Friday, March 29, 2013

Interview with Yours Truly on Book Marketing Buzz



Interview With Author Lynelle Clark on Book Marketing Buzz



  1. What type of books do you write? So far I have published one book ‘A Pirate’s Wife’ a Historical Romance. Two books that are in line for publishing in this year are Contemporary Inspirational Romance, ‘Life changes’ and ‘Master of her Heart’. Another one, ‘New Beginnings’ is a Contemporary Women’s Fiction also in line for editing.



2. What is your newest book about? Life changes is about choices when confronted with life styles that is not in normal households. Swinging, the life that Anabella Anthony’s parents lives with no recognition of what it does to the children in particular Anabella. An eighteen year old at the brink of her future being part of The Olympic Swimming Team. Her parents’ refusal to accept her choices and forcing her to adapt, with alarming results.

She met Aldrich Hagin a lawyer who was ready to settle down. Recovering from the death of his young bride. From the moment he met her he knew he found the woman he wants to share his life with. However, her nightmares, continues trails and age difference stood in the way. Willing to help her even if it meant that he had to stand back and allow her to make her own choices.
Seeking help with a councilor, a woman that was there for him during his trails Aldrich helps her to over come the nightmares, making choices that would not only affect her but his future.




3. What inspired you to write it? Believe it or not but this was actually my first book that I wrote. It was written in a time when we ourselves went through life changes as well. Seeking answers. Why I chose the swinging life style I have no idea it just came up and I ran with the concept. Maybe I read something about it that triggered me subconsciously I do not know.

In the book it is in its worse situation but in my research I know that most will never cause their children to suffer in the extend I let on in my story. They are wary of taking care of them, keeping their life discreet at all times. I do not attack people’s choices in the lifestyles they choose. In the book it also becomes clear that each of the couples involved make their own choices how they live.

But it was an interesting scenario and one I thought of a few times. The interaction and what the effects could have in the childrens lives. Each sibling in Anabella’s life had a different take which I highlighted in the book. I am always interested in restoration, this was a good plot.

Support is another topic that is intertwined in the book. Support from friends, family and parents, and the examples they set helping forming and making the choices needed to have a future they want.

4. What is the writing process like for you? Since I am still very new in the writing business I have no real process other than that I write what is on my heart. Allowing the words to flow.  I try to write at least 1000 words a day, sometimes it is more, sometimes less. I love to make notes first in a note book, doing research as an idea comes before I put it down on my PC. Building the characters personas. This part I find difficult at times if you really have to think of people you may know that would fit into the character type, drawing from them.

But it is a journey I simply love. The creativity of the whole process stirs me and opens new avenues of discovery in my own talents.  I love the interaction with co-authors, learning from them as I go along. Finding a community of people that is willing to help. It does not matter what genre you write every one pitch in and every one gets the benefits.

5. What did you do before you became an author? We had a business up until 2010 and I was the Financial officer.

6. How does it feel to be a published author? To be honest it felt weird to call my self that at first.  Number one I was never one for titles and stuff. Those things just never impress me much. Number two I never thought that this would be the direction my life would take and to own up to that title gives me a responsibility of being the best that I knew I was not. I was a late blossomer and had no formal training in writing. So to call my self that was simply intimidating but I know that if I do not own up to it no one else will take me serious. So at times it feels way cool (as the children would say) but at times it makes me pause and think.

7. Any advice for struggling writers? Do not allow circumstances or people’s influence to stop you. The lack of money is not as important as writing.  Keep on even when the odds are against you. Try all avenues until you find the one with which you are comfortable with. Simply Write.

8. Where do you see book publishing heading? There are many debates about this issue currently floating around on the Internet. People who would be able to give clear cut answers better then I will but as a Self Publisher I can only say that I believe self publishing is the future for all writers.  Books are very important; I love books, the smell and the feel of it. There is nothing like it but practicality says that we are messing with earth’s resources and since technology is advancing as we speak lets use the sources offered.  It makes life simpler and when you have to move easier. I know. We moved awhile back. The books alone filled boxes and boxes, so heavy those two men had to carry one box out of the door with great difficulty. I felt so sorry for them, making excuses but there was simply no other way. I also see smaller publishing houses standing up giving more personal attention to the authors. But at the end only time will tell.


