Monday, March 31, 2014

Now available the Tempting Fate Box Set with various authors. Check it out now!

The Agreement
 Belong to You
Wreck Me
by USA Today Bestseller J.L. Mac

Cover Reveal for 'Everything I want' by KL Shandwick. Book #3 in the Everything Series.

Lily is moving forward after her break up with Alfie. Her journey continues through some extremely emotional times during key events, as she becomes more self- assured and begins to develop as an performing artist. It isn't easy for Lily to forget Alfie because of circumstances in Alfie's life. However, Lily is tortured by constant reminders of their time together, and this does little for her resolve to move on.  Although, Lily has made her choice, it is also tinged with sadness. Her love for Alfie remains strong, and she fights a constant internal battle, between loving him and loving her music. Lily thinks it's impossible to have both. A fabulous opportunity arises for Lily, but there is a possibility of this bringing her face to face with Alfie again. Can Lily cope with the emotional turmoil this would bring her? Or, is the risk of seeing Alfie something she feels able to manage now?

Musically, Lily concentrates her efforts much more, which brings success, post Alfie. Through this, she finds friends in some of the most unlikely of circumstances. All of her friends continue to protect her, and are all well aware of the impact Lily's relationship with Alfie has had on her. All apart from Elle, who gives Lily food for thought. Although, Lily's mind is still plagued with memories of Alfie; which continue to impact on her to such an extent, Lily has been unable to form new romantic ties. Professionally, her relationships couldn't be better. She is offered some amazing opportunities rarely available, and is determined to do make the most of them. This is especially important to her, given the sacrifices she has made in the past to do this. Will Lily's music be enough for her, and prove to be everything she ever wanted?






I have lived my whole life with comments from both, relative strangers and close friends telling me I should write a book. People continually tell me I have an ability to tell a story and make even the mundane sound interesting. (I’m personally not aware of that.)
The thought of doing this, was something I never thought I would entertain, because being dyslexic, during my childhood and adolescence, I found it very difficult to get past how to spell something, never mind how coherent the sentence sounded. So writing a few paragraphs usually made me sweat.
As a child I discovered coping strategies and developed my own ways of getting by, I wasn’t stupid by any stretch of the imagination, but left school at fifteen without any academic qualifications. I wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia until I attended university at the age of thirty. 
(Both of my children were diagnosed with dyslexia, one at the age of seven and one much later, although, I could see my traits present in him, and both have excelled academically in their chosen professions.
Thanks to the invention of the computer and information technology, my world changed. I learned how to communicate in written form effectively, not afraid to use language present in my oral skills that were lacking in my written work, for fear of spelling them wrongly, which gave me the confidence to write the books. Had I, had to write a book on paper, I know I would never have finished the first page.
I recently discovered the joy of writing after a challenge by a friend, which turned into three books. As I am constantly challenging others to face their demons, I decided, after some persuasion, to brave it out and share the books with others. I don’t have any expectations for them other than to tell the story.
This was a huge step for me, and took courage because there are so many fabulous clever people out there, writing amazing pieces of work that sadly, very few people ever see. 
My work:  I have had the pleasure (and the drama) of working in The National Health Service and in an independent capacity for Social Services in the UK for many years. My work has been supporting many women, children, young people, and families during this time. Sometimes, this has been at some of the toughest or most vulnerable times in their lives. 
During this time I have observed the communications of all parties involved both, in their relationships with others and how their decisions affect the subsequent outcomes for them and others. I have shared in the births and in the deaths of some of these people, and I never take advantage of the privilege my position brings me.
People ask what does the K.L. stand for K.L. Shandwick is a pseudonym. This isn’t to ‘hide’ behind, (I am not ashamed of what I’ve written), but to afford my clients the appropriate level of confidentiality by association. So, K L stands for KL. I am an independent author, who presently self publishes through kindle, but I hope to have a print copy of my books shortly.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review for The Pakistan Conspiracy, A Novel Of Espionage

About The Pakistan Conspiracy, A Novel of Espionage 

Al Qaeda terrorists find a retired Russian KGB colonel willing to sell them a small, tactical nuclear weapon in the aftermath of Osama Bin Laden’s death in 2011. Kate Langley, a CIA officer based in Pakistan, must put her life on the line, for the second time in six months, to prevent AQ from detonating the weapon in a Western city to avenge OBL’s death. 

