Grow Your Virtual Bookshelf with Smashwords

This week the popular online book retailer, Smashwords is promoting 1000’s of ebooks! Some will be free, others will be deeply discounted. The promotion runs from March 5 to March 11. This is a great way for you to discover new authors and add more books to your virtual bookshelf.

This year, in addition to Changes (Family Portrait Book 1) (which is always free), you can get two other titles from the series at a deeply discounted price.

Banovic Siblings Smashwords special

Click to be taken to Smashwords

 

Synopsis:

Blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving

College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him.

After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.

Reviews

“A fast fun read that will give you a soap opera feel and leave you wondering what will happen next.” – Mel

“Why, oh, why did this book have to end? Seriously, I was reading, reading, reading, and the inevitable “The End” comes. I literally was like “OMG, Gillian, you are torturing me!”- Jovon Tucker, Book2Buzz

“I was excited to read The Banovic Siblings after reading Changes. The way the Gillian Felix slowly builds her characters and intertwines all of their lives intrigues me.”  – Karen-Anne Stewart, Author, The Rain Trilogy

Synopsis: 

Bastards Brew Gillian Felix

Click to be taken to Smashwords

Everything we touch, we destroy.

When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.

Reviews

The writing style is still very good and I think it is mostly that that draws attention to the book and makes it stand out in this genre. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good drama! – Jola

I really enjoy these books and Gillian Felix’s style of writing. – Bound4Books

Once again, I have to take my hat off to Gillian Felix for a book well written!  I stayed on the edge of my seat waiting for the next twists, turns and surprises.  She is undoubtedly a master at reeling readers in. – K. McCoy

Banovic Siblings Twitter Promo

Bastard's Brew Gillian Felix Smashwords 2017

All About the Bastard

Book cover Bastard's BrewEverything we touch, we destroy.

When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.

Purchase Bastard’s Brew on Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks

Published by Plain Talk Book Marketing

ISBN-10: 1497367964

ISBN-13: 978-1497367968

For wholesale inquires please email Gillian@plaintalkbm.com

What people are saying about Bastard’s Brew

Click to read an excerpt.
Kevin BanovicFeaturing the loveable bad boy Kevin in Bastard’s Brew was an absolute must. Readers loved him and were eager to know more about him.

In Brew, we got to see Kevin and L’Wren’s relationship intensify. I introduced Victoria Johansson, who was only supposed to be in this book but readers liked her, so she puts in an appearance in the novels to come. Of course the series wouldn’t be what it is without some kind of scandal, so expect the unexpected where Vicky J is concerned. I actually loved writing her and I look forward to seeing where she takes me and the readers. She was not part of the original TV series, she just kind of happened as an ally to Kevin.  Apart from Kev’s frenemyship with Haze, he really has no one who knows both sides of him.

Victoria is the exact opposite of L’Wren yet they both make up an important part of Kevin’s life. Their paths never cross and I think it would be interesting to see the interaction between these two ladies when they do meet.

Of the four books in the series so far, if I had to pick a favorite, Brew would be it. I loved the intense drama. While writing it I never knew what the characters were going to do. I had an outline, but once I started writing, they clearly took over! So far this book was the darkest.

There was something wickedly exciting about seeing what Kevin would do next to try and get out of the blackmail – Rachel B

Continue reading

Ready, Set, Drama! The Family Portrait Series so far

We’re 4 books into the Family Portrait series and I thought I’d chat about the series so far and what’s to come 😉

Ready Set Drama special

In Changes you were introduced to the Banovics and DaCostas. You got a brief history of these families and it left you wondering how they would all tie together.

Changes fits the name of the book as the Banovic Family experienced many changes from their life as a family and individually. Add to the mix, there’s the DaCosta family who’s also experiencing changes in their life. – Musings of Fictional Ally

My favorite: I loved the dialogue between Astrid Wilson and Adriana Banovic. Astrid is the queen bee at Westwood Academy and when Adriana reluctantly returns to school, Astrid’s reign is threatened and she goes out of her way to make Adriana’s life at Westwood Academy, horrendous! Adriana is no shrinking violet so hatches a plan to put Astrid in her place. Ready, Set, Drama!