#cblspromos Eighty-Eight Keys Promo and Giveaway


Eighty-Eight Keys
by Catherine Lavender
New Adult Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Published by Whimsical Publications LLC
Release Date: January 28, 2013
Heat Level: Sweet
Word Count: 54,000

Available at…


Blurb
Leah is a young woman who is trying to break free from a strict religious background and pursue her dream as a pianist in the world of show business. While trying to find her independence her heart is held captive by Jason Rowe a local basketball star who established an organization to help troubled youth. When Jason is found murdered in his home, Leah is determined to get answers from a closed investigation. During her state of emotional turmoil, Leah finds comfort not only in the melody of her music, but in the arms of a married man named Calvin. With her dreams at her fingertips, Leah is tangled in a web of lies and deceit. Despite the fear of learning the truth, Leah has to realize that only the truth can set her free.

A dead lover, with a trail of broken hearts…
A married man, with a double-life…
A dream chaser, with a killer at her heels…
A piano, with eighty-eight keys…



Excerpt
The jarring ring of the telephone pulled Leah back into the present. It took her a couple of rings to find the buried cell phone. “Hello?”

“Hey, Leah, it’s Quincy. I was just calling to check up on you.”

She settled back into a small section of the couch. “Hi, Quincy. I’m doing okay.”

“You sure?” She could hear the concern in his voice. “You sound a little sad.”

The picture of her and Jason crumpled in her fist. “Well, you know how it is. I’m surrounded by ghosts at every turn.” Her inner voice urged her to change the subject quickly. “How are you doing?”

“Well, that kind of brings me to the second purpose of this call. Would you mind coming in this afternoon? There is still so much to do for the gala, and we can use all the help we can get.”

Leah looked at her watch, then at the mess in her living room. “Yep, I can be there in a couple of hours.”

Saying her goodbyes, Leah hung up the phone and made a mental note to pick up, packing boxes along the way. When her lease was up, she was moving to her neon oasis—Las Vegas. Leah was going to be a pianist.

Running thirty minutes late, Leah pulled into the parking lot of Bright Horizons Youth Group. She didn’t see Mrs. Turner and Rosa until she almost collided into them.

“Oh, oops, sorry,” Leah said, fumbling with her purse and notebook. “I, um, didn’t see you there.” The look on Rosa’s face was pure anger.

“Well, we are certainly glad you’re here,” Mrs. Turner said with an airy smile. “There is just so much that needs to be done, and well, it is your business to know how to do this.”

Leah smiled, situating her purse on her shoulder, and avoided eye contact with Rosa in case one of the thousand daggers thrown from her eyes would penetrate. “You know, I am just happy to help,” she said to the older woman. Leah cringed at the overly eager sound of her own voice.

“And we are so glad you are helping, swallowing your pride for the good of Bright Horizons.” Mrs. Turner wore her Armani dress like it was a second skin, her makeup and hair flawless as always. Her smile was etched, and didn’t quite spread to the rest of her face.

“I don’t understand why…” Rosa said. Her hostility spoke volumes.

Leah braced herself for a very vocal confrontation.

“No, dear.” Mrs. Turner put a beautifully manicured hand on Rosa’s forearm. “You don’t understand, and you never will if you don’t check your attitude.”

A car horn caused all three women to look around. “Ah, that’s for me.” Mrs. Turner pulled a sheet of paper from her book, not acknowledging the impatient student honking.

Leah didn’t want to know why the University’s current basketball star was sitting in Mrs. Turner’s car.

“If you both will excuse me, I have more important mat-ters to attend to.” She handed Leah a long list, “Be a dear and see if you can crank this out.”

The two women eyed each other warily.

Rosa brushed past Leah. “Don’t you dare screw this up,” she hissed.

“Why would you think that?” Leah usually kept to herself as far as Rosa was concerned, but the implication bothered her.

Rosa slid on a pair of sunglasses. “Because you screw everything up.”



About the Author

Catherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in Tampa, Florida with her miniature schnauzer name Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.




Connect with Catherine Lavender:




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Thursday, March 28, 2013

#cblspromos Present The Cuvier Widows Series by Sylvia McDaniel


Wronged (The Cuvier Widows #1)
by Sylvia McDaniel
Historical Romance
Categories: Mystery/Thriller, Bigamy
Publisher: Virtual Bookseller
Release Date: December 30, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 100,000

Buy Links

Blurb
Marian Cuvier didn't know how to react when she learned that the man she called husband and father to her children, Jean Cuvier, had been murdered. Yet, the biggest surprise was when the detective informed her that she's not the only woman Jean married. There are three Cuvier Widows and one is suspected of murder.

When Marian learned of her husband's death, humiliation, shock and anger were the only emotions she felt for Jean. For the last several years, their marriage has been in name only. Now she's determined to safeguard her children's future and save their only source of income, Cuvier Shipping. Jean's handsome business partner, Louis Fournet thinks Marian's should not be leading her husband's business. The man has a way with women that Marian finds alluring and arouses feelings she's never experienced.  Louis Fournet is a temptation she finds hard to resist.