The Pakistan Conspiracy, A Novel Of Espionage opens in the tension-fraught days right after the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of SEAL Team Six in Abbottabad. Kate is a young, ambitious CIA agent tethered to a desk at the American Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. Though she had little to do with the action in Abbottabad, Kate finds herself “PNG’d” by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry in the wake of OBL’s death—declared persona non grata in the euphemistic language of diplomacy, for “activities incompatible with diplomatic status,” code words for having been outed as a spy. 

With Langley soon back in Washington, DC, it becomes apparent that something far worse than 9/11 is on the Al Qaeda drawing boards, now on an accelerated timetable as payback for OBL’s martyrdom. 

Kate gets wind of Al Qaeda’s purchase of a highly portable tactical nuclear weapon in the former Soviet RA-211 series, a small device, by the standards of nuclear weapons, that can fit in a footlocker. But this bomb has an energy release of 17 kilotons, which is sufficient to turn to dust everything within a radius of 2.5 kilometers. Set off in the center of Manhattan, this weapon would kill millions of people, flatten skyscrapers, and set the entire island aflame. 

Motivated by ambition and a desire to help her country, Kate Langley soon finds herself back in South Asia, this time not as part of the coddled staff of an American embassy, with perks, diplomatic passport, and a safety net of Marine guards, but as a NOC, or “knock,” spy-speak for a CIA agent under “non-official cover.” If caught, such an agent has no protection whatsoever—other than her wits. 

From Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, Kate Langley is soon on the trail of Yasser Khalidi Al-Greeb, who appears to be the AQ mastermind behind the acquisition of the nuclear weapon. With her sometime ally, Pakistani Brigadier Mahmood Mahmood, Kate Langley tracks the weapon from Moscow, to Tashkent, to Karachi, where Al-Greeb’s terrorist Al Qaeda plotters get the weapon aboard ship smuggled in an intermodal container headed for the Port of Long Beach. 

This is a story as contemporary as tomorrow’s headlines, as frightening as 9/11, and as compelling and exciting as the very best espionage fiction today.


The British cantonment in Peshawar is a rare oasis of quiet tranquility, a neighborhood of stately homes on clean, broad avenues lined with regal evergreens and Himalayan cedars. The bungalow reserved by the Pakistani Army for General Officers overnighting from Islamabad stands behind a white fence on an anonymous cul-de-sac, blending seamlessly with its neighbors. A flat expanse of emerald lawn fronts the entrance, secured behind a wrought iron gate and a guardhouse. In the morning light of Monday, May 2, 2011, Brigadier Mahmood Mahmood left the bungalow and told his driver to head for the Mohabbat Khan Mosque in the walled Old City.

Mahmood Mahmood, 45, was something of a paradox. Though he embraced his Islamic faith more zealously than many of his military peers, he was also a throwback to the Army’s by-gone British colonial past. He wore a thin, roguish mustache, trimmed neatly every day, and combed his thick black hair with a part in the middle and then slicked back with pomade in the manner of General Zia-ul-Haq, once Pakistan’s president , under whom he had briefly served as a junior officer. For all these tiny vanities, Mahmood was trim and fit, with the posture and bearing of a man not to be trifled with. This morning he wore a Western business suit, grey pinstripes, instead of his uniform.

Though he usually enjoyed his visits to Peshawar, and especially the serenity of the cantonment, his thoughts were fixed on the pre-dawn telephone call from his chief of staff, Colonel Ehsan Akram, which had awakened him with news of the overnight catastrophe in Abbottabad. “The Americans have kidnapped and killed the Sheikh,” Akram had told him in clipped English. “They invaded our air-space a few hours ago with a task force of Navy SEALS in Black Hawks. Our air defenses failed completely.”

