Wednesday, October 9, 2013

5 Star Review for "Virtue" Plus Excerpt, Giveaway and Interview

Mrs Potter’s Book Publicity Services

Represents

Blog Tour for Virtue by Allison Bassen



Synopsis
Candice and Susan thought they had it all, but they were dead wrong. Their lives were in jeopardy the day they learned the daunting truth about one formidable man.

Candice, incognito, now occupies the penthouse suite as the in-house call girl at Manhattan's swankiest hotel. She rises to the top of her profession paying more attention to the psychological longings of her clients. After all, sex is so much more than just sex. Even though she has powerful men under her influence, Candice still glances over her shoulder.

Susan, once a wealthy Atlanta socialite, played by the rules only to be confronted with an unimaginable ultimatum. She snaps out of her charm school coma realizing the last twenty-three years played like a sinister joke at her expense. Now she has one goal. Stay alive.

One will survive.

VIRTUE takes you on a ride of sultry suspense. Buckle up.

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Author Bio

My first word was "cookie." That tells you just about everything you need to know about me.

I was born in Columbia, South Carolina weighing a meager three pounds, which was tenuous back in those days. As usual, I was early for my own birthday by three months. My theory is everyone's punctuality is innate. I'm early for almost everything.

My folks moved to Atlanta when I was nine months old and I stayed there until I was twenty-four. My itch was Manhattan. I can still remember signaling my first taxi and when that checker cab pulled over for me, I became Audrey Hepburn. Even though I understand the whys, I miss those over sized cabs and their character. There's nothing glamorous in putting your hand out for a yellow Prius.

I fell for a "Yankee" and never made it back to Atlanta. We tied the knot and made three beautiful children. Funny, my youngest son read the first few pages of VIRTUE, and his only comment was, "This is fiction, right?"
My friends and family have been telling me to write for years. The challenge was coming up with the story. VIRTUE was inspired by scandalous newspaper headlines. A Governor got caught with an escort. That had me scratching my head. Why would a powerful man risk his career? And what about the escort? She looked like a pretty girl and came from a nice family. Then I researched the history of prostitution and came to understand why it is referred to as "the oldest profession." Yes, prostitution is in The Bible.
My second novel, MY FATHER'S AFFAIR, which should be published by June of 2013, was inspired by a true story. I took that story and raised the proverbial stakes. I changed the era and the setting. Things were much different in the early sixties. Small towns are like Cheers where everybody knows your name. But I think the most important aspect of writing this novel was the narrator. The reader sees the story through Ellie's eyes, the thirteen year old daughter, which intensifies the emotions.
Writing gets me out of bed every morning. Okay, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are equally motivating. If I'm not writing, I'm reading. There is nothing better than a great read. My biggest hope is that you find pleasure reading my novels.
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Tour Wide Giveaway:
$50 amazon.com giveaway!
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Interview

Q)  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A)  This might be too much information, but I scheme and plot in the bathtub.  There aren’t any distractions and I do my best thinking with a good, steamy soak.

Q)  Is there a message in your novel/novels that you want readers to grasp?
A)  One of my reviewers said it best.  There’s no such thing as a perfect white-picketed fence.  That’s when you discover someone’s true character.  How do they fix the fence?

Q)  What books have most influenced your life most?
A)  Stephen King’s novels make me throw my head back and say, “Wow!”  His descriptions, adjectives, and pacing just blow me away.  The man is a word artist.  But there are also two southern writers that are beyond mesmerizing and if you do sit down to read their work, take the day off from all responsibilities because you will want to give both authors your undivided attention:  Flannery O’Conner and Harper Lee.

Q)  If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
A) I would probably change the cover of Virtue.  It gives the impression of “erotica,” which is not the case.  So I would make the cover less sexy.

Q)  Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A)  I had an English professor in college who told me, “I actually look forward to reading your stories.”  Thing is, I always enjoyed writing, but she made me realize I had talent.  One day she told me, “Allison, I bet you could write a story about a toothbrush and make it interesting.”   I wish I had saved that assignment.  The toothbrush, Reddie, came to life, fuelled by jealousy that the “other” toothbrush got used everyday while Reddie just sat there unused and ignored.

Q)  What was the hardest part of writing your books?
A)   Letting them go out in public!  My husband asked me, “When are you gonna be finished?”  You have to reach a point where you stop trying to make each and every sentence better.  In a way, writing is a form of torture.

Q)  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A)   Publishing your first book is like putting your baby on the school bus for the first time.  You don’t want to let go and you worry how it will do out in the world.  Saying that, I want to thank the many readers who raved about Virtue, went to the trouble to post a review, and told their friends about a new book they just finished in one day!



