Friday, August 25, 2017

The Sullivans Boxed Set by Bella Andre




Title: The Sullivans Boxed Set Books 1-3
Author: Bella Andre
Publisher: Oak Press, LLC
Pages: 662
Genre: Contemporary Romance

More than 6 million readers have already fallen in love with the Sullivans! Now get ready to meet your new favorite family in Bella Andre's New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romances with the first three books in the #1 hit series.

"Not since Nora Roberts has anyone been able to write a big family romance series with every book as good as the last! Bella Andre never disappoints!" Revolving Bookcase Reviews


THE LOOK OF LOVE

Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she's convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he's home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is--until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love--and protect--her, but will she let him?

FROM THIS MOMENT ON

For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.

Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name - Nico - for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is...or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger - and the sinful promises - in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.

CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE

Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire...and can't stop thinking about.

Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving - and losing - a man with a dangerous job again.

ORDER THE SULLIVANS BOXED SET:

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Enjoy the following excerpt from THE LOOK OF LOVE...

Chase almost missed the flickering light off on the right side of the two-lane country road. In the past thirty minutes, he hadn’t passed a single car, because on a night like this, most sane Californians—who didn’t know the first thing about driving safely in inclement weather—stayed home.
Knowing better than to slam on the brakes—he wouldn’t be able to help whomever was stranded on the side of the road if he ended up stuck in the muddy ditch right next to them—Chase slowed down enough to see that there was definitely a vehicle stuck in the ditch.
He turned his brights on to see better in the pouring rain and realized there was a person walking along the edge of the road about a hundred yards up ahead. Obviously hearing his car approach, she turned to face him and he could see her long wet hair whipping around her shoulders in his headlights.
Wondering why she wasn’t just sitting in her car, dry and warm, calling Triple A and waiting for them to come save her, he pulled over to the edge of his lane and got out to try and help her. She was shivering as she watched him approach.
"Are you hurt?"
She covered her cheek with one hand, but shook her head. "No."
He had to move closer to hear her over the sound of the water hitting the pavement in what were rapidly becoming hailstones. Even though he’d turned his headlights off, as his eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness, he was able to get a better look at her face.
Something inside of Chase’s chest clenched tight.
Despite the long, dark hair plastered to her head and chest, regardless of the fact that looking like a drowned rat wasn’t too far off the descriptive mark, her beauty stunned him.
In an instant, his photographer’s eye cataloged her features. Her mouth was a little too big, her eyes a little too wide-set on her face. She wasn’t even close to model thin, but given the way her T-shirt and jeans stuck to her skin, he could see that she wore her lush curves well. In the dark he couldn’t judge the exact color of her hair, but it looked like silk, perfectly smooth and straight where it lay over her breasts.
It wasn’t until Chase heard her say, "My car is definitely hurt, though," that he realized he had completely lost the thread of what he’d come out here to do.
Knowing he’d been drinking her in like he was dying of thirst, he worked to recover his balance. He could already see he’d been right about her car. It didn’t take a mechanic like his brother, Zach, who owned an auto shop—more like forty, but Chase had stopped counting years ago—to see that her shitty hatchback was borderline totaled. Even if the front bumper wasn’t half smashed to pieces by the white farm fence she’d slid into, her bald tires weren’t going to get any traction on the mud. Not tonight, anyway.
If her car had been in a less precarious situation, he probably would have sent her to hang out  in her car while he took care of getting it unstuck. But one of her back tires was hanging precariously over the edge of the ditch.
He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. "Get in my car. We can wait there for a tow truck." He was vaguely aware of his words coming out like an order, but the hail was starting to sting, damn it. Both of them needed to get out of the rain before they froze.
But the woman didn’t move. Instead, she gave him a look that said he was a complete and utter nut-job.
"I’m not getting into your car."
Realizing just how frightening it must be for a lone woman to end up stuck and alone in the middle of a dark road, Chase took a step back from her. He had to speak loudly enough for her to hear him over the hail.
"I’m not going to attack you. I swear I won’t do anything to hurt you."
She all but flinched at the word attack and Chase’s radar started buzzing. He’d never been a magnet for troubled women, wasn’t the kind of guy who thrived on fixing wounded birds. But living with two sisters for so many years meant he could always tell when something was up.
And something was definitely up with this woman, beyond the fact that her car was half-stuck in a muddy ditch.
Wanting to make her feel safe, he held his hands up. "I swear on my father’s grave, I’m not going to hurt you. It’s okay to get into my car." When she didn’t immediately say no again, he pressed his advantage with, "I just want to help you." And he did. More than it made sense to want to help a stranger. "Please," he said. "Let me help you."
She stared at him for a long moment, hail hammering between them, around them, onto them. Chase found himself holding his breath, waiting for her decision. It shouldn’t matter to him what she decided.
But, for some strange reason, it did.