Banovic Siblings Family Portrait

Banovic Siblings took you deeper into the lives of the Banovic Siblings and how they crossed paths with the DaCosta girls. Claws came out as well as the dark side of the second generation Banovic siblings.

I loved this one! This was my favourite. This is when the Banovic and the DeCosta children start to come into their own. They are not innocent like other NA book characters. Rachel P

You also got to experience the relationship between the first generation Banovic siblings; Robin, Roxanne and Adrian (who remains a mystery).

This book set the stage for the other books to come. Readers loved “Siblings” the most and it has the most reviews.

I’m sad that the book ends on a cliffhanger but it’ll make picking up the book 3 much more exciting! Jolanta Daab

My favorite scene: Adriana encourages Leighann to try pot for the first time, the result is a hilarious mix of hijinks and close calls. I laughed when I wrote that scene in the television script and a year later when I rewrote the scene for the book it still had me in stitches.

Bastard's Brew promo

Bastard’s Brew is my favorite so far. I loved that this book focused on 3 major characters and really gave readers a lot of meat. Adriana, Kevin and Haze all had major events happen in their lives. A lot of ethical issues were addressed, but knowing these characters, what is ethical to you and me, flies out the window by their standards.

What I really like about these books is that Ms. Felix delves deeply into the lives of each character. She doesn’t just skim the surface of everyone; I feel like I really get to know each of them really well. – Tina VanDynHoven

My favorite scene: This scene is my favorite because it broke my heart. Haze is one of the better behaved characters in the series so I celebrated with him when he got his well deserved big break, but it was overshadowed by a horrible incident. His relationship with Adriana was put to the test and we got to see a different side of her as she proved her love for him.

Perfect Escape promo

Perfect Escape was really hard for me to write. It dealt with the relationship with Leighann and her father… my own dad passed by the time I finished writing this book.

This book was about Leighann, who people loved since Changes and they really got to know her in “Escape”. We got to see how mean her mother can be making readers love Leighann even more. She got to experience her first crush, taking readers back to their first love in high school.

Being a mom, it was hard for me to read how heartless Savi is with Leighann. – Karen-Anne Stewart

My favorite scene: Zax sitting on Leighann’s stoop waiting for her to come out and talk to him. He orders chinese food, pops on his headphone and casually dines, like it was the most natural thing in the world.

That’s where we are are so far in the series. What’s to come?

  • More Frankie, Kristin, Zax love triangle.
  • Can Adriana continue to hide her secret from Haze?
  • Will Joel’s facade crumble?
  • Did Kevin really create the perfect escape? Will his “business” dealings catch up with him?

All will be revealed in Book 5 releasing in the summer 2015.

Learn more about the series here.

 

Logo for the Novel series Family Portrait by Gillian Felix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Up Multi-racial in America

My name is Haze Christopher Lyndon and I was born in Madison Wisconsin, to an African American mother and Irish American father. Do I have an identity crisis? Nope, I know exactly who I am and what I stand for. Growing up I had a great life in the confines of my parent’s home. Outside that, life was different…

When I was a kid, going out with my mom, people often mistook her for my nanny. On the other hand when I went out with my dad, he was met with sympathy or admiration for adopting a black kid. At school I was either not “black” enough or “white” enough. I never understood what that meant, I’m 22 now and I still don’t understand what that means. As a result I never fit into any groups. I thank my parents. Why should anyone have to fit into a group?  Continue reading

Teen Sensation Leighann DaCosta

Leighann DaCostaLeighann DaCosta was born in Bristol, Connecticut and became a singing sensation at the tender age of 6 after winning a local singing competition. Managed by her mother Savannah (Savi) DaCosta, Leighann and Savi travelled all around the country where Leighann sang and performed at state fairs.

Leighann was discovered by a junior A&R rep who happened to be at the Ohio State Fair while visiting family. Leighann’s road to stardom was paved when she won a Grammy at the age of 10 for a song she sang on the soundtrack to a children’s movie.

Leighann was 13 when her record hit platinum status following a string of #1 hits targeted at pubescent girls.

Touring became the status quo for Leighann who toured 345 days a year.

“That time was very stressful for me, I’d wake up and not know what city I was in.”