My 4 Star Review

Interesting plot that would make the series The Curvier Widows a good  and memorable read, highly recommended to all lovers of a good romance mixed with suspense. Jean Curvier was found dead in a hotel room, his young bride the obvious suspect in the room with him then came the twist as two other women also known as Mrs. Curvier stepped in. This immediately set the pace for the first book in the series Wronged. 
Marian Curvier the official Curvier widow according to the law is left behind with all the mess, sorting out the failing business as well with two small children, seeking answers and been harassed by children who had no idea what the truth was. Her distrust in men was turned to her dead husband's partner Louis Fournet. This lead to interesting scenario's through out the story line.
Since she did not trust him she decided to be part of the business during a time that women simply did not work. Creating quite a stir in the business and with in the community.
Strong willed, stubborn and very determined to know the shipping business she settled into her husband's old office and since Louis and the staff did not want to help her she turned to all the ledgers. Spending her days familiarizing her self with the ins and outs and at the end because of this knowledge gained she had to face furious clients and distrusting staff making sound decisions that was beneficial to all involved. This turned the staff and clients in her favor and she was accepted as a real partner.
Louis Fournet had his own agenda, trying to convince Marian to sell the business to begin his own dream he did everything in his power to side track this strong woman but found himself more intrigued with this determined young widow. Soon sparks flew and romance blossomed between the two as they both came to terms with the past. Becoming the healing balm to a crushed spirit.
All the characters in the story had their own personality that complimented the two main characters, highlighting them as believable people. 
Beautifully written, faced pace with moments of laughter and passion mixed into the plot to keep it entertaining as it unfolds page upon page. 
But the question remained who killed Jean Curvier?



Betrayed (The Cuvier Widows #2)


by Sylvia McDaniel
Historical Romance
Categories: Bigamy
Publisher: Virtual Bookseller
Release Date: December 30, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 100,000

Buy Links

Blurb
Nicole Cuvier went to New Orleans to share the most wonderful news with her husband only to discover him in a hotel room murdered, with two other women claiming to be his wife. It seems there are three Cuvier Widows and one is suspected of murder.

For years, Nicole Cuvier had tried to erase the shame of her illegitimate birth and start the family she longed for with her husband, Jean. As the mistress of Rosewood, she owns one of the largest plantations on the River Road in Louisiana. Now, she's pregnant, unmarried-a widow with a plantation dependent upon the sugar cane crop to survive. She needs a temporary husband. Handsome Maxim Viel, a drifter, comes to her rescue and marries her, but unbeknownst to Nicole, Maxim wants more than a temporary arrangement. He has the power to heal her shattered heart, but could his past be intertwined with Rosewood?


My 5 Star Review

Betrayed the second book in the series Curvier Widows are a definite must read. Filled with secrets, lies, suspense, fear of being hurt all played a part in building this intriguing love story to a climatic end where each person is confronted with truth, of letting go of the past to allow a future to unfold before them.
The main emphasis of the story line was richly encrafted through out many of the characters drawing them together as their lives become one. Illegitimacy running havoc in the main character Nicole Curvier the second widow of the deceased Jean Curvier. 
The story continues from book 1 as we met the young widow Nicole in difficult circumstances, without a husband and pregnant. Her life in turmoil as she admits that history was repeating itself in her life. Growing up as a love child never knowing who her father was and been teased by other uncaring children she never wanted that same life for her own child. Deciding to find a husband who would be willing to give her unborn child his name and then leave. This is where all the trouble started for her but yet opened a world of renewed love to her which all centered around Rosewood.
Finding a diary in her deceased husband closet she get to see the devastation in another woman's life allowing her self to heal through this unknown woman's pain.
Maxim Viel an influential Financial Business owner who grew up with the knowledge that he has the responsibility to get Rosewood back that once belonged to his family. Agreed to marry her to get his heritage back and giving the unborn child a name.
But as time went on and the baby grew feelings also grew between the husband and wife in name only but always apart because of all the secrets stacked between them. The fear of trusting again. Of giving over the control of their hearts, the plantation a continues barrier between them.
Nicole thought Max to be a drifter and he never corrected her as guilt plagued him of his own deception. Loosing the baby brought them together as they admit they care for each other without uttering a word. 
We meet his son Paul who showed up and he tried to hide the fact from her. A young twelve year old with the wisdom of an adult.
Consuelo servant and friend of Nicole, a wise old woman that protected her like a mother. Playing her part beautifully in the back ground. Strong and silent, an anchor to Nicole.
Desiree mother of Paul and whore that only use his son to get more money from Max. Manipulative,  calculating and down right selfish human being.
Charles a drunken father struggling with his own pain as he looses himself in the bottle.
Audra an uptight mother who believed Rosewood belonged to her, trying to take over.
Curious neighbors and gossiping women with nothing better to do but slander.
This all played part in the unfolding story as we get to know Nicole who is trying to make sense of it all and leave a past behind. At the end the two strong characters had to let go of family burdens and the hold of illegitimacy to be together. 
The way that Max found her father giving her sense of belonging was thoughtfully written bringing closure in her heart and the final shift in this suspense filled romantic story.
The love scenes wonderfully written to emphasize their hearts longing and the depth of their love for each other.
  