About the author

The Pakistan Conspiracy , A Novel Of Espionage is Francesca Salerno’s first work of fiction, though she has been an avid reader of spy novels since she snuck Ian Fleming’s James Bond paperbacks out of her father’s library as a child in Geneva. They helped her to learn English, she recalls. Francesca Salerno, the charming and stylish Swiss-born wife of a European diplomat, is an 18-year veteran of the travel industry who has worked as a travel consultant and advisor in three European capitals and Los Angeles. Before her marriage, she managed a major worldwide tour guide operation based in London. After the birth of her first child in the mid-1990s, she realized that planning vacations for her friends and incentive travel opportunities for her husband’s colleagues was more fun than work, and she quickly resumed her career. Françesca and her husband spent two years on an official posting in Tunis. Over a period of more than twenty years, she has traveled extensively in North Africa and the length and breadth of the Southern Mediterranean basin, lingering especially in her three favorite nations of Algeria, Morocco, and

Tunisia. Françesca and her family apportion their time between a gracious, bucolic home nestled in the vineyards of Napa Valley, California, and an elegant duplex apartment in the Via Cola di Rienzo in Rome. They take advantage of the standing offer of a family friend to make use of a lovely residence in Casablanca’s exquisite Triangle d’Or, and they continue also to visit frequently the grande luxe hotels of Tunis and Algiers, capitals where they have friends and colleagues of long standing. Françesca is an ardent swimmer and snorkeler who much prefers the warm Med to the chilly Pacific. Françesca has published two previous books on Amazon Kindle. The first was Your Best Vacation In North Africa and the second is titled A California Cookbook, both published in 2013. 

You can write to Francesca at: FrancescaSalerno21@

My 5 Star Review

This was really a very interesting book. The story was masterly crafted and well delivered, steadily paced as it unfolds on the pages; a plot that is drenched with current news, the power struggle of Al Qaeda, the death of Osama Bin Laden and the CIA's involvement. 

The characters were specialized, trained and intelligent people that made this story believable and realistic. The author's research in this topic was phenomenal, nothing was left out as she described the situation, or a plane or event. Who could have thought that the world of crates could be so interesting. Each one carefully logged as they traveled the seas, each uniquely numbered and build to carry the cargo.  The detail within this book really makes this an excellent read.

It's not filled with emotional outburst from the characters you sometimes get in other books; almost technical in its approach but yet it didn't put you off, just heightens the expectation. A captivating story of power and intelligence as the western and eastern mindsets collide, but yet cooperating to find the one person that threatens to change world economics and political views with his own agenda. 

Each approach has a different take which creates interesting scenarios to the book and interesting conversations between the characters. At times questions are raised with no obvious answers as they sift through all the possibilities, which keep you guessing at the end result. 

Terrorism is explained, the reasons for their rise and what they want to accomplish. The Pakistan culture and life intertwined to make this a great read. 

With every twist in the story more possibilities rose for the CIA to ravel, screening through what seemed to be meaningless information to find this one man with a nuclear device in his possession. Bodies that piles up, huge amounts of money that is uniquely moved with a deliberate pace.
The agents had a hard time finding the culprit that chased them around the middle east, but through corporation they got the job done. 
A great espionage story that will intrigue you from the start. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Net Promo Blitz By Missy Leigh March 26-28, 2014. Based on true events. Sex, Lies & Video chat.


Title: The Net
Author: Missy Leigh
Genre: Erotic Romance

                            TheNetKDPEbook smaller


Polite conversation and gracious manners wouldn't benefit her in a world of raunchy innuendoes and vulgar requests. Country club attitudes didn't belong in private chat rooms and back room parlors. Rated M for Mature Due to strong language and sexual content, this material is not suitable for readers under 18+ M/F, F/F, M/F/F, Bondage Divorced, unemployed and on the verge of bankruptcy, Megan Matthews is desperate for quick cash. When a friend suggests the world of video sex chat, Megan is forced to decide. Can she trade gracious, country club conversations for raunchy innuendos and vulgar requests? When you've spent your entire life playing by the rules, breaking them can be sinfully delicious.


"I didn't want to be responsible for stealing your innocence." "You can't steal something I willingly give." "I know that now, but more than anything, I wanted to shield you from me, from the industry, from worldly corruption. You're everything I'll never be, Megan." "But you're everything I want to be," she whispered. Scooting closer, she wrapped her fingers in his hair. "You're generous, kind hearted, loving, and honest. You're gentle yet aggressive, bold yet secretive. I didn't tell you how I felt about you because I didn't think I was your type." "You're too good for me." "And you for me." His heart cartwheeled. If this wasn't love, then it didn't exist.

