarissa Wild
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis

Fifty million dollars for three weeks of your life in the hands of a total stranger. Would you do it?

When Naomi Lee finds herself out of a job and out of the money she needs to pay her father’s medical bills, she receives an anonymous letter, containing an offer she can’t refuse.
Max Marino, a wealthy businessman, wants her and he’ll pay any price.
Three weeks of her time, no-holds-barred, in exchange for fifty million dollars.
With no other means to pay her bills, Naomi has no choice but to accept.
However, Naomi isn’t the only one who signs the contract.
And Max isn’t alone in his deal.
Three brothers …
Nine girls …
All competing for the ultimate prize … marriage.
Let the games begin.

WARNING: contains disturbing content some readers may find offensive. Includes scenes involving multiple men & women being dirty together. Every boundary is crossed. Read at your own risk. Continue reading

Teri Anne Stanley shares her family’s Whiskey Sour Recipe

Author Teri Anne Stanley shares her family recipe for Whiskey Sour; a cocktail made from bourbon.

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Teri Anne Stanley Whiskey SourMost true bourbon aficionados would say that you should only drink Kentucky’s best with a little water, if you have to add anything at all. Some wouldn’t even condone ice. But seriously…how many people can drink straight whiskey without making that face? You know the one. The “HOLY CRAP, MY ENTIRE BODY’S GOING TO CATCH ON FIRE!” face.

And if the bourbon industry turned their nose up at the cocktail mixers of the world, they wouldn’t sell much liquor, would they?

Besides, there are so many awesome cocktails that include bourbon, that it would be very wrong to ignore them.

There’s the Old Fashioned, which is made with whiskey, bitters, simple syrup, a twist of orange and a cherry. The Manhattan, which has bourbon, vermouth (bleh!) and a cherry (I detect a theme!). Don’t forget about the Mint Julep…mint, sugar, bourbon…

And my old family favorite, the Whiskey Sour. I remember getting to have a tiny bit of this on special occasions when I was younger. It was sure better than the beer we’d maybe possibly try to sneak out of the garage refrigerator! The traditional recipe calls for fresh lemon juice, sugar, and whiskey, but here’s the Big Dick version (Big Dick was my dad, Richard. Not a commentary on the character or man parts of anyone):

1 can of frozen lemonade

Dump the contents of the can into a blender

1 can of bourbon

Use the lemonade can. It will help rinse all the lemonade into the blender.

Add a bunch of ice and grind the heck out of everything, until you have a slurry.

1 can of Sprite

Give it a quick mix.

You gotta do that part last, because 1), if you add the Sprite after the bourbon, you’ll be sure to rinse out any residual liquor that would otherwise go to waste stuck to the inside of the can, which would be wrong, and 2) the fizzy in the Sprite would go whizzy if you added it before you blenderized it.

Pour into glasses, give to guests, and watch Mom start to act silly.

Cheers! Continue reading

Aubrey Parker Presents, The Producer

Trillionaire CoverTitle: Trillionaire Boys’ Club: The Producer by Aubrey Parker
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

These hot, powerful men don’t impress me.

I’m not new to this secret club of billionaires. I know all about their Syndicate … and even some of their plans to control the world. I’m Alyssa Friggin’ Galloway, publicity genius, and I’ve dealt with all of them: Nathan Turner, who built the Boys’ Club, and even the insufferable Ashton Moran.

They’re all the same: all arrogance and bluster, using women like disposable things. I’m immune to their charms.

So why does the worst of the worst … Cole Freaking Ellison … intrigue me so much?

To stay afloat with all these MEN, I need to be tough. So I hold my ground. But Cole? He sees right through me to the vulnerable thing beneath.

Cole wants to control me. He wants to use me for his own pleasure.

And against all judgment, I want to let him.

The Producer is part of the Trillionaire Boys’ Club series by Aubrey Parker. Each book tells the story of one of the Club’s powerful members … and you’re going to want to collect them all.

Add Trillionaire Boys’ Club: The Producer to your Goodreads shelf.

Purchase on Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

About the Author Aubrey Parker photo

I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life’s largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.