Beguiled (The Cuvier Widows #3)
by Sylvia McDaniel
Historical Romance
Categories: Mystery/Thriller, Bigamy
Publisher: Virtual Bookseller
Release Date: December 30, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 100,000

Buy Links

Blurb
Jean Cuvier forced Layla's father to sell his shipping company and marry his daughter, or so she believed. Until the morning the servants wake her with the news that Jean is dead and she quickly learns she's not the only Mrs. Cuvier. Jean has three widows, but Layla is the only one accused of Jean's murder.

The District Attorney has enough motive and evidence, to send Layla to the gallows. Forced to turn to the man she blames for the sale of her father's shipping company, she must trust Drew Soulier, to save her life. Though Drew's the best attorney in New Orleans, he doubts her innocence. As tensions mount, Drew and Layla face a passion they can't deny. Can Drew save her from hanging?

My 5 Star Review

Accused of murder the story continues in Book 3 with Layla Curvier wife number three in the series of The Curvier Widows.  
Jean Curvier although dead controlled all three the women from the grave and in each story they had to fight to get the freedom they so surely needed. Each went about it differently.
Lalya DuChampe the youngest of the three had the most to loose. Forced by her father to marry the deceitful man all she knew was unhappiness in the year long marriage with seemingly no way out. Until his untimely death in their hotel suite that showed all the signs that she was the one. Fighting for her life she had no where to go, no one to trust or to rely on.
When she met Jean's lawyer that she knew as a young boy with her in school she distrusted him from the start. Sparks flew between them creating the suspense filled story line
Drew Soulier recognized her to and took it upon himself to defend her as a pro bono case hoping that the case will launch his political career.
Finding a letter in Jean's dresser she realized that there could be another woman involved and she jumped at the opportunity to fend for her self. Colette the only remaining servant at her side. 
Some of the loose ends in Book 1 and 2 are answered during the unraveling plot in book 3 Beguiled. I could not help but feel more empathy for Layla than Marian and Nicole. Her continuous struggle for people to believe in her innocence, not knowing how she will support herself and disregarded by the people left her bereft and alone. Seemingly with out hope.
With the added mistrust from Drew things was seriously against her. The ongoing investigation taking its toll on her. Always on the defense but yet opening herself for the love of a man she never thought would return her affection.
A beautiful written love story that brought closure to the series laying down dreams to be with the one person who can make you truly happy.
Who killed Jean Curvier? Well I would suggest to buy the series and read for yourself. It is well worth it till the very end.




About the Author
Sylvia McDaniel and the love of her life, Don, live in Texas with son Shane, Putz the klutzy dachshund and
Ashley our shy dachshund. During the day, she works for a small insurance agency, helping clients with their commercial insurance coverage.

The weekends are spent working out in the garden until the temperature climbs above ninety degrees. Recently, with the help of her husband, she learned to make homemade blueberry and blackberry jam. Cooking is not her favorite past-time and she prefers Don’s cooking any day of the week.

Currently, she’s written fourteen novels.  Her novel, A Hero's Heart, was a 1996 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist. Sylvia is President Elect of Dallas Area Romance Authors.

Connect with Sylvia McDaniel

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#cblspromotions Presents Sunspots Book Barrage


Sunspots
by Karen S. Bell
Contemporary Paranormal Time-Travel Romantic Suspense
Categories: Comedy, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: KSB Press
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 102,300

Buy Links

Blurb
“One can never be, and should never be, smug about life,” says Aurora Goldberg. An aspiring New York actress who has never realized her dreams, Aurora keeps herself afloat by doing odd temp jobs where her rich fantasy life helps her get through the day. Aurora sees the world through the lens of characters in literature and film and these fictionalizations are woven into her interpretation of reality.

On one of her temp assignments she meets Jake Stein, a man who could “charm the skin off a snake” and she decides to follow her destiny as his wife in AustinTexas. But Jake's sudden death after two short years disintegrates her world and Aurora must reevaluate her life and let go of a love that has become an obsession.

With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home's original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake's true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.