Author Info

It's just crazy weird to talk about myself in third person so I'll keep it real with fun facts. Things you may or may not want to know:
1.) I live in small town Texas but wish the town was smaller.
2.) If you can make me laugh I'm a friend for life.
3.) I also write under another pen name.
4.) I'm in love with the idea of love but think sex is easier.
5.) I'm a Scorpio. That's me in a nutshell. No fanfare, no upsell, just me.

Missy Leigh links Facebook Email Amazon link Goodreads link



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Glenn Gould by Anne Kaufmann. The world and soundscapes of Canadian icon and music legend, Glenn Gould.


Book Title: Glenn Gould: Sketches of Solitude
Print Length: 134 pages
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing (March 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0986865796
ISBN-13: 978-0986865794
Genre: Youth, Historical

About The Book
In GLEN GOULD: SKETCHES OF SOLITUDE writer Anne Kaufmann gives us an imaginative glimpse into the world and soundscapes of Canadian icon and music legend, Glenn Gould. It is a series of vignettes or "sketches" of Gould's life based on his own recollections over the years and those of others who knew him. Artist Rudin Koci perfectly augments the poetic prose with his colorful, bold and energetic illustrations. This book will inspire young people of today to nurture their own creativity through art and music.

About The Author:

Anne Kaufmann is a former teacher librarian. She studied English Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto. Her passions include music, books, animals and creating nature journals. She has shared her life with dogs, horses, cats and birds. A nature lover, she spends many hours exploring the forests north of her home with her Border Collie, Indy. Some of her favorite childhood memories include summers at her cottage on Lake Simcoe, settling back on the family couch reading while listening to her dad's weekly String Quartet group, playing with her dogs and wishing for a horse. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

About the Illustrator:

Rudin Koci was born on January 7th, 1971, in Tirana, Albania. He holds dual citizenship, Canadian and Albanian. In 1994, Rudin graduated from Academy of Arts, Tirana, Albania with a major in Theatre Design and finished his Masters in Fine Arts in 2001-2003 at the Slade School of Art, University College, London, UK. In 2007 he earned his Bachelor of Education at Windsor University, Ontario in 2007. Rudin lives in Toronto, Ontario and shares his passion for art with his students.

Glenn Gould plays Bach


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My 5 Star Review

I received the book from the touring host for an honest review.

What can I say about this man that wasn't said already? To be honest I never heard of him before I was given this book; simply because I'm not a huge fan of classical music, but I do admire men like Bach, Mozart, Shubert and Beethoven a great deal. The music they'd left behind is still to this day, priceless; each highly talented in their own right. 
When I agreed to read this book I was intrigued with his life and went on Youtube to find some of this man's music, just to have the experience of listening to this great pianist. 
There is no way that you can misjudge him for a normal person; he's a genius. Brilliant in his interpretation of the legendary men's music. Becoming a legend in his own right as he stamped his signature on these famous works and left an undeniable impression of himself without the pompous arrogant manners of men. 
This book gives you a better understanding of the man behind the legend; what made him tick; what was his motivation and drive in life; his passion for music that played such a major role in his entire life. 
Music was instilled into him from before he was born. He could recognize and discern the pitch of a musical note at the age of three. In my book that's more than impressive.
He was remarkable on stage and from it. Even when his stage mannerisms were criticized he remained true to his art and his heart, which I admired greatly. Nothing could move him to do anything he wasn't comfortable with. This'd led to many disgruntled people but yet they all'd to agree he's above the norm when he played. His habits caused him to be lonely most of his life with only one confidant that he'd freely talk to, his cousin Jessie. Although labeled as a eccentric he remained true to himself, gracious in his performances and attitude to all people. 
Like most men and women he loved speed but always had to be careful due to the immensity of his talent. His love for animals especially dogs were evident throughout his life; trusted companions that he loved dearly. I loved the art that was placed into the book to emphasis his love for them.
As a novas I must say I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves music and have the desire to know more about this legend.
A great tribute to a great talent.