Connect with Aubrey: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Giveaway

Enter to win Kindle Fire Tablet | 3x signed paperbacks of Trillionaire Boys’ Club: The Producer

Excerpt

Alyssa’s lips purse to laugh, but I’m not kidding. I’ve never done anything precisely like this before, and that newness makes the errand feel dire and serious. I want her. I will have her. I’m not willing to wait, and if Alyssa doesn’t like the disorder caused by my early arrival? Well, she doesn’t need to be in charge of everything all the time, does she?

I walk closer, wondering at my own actions. Not caring. Only feeling the need that’s been burning within me all day while thinking about her.

I’m an edge-walker, but not usually this devious.

Today is different. Today I’m like a criminal, bent on achieving my need through any means necessary. So I called her assistant, Susanne, and told her I was from UPS and that there was an oversized package she needed to sign for. When the assistant left the office, I sneaked in behind her and locked her out. I’m sure she can call the superintendent or someone to let her back in, but that’ll take time. She could cut to the chase and call Alyssa, but her boss won’t be answering phones for a while.

She’ll be otherwise occupied.

Unable to speak.

“Cole …”

A sentence without a predicate. She doesn’t know what to say.

At least not anything more than my name.

“Let’s cut the shit,” I tell her.

Alyssa looks frozen in place. Ravishing. I got hard the moment I decided not to wait until four. Now I’m throbbing. I want her. I haven’t stopped thinking about her since that text.

I’ll try hard to prepare myself.

It turns me on, knowing she’s thinking about me. Alyssa comes off as such a straight-laced girl. A total pro. She wears her sensible girl suits with her sensible girl skirts that never rise immodestly high. Heels that are common but understatedly sexy, if you know where to look. She wears her hair like she’s going to court, but all I can think of is shaking it loose. Her features are always so hard, but if you pay attention it’s easy to see just how breathtakingly beautiful she is.

Trillionaire Boys Club banner

Continue reading

Promo and Giveaway from Kristen Orlando

Kristen Orlando book coverTitle: You Don’t Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1) by Kristen Orlando
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.

Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?

Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don’t Know My Name, from debut novelist Kristen Orlando! Continue reading

12 Questions with Lisa Hahn

I got the opportunity to interview author Lisa Hahn. Thank you, Lisa for visiting Plain Talk!

1.      If you could spend time a character from your book whom would it be?

Cat (the heroine) and her best friend Abby are cool girls. When they hang out, they keep things quiet and low key. That’s what I like.

2.      What character in your book are you least likely to get along with and why?

Marcy is the resident mean girl in the Bretton Falls Ballet Company. I had little tolerance for girls like her when I was dancing.

3.      Tell us about your book cover and how it came about.

My sister-in-law designed the cover for me. I typically have a difficult time picturing what I’d like on the cover, so I give the artists I work with a fair amount of freedom.

4.      How do you choose the names of your characters?

I almost always consult a census to be sure the names are appropriate for the time period. Ultimately, I try to pick names that reflect the characters and the families they came from. After all, in the real world, their parents would likely be the people responsible for naming them.

5.      What book do you wish you could have written?

I’m finishing Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys series right now, and I often find myself feeling envious of her beautiful prose.

 6.      If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Questions like this are always so difficult to answer because I know so little about pop culture and contemporary Hollywood. Milo Ventimiglia or Kit Harrington would be good candidates for Dmitri. I’m stuck on who would play Cat. The actress would have to be quite petite, as Cat is a waiflike woman who barely clears 5’0’’. I know Natalie Portman has already played a ballerina, but maybe she’d be interested in giving it another go. Continue reading

Falling for the Best Man by Amanda Ashby

Best Man book coverTitle: Falling for the Best Man Sisters of the Wishing Bridge Farm #1 by Amanda Ashby
Release date: January 9, 2017
Published by: Entangled Bliss

Synopsis

He’s the best man and her secret fling—who said being a wedding planner was easy?

What’s worse than running into your ex-hookup at the airport? When said ‘hookup” is the best man for the most important wedding of your career, and he’s on the hunt for a fake girlfriend. Between a hysterical bride and a wedding party gone wild, wedding planner Emmy Watson can’t afford any more disasters if she wants to save her beloved Wishing Bridge Farm. Which is why she puts the best man on lockdown. Unfortunately, he also happens to be the one guy who can make her forget everything except the way his kisses make her feel.