Review

Tahlia Newland Awesome Indies
“SUNSPOTS is a moving, beautifully-written mystery about the devastating consequences of obsessive love.

Bell’s elegant prose not only describes the events and scenery of this self destructive love story in riveting detail, but also skilfully evokes the atmosphere both internal and external. The structure of the story is very clever. At the beginning of the book, our empathy is aroused for grieving widow Aurora Goldberg. It appears that she had the perfect marriage to charming Jake, but as the story progresses, we and Aurora discover Jake’s secrets, so shocking to her that she is forced to re-evaluate their love. Through eyes opened by the truth—and helped along by the visions provided by a ghost—she sees that all was not as rosy as she had believed. Not only that, but the legacy he left her could be life-threatening.

Popular fiction tends to romanticise love where one looses themselves in the other, or feels completed by the other, or feels they cannot live or be happy without the other; Sunspots takes this kind of notion to its extreme to show how disempowering an obsession with the object of our love actually is. Obsession not only blinds you, it makes you weak, needy and boring. Your partner is likely to turn elsewhere to get away from your clinging, especially if you end up harping on at him that he never gives you any attention anymore. It’s dangerous to let your whole life revolve around one person, for when they leave you—by death as it is in this case—you are devastated. As the book progresses we come to see how much Aurora has brought her crippling grief upon herself. She literally looses herself in this obsession.

Bell brings a metaphysical element to the story with the addition of Viola Parker, the ghost of the sister of Aurora’s last incarnation. With her help, Aurora sees that this pattern of obsessive love and betrayal by Jake—in his previous incantations—has been repeated in past lifetimes that ended with Aurora’s suicide. Viola urges her to take a different path in this life and cut the cycle of self-destruction.

Bell deals with interesting themes here, that we tend to repeat patterns until we make a conscious effort to change them,  that the past can be changed by actions in the present, and that when someone ‘saves’ us with love, in a healthy, balanced relationship we also to some extent ‘save’ them.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes psychological depth in their romance. I give it 5 stars and a place on the Awesome Indies list.”

Book Trailer

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About the Author

Walking with Elephants was my first novel, although I am not new to writing. I was a theater critic and celebrity interviewer for a weekly tabloid in Jacksonville, Fl and I earned a Master’s in Mass Communication from Oklahoma State University. For 15 years I worked in Corporate America as a technical editor/editor/writer. I experienced first hand the politics and intrigue that goes with that territory and the balancing act that comes with being a working mother. I salute all those mothers who are the glue that holds their families together while pursuing the nine to five brass ring. And that is what inspired me to write that novel.

With my second novel, Sunspots, I continue to be in awe of the magical and wondrous phenomenon called life. As an observer and obvious participant in feminine values and approach to our human challenges, I bring this perspective to my work. Fascinated by the mysteries of the unseen forces that perhaps play a role in guiding our choices, I search for answers in the mundane as well as in the cosmic forces that surround us.

Connect with Karen S. Bell


Excerpt #1:

My passion for acting surfaced as a young child when my so-called natural talent flung itself into the world full-blown and raw. Not wanting to attend pre-school one morning, I laid my arm over my head and “pretended” that my head hurt as I had seen my mother do many times before. That deceit uncovered a truth made known by philosophers of the ages, but of which I was certainly unaware. Pretending to feel and to really feel do not appear differently to the external world—if you do it right. Aside from being great fun, the stage was an obvious platform to hone that skill.

As Celeste Abbott, my alter ego, I spent most of my time as either a receptionist or data-entry clerk. It was not by choice, because I dreamed of being sought after by the best directors and to work continuously like Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman or have a great stage career like Patti Lupone.

I had several fits and starts on the roller-coaster ride of acting that kept me hooked and on the payroll of two temp agencies where I had accumulated so many hours that I was eligible for health benefits—a situation that pleased my mother but underlined my failure to get into Actors’ Equity, or make enough money that AFTRA or SAG allowed me into their health plans. My first paying gig was a commercial with five other girls that shot all day on location at the Jersey Shore.

“Okay, ladies,” said the director. “Try and pretend it’s not 40 degrees. Look like it’s summer. I know you’re quite cold in those shorts and tee shirts, so let’s get this done quickly. Chase each other. Laugh. Throw the ball. Have fun. Okay, good. You over there, go sit in the parked car.”

“Me?”

“Yes, but can you do anything about those blue lips?”

There it was. I was chosen to sit behind the wheel of a convertible and gaze sexily into the camera for a tight close-up—the money shot. I could taste the possibilities of fat residual checks or even better—being discovered by some producer who thought my look “perfect for the lead” in some mega-funded movie, but instead I caught a chill and high fever that kept me out of temp work for a week. When the commercial aired, I realized that the only close-up not on the cutting room floor was my foot sporting the running shoe I had been wearing.