 CANDICE:  PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW

1983
New York City


No, I’m not a virgin, and no, I’m not a prude, but I have slept with only three men.  The first was my husband.  The second was the private investigator I hired to see if my husband was cheating.  The third was my first one-night stand to see how it felt to have sex with a stranger.  Anyway, that paltry number will most likely soar to three men a day as if it were a tooth brushing or vitamin regimen.
So here I sit, despite my weak résumé, doing research for my interviews reading Penthouse Forum articles, if you can call them “articles,” along with a slew of other magazines wrapped in cellophane.  My mouth is slack-jawed with astonishment; I feel like I just fell off the sexual hay truck.  What the hell is infantilism?
            My first interview is tonight with André.  He’s the concierge at The Regal, a renowned five-star hotel in Manhattan.  André will be in charge of all of my appointments if I get the job as the “in-house” call girl.  If all goes well, I get passed on to Robert, the owner of The Regal, the following evening.  And if he approves, I proceed to the final interview with a regular client named Conner whose turn-on is humiliation.  He masochist, me sadist. 
The girl I’ll be replacing has been a patient teacher and friend encouraging me with a “You can do this” mantra and having me respond with “I think I can, I think I can” optimism.  She even took me shopping for the get-ups I would need for each interview.  For André, she picked lingerie a bride would wear on her wedding night.  Sexy, yet classic.  For Robert, she chose a French maid outfit complete with black fishnet stockings and patent leather stilettos.  I was fine with both ensembles.
Now comes the juicy part.  My outfit for the masochist.  Head to toe leather.  Even the leash is leather.  My thigh-high black boots have four-inch heels and I’ll be lucky if I can pass the hour without falling on my face made up with smoky eyes and burgundy lips.  The only time I dressed up was on Halloween or when I would sneak my brother’s little league uniform out of the Salvation Army bag and pretend I was a baseball player, which I would’ve preferred to the tutu I wore as a ballerina enduring the first, second and third positions of torture.
My mentor offered advice for each interview:  “André is a gentleman.  He’s going to study you the way an art collector would appraise a painting.  (Translation: Would men be willing to spend five Benjamins for an hour of your time?)  If he likes the painting, he’ll pass it on to Robert.  Now Robert is a man’s man.  On the outside he seems like John Wayne, rough and tough around the edges, but he’s really no different than the average Joe wanting worship and adoration.  Just behave in awe at all of his Dale Carnegie accomplishments and you’ll have him wrapped around your finger in a New York minute, which is exactly how long it will take him to climax.  Both André and Robert are vanilla ice cream sex.  Conner’s a different story.  Treat him like a dog who just chewed up your designer stilettos.”
I felt confident about André and Robert, but Conner had me anxious, no, terrified.  What in God’s name was I thinking?  It’s not like I announced at the family dinner table, “When I grow up, I want to be a prostitute.”   I remember wanting to be a princess, perhaps a teacher, and most of all, just like Mommy.  I took the high road.  It just didn’t work out.  

My 5 Star Review
I received this book from the author for an honest review. 
This is not a romance in the true sense of the word, you know woman meets man, fall madly in love, and they live happily ever after. Though it starts out that way. This is a women's fiction with drama and suspense filling the pages. Its about the power of a woman standing up in the midst of her struggles to overcome the odds. Yes, the path she takes is not the standard road, and many will chastise her for her decision,  but you can not judge a person if you have not walked in his/her shoes. That is the bottom line.
 We meet two women Susan and Candice, worlds apart from each other. The one graduated from charm school in the South of USA, being the good, obedient girl. The other a high-class prostitute. Each woman had her own difficulties to overcome.
Susan did as her mother told her and married Jeff, and yes, they did love each other in the beginning. He was a true gentleman, worshiped the ground she walked on. Gave her everything her heart desired, but at the end it was all a farce to hide his own skeletons in the closet. At the end, she had to run away in fear of her safety and to protect her parents.
From love to betrayal it changed in heart-beat and she was bewildered and alone.  It became survival at all cost.
She met Paul, private detective with his own pains, protecting her all the way. His no-nonsense attitude and skill at her door helping her to create a new identity for herself.
Candice was in her own right a powerful woman, with men knocking at her door to buy what she sold. With compassion, living out their fantasies, and a penthouse in one of the best hotels in New York, with all the money to spend on lingerie and clothes her heart desired. Who would not love that?
And did I mention the different hats she wears? From sex therapist, to Harlem slave, to horse worshiper, and everything in between. All to help the wealthy men cope in their daily lives. Their wives too busy, selfish or just too boring to attend to their needs.
Well written, the characters became alive on the pages, and you get lost in the pages as you learn more about them. Learning startling secrets to add to the building suspense until you see how the power of a woman comes to play, surviving and still be a lady at the end.
A story I enjoyed from page one to the end.

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Tour Wide Giveaway:
$50 amazon.com giveaway!
Must be 18 and older to enter
To enter leave a comment on as many blog stops as you can!



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