At 15, Leighann shocked the world when she walked away from the only life she’d ever known.

“I could feel my body slipping away from me, I wasn’t living, I woke up and did what everybody wanted me to do. I had been all around the world and to many different cities, yet I’ve only seen them from the window of a tour bus.”

Leighann left fans wondering what went wrong. On the outside she was living the life many people only dream about.

“Even though I had tons of people around me, I still felt lonely. I felt lost and longed to stand still, to wake up and not have to be somewhere. I wanted the quietness of having a crappy day without asking permission to do so.” Leighann went on to say that she knew a normal life existed because she kept in touch with her sister L’Wren.

“L’Wren and I are very close, she and I talked everyday; didn’t matter what part of the world I was. My conversations with her kept me grounded. She always made me laugh. In a way I envied her because she got to go to a regular school and have friends, things I never had.”

Months later it was released to the public that Leighann had moved to Los Angeles and moved in with her 21-year-old sister.

“Moving in with L’Wren was like a breath of fresh air for me. For the first time I did what I wanted and it felt great!”

Leighann also enrolled in the prestigious international school Westwood Academy of Higher Learning.

“I had never had any formal education, I always had a tutor on tour, it was always just me and her. Attending Westwood Academy is intimidating, the campus is huge and I sit in a class with 15 students and one teacher. Most of the kids had been going there for a while and everybody knew each other.”

Leighann said she has no regrets and is excited to see where life takes her. As for if she’ll ever return to the music industry, Leighann said she is focusing on being a teenager for now.

Learn more about Leighann DaCosta in the Family Portrait series, she will be headlining the soon to be released 4th novel in the series called Perfect Escape. Here is a preview chapter and sign up here to review the series.

 

The Family Portrait Series Gets Branded

One of the hardest things I’m figuring out about being a hybrid author, is not having people to do all the stuff that you don’t particularly want to do or like to do. I’m not complaining because the benefits out weight the alternative.

What is a hybrid author you might ask? A hybrid author is an author who owns their own publishing rights, does all the marketing, advertising and overall production of their books. I first heard the term coined by my virtual mentor, and international best selling author Joanna Penn, who will be visiting us in December (YIPPEEE). Another term used to describe a hybrid author is authorpreneaur, also coined by Joanna.

Ok so I’d been thinking of branding my series for quite sometime now but kept putting it off. Why? Because trying to grow this baby empire, leaves me exhausted by the time my toes hit the covers. A potential reader emailed me and nudged me, she pointed out how disconnected the covers were. She liked everything else but like a few people have said in the past, the covers didn’t do the books justice. So I bit the bullet and looked at several “book cover designers”. A lot of the graphics you see on this site was designed by me, but I wanted a professional, who had experience in the field to do it.

I also wanted someone who didn’t design a cover with the same look as almost every other novel out there. Nudity seems to be the running theme with novels in the same genre as my books and I didn’t want that.

Although the Family Portrait Series has its fair share of naughty, raunchy behavior by some characters who shall remain nameless (to protect you if you haven’t read the books) I didn’t want it displayed on the cover.

Here are a couple of mocks I designed.

Design 1

This was when I was in the I what bright colors! phase.

Bright colors Family Portrait covers

The idea behind this one was, I wanted bright colors, and a bold look. In the covers above, the characters are on a stage and the world is watching them, yet people don’t really know them, hence the silhouettes. I used the same color elements from the original books.

There were many things I liked about these covers, one of them is the graphic identifying the book placement in the series. I loved the wood floors, it reminded me of the barrels of wine at House of Banovic, the family’s (in the book) winery. I liked the colors because lets face it I am from the Caribbean and I love color, or colour as we spell it back home 😉

Design 2

After sleeping on the above designs for a few days, I felt I wanted more options. For some reason it felt a bit crowded. I kept seeing white space in my mind’s eye.

Cover #2 The Family Portrait series

I wanted something simple, mysterious and clean. I looked at other book covers in the same genre that was published a few years back. The covers that struck me were the covers for the Pretty Little Liars series. I liked that it was simple and clean, loved the solid colors to differentiate between books. I was also drawn to the original cover of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Since the movie, she redid the cover and pulled the one I liked.  It was a solid black and I think there was a slight blue graphic.