My optimism, however, could not be thwarted because my real passion was Broadway and it was the dream that kept my juices flowing. My closest encounter with a stage career had been a part I landed in an off-off Broadway play downtown. Off-off Broadway is where any basement or falling down hotel can be a theater and anything can be a play. But more importantly, off-off Broadway meant there was no real money, so budgets were tight.

This gig was in the Meatpacking District in a storefront of what looked like a condemned building. The windows of the store were blacked out so that the streetlights wouldn’t interfere with the stage lighting. The audience sat in folding chairs and the house could hold about 60 souls who weren’t turned off by the lingering odor of the daytime businesses. The stage was a wooden platform that was long and narrow and made moving about a bit risky. I was chosen to play the “unnamed woman,” one of three characters. The other two characters were her “unnamed lover” and “death.” More performance art than a play, it had one act with one scene. As the unnamed woman, I wore a mask and gold body paint (that covered my exposed skin and bright-pink bikini) and sang two songs that had no set melody.

“Hey ho, hey ho. The setting sun sends swords of gold. Hey ho, hey ho. The light. The light. Please light my love.” Or some such nonsense was my opening number. My challenge was to improvise the music every night to a drum that was my sole accompaniment. One night, I believe I crossed into copyright infringement when this melody came very close to sounding like the song for the seven dwarfs in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the other song sounded like, The Sound of Music. I was paid a small amount of money that included cleaning up the stage and backstage afterwards. Unfortunately, the show closed after one week and ended my brush with stardom.


My 4 Star Review

The one thing that stood out the most in this book Sunspots was the fluent flow of words creating wonderful sentences that put me in awe of the author's penmanship. She took normal average words and combine them with passionate flavor creating beautifully crafted lines that captivates you, draws you in and waken the imagination. Powerful wizardry with the flick of a pen; or in our modern case the punch of a keyboard.

The character Aurora Celeste Sunny Abbott free-spirited New Yorker seeking her own fame in this world famous and culturally alive city that never sleeps. Doing what she does best, living a life set by her own rules. Birthed from hippie parents that were never married opening her world to all its mystic and magical  possibilities and wonders.
Jewish born and holding onto the traditional ways all her life met Texan Jew Jake Stein, picture perfect with a bright smile that weaken her knees. So different but yet so connected that she left everything to follow him to Austin got married and life as she new it stopped exciting. She became obsessed and a clinging parasite to him, her world evolved only around him that she did not see the signs of a failing marriage. 
Although he proclaimed he loved her and gave her every thing she could desire it was not enough to keep him from having an affair. Thoughtlessly he would plunge her life in danger with his adrenaline junkie escapades without considering what she would like or do. 
Only after his death she find to many secrets, learned that her life was at an end and that she would have to sell every thing to settle his debt. Rumors of drugs and affairs floated around her while she tried to deal with his sudden death.
The story goes back and forth as we are introduced to her first encounter with his family, their cold reception of her. Walking into a new world she did not understand. We learn more about their marriage, honeymoon while in her state of grieve she notice him every where not willing to come to grips of his death. 
Buying a new house she was confronted with a ghost Voila Parker who leads her to the truth unwillingly. Traveling back in time to find her husband in the arms of another woman. Learning more about Jake's past.
At times her thoughts was shadowed with dark and obsessed thoughts, at times it just overshadowed the story; as she secluded herself from every one. Easily side tracked  unfocused as she relive her brief marriage with this man she adored and loved possessively. 
Drawn into a world that was mystical and without comprehension. As Voila open more and more secrets of a past best forgotten. But yet in its revealing deliverance she found she could finally move on to find a new love.
Her lawyer mother who worked with battered women and friend Marinda keeping her body in tact while she tried to understand the forces at play. Her In-laws who still could not accept her stayed passive and Owen the lawyer used her for his own pleasure. Warning her of an eminent danger. 
Confronting Charlotte and finding more than she bargain for.
Her character involving from free-spirit to obsessed to depressed to maturity in a short span of a year. Rebuilding herself as a person to become the woman she always felt she could be.
A thought provoking book I can recommend to serious readers.



Monday, March 25, 2013

#cblspromotions Book Barrage with Karen S. Bell and her new book Sunspots


Sunspots
by Karen S. Bell
Contemporary Paranormal Time-Travel Romantic Suspense
Categories: Comedy, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: KSB Press
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 102,300

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Blurb
“One can never be, and should never be, smug about life,” says Aurora Goldberg. An aspiring New York actress who has never realized her dreams, Aurora keeps herself afloat by doing odd temp jobs where her rich fantasy life helps her get through the day. Aurora sees the world through the lens of characters in literature and film and these fictionalizations are woven into her interpretation of reality.

