Friday, October 31, 2014

Coming soon, Book 3 of In The Moments series - In the Fairytale

Coming soon,
Book 3 of In The Moments series
** In the Fairytale **

Title: In The Fairytale (In The Moments #3)

Author: Joan Duszynski

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: December 4, 2014

Cover Design: Once Upon A Time Covers


In Every fairytale there's anger, hurt, and love. For Raleigh Jefferson her fairytale is no different.

Since she was a little girl, watching Snow White meet her prince as she frolicked through the forest, the idea of Happily Ever After was embedded in Raleigh's mind. Her heart skipped a beat over the Beast's love of Belle, and she knew she'd swim the ocean to save her black haired prince from drowning, even without a mermaid tail. Destiny and forever. She wouldn't settle for anything less.

She wasn't looking for a man to frolic in the forest for her. If she were to actually witness such a thing she'd probably smack the man for acting a fool. But she did want her own Cinderella story. She wanted to glide down the aisle in her own glass slippers toward the man she loved, the one who returned that love unconditionally.

She never knew how hard this dream of hers would be until she met Him. Will the truth of the world around her and the pain that can be carried in someone's heart be too much to handle, or can Raleigh find a way to truly live... In The Fairytale?

In The Stars
(In The Moments Book #1)

Caroline Reyes is starting her second year of college nothing like the first. Following a car accident over the summer with her best friend Raleigh she is now stuck with a bitch for a roommate as Raleigh recovers at home.

One Saturday morning starts off with a bang, literally at Caroline's door and leads to her needing to comfort a very distraught stranger. This brings Caroline into her first run in with Eric. She feels completely lust driven at just the sight of him, even though his words just piss her off. She can't shake the sensations running thru her though even after their brief meeting is over. Then comes Kyle and he is determined to get to know Caroline better and she feels the same way dismissing her earlier run in as just crazy hormones.

Now she is left with decisions having to be made and knowing someone is going to get hurt in the process. That someone could be her alone.

Caroline has always looked into the stars for comfort and reassurance since she was a little girl with her Daddy. Now she is looking up into them praying for the right answers and hoping they can help her along with her Daddy who is amongst them now.

Buy The Book

In the Now
(In The Moments Book #2)

When the heartache of what Tara Wright believed was her love and life plan with her high school sweetheart follows her into a new year. Tara begins to rely on the three new and beautiful friendships that came compellingly into her life.

Caroline, easily becoming the perfect best friend for Tara. Thru Caroline she receives the encouragingly, witty Raleigh as a new found friend as well. Meeting Adam at a time where she needs to rediscover herself has her scared and confused. Every moment spent with him has her head swirling and her stubborn walls weakening.

Adam is the man that can make her laugh, give her support, and make her heart skip a beat every time he comes into view. He's everything Tara needs to make her way back out of her stubborn shell of fear she's closed herself into.

Finally starting to spend more time together and watching Adam in his realm of adrenaline induced racing at the Motocross has Tara's weakening walls finally crumbling to the ground and singeing in the heat Adam brings to her.

Has it all just been a crazy ride to recognize true love? Can Adam fix Tara's broken heart and make her believe that their love is In The Now?

Buy The Book

About The Author

Joan Duszynski lives in Virginia with her husband and their three kids. Woods surround her home and she loves the privacy and quiet it brings. She wasn’t always a reader, so that moment when she picked up a book and found herself engrossed in its pages and unable to put it down will never be forgotten. It eventually led her to want to try and write and share stories of her own, in hopes that others will find themselves reading and getting lost inside of them. Thanks can’t be expressed enough for your time and interest. Please feel free to connect with the author either through Email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Stalk The Author

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrating the release of Shark Out of Water by DelSheree Gladden

Celebrating the Release of
Shark Out of Water
Date Shark Series (Book 2)
by DelSheree Gladden

Guy Saint Laurent is too busy cursing his sister for roping him into taking over Eli's Date Shark business to prepare himself for the slew of bizarre women he's about to get involved with. This is the last venture he intended to take on, but somehow he's just become Chicago's newest, most reluctant Date Shark. 

On top of dealing with bug-toting, mothering, obsessive women, Guy faces personal tragedy that changes his outlook on life, whether he wants it to or not. He's not sure what it is about Charlotte Brooks that draws him in, but getting her off his mind after a brief encounter proves impossible. 

As Charlotte tries to help Guy deal with his loss, he begins to get the impression she's hiding something from him. He knows he could simply walk away, continue as he always has, but he suspects whatever she's hiding, she won't be able to face it alone. 

Charlotte is the one woman who can capture his attention, but she may also be the one woman capable of breaking him.

Charlotte was breathless when he pulled back, and the plaintive expression on her face killed him, but he had accomplished his goal. He gestured to the IV hooked to her arm and Charlotte stared at it in surprise. “I didn’t even feel it!”
“I told you I could distract you.”
“Damn near distracted me, too,” the nurse muttered. 