All Christopher Henderson needs is a fake girlfriend to convince his bosses that his bad boy reputation is a thing of the past so he can land his dream job. What better place to find said companion than at a wholesome vintage wedding. The only thing he didn’t count on was seeing Emmy, the woman who dumped him. The one he hasn’t been able to get off his mind.

There’s no denying the spark between them, but he’s a globetrotter and she’s a homebody, and falling in love is something neither of them has in their plans. Continue reading

Chioma Nnani Talks Domestic Abuse in Nigeria

Chioma Nnani authorI had the pleasure of interviewing Chioma Nnani as part of her blog tour with Enchanted Tours. I asked her about the topic of her book Forever There For You, and here’s what she had to say:

From my own perspective, it’s a cocktail of love, friendship, sisterhood, cultural clashes, religion and domestic violence. I tend to write character-driven stories, so even with these themes, it’s about how the characters engage with, reject or affected by them [the themes].

Domestic violence is such a topical issue – because there are so many representations of it. Some are more subtle than others, which doesn’t make it better. But one of the interesting things about Forever There For You is how that the other themes arguably contribute to the incidents of domestic violence, which is inflicted by and on different characters who then have to navigate their way through.

I come from a culture where domestic violence is like an open taboo. People try to normalize it because of certain issues – which turned out to be the other themes in the book. But there is absolutely nothing normal about domestic violence; it’s repugnant, repulsive and totally inexcusable. Yes, there are places that help victims of domestic violence in Nigeria. But it can be very frustrating to watch for a number of reasons.

For one, the law works real slow … well, it’s a lot slower than Suits, The Practice and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit make you believe it should be. I do have a Law (LLB) degree, so I really should know better, but knowing and feeling are two different things. And when you see someone suffering, and even when you’re working on the sidelines, you want to do right by the person and not play dirty … not even just for your conscience’s sake, but because you want them to be in the best position to win, but you have to be sure of what ‘win’ really means; it’s difficult.

Another challenge is to do with what a lot of victims go through – the acquisition of Stockholm Syndrome, where they actually defend their abuser. It doesn’t matter how many times I see it, it’s just weird. Some of them … I find that the more religious a person is, the more likely they are to justify the ill-treatment they have suffered, using their religious texts. It’s baffling!

Then, there’s the one about the women who lie that they have been abused, just to spite a man or out of a warped understanding of feminism. These are not peculiar to Nigeria, but it’s very odd.

Thank you Chioma for shining a light on a very important issue. The amount of women who are abused by their partners on daily basis around the world is astounding, the statistical numbers don’t accurately add up because some domestic abuse cases never gets reported. A lot of times it is because of what Chioma mentioned above or just out of fear for the victim’s safety. It’s a sad situation, and if this post can help one person not feel like they are alone in their situation, or prompt them to take a stand, then we have done our duty to inspire and strengthen another soul.

Get to know more about Chioma in 10Q with Chioma Nnani scheduled to be posted on January 31. Continue reading

New Romantic Suspense Novel by D.C. Triana

Sunset Reads book coverTitle: Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla by D.C. Triana
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

One year.

It’s been one year since Agent Damian Trent left for Washington without a word.

One year since he’s seen her beautiful face.

One year since he’s heard his name on her lips.

He’s been recently called back to New York City on assignment, to catch a criminal who’s trying to infiltrate Sunset Reads. The last thing he expects is to work side by side with the woman he turned his back on.

Having her close is an unwanted distraction that he’s more than willing to ignore, if only she wasn’t so damn tempting.

Everything seems under control, until a night of feverish passion has him abandoning all thoughts of reason. Now, he will do everything in his power to get her back, and even more so to protect her.

Layla Reece wants nothing to do with the man who left her a year ago.

The man who took her heart with him, leaving her broken.

After a year of trying to forget Damian Trent, she is finally ready to move on.

But trying to forget him becomes a tedious task when he suddenly reappears in her life.

Although she fights to stay away, his magnetism is too strong and she finds herself giving into the deep timbre of his voice, and the strength and safety of his arms.

Staying away from Damian turns out to be futile, especially when his kisses consume her and his heart shatters the walls she spent so much time building.

Finding herself in danger, she now has to turn to the only man she trusts to keep her safe, but can she trust him enough to give him her heart once again? Continue reading