On one of her temp assignments she meets Jake Stein, a man who could “charm the skin off a snake” and she decides to follow her destiny as his wife in Austin, Texas. But Jake's sudden death after two short years disintegrates her world and Aurora must reevaluate her life and let go of a love that has become an obsession.

With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home's original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake's true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.

Review

Tahlia Newland Awesome Indies
“SUNSPOTS is a moving, beautifully-written mystery about the devastating consequences of obsessive love.

Bell’s elegant prose not only describes the events and scenery of this self destructive love story in riveting detail, but also skilfully evokes the atmosphere both internal and external. The structure of the story is very clever. At the beginning of the book, our empathy is aroused for grieving widow Aurora Goldberg. It appears that she had the perfect marriage to charming Jake, but as the story progresses, we and Aurora discover Jake’s secrets, so shocking to her that she is forced to re-evaluate their love. Through eyes opened by the truth—and helped along by the visions provided by a ghost—she sees that all was not as rosy as she had believed. Not only that, but the legacy he left her could be life-threatening.

Popular fiction tends to romanticise love where one looses themselves in the other, or feels completed by the other, or feels they cannot live or be happy without the other; Sunspots takes this kind of notion to its extreme to show how disempowering an obsession with the object of our love actually is. Obsession not only blinds you, it makes you weak, needy and boring. Your partner is likely to turn elsewhere to get away from your clinging, especially if you end up harping on at him that he never gives you any attention anymore. It’s dangerous to let your whole life revolve around one person, for when they leave you—by death as it is in this case—you are devastated. As the book progresses we come to see how much Aurora has brought her crippling grief upon herself. She literally looses herself in this obsession.

Bell brings a metaphysical element to the story with the addition of Viola Parker, the ghost of the sister of Aurora’s last incarnation. With her help, Aurora sees that this pattern of obsessive love and betrayal by Jake—in his previous incantations—has been repeated in past lifetimes that ended with Aurora’s suicide. Viola urges her to take a different path in this life and cut the cycle of self-destruction.

Bell deals with interesting themes here, that we tend to repeat patterns until we make a conscious effort to change them,  that the past can be changed by actions in the present, and that when someone ‘saves’ us with love, in a healthy, balanced relationship we also to some extent ‘save’ them.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes psychological depth in their romance. I give it 5 stars and a place on the Awesome Indies list.”

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About the Author

Walking with Elephants was my first novel, although I am not new to writing. I was a theater critic and celebrity interviewer for a weekly tabloid in Jacksonville, Fl and I earned a Master’s in Mass Communication from Oklahoma State University. For 15 years I worked in Corporate America as a technical editor/editor/writer. I experienced first hand the politics and intrigue that goes with that territory and the balancing act that comes with being a working mother. I salute all those mothers who are the glue that holds their families together while pursuing the nine to five brass ring. And that is what inspired me to write that novel.

With my second novel, Sunspots, I continue to be in awe of the magical and wondrous phenomenon called life. As an observer and obvious participant in feminine values and approach to our human challenges, I bring this perspective to my work. Fascinated by the mysteries of the unseen forces that perhaps play a role in guiding our choices, I search for answers in the mundane as well as in the cosmic forces that surround us.

Connect with Karen S. Bell


Excerpt #1:

My passion for acting surfaced as a young child when my so-called natural talent flung itself into the world full-blown and raw. Not wanting to attend pre-school one morning, I laid my arm over my head and “pretended” that my head hurt as I had seen my mother do many times before. That deceit uncovered a truth made known by philosophers of the ages, but of which I was certainly unaware. Pretending to feel and to really feel do not appear differently to the external world—if you do it right. Aside from being great fun, the stage was an obvious platform to hone that skill.

As Celeste Abbott, my alter ego, I spent most of my time as either a receptionist or data-entry clerk. It was not by choice, because I dreamed of being sought after by the best directors and to work continuously like Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman or have a great stage career like Patti Lupone.

I had several fits and starts on the roller-coaster ride of acting that kept me hooked and on the payroll of two temp agencies where I had accumulated so many hours that I was eligible for health benefits—a situation that pleased my mother but underlined my failure to get into Actors’ Equity, or make enough money that AFTRA or SAG allowed me into their health plans. My first paying gig was a commercial with five other girls that shot all day on location at the Jersey Shore.

“Okay, ladies,” said the director. “Try and pretend it’s not 40 degrees. Look like it’s summer. I know you’re quite cold in those shorts and tee shirts, so let’s get this done quickly. Chase each other. Laugh. Throw the ball. Have fun. Okay, good. You over there, go sit in the parked car.”