Vance was smart enough to see signs that Guy was now on the defensive. He redirected, asking, “Tell me about Charlotte. Why are you having deep conversations with her instead of flirting and seducing her back to your flat?”
Sulking like a child, Guy muttered, “Je ne sais pas.”
“You don’t know?” That seemed to truly surprise Vance. “Well, I suggest you find out.”
“What?” Guy snapped. “That is your advice to me? Find out?”
Vance nodded. “Oui, mon ami. Find out why Charlotte has done what it has taken me years and years to do. Why let down your barrier between public and private for someone you barely know when I had to practically force you to do the same thing today.”
“Why?” Vance repeated. “Because you need to know. You won’t stop obsessing about her until you do.”
Obsédé? Who says I am obsessing over her?”
Vance folded his arms across his chest. “She is in your thoughts so much that you mentioned her name when you clearly had no intention of revealing her to me.” Leaning forward, he looked at his friend seriously. “Guy, I have known you for a long time. You have surprised me today, but I know how you can be like a dog with a bone. You’ll drive yourself crazy wondering what it is about Charlotte that got past your defenses until it either drives you crazy or you figure it out. Given the line of work we’re in, I’d suggest figuring it out.”
“I thought I was here to talk about Patricia,” Guy grumbled.
Leaning back with a smirk, Vance said, “We are. Just had to find something you wanted to talk about even less to spur you on, apparently.” He shook his head when Guy rolled his eyes. “Something else is bothering you when it comes to Patricia. The funeral is tomorrow. You’re avoiding talking about it. Why?”
Guy did not respond right away. His breathing escalated to the point that Vance reached forward and put a hand on his shoulder. “Her parents… they came to see me at the hospital.”
“How did they react?”
Shaking his head, he still struggled to understand their reaction. Instead of answering Vance’s new question, he answered the original one. “They requested I stand as a pallbearer.” His head fell into his hands. “I don’t know if I can. It is too difficult.”
“It will undoubtedly be difficult,” Vance said with compassion, “but it is difficult for Patricia’s parents as well. They see you as the one person who truly tried to help her. I think it comforts them to think of you being there to help her on this one last transition.”
“I don’t know if I can do this for them.”
Vance squeezed Guy’s shoulder. “You don’t have to if it is too much.”
“Not doing it feels like a betrayal of Patricia.”
“Guy, don’t make this about Patricia or her parents. What do you feel comfortable with and how do you want to say goodbye to Patricia?”
That was not an easy question. Guy sank back into the chair. Vance waited with the patience of a saint as Guy forced himself to confront the answers. He had been through so much with Patricia, watched her move forward only to fall so far again and again. She never stopped trying, and he never stopped trying to help her. “I want to help her this one last time,” Guy said finally.
“Then call Patricia’s parents when you get home and tell them you’ll be there.”
Feeling more at peace, Guy nodded.
“Stephanie and I will be there as well.” Vance held his friend’s gaze for a moment longer, making sure he knew he did not have to face the funeral alone. When Guy’s shoulders relaxed, Vance sat back. “Now why don’t you tell me about the day you met Patricia?”
As Guy began recounting the first time Patricia came into the crisis center wanting to talk about everything from the side effects of the medications she was taking to how her puppy would not stop peeing on her kitchen floor, his thoughts returned to Vance’s earlier challenge. Patricia had struck a chord with him, and so had Charlotte, in surprisingly similar ways. He understood why he has connected with Patricia, a struggling and confused young woman, but Charlotte was more of a mystery. What would it take to find out why Charlotte had affected him so much? 

Date Shark (Book 1)


DelSheree Gladden
DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Reporters/reviewers wanted, byline given, no pay

Hello!  I'm Jacqueline Driggers, and I'm looking for some people interested in writing for my blogs.  Here's the info:

Recipes, cooking, and food
blog link --
facebook page --
>>>> Reviewer wanted for this blog <<<<  byline given, no pay
I'm looking for someone to do cookbook reviews for this blog. The link below is to Amazon's list of the top 100 free cookbooks.
If you're interested and want to know more, use the contact form link at the bottom of the article.
Please note - you would need to be able to fill out online forms and have at least an ereader app on your computer.

The Book News Journal
blog link --
facebook page --
>>>> reviewer/reporter wanted for this blog <<<< byline given, no pay
Hello! I'm Jacqueline, owner of this blog. I'm looking for someone to do posts for this blog. Check out the about for this page to know the subject.  If you're interested and want to know more, use the contact link at the bottom of this article.
Please note - this blog does not review fictional books, and the only books you would be reviewing would be books on the subjects of writing, publishing, and promoting books.  So you would need some knowledge of this topic.

If you're interested in either of these, please use my contact form below, and I'll get back with you.  Please include your facebook profile link to simplify my contacting you.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sale alert on the Quidell Brothers series by Kris Austen Radcliffe

Author Kris Austen Radcliffe has published a great romance series, the Quidell Brothers series, and she's going to be putting these books on sale.