Tour Schedule

March 24 Empowered to Prosper

March 24 Genuine Jenn

March 25 Sweetbooks

March 26 Book For Book Lovers Blog

March 26 Inspire to Read

March 26 Deal Sharing Aunt

March 26 All That Buzz Reviews

March 27 Reviews by Crystal

March 28 The Spotlight

March 31 A Book Lover’s Retreat

March 31 My Devotional Thoughts

April 1 Manic Reader

April 3 Cat’s Bookish Blog

April 4 In Another World

Hosted by: Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tour

Author Tour Schedule:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Today I have an interesting Book Blast. The Fortune Cafe, a Novel in three parts. Plus a chance to win a Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

                                            Fortune Cafe
The Fortune Café
a novel in three parts

MIS-FORTUNE: Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café will do anything to avoid opening a fortune cookie. Each fortune is rumored to somehow magically come true. Being a girl grounded in reality, she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. But when trying to prevent a food fight at the café, Emma accidently cracks open a fortune cookie: “Look around, love is trying to catch you.” If there is one thing that Harrison, her former best friend in high school is good at, it’s catching her unaware.   LOVE, NOT LUCK: Lucy has always been lucky . . . until her parents meet her fiancé’s parents at a disastrous lunch at The Fortune Café, and she breaks her lucky jade necklace. Even worse, her fortune cookie reveals that “True love is for the brave, not the lucky.” How is she supposed to read that? She’s always considered it lucky how she met her fiancé. But after breaking her necklace, Lucy’s luck takes a dive. And when her fiancé dumps her, the only person she can turn to is Carter, the unluckiest guy she knows.   TAKEOUT: Stella is content in her new life of taking over her mom’s jewelry shop. No more boyfriend to worry about, and as long as she stays busy, she doesn’t have to dwell on her non-existent love life. When Evan comes into the shop with his young daughter, Stella is charmed. But she is reluctant to complicate her straightforward life, so when she reads her fortune after ordering takeout from The Fortune Café, she completely ignores it. After all, how can a fortune as vague as “Do the thing you fear and love is certain,” apply to her?

About the Authors

Julie Wright started her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over a dozen books since then, is a Whitney Award winner, and feels she’s finally getting the hang of this writing gig. She enjoys speaking to writing groups, youth groups, and schools. She loves reading, eating writing, hiking, playing on the beach with her kids, and snuggling with her husband to watch movies. Julie’s favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner. She hates mayonnaise, but has a healthy respect for ice cream.


Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a sometime blogger who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies and pines after beautiful shoes.



Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical thrillers under the pen name H.B. Moore, her latest is Finding Sheba. Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction. She’s the co-author of The Newport Ladies Book Club series. Other women’s novels include Heart of the Ocean, The Fortune Café, the Aliso Creek Series, and the Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology Series.

Fortune Cafe Tour

                                                       book blast button

   Blast Giveaway

 $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/18/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary.
You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014

Model Position by Kitsy Clare. With Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway.

Tips for Writing New Adult Lit
By Kitsy Clare

I’ve written young adult novels, even award winning ones, so I wondered how much harder it could be to write new adult lit? It seems like a natural extension of the YA genre—following the teens we love to write about into their heady twenties, with all of the challenges that come with moving away from home and the drama of first long-term loves.

Well, it’s yes . . . and no to the idea of new adult being simply an extension of YA. Sure, NA lit is geared toward 18 to 26 year-olds. But we’re not the same people in our twenties that we were as teens. We have new concerns such as finding an apartment, a job and a career path that takes us in fresh, uncharted directions. Hopefully we have at least a little more maturity than at seventeen. J

I wanted to do the genre justice, so I read and studied up. I spent lots of time piling through my own notable twenty-something experiences: crap jobs, weird boyfriends and hot dates; exciting trips; apartments furnished with castoffs in marginal (or trendy) neighborhoods, and a perverted boss who drove me to quit that job and land a better gig.

So far in my new adult writing adventures I’ve learned a few things, which I’ll share for anyone wanting to explore the genre. It’s not just about the romance. You can’t only write a string of sizzling sex scenes. You also need a strong plot peppered with spicy characters. Yes, you need a swoonworthy love interest, but not a clichéd type who’s been done a zillion other times. Granted it is about the two leads getting to know each other, the dating or working together—the mounting sexual tension. But we ladies enjoy the wooing more than just the banging-yes?

The NA saga must well written, with engaging turns of phrase and lyrical lines. Vary word usage please; don’t repeat the same phrases, such as “his lips curled up” or “her breath hitched” over and over ad nauseum. Keep readers turning pages not only for your unexpected plots twists, but also for your snappy dialog and sensual prose.