The clip art element represents something significant in the book. I did it in color, because I like color, but my sister felt that it looked odd among the silhouettes.

Design #3

With branding in mind which ever design I choose, would have to have similar elements so that the series is easily recognizable. For instance putting my name at the bottom, the book number identifying graphic, and the banner.

Family Portrait final cover

I loved this design because it has color, nothing too crazy, it is clean, and it has white space, which didn’t leave my mind until the design was finished. I love that I am able to add a blurb to the cover to give a little insight into the story.

I wanted to do something with the title font so I designed something myself. There was a font that I liked and considered purchasing, but when purchasing fonts or images there are copyright laws that need to be followed. Some of them can be too much to deal with. So I designed everything.

Which one do you prefer? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Xo

Gillian

Haze Lyndon – His Journey to Stardom

Today’s guest post is by up and coming model Haze C. Lyndon. Haze, 22 relocated to Los Angeles, California from Madison, Wisconsin and enrolled in UCLA’s art program. Having lived in Los Angeles myself, I chatted with Haze about his move and the culture shock that is Los Angeles.

Haze C Lyndon Hollywood star“I had been to LA a couple of times to visit and work, but living here is a completely different story. My mother was born in Los Angeles, and I noticed that people are either ashamed to admit they were born here, or there are more transplants living out here. I dunno maybe my circle is too small.” Haze laughed.

Haze never dreamed of living in LA, “I actually never really thought about it, I moved out here as a means to an end.” Lyndon said that he really wants to live in Paris where he can feed his love for art and hone his skills as an artist.

Haze got into modeling by accident, “my high school girlfriend loved photography and she would always use me as her guinea pig. I wasn’t really comfortable in front of the camera, but being the supportive boyfriend I sucked it up. Long story short she sent my pictures to a couple of agents who actually booked me on a couple of print shoots.” At first Haze booked local gigs, his then agent booked him on a couple of bigger shoots and soon Haze had enough stills for a portfolio.

Several agencies showed interest in him but he turned them down because he wanted to finish high school. Things got quiet for a couple of years as Haze went on to college. With one more year to go, he longed for something more. At the urging of his then girlfriend he returned to modeling. Then one day Jordan Talent Management (one of the top entertainment agencies in Los Angeles) reached out to him after his girlfriend sent them his updated portfolio.

“It was hard leaving my home and all the people I loved but I felt a deep calling to give modeling a shot.”

Haze contacted his high school friend who lived in Venice Beach, Ca. who at the time was looking for a roommate. “The timing was perfect! I believe in signs from the universe and this was a sign.”

“One of the things that shocked me was the cost of living out here. Fuel is through the roof and so are the basics like food and rent.”

Haze said that it shocked him how many people owned BMW’s and Mercedes and slept in their cars just to project an image. “Nothing is as it seems out here, things look perfect on the outside yet things are shit on the inside.”

I asked Haze if he was afraid that being in that environment would change him and he said he doesn’t plan on staying that long in LA. Once he makes enough money and graduates college he plans on heading off to France.

Learn more about Haze Lyndon in Changes, The Banovic Siblings and Bastard’s Brew.

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Novels – Discounts and Tour Specials

BrewTour banner

Bastards Brew 300pxWhen L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.

Suitable for adults 18+

Tour Specials

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/417024
Enter coupon code: RS54B for 50% discount

Enter coupon code: FX48M for 10%discount off The Banovic Siblings https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/415280

Want to give the series a try? Changes the first novel in the series is FREE on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EADYMCA.

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Follow the tour here

Weed Control – Research For My Novel

While doing research on the side effects of weed for my novel Bastard’s Brew (Family Portrait 3). I came across these points that I thought I’d share with you.

Marijuana, despite many studies proving its medical value, is still classified by the government as a Schedule I Substance.

So what exactly is a Schedule I Substance? And what does a substance have to be to deserve such a title? According to Wikipedia the drug has to have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or have a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. The drug is therefore illegal for any person to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense (the other part was confusing but this is the jest of it).

The UK’s Medicinal Cannabis Research Foundation found that cannabis has the potential to improve the quality of life for people suffering from the following: Continue Reading