“Me?”

“Yes, but can you do anything about those blue lips?”

There it was. I was chosen to sit behind the wheel of a convertible and gaze sexily into the camera for a tight close-up—the money shot. I could taste the possibilities of fat residual checks or even better—being discovered by some producer who thought my look “perfect for the lead” in some mega-funded movie, but instead I caught a chill and high fever that kept me out of temp work for a week. When the commercial aired, I realized that the only close-up not on the cutting room floor was my foot sporting the running shoe I had been wearing.

My optimism, however, could not be thwarted because my real passion was Broadway and it was the dream that kept my juices flowing. My closest encounter with a stage career had been a part I landed in an off-off Broadway play downtown. Off-off Broadway is where any basement or falling down hotel can be a theater and anything can be a play. But more importantly, off-off Broadway meant there was no real money, so budgets were tight.

This gig was in the Meatpacking District in a storefront of what looked like a condemned building. The windows of the store were blacked out so that the streetlights wouldn’t interfere with the stage lighting. The audience sat in folding chairs and the house could hold about 60 souls who weren’t turned off by the lingering odor of the daytime businesses. The stage was a wooden platform that was long and narrow and made moving about a bit risky. I was chosen to play the “unnamed woman,” one of three characters. The other two characters were her “unnamed lover” and “death.” More performance art than a play, it had one act with one scene. As the unnamed woman, I wore a mask and gold body paint (that covered my exposed skin and bright-pink bikini) and sang two songs that had no set melody.

“Hey ho, hey ho. The setting sun sends swords of gold. Hey ho, hey ho. The light. The light. Please light my love.” Or some such nonsense was my opening number. My challenge was to improvise the music every night to a drum that was my sole accompaniment. One night, I believe I crossed into copyright infringement when this melody came very close to sounding like the song for the seven dwarfs in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the other song sounded like, The Sound of Music. I was paid a small amount of money that included cleaning up the stage and backstage afterwards. Unfortunately, the show closed after one week and ended my brush with stardom.


My 4 Star Review

The one thing that stood out the most in this book Sunspots was the fluent flow of words creating wonderful sentences that put me in awe of the author's penmanship. She took normal average words and combine them with passionate flavor creating beautifully crafted lines that captivates you, draws you in and waken the imagination. Powerful wizardry with the flick of a pen; or in our modern case the punch of a keyboard.
The character Aurora Celeste Sunny Abbott free-spirited New Yorker seeking her own fame in this world famous and culturally alive city that never sleeps. Doing what she does best, living a life set by her own rules. Birthed from hippie parents that were never married opening her world to all its mystic and magical  possibilities and wonders.
Jewish born and holding onto the traditional ways all her life met Texan Jew Jake Stein, picture perfect with a bright smile that weaken her knees. So different but yet so connected that she left everything to follow him to Austin got married and life as she new it stopped exciting. She became obsessed and a clinging parasite to him, her world evolved only around him that she did not see the signs of a failing marriage. 
Although he proclaimed he loved her and gave her every thing she could desire it was not enough to keep him from having an affair. Thoughtlessly he would plunge her life in danger with his adrenaline junkie escapades without considering what she would like or do. 
Only after his death she find to many secrets, learned that her life was at an end and that she would have to sell every thing to settle his debt. Rumors of drugs and affairs floated around her while she tried to deal with his sudden death.
The story goes back and forth as we are introduced to her first encounter with his family, their cold reception of her. Walking into a new world she did not understand. We learn more about their marriage, honeymoon while in her state of grieve she notice him every where not willing to come to grips of his death. 
Buying a new house she was confronted with a ghost Voila Parker who leads her to the truth unwillingly. Traveling back in time to find her husband in the arms of another woman. Learning more about Jake's past.
At times her thoughts was shadowed with dark and obsessed thoughts, at times it just overshadowed the story; as she secluded herself from every one. Easily side tracked  unfocused as she relive her brief marriage with this man she adored and loved possessively. 
Drawn into a world that was mystical and without comprehension. As Voila open more and more secrets of a past best forgotten. But yet in its revealing deliverance she found she could finally move on to find a new love.
Her lawyer mother who worked with battered women and friend Marinda keeping her body in tact while she tried to understand the forces at play. Her In-laws who still could not accept her stayed passive and Owen the lawyer used her for his own pleasure. Warning her of an eminent danger. 
Confronting Charlotte and finding more than she bargain for.
Her character involving from free-spirit to obsessed to depressed to maturity in a short span of a year. Rebuilding herself as a person to become the woman she always felt she could be.
A thought provoking book I can recommend to serious readers.