I found that there’s no one right new adult category. New adult fantasy, thrillers and realistic contemporary stories are equally popular. The characters don’t necessarily have to be troubled or “broken” though many compelling stories have this. Characters can also be funny, ruthless or as filthy rich as a movie star. They can be cowgirls living on a ranch or city dwellers living in converted lofts. And there must be a barrier that keeps them apart, until later. It could be work-related competition, an unreliable old boyfriend who comes back and needs to win over his long-lost love, or anything that the leads must push through to be together.

Start from what you’ve experienced, writing about the type of guys who you always found hot! For me, it begins in the big city, my city—Manhattan—and the art world I knew so well, even as a twenty-something. The characters in my NA romance novella, Model Position are slightly broken. They’re also ambitious, artistic, and looking for love, maybe in all the wrong places!

Book title: Model Position
Author: Kitsy Clare
Genre: new adult contemporary romance novella
Release date: February 20, 2014
Publisher: Inkspell


In Manhattan’s glitzy gallery scene love and art are perilous games.
Will Sienna dare to play?

All too soon, artist Sienna Karr will graduate art school and be flung out into Manhattan’s glamorous but cutthroat gallery scene. Luckily, she’s just met Dave Hightower, heir to the hippest gallery ever. He’s asked her on a date, and offered to introduce her to the gallery owner, his intimidating aunt Lydia. Sienna’s excited! Now she’ll be able to climb the ranks and make those all-important art connections.

Trouble is, she’s falling hard for the sexy live drawing model, Erik, whose sizzling green eyes seem to pierce right into her soul. Dare she risk losing those potential art contacts for love? Erik insists that Sienna is a real talent and her painting stands out above all the others. But she worries that he whispers this come-on line to every pretty art student who flocks around him during breaks. And her friends worry, is Erik up to her pay grade? What kind of guy chooses modeling for a living? Who is he, really? Her choice may be her ruin—or not—but she must decide fast. Everything in Sienna’s super-organized life is turning to terrifying yet sweet chaos.

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Author/Book Links:

Blurbs in praise of the book:

"Kitsy Clare paints a provocative picture with words - a sexy montage of art, beauty, lust and love as colorful as any artist’s canvas."  -Share my Destiny, romance book blogger

"A captivating and sensual work of art!" -Jaycee DeLorenzo, author of The Truths About Dating and Mating

“Model Position is sexy, suspenseful and oh, so hard to put down. Kitsy Clare mixes a skillful, fast-moving story as Sienna, a talented but uptight art student takes on the trendy New York art scene.  She’s caught between the pull of ambition and the possibility of steamy, but true-blue love in the form of Erik, a delicious male model with no connections.  Or is he true?  And is Erik really all he seems to be?”
-Helen Mallon, author of Indecent Exposure & other short stories;
Book Reviewer, Philadelphia Inquirer


Excerpt #1:

I prop my canvas on the easel and squeeze oil paints onto my palette. I’ve been looking forward to this last new class of spring semester. It’s so different from what I normally do: computer art—neat, digital prints. But oil paint is buttery and sexy, with a warm pinesap aroma that I could inhale all day. I make sure my paints are in a perfect color-spectrum line, from cadmium yellow and permanent rose, all the way to the darkest ultramarine blue.
I’m like that. At home my shoes are arranged from lowest to spikiest heel, and the dresses in my closet are color coordinated. Order is good. Chaos is scary. I’ve known that since my mom went through her third divorce. Three hubbys done in by her sinkfuls of dirty dishes, mountains of wrinkled clothes, and hoarded bags of dresses from shopping sprees she couldn’t afford! No mess in my life. Not happening. You could eat off my apartment floor.
So far in class we’ve only done charcoal drawings, so oils will be an interesting change. Though I don’t have high hopes for today’s model. The live models have been a motley crew: a guy in a clown suit and Medieval court jester’s hat, a dowdy lady in a diaphanous gown, and a skeletal girl in a bikini who bit her nails and paced during breaks.
Where are all the sexy male muses?
“Hey, Sienna!” Dave Hightower saunters in and chooses the easel next to me. He hands me a steamy cappuccino.
“For me? Thanks, Dave.” This is why I like Dave. Well, that and his passion for expensive Italian sweaters, leather dress shoes, tight black denims, and the body to work them. I sip my drink and look around at the other guys in class, all dressed in the arty grad-school uniform of paint-spattered jeans and T-shirts with slogans. I shake my head and return to the more pleasant sight of the well-dressed man next to me, who’s flashing me an array of professionally whitened teeth. I can’t help but admire Dave’s perfectly coiffed black hair, longish but combed back neatly. He has chiseled features and a strong brow, as if he’s carved out of marble. Intimidating, really. I’ve never dated a guy as put together as Dave.
But I feel like I should.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a snob. Dressing like a slob is fine for freshmen, but we’re in our twenties now.
This summer after I graduate, I’ll be pounding the pavement, searching for a lucrative arty job to replace my part-time gig retouching perfume ads for Chanel. Artists have to present well in the real world. They have to pay their car loans, credit cards, and apartment rents like anyone else.
Dave Hightower catches me admiring him and grins. “Ready for our date later?”
I just met him two weeks ago, and he asked me out during our last class. I’m looking forward to it and to getting to know him—and his family’s gallery—better.
“Sure, where are we going?”
“I’ll take you over to Studio Hightower, my aunt’s gallery,” Dave suggests offhandedly, as if I am not already completely aware and awed. It’s been all Merry, Harper, and I have talked about since we found out Dave was in this class. My two best friends here share charcoal sticks, drawing paper, and essential buzz. “There’s a show at Hightower you’ll like,” adds Dave, “of wildly painted neon environ-scapes.”
I nod. Sounds off-putting. I prefer the order of photorealism and crisp digital art, but I keep my mouth shut. After all, it’s Dave Hightower.
Anyone who has talent and ambition would kill for a solo show in Studio Hightower. It’s on West Twenty-Second Street in the heart of Chelsea, the hottest gallery district in Manhattan.
“Hey, always up for new art,” I say. “I like wild art done by a loose hand.”
“Manually manipulated is the way to go,” Dave says suggestively as he waggles his eyebrows and puts his fingers into plastic gloves.
Plastic gloves for painting? Germaphobe. I’m a clean freak, and even I don’t do that. I quickly ease my judgmental cringe into a fetching grin as I search for a funny comeback. “I wonder who our next model will be. Do you think Mr. Court Jester will make a repeat appearance?”
“I’m betting on Nightgown Lady.” Dave squeezes out his last color with an oozy splot.
The teacher, a soft-spoken man in faded corduroys and wire glasses, announces that the model will be out momentarily. From across the room, I exchange anticipatory glances with my friends, Harper and Merry, and pantomime a fake drum roll. They snicker and do drum rolls back. The class turns its attention to the small stage in front of our easels. It’s been set up with risers and a red velvet curtain, as if it’s a Broadway production.
Then the model emerges, and I almost spill my cappuccino on Dave’s shoes.
The sexiest male muse I’ve ever laid eyes on pads out, all oiled coordination and sleek muscles. He’s at least six-four, and every chest muscle ripples and cuts in the right place. His hair’s sandy and shaggy, and his jaw is square and resolute with a gold-dusted five-o’clock shadow. But it’s his eyes that strike me most; they’re emerald green with a slight upward slant toward each cheekbone, as if he hiked all the way here from a northern land of sun and wind.

Author Bio: 

When Kitsy Clare isn’t creating romances on her Mac Air, she teaches writing workshops. She also loves to draw, travel, read spicy romance, sci-fi and all kinds of thrillers. She divides her time between New York City and her Catskills studio, where she enjoys the sounds of birds, bullfrogs and the random coyote. 

She also writes young adult fiction as Catherine Stine. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One won finalist spots in both YA and Science Fiction in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards, and was an Indie Reader Approved notable book. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Ruby’s Fire, the new companion novel to Fireseed One, is receiving high praise from reviewers. She’s a member of RWA, SCBWI and SFWA. She loves her readers and enjoys hearing from them.

Giveaway Information
              2 Art of Love wristlet bags (US & Canada)
One Kindle with built in Wi-Fi plus 5W USB Charger (US/Can)
              Ebook bundle of Ruby’s Fire and Fireseed One (INT)
              $50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
              1 ebook of Model Position (INT)