I mean, what's better than a great romance novel on sale.  Check out the books in the series:

Thomas's Muse
As an undergrad, Sammie Singleton became the muse of an artist she didn't know. But the connection vanished, and now Sammie drowns in the colorless drudgery of corporate America. Lost and abandoned, Sammie longs for the scent of paints, the vibrancy of reds, the soft stroking of a feather brush...

Her world flashes alive the moment she meets Thomas Quidell. Sammie quickly realizes the brilliant and talented Tom is her long-lost artist -- and the man she's been fantasizing about all these years.

Tom's touch awakens needs Sammie thought long dead. When he offers a lifeline out of her soul-killing life, Sammie doubts pull her under. Is she strong enough to find her way back to love?

Free October 20-24, 2014
Get it on Amazon
Get it on Amazon UK

Daniel's Fire
The blaze that destroyed Daniel Quidell's firefighting career scarred more than his body. Court cases, therapy, and five pins in his bones later, he's a divorced single father working himself ragged to provide a good life for his son. But the strain leaves him exhausted--and overwhelmed.

Until Camille Frasier walks into his life.

Beautiful and empathic, Camille soothes Dan's mind and eases the pains of his body. But she desires more than a gentle hand to help her body to find its fire. And she hopes Dan will give her what she needs.

But some wounds don't heal correctly. And no matter how much heat Camille offers, Dan feels trapped inside the cold box of his past. Is he strong enough to find his way out?

On sale for $0.99 from Oct. 24-26,
and on sale for $1.99 from Oct. 27-29
Get it on Amazon
Get it on Amazon UK

Robert's Soul
Robert Quidell understands the side effects of his bad boy behavior: No bonds. No commitment. No connection. He gives his goddesses one night of wish fulfillment and supernova sex. But he always wakes up alone.

Isolde Wellington understands the life of a photographer: She's outside. Always moving. Always documenting the world. She creates brilliant, soul-melting photos. But she, too, always wakes up alone.

Graduate school promises Rob the opportunity to shed his bad boy reputation. For Isa, the opportunity to crash in her brother's apartment offers a moment of stability.

They never expected to find each other.

But connection means sacrifice. Commitment-free lives offer ease--but no touch. No brilliantly fulfilled wishes. Will Rob and Isa fall into their old ways again, or will they fight for their souls' desires?

On sale for $0.99 from Oct. 27-29
and on sale for $1.99 from Oct. 30-Nov. 3
Get it on Amazon
Get it on Amazon UK

Friday, October 17, 2014

Start your Christmas reading here!

Are you like me?  When it gets towards the Christmas holiday season, do you love indulging in all those holiday movies and books?  Well if you do, then I have a book for you to tuck away for your seasonal reading.

It's a fabulous box set particularly for Christmas.  The title of it is, Ten Christmas Brides, and it's chock full of books by some fabulous authors.

Check out the list:
Ruth Cardello 
Nina Bruhns 
Donna Fasano 
Rebecca York 
Helen Scott Taylor 
Patrice Wilton 
Mona Risk 
Annie Jones 
Alicia Street  
Mimi Barbour 

Here's what you can find inside:

Recipe for Love by Ruth Cardello, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.
All Madison Andrade wants for Christmas is a place to hide and she finds it in the home of a lusty French chef. Richard D'Argenson's recipes are famous, but they lack one necessary ingredient--love. Spend a steamy holiday with this unlikely couple and fall in love -Andrade style.

Must Love Santa by Nina Bruhns, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.
Detective Nick Palladin just needs to close one last case in Vice--going undercover as Santa--before getting his Christmas transfer to the K-9 Unit. But when a cute little fluffball and the knockout holding her leash stumble into the op and are attacked, Santa and his faithful dog come running to the rescue!

An Almost Perfect Christmas by Donna Fasano, USA Today bestselling author.
Aaron Chase is desperate to give his daughter a perfect Christmas and elicits the help of Pediatric Nurse Christy Cooper to do it. When Aaron's impish eight-year-old talks them into a make-believe wedding, can the magic of Christmas make the vows stick?

Christmas Captive (The Decorah Security Series) by Rebecca York, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.
How did hard-driving businessman Jordan Campbell end up in a coma? And can nurse Hannah Andrews use her psychic talent to connect with him and trap his would-be killer? As she and Jordan work together, she knows she's putting her own life--and her heart--at risk.

The Army Doctor's Honeymoon Baby (The Army Doctor's Series) by Helen Scott Taylor, USA Today bestselling author.
Army doctor, Blair Mackenzie, secretly loves his childhood friend, Lorna, and protects her in the African refugee camp where they work. Lorna depends on Blair--he's her best friend, the only man she's ever loved. She longs to admit her feelings but a family secret from their past prevents her.

Kiss Me Santa by Patrice Wilton, National bestselling author.
Widowed schoolteacher, Cindy Harris meets Brad Williams--posing as Santa--when she takes her young son to the mall. Imagine her surprise when he shows up as the hot-shot realtor selling her family home. Sparks fly between them. Can the magic of Christmas give them the best gift of all -- love?