...Excerpt from THE LOOK OF LOVE by Bella Andre © 2015


 
Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of “The Sullivans”, “The Maverick Billionaires”, “The Morrisons”, and the NYT bestselling “Four Weddings and a Fiasco” sweet romance series written as Lucy Kevin.

Having sold more than 6 million books, Bella Andre’s novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists 32 times. She has been the #1 Ranked Author at Amazon (on a top 10 list that included Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, James Patterson and Steven King), and Publishers Weekly named Oak Press (the publishing company she created to publish her own books) the Fastest-Growing Independent Publisher in the US. After signing a groundbreaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella’s “The Sullivans” series is being released in paperback in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post called her “One of the top writers in America” and she has been featured by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America in New York City.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Sign up for Bella’s newsletter at http://www.BellaAndre.com/Newsletter.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Feature: My Brain is Out of Control by Dr. Patrick Mbaya







Publication Date: September 2016
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Formats: Ebook
Pages: 76
Genre: Biography/Autobiography
Tour Dates: August 14-August 25

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Although Dr. Patrick Mbaya’s illness caused a lot distress and nearly took his life, the emotional symptoms of the depression he developed helped him understand and empathize with patients and how they feel when they become ill. In My Brain is Out of Control, Mbaya, fifty-five and at the peak of his career, shares a personal story of how he suffered from a brain infection in 2010 that caused loss of speech, right-sided weakness, and subsequent depression. He tells how he also dealt with the antibiotics complications of low white cell count and hepatitis. He narrates his experiences as a patient, the neurological and psychiatric complications he encountered, how he coped, and his journey to recovery. Presenting a personal perspective of Mbaya’s illness from the other side of the bed, My Brain is Out of Control, offers profound insight into battling a serious illness.








Dr. Patrick Mbaya is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary clinical lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He has a special interest in mood and addiction disorders.

BOOK FEATURE: BITE THY NEIGHBOR BY ESMAE BROWDER




Title: BITE THY NEIGHBOR
Author: Esmae Browder
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 300
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance



Some neighbors suck...literally.

Quirky Maisy Harker spends her time daydreaming about her sexy husband, Jensen Helsing. Though their marriage is one of convenience, Maisy wishes the sparks of heat she feels around him were reciprocated. Sexually starved, she also lusts after her mysterious neighbor, Adam. True, his incisors do look a bit sharp, and he never seems to drink or eat anything—but hey, maybe that’s how he keeps that yummy, drool-worthy physique!

Yet Maisy knows something’s not quite right, and it isn’t long before she learns Adam is a centuries-old vampire embroiled in a gypsy curse placed on the women of her family. All her female ancestors have been drawn to the vampire and bound by his desires, experiencing a terrible side effect of the curse and resulting in death.