An Unusual Christmas by Mona Risk, USA Today bestselling author.
Running away from Christmas celebrations and the demons of her past, Dr. Jillian has dedicated her life to saving third-world children. In Belarus, a baby girl, four little boys, and a handsome doctor may teach her the true meaning of Christmas.

A Cowboy for Christmas by Annie Jones, Award-winning and National bestselling author.
A single mom who has pinned all her hopes on reviving a popular tourist dude ranch gets a Christmas surprise that may change everything when her son asks Santa for a new dad. And that very night a Christmas-skipping cowboy shows up at their door.

The Christmas Honeymoon by Alicia Street, Award-winning and National bestselling author.
Quiet librarian Serena always loved Christmas, until she was jilted before her December wedding. A year later, while trying to rekindle her tarnished holiday spirit, she meets Damien, handsome daredevil--and a total Scrooge. Their unlikely mutual attraction brings on a challenge that leads to one very romantic Christmas.

She's Not You by Mimi Barbour, National bestselling author.
Sick and widowed, running scared from a man who insists she belongs to him, Belle is forced to let the charmer down the hall help out. Not just for her sake, but it's Christmas, she's in trouble and her little girl has decided their sympathetic neighbor is her special hero.

Now all you need to know is where you can get it.  Well here's the links:

Get it on Amazon

Get it on itunes

Get it on Barnes & Noble

Also, you can visit the facebook event and their facebook page:

Ten Christmas Brides facebook event
Ten Christmas Brides facebook page

Watch for my review coming soon in The Leisure Zone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Have you ever wanted to dance with a cowboy?

Well, you can read about it, even if you can't actually dance with one.  Check out this new release from author Sandi Whipple:

Dancing With A Cowboy
by Sandi Whipple

Lucy Baumgardner, working partner in a law firm in Philadelphia, works too hard. So says the senior partner, who just happens to be her father. When she's forced to take a two week hiatus, she assumes two weeks of pedicures, massages, and poolside relaxation with a glass of wine won't kill her. But things aren't always what one expects.    

To her horror, city girl Lucy ends up stuck on a working ranch with no phones, cell service, or Wifi. Her acute shock dictates she will NOT play cowgirl for two weeks. Making matters worse, Stace Levin, the very handsome owner/operator, does nothing to make things easy for her. Her days are filled with manual labor, and one mishap after another amuses Stace to no end. In fact, he finds her not only funny, but smart, stubborn, and very beautiful.    

Knowing it's for only two weeks, Lucy succumbs to the ranch lifestyle. Every day something happens to change her mind about the good looking cowboy, Stace. One day he's a pompous ass, and the next, well...

Those inviting arms, and his generous warm lips and mouth can sure as hell change one’s mind about the guy.

 When Lucy's hiatus comes to an end, and she gets involved in a legal mess of two other ranch guests that may have harrowing consequences for Stace, will she lend her expertise to rescue Stace and save the ranch; or will she turn up the music?

270 pages ~ 51,000 Words
Written: June, 2014  ~  Published: October 2014

Reviews are in:

5 of 5 Stars 
Dancing With A Cowboy  
Ann-maree Coyte 
September 22, 2014
I was given a free pre-release copy of Dancing With A Cowboy in exchange for an honest review. I don’t care for westerns and wasn’t sure about this book. But I read the author’s other two and enjoyed them immensely. When I started reading this one and realized it wasn’t a western, I was surprised and happy that I was given a chance to read it. Lucy, a lawyer from Philadelphia, who works like a dog, gets locked out of her office and has to take a two week vacation. It was bought and paid for by her Dad, who’s also her boss. She’s expecting to go to a resort, but winds up at a kind of dude ranch. First, she’s riding in a small airplane and scared to death, but it’s the only way to get to the ranch. Her description of the plane nearly sent me over the edge in laughter. She thought her vacation had gone downhill when she arrived. But it gets worse for her. The ranch owner, whose name is Stace, though he’s attracted to Lucy, isn’t making things easy for her. She’s smart though, and figures out how to cope. She’s quick witted, and does and says some hilarious things. I laughed through the entire first half of the book. At times, I had tears from laughing so hard. Some of Lucy’s experiences while working on the ranch are creative, realistic and well written. I even pictured them happening to me. When all the people staying at the ranch go on a four day cattle drive, Stace really starts paying attention to Lucy. They take long walks in the evenings and do a lot of talking and start getting to know each other. When two men at the ranch start acting strange and a legal problem surfaces, Lucy, as an attorney, helps Stace . I will say, after Lucy managed to fix the problem for Stace, I was shocked when she went back to Pennsylvania. I even counted to see how many pages were left to read because I couldn’t believe it. But once she’s back home, she gets a package. I cried when she opened it! The ending is beautiful and heartwarming. I loved the characters and I loved the story. It’s beautiful and heartwarming. Months from now I’ll read this again. It was an excellent read. I’ll be watching for Sandi’s next book.

5 of 5 stars 
Dancing with a Cowboy 
Donna Gott review
October 13, 2014 
Lucy Baumgardner had worked very hard for her partnership in her father’s law firm. She felt that she had to prove that she was good enough so she worked many, many nights and most Saturdays. Her father Gerald appreciated his daughter but felt that she was missing out on a lot and in fact was working really hard to kill herself with work. On her current case her father gave her another ultimatum that she would indeed take 2 weeks off at the expense of the law firm if she won. Arriving back at the office after winning Lucy tried to enter her office to no avail. Fuming she confronted her father, he handed her an envelope with all the details of her forced hiatus, rather than vacation. Reaching into the envelope she pulled out the tickets and a brochure. On the top it read: Retreat. Get away from it all. She barely saw the rest, keeping the ticket and itinerary and dropped the rest on the floor. She was speechless, but she realized that he was going to force the issue. Looking up she said, “Well, I suppose I have no other choice. I will have to just force myself to deal with two weeks of being pampered.” Leaving the room she told her father that she would never forgive him. As she left, she heard him say, yes you will. Let’s just say that Lucy should have taken the time to read the rest of the paperwork as this would be a vacation of a life time. What did I like? Having a background in ranching, I’m very familiar with the life, the work that goes on without the luxury of holidays or weekends off. It’s hard but a very enriching life style for those who can stick it out. Loving the animals and even taking pride in the work accomplished. Knowing your roots go back for 100’s of years working the soil and animals. This book touches on those values that have been sorely missed in this day in time. The characters were so loveable with touches of vulnerability that make them real. I loved the dialog, especially the one about the orchestra and the one about "This must be where God sleeps". The story line is developed in so many ways that it touched my heart.What did I dislike? In the book nothing, but in real life the type of people that think that they can just use the system and get what they want without the value of hard work. It’s sad to think that these people cannot understand what it means to appreciate the beauty of the land and the offerings that it will give you if you just apply yourself to it. Of course, that not only applies to this type of living but all in general. What will you like? First and foremost a book that will capture your heart. A story line that has been thoroughly been researched down to the smallest details. The descriptions of the land and buildings will come alive in your mind along with the characters. A very real experience in living the life of a rancher and in the most vivid way, a very romantic love story that will remain in your mind for a very long time. And last but certainly not least another book that will be added to your “To Be Read” list, to be read over and over again. Our country was built on these values spoken of in this book and if you want to remind yourself what they were just pick up this book and read. It will jump out to you on every page. Happy reading, I know I did!

About the author (from her site):
I’ve always maintained my work ethic with a strong emphasis on professionalism. But now that I’m retired, I have surprisingly new desires. I want to acquire skills and abilities in the written word. I consider engaging in putting my imagination into words for others to read as time well spent. My friends, and the readers of my work are important to me.

And don’t we all just love talking about ourselves?  So what do I tell you about me?  I have to admit, I’m much better at answering questions.  I’ll give a little info here, and if you want more, just click above on “Contact Me”, send me an e-mail, and I’ll shoot you an answer.

Though I was born in Waukegan, Illinois, with the exception of time spent in the military as an Air Traffic Controller, I spent most of my teen and adult years in the San Francisco Bay area.

In June 2000, I bought my house on the internet, packed up a 25 foot U-haul, and moved to a small town in North Dakota.  As a California girl, all my friends said I'd be back after one winter!  Fortunately, they're still my friends as they didn't hold their breath!  My only mistake was not making the move 30 years ago.

A few years ago, in 2007 to be exact, after major surgery, I was in a wheelchair for eleven weeks, and wow, was I bored! I was reading two, and sometimes three Romance novels a day.  I shared my disappointment with a friend regarding a novel I read, and she suggested I write my own. 

So, I wrote "Loving Adonis", and stuck it in a drawer.  A few months later I wrote "Twisted Engagement", and it too ended up in a drawer.

Some time later, (and we're talking years here, not months) I took "Loving Adonis" out of the drawer and worked on it again.  When I asked a few friends to read it, you can't imagine my shock when I was asked how long before my next novel would be ready.  So, after some fine tuning, "Loving Adonis" and "Twisted Engagement" are available for everyone to enjoy, in both paperback and ebook. And soon, they'll be available in audio book format!

I now find myself enjoying just the thought of writing.  Well... almost as much as reading.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book Spotlight - The Roche Hotel by Mysti Parker

About the book:
After her husband ditches her for a blonde actress wannabe, Jane Seymour needs a job that pays the rent. The struggling Roche Hotel needs a miracle. With the former owner’s wife butting her nose into the renovations and new owners who are in way over their heads, Jane may be the answer to their prayers. Sure, she can handle The Roche Hotel’s quirky staff. But, can this skittish divorcee keep it all together when handsome Henry the Donut Guy makes his first delivery? This collection of serial fiction stories is a Tudorific romantic comedy that will leave you laughing out loud and hungry for more.