It's up to Maisy to find a way to break the curse once and for all before she, too, falls under his spell.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




You’re the one I’ve been waiting for,” Adam whispered. “And I’ve waited a long time.”
I was unable to fight being aroused by this sexy man with the fierce, dark eyes. His lips were a pale red, and as I looked at them, my mind instantly pictured us in a heated lip lock, our tongues ravishing each other. All my senses jumped to high alert.
“I don’t know what you mean,” I whispered back, unable to keep the shake out of my voice. “You don’t know me. And…and I’m a married woman.”
“Married?” he scoffed and grabbed my hand, kissing it lightly. “That doesn’t matter when it comes to destiny.”
Damn. His lips on my skin set my heart skipping. I started to feel a little tingle between my legs.
“Destiny?” I asked, shifting slightly.
“Don’t play dumb with me, my sweet Maisy.” Adam smiled and then stood in front of me so quickly I didn’t see the actual movement. “You can’t deny the passion you feel for me,” he said, going to his knees. “I’ve been in your dreams. I know your desires.”
He put a hand on my bare leg, sliding it up to my thigh as light as a feather.
“That’s not possible.” I shivered, wondering if he would slip that hand higher and discover how vulnerable I was without panties. “You’re teasing me.”
“Am I?”





Esmae Browder is an ex-catholic school girl who loves romance and vodka tonics. When not reading a spicy novel, she enjoys creating them by combining elements of well-known tales and updating them for our modern world. She is the author of the Naughty Shakespeare series, as well as, the paranormal romance Bite Thy Neighbor—a sexy Dracula meets Wisteria Lane style novel.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Interview with Leslie Karst, Author of 'A Measure of Murder'

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned at a young age, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries (Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder), a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

Originally from Southern California, Leslie moved north to attend UC Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs) and after graduation, parlayed her degree in English literature into employment waiting tables and singing in a new wave rock and roll band. Exciting though this life was, she eventually decided she was ready for a “real” job, and ended up at Stanford Law School.

For the next twenty years Leslie worked as the research and appellate attorney for Santa Cruz’s largest civil law firm. During this time, she rediscovered a passion for food and cooking, and so once more returned to school to earn a degree in culinary arts.

Now retired from the law, she spends her time cooking, gardening, cycling, singing alto in her local community chorus, reading, and of course writing. Leslie and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i. 

Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about A MEASURE OF MURDER, and what compelled you to write it.
Leslie Karst: Although my Sally Solari mysteries focus on food, cooking, and restaurants, there’s a secondary theme to each of the books in the series: one of the human senses. Dying for a Taste concerns (obviously) the sense of taste, and A Measure of Murder delves into the sense of hearing—more specifically, music.

Music has long been one of my passions. I studied clarinet as a youngster, later fronted and wrote the songs for two different bands, and for the past seventeen years have sung alto in my local community chorus. So when it came time to plot the story about the sense of hearing, there was no question but that it should focus on music.

As with Sally, one of my favorite compositions is the sublime Mozart Requiem. But in addition, the piece is perfect for a mystery novel, as the Requiem itself is surrounded by secrets and mystery: who commissioned it, who completed it after Mozart died, which parts were composed by whom. So, truly, how could I resist? 

M.C.: What is your book about?
L.K.: In this second book, A Measure of Murder, Sally Solari is busy juggling work at her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s, and helping plan the autumn menu for the restaurant she’s just inherited, Gauguin. Complicating this already hectic schedule, she joins her ex-boyfriend Eric’s chorus, which is performing a newly discovered version of her favorite composition: the Mozart Requiem. But then, at the first rehearsal, a tenor falls to his death on the church courtyard—and his soprano girlfriend is sure it wasn’t an accident.
Now Sally’s back on another murder case seasoned with a dash of revenge, a pinch of peril, and a suspicious stack of sheet music. And while tensions in the chorus heat up, so does the kitchen at Gauguin—set aflame right as Sally starts getting too close to the truth. 

M.C.:  What themes do you explore in A MEASURE OF MURDER?
L.K.: As noted above, the sense of hearing plays an important part in the story, with Sally not only joining the chorus to sing the Mozart Requiem, but also along the way learning the importance of truly listening in general—listening to your inner feelings, and paying attention to what’s going on around you.

The book also explores the themes of family and the food movement, and how the two create a conflict between Sally and her father. The Solaris are descended from one of the original Italian fishermen who arrived in Santa Cruz in the late 1800s, and Sally’s dad is fiercely proud of the family’s traditional, old-school Italian seafood restaurant out on the Santa Cruz Wharf. But Sally is also very much aligned with the food-conscious folks who have arrived in town over the past two decades—even more so now, after inheriting her aunt’s trendy restaurant, Gauguin.