Preorder it here

Join the facebook event

Excerpt from the book:
Excerpt from Episode 2:

By 3:00 AM, I finally learn enough Sasquatch language from Jerry to muddle through the audits until all the figures add up. He wanders off somewhere to do whatever it is he does. I dust things that don’t need dusting and clean the leaves on the silk plants in the lobby until 5:00 AM, when Jerry unlocks the front doors. I go back to sit at the office desk with a cup of coffee, resting my head in one hand. Surely someone would soon wake up to check out or ask for toothpaste or even a stick of gum for all I care.
My eyelids feel so heavy...
I’m startled awake and bump my coffee with my elbow. A brown pool of cold Folgers and congealed half-n-half flows across the audit sheets. “Crap.”
The man at the front desk laughs. “Sorry to startle you.”
“It’s fine,” I say, not bothering to look at him because I’m searching for paper towels instead. Finding none, I grab my sweater from the back of the chair and blot the papers.
“Need some tissues?” he asks.
“No, I’m fine.” Embarrassed for being such a klutz in front of a guest, I keep my head down and drag my sleepy self to the front desk. Finally, I look up and am met with a stunningly handsome smile. “Oh, how can I help you?”
“Where’s Jerry?” He holds up a small paper bag. There’s a stack of white boxes beside him.
“I don’t know. Would you like me to page him?”
“No need. I’ll just leave these here. Custard-filled. He loves those.”
I notice his shirt, embroidered with Hermann’s Bakery in a simple script font on the right pocket. His hair is a dusty brown and has that trendy bed-head look which I usually consider lazy, but on him, it’s rather adorable. He’s clean-shaven and reasonably tall.
His eyes crinkle when he smiles again. “I’m Henry. You new here?”
“Yes, it’s my first night.” I point to the temporary name tag with my name written in black sharpie. “I’m Jane.”
“Nice to meet you. They call me the ‘Donut Guy’.”
He offers his hand, and I take it. His grip is warm and strong, and jump-starts a few sleepy neurons. Henry. And Jane Seymour. The third wife of Henry VIII, as legend says, was reportedly the love of his life. Why does my mind have to venture there, of all places? I’m not ready to heal my broken heart over Nick with Henry the Donut Guy, no matter how Tudorific our names are.
I let go of his hand and take the paper bag. “I’ll be sure to give these to Jerry.”
“Would you like one?”
“I probably shouldn’t…” My stomach rumbles in disagreement.
“They’re complimentary. The hotel orders more than enough, trust me.”
“Oh, then I’ll take a donut with chocolate icing if you have one.”
“Sure do.”
He opens one of the boxes and holds it within my reach. I pick up a donut and take a bite. Still warm and melt-in-your-mouth good.
“Mmm, this is delicious.”
Henry closes the box and takes a tissue from the Kleenex dispenser beside the wall. Why hadn’t I noticed those before I sacrificed my poor sweater? He reaches across the front desk and wipes the corner of my mouth. Warmth crawls up my cheeks.

“You had a little icing there,” he says with that knee-weakening smile.

About the author:
Mysti Parker is a wife, mom, author, and shameless chocoholic. She is the author of the Tallenmere standalone fantasy romance series. Her other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, Christmas Lites II, The Darwin Murders, Tasteful Murders and EveryDayFiction.
Other writing pursuits include serving as a class mentor in Writers Village University's seven week online course, F2K. She finished her first historical romance this spring and has one children’s book (Quentin’s Problem) soon to be published, with one more waiting for illustrations, and many more stewing in her head.

When she's not writing fiction, Mysti works as a freelance editor and copywriter. She also reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

Author links
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Do you have The Blue Diamond?



I often talk about finding readers. Tonight, I started reading back over a synopsis I was working on and decided it's a little difficult to generate interest in a novel without at least letting readers in on what they're getting for their time and money.

For a little while, I sat here with my heavily lidded eyes and a cup of coffee, and figuratively stepped outside of the author and back into the reader and recalled conversations with friends and relatives when we would ask each other that all too important question about a book they've read; "So, what's it about?"

I rambled on as they can all testify to, starting at the beginning and many, many minutes later, it dawned on me giving a synopsis of a 376 page manuscript is HARD. Okay, if you are a writer, it isn't as if you didn't already know that but even when you try to tell someone about a television show or a movie you watched, how do you explain something you enjoyed and are excited about without blabbing on and on until you've practically ruined it for them?

I've read many other authors' advice on how to write a synopsis without giving it all away but honestly, when you compare the telling with the doing, it's like telling someone how to drive a car and handing them the keys.


So, here I am about to give you my best shot at a synopsis for "The Blue Diamond," because I want you to get excited and one: of course buy the book when it is released on October 1st and two: be interested enough to perhaps even support my Pubslush campaign so that I can afford to market it to the masses.