The dynamic between Sally and her father—who is hurt that his daughter no longer wants to work at Solari’s, and who thinks she now looks down on her family heritage—is very much at the forefront of the story in A Measure of Murder.


M.C.:  Why do you write? 
L.K.: I’ve been fascinated with language and grammar from a young age. Being the daughter of an academic who took sabbatical leave every few years, I was fortunate to live in a variety of different cultures as a youngster, and I think spending time in non-English speaking countries triggered my life-long passion for language. There are few activities I enjoy more than playing around with sentences, getting the words and syntax just right. And when you get down to it at a nuts and bolts level, this is pretty much what writing is all about. 

M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
L.K.: In the middle of the night I sometimes get what, at the time, seem like the most fabulous ideas. I’m always sure I’ll remember them, and then wake the next morning with only the vaguest recollection of what had struck me as so brilliant at two a.m. But when I do remember, I usually realize the idea is in fact completely ridiculous or inane. 

M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
L.K.: I try to keep the language in my books fun and accessible, but I’m a stickler for grammar—except in dialogue. Because people don’t really say “It is I.” (Okay, I actually do sometimes say that, but it tends to elicit strange looks.) For me, writing dialogue is where I truly get to be creative, crafting language that most colorfully brings my cast of varied characters to life. 

M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
L.K.: When I’m plotting and outlining I do sometimes get flashes of ideas that seem to emanate from the ether (though I wish that happened more often than it does). And when I’m writing the story, the characters sometimes seem to shove me aside and say, “No! I would never do that. I need to do this, instead!” Which is kind of freaky, actually, but I’ve learned it’s generally best to let them have their say. 

M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
L.K.: If I have wine with lunch, it’s useless to try to write in the afternoon. I’m way too sleepy, and what I think is brilliant at the time usually turns out to be far less interesting once the wine has worn off. 

M.C.:  Your best?
L.K.: I generally get the most writing done in the first part of the day, after I’ve checked my email and social media pages, read the newspaper, and finally sit down at my desk with a strong cup of Joe. 

M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
L.K: Probably not, short of being run over by a Mack truck and rendered permanently unconscious. 

M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
L.K.: That’s a hard question, because there have been many wonderful moments. But the one that immediately springs to mind is the book release event I recently had for A Measure of Murder at my local bookstore, Bookshop Santa Cruz. Because the story concerns the Mozart Requiem, I asked a few members of the Cabrillo Chorus, with whom I sometimes sing, if they’d be willing to perform one of the movements from the piece at the event. I figured I’d be lucky if nine or ten singers showed up.
That night, after giving a short talk and then reading a passage from the book, I invited the chorus members to come forward to sing the “Lacrymosa.” The shock that swept over me when some thirty people stood up from their seats was profound. And as I listened to them sing their hearts out while I conducted the piece, I was moved to tears.

M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
L.K.: Well, I have felt a compulsion to write from a young age, when I penned a story about some dogs and cats making a cross-country trip to return to their home (a blatant rehash of The Incredible Journey, which Disney movie I’d recently seen). Then in college, I started writing poetry, later moving on to to rock ’n roll songs. And I did have a career as a research attorney. drafting memos, legal briefs, and appeals. So I guess writing might just be an obsession for me. 

M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
L.K.: Very much so. Like my sleuth, I am an ex-lawyer who is obsessed with food, loves dogs, bourbon, and cycling, and lives in the beautiful beach town of Santa Cruz, California. However, unlike Sally, I am not, alas, tall and thin, or Italian, nor do I drive a ’57 T-Bird. And I would be absolutely terrified if I ever came across a dead body. 

M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
L.K.: No. My novels incorporate a blend of fiction and reality, and it’s the reality aspect that gives them relevance to our time. For instance, one of the themes running through the Sally Solari mysteries concerns the modern food movement, and its juxtaposition with the old-fashioned Italian culture in which Sally was raised. I believe that even the most exotic, other-worldly fantasy stories appeal to us largely because of how they reflect on the reality in which we live.

M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?