There is also a three, which is the cherry on top; I want you to recommend it to your historical fiction, romance and adventure loving reader friends! After all, from everything I've read and from experience, word of mouth is absolutely the overall best way to find your readers.

So, without any further babble from me, I give you my heart, my pirate alter-ego, my female powered tale of fortune and romantic woe...a best effort synopsis of "The Blue Diamond - The Razor's Edge."

First, the blurb:

Ivory Shepard didn't want to be a pirate when she grew up but she didn't plan on being orphaned and alone at thirteen with her three cousins either.

After a Spanish raid in Charles Towne left them with nothing, Ivory held her cousins together, trained them to fight for their lives and led them to a life of quiet refuge on the banks of the Ashley River. Out of reach of the hands of unscrupulous men, they found life on the farm a tolerable substitute for the traditional alternatives life would force onto them—until the night the pirates showed up.

Setting foot on that first pirate ship was nothing compared to the life of freedom and adventure awaiting them, once Ivory and the girls were through playing nice. Only one man believes he can stop her and he won't need a ship full of guns to do it.

If it were only that easy…

The quick and simple aka the "Let me tell you real quick 'cause I'm in a hurry!":

When four young women take a leap into the Golden Age of piracy, they not only survive, they thrive and blaze a trail of freedom and adventure. The greatest quest of all begins when they capture a merchant ship smuggling diamonds, of which Ivory happily relieves them, as well as the ship itself. 

However, she isn’t the only one who knows the diamonds exist—most of all, the large and valuable blue one. In the end, her true mission becomes trying to prove she can have it all on her own terms; true love, the blue diamond and her freedom.

Now for the big ramble aka the "Damn, you have to read this!" aka a phone call between myself and my sister-in-law Kim and how that would play out if I were simply telling her about the book as a reader:

P - Hey girl, let me tell you about this book I finished writing over the weekend.

K - Okay cool! What’s it about?

P - Well it takes place around 1700 and there are these four cousins. Wait, think Charlie's Angels meets Pirates of the Caribbean but anyway...they came to America when they were little with their great aunt and uncle and settled in Charles Towne, South Carolina but when they were like, thirteen, the Spanish raided the town and murdered their aunt and uncle, leaving them orphans.

K - then what?

P - Well, they had to work as maids and what not but the eldest one—her name is Ivory Shepard, well, she more or less protects them and teaches them how to take care of themselves and how to fight and what not. Apparently, she’s been doing more than cooking and cleaning to earn a living but anyway, they manage to save up enough money to buy a little farm on the bank of the Ashley River—that’s the river that..

K - Whatever, just tell me what happens.

P - Okay, well, one night, these pirates are raiding the farms along the riverbank and they come to hit the girls’ little farm but the girls see them coming and take care of business! So, they put their heads together because they know the pirates won’t take what happened lying down so they get ready for another attack but what happens is, they end up going with the pirates to Jamaica to start their lives over as free women. Of course that’s after Ivory kicks the captain’s butt and…

K - Holy crap! How old are they?

P - They’re like in their late teens when this happens. This is just the background stuff Kim but the story starts out when they’re already established as pirates themselves and Ivory has this ship called the Blue Diamond and this other pirate—super hottie too, imagine Henry Cavill here okay?

K - Who?

P - Henry Cavill, the guy who plays Superman nut!

K - Oh! Ohhhhh…..

P - Anyway, so he blows her ship to bits and she escapes in like a dinghy but ends up floating around for days before he sends his men to capture her and he holds her prisoner in his house in Kingston which is like across the bay from port Royal but anyway, she has a bounty on her head of fifty thousand pounds and he makes a deal with the guard that if he turns her over, he’ll not only collect the reward but he’ll get a pardon for all of his own pirating. In my imagination, she’s like January Jones—just thought I’d tell you that.

K - So what does she do? Does she get away? What’s the reward for?

P - Well I can’t tell you everything but over a few days while she’s held captive, something sparks between them and holy crap girl, they hook up one night and it’s like fireworks on the fourth of July!

K - Hot stuff aye?

P - Oh yeah but well, you know they are both pirates so there’s no such thing as happily ever after and neither one trusts the other so regardless of the cherry bombs and sparkles, he’s not letting her go. 

K - Get out of here!

P - No, seriously. He’s hell bent on that money, even though you know something’s going on there beneath the surface and the tide could turn at any moment.

K - Oh haha, I see what you did there. So does she get away or what?

P - Seriously? You want me to tell you the whole damn book? What’s the point in that?

K - Okay well at least tell me a little about the other characters.

P - Okay well Maddox has this quartermaster named Alphonse Green. Another super hottie, he’s Jamaican and well, let’s just say there’s some history there with Ivory’s cousin Cassandra. Cassandra or Cass as they call her is the voice of reason in the bunch. Then there’s Keara who’s like a little drill sergeant and keeps everyone in line. Then there’s Miranda, she’s the lover of the bunch but she gets herself in a bit over her head with her love of the men lol

K - Damn, I have to get this book…

P - Wait, I haven’t even told you about the diamonds yet! That ship Maddox blew up to get to her belonged to an English merchant company and apparently, they were smuggling some diamonds and Ivory took them when she took the ship. In the bag was this one big blue diamond worth a whole lot of money girl.

K - Ahhh…so that’s where the blue diamond comes in.

P - Yes. Well, let’s just say that she’s not the only one who knows about the diamonds and the plot thickens as they say.

K - So do the cousins rescue her or not?

P - Wait, I didn’t tell you about Richard. He’s Maddox’s cabin boy aboard his ship, the Black Cat and he’s so adorable and sweet—sweet on Ivory that is, and I didn’t tell you about Zara his housekeeper either.

K - Never mind, just tell me when I can get a copy of the book!

P - Well, it comes out on October 1st but since I love you, I may let you read it now.

K - Hand it over or walk the plank, Peg!

P - Now you know pirates didn’t really do that, right?

K - Book, please?

P – Check your e-mail. Bye!


I’ve believed since I dedicated myself to this journey two years ago that I knew exactly what kind of writer I wanted to be. Since I wrote the first sentence of my first novel, that dedication hasn’t wavered.

I’ve had no formal training in this profession but I’ve done a ton of research, logged countless hours writing and I’ve dug in my heels. I’m not going anywhere.

I write fast. I think fast and once I set my sights on a goal I rarely give up unless I’m personally not satisfied with my level of performance or the quality of work I’m doing. So far, I see no reason to quit. As long as I keep breathing, moving, growing and evolving as a person, I’ll never stop.

It is important to me to produce quality books. Since I am still learning every day what that means to me and how it relates to my writing, I believe I can only keep improving. I’ve always loved writing and although I spent most of my adult life working, raising children and just trying to keep my boat right side up, I chose to put my aspirations on the back burner and take care of my family. I do not regret it one little bit. Through that journey, I learned so much about myself and gained volumes of experience at just being a human being. I’m proud of whom I’ve finally grown up to be and I need to be proud of the work I do too.

It’s a long road from writing your first page, to publishing. You will be knocked back more times than you can imagine. You’ll be told over and over again that your book “just isn’t what we’re looking for at this time.” Roadblock upon roadblock will rise up in front of you but you have to keep pushing on. Family problems, day job, responsibilities and oh, that little thing called sleep will feel like a ball and chain at times but no matter what, you can’t give up. If being a published author is truly your calling or at the very least, your goal, allowing anything to stop you is not an option—no matter how long it takes or what road you take to get there.

The most important thing to me is that I write what I want to read. I want to write words that feel like warm butter on a hot roll. Words that get inside of you and either make you squirm or rise up inside of you and escape with a smile. Words that stick in your head and come to mind when you least expect it. I want to write stories that when you close the book, you want more. The reason I know how important writing what I want to read is, is because I’ve tried writing stories that may fall into one of the hot selling genres and I couldn’t get through the first chapter. You’ll know you’re writing what you want to read, when closing your laptop feels like kicking a heroin addiction.

I don’t want to write about what everyone else is writing about. I don’t need to sit at the cool kids table to feel good about myself. I know there are lots of genres and I know which ones sell the most. No, I’m not crazy and of course I want to make money and be able to write full time but I have to do it in a way I feel good about inside. I have to do it on my own terms. I have to tell a good story with characters you want to meet and know, and talk to again and again. I believe at some point I’ll be able to put almost anything into words but it has to be my anything, not what’s hot at the moment and not just because I want to be with the in crowd. My readers are out there and as long as I keep looking, I’ll find them and they’ll find me.

I want to stand out. I have this crazy dream that my stories will one day be considered as some of the best ever. I’ll stand by that. I believe that and soon, I’ll live that.


I finished my PubSlush  campaign last night and it has been approved! First, here's a little video to give you more information about PubSlush and their mission.

I'd be ever so grateful if you'd go take a peek at it and perhaps even register as a fan to receive updates on my progress. :) Just click on Ivory below to go to my PubSlush Profile.

Although the official launch date isn't until September 1, 2014, I'm so excited and grateful for this opportunity to be able to take part in such an innovative concept in crowd-funding.

If you follow my blog, you know I won this opportunity through a an E-Mail that Blew My Mind – Second Place in the PubSlush-BookLogix Pitch Contest!" for my new book, "The Blue Diamond - The Razor's Edge." I'm very proud of this book, as I've moved my writing in another direction and although I was afraid in the beginning to take such a leap, I'm still in the genre I love but trying out a different angle and story type--romance and adventure.

September 1st was a be a pretty big day all the way around because that is also the day I found out that "Fireflies" has won second place in the Paranormal Fiction contest on Reader's Favorite!

There are so many wonderful books in my category and as cliche as it sounds, I'm so thrilled to have been chosen for second place.

"The Blue Diamond" will be released on October 3, 2014! You can get your copies at the links below: