Monday, December 30, 2013

New Release: Daring the Wild Sparks by Ren Alexander

                                                

Daring the Wild Sparks by Ren Alexander

In the follow up to "Chasing the Wild Sparks", Hadley Beckett's quest for wedded bliss Perseveres...

What would you do if the love of your life is closer than ever to making your dreams come true?

Riding high in her relationship with her sportscaster/local daredevil boyfriend, Finn Wilder, Hadley Beckett makes plans concerning her future with Finn. Big plans.

Spending time with Finn at his parents’ house for Easter, Hadley can’t wait to share some of her ideas with him, hoping he will go along. She knows she has an uphill climb ahead of her, but she’s optimistic that after what they recently went through, Finn will be receptive to what she has to say.


Infamously anti-marriage, Finn promised Hadley he’d consider taking her to the altar if she gives him more time. Diving headfirst and with encouragement from her best friend Morgan, Hadley devises a backup plan if Finn can’t make a decision soon.  However, her other close friend, Rod, disagrees with Morgan’s advice, partly to just oppose her in spite, but also having actual valid points of his own. Feeling conflicted, Hadley takes both of their suggestions and blends them together, formulating her own way to handle Finn.


On the other hand, unbeknownst to Hadley, Finn has plans of his own as well.


Hadley is determined to succeed, yet is she unwittingly destined to fail?

Friday morning, I stop at the jewelry store to pick up Finn’s Easter gift. It’s perfect.
My trip is four hours, so I get on the road by 9:23, and I make it to the city limit of Dover in just under four hours. Not bad.
I pull over for gas and double check my directions to make sure I didn’t take the wrong exit. I really need to get a GPS, as Finn perpetually harps on me about. I take time to reread the description of his mom’s house. He said it’s the huge, pink brick house at the end of the cul-de-sac. Jack had designed it for Julie as his wedding present to her. Maybe someday he can design one for Finn and me. That would be pretty cool.
Julie married Jack when Finn was a sophomore in high school, so they’ve been together a while. Finn had told me his mom and her second husband, Steve, divorced when Simone was two I was hoping to see Jack this weekend. He reminds me of my dad in some ways, the beard, glasses, good sense of humor and a nice hugger. I guess I’ll have to catch him next time.
I find the street and instantly notice the mansion at the end of the road. I guess it’s not a mansion, but it is gigantic. A dentist and an architect can live in a big house like that, I suppose. I could never afford anything like that, even with Finn’s salary combined with mine. He doesn’t make as much as Rod imagines he does.
The house is set back on an enormous lot all by itself and, attractively, all the houses leading up to Julie’s are each a different color of brick. The driveway is one of those half-circle deals with a four-car garage off to the side and I have no idea where to park. I tentatively pull into the driveway and park next to the black car. When I shut my car off, I notice the car next to me is a Mustang. Definitely Finn’s rental.
Smiling, I roll my eyes and open my door, stretching and readjusting my ponytail. I then run my hands over my gray T-shirt and my black nylon pants in a frail attempt to look more presentable. I should’ve put something nicer on, but this was comfortable to drive in. I can change before dinner.
I bend to pop my trunk and walk to the rear of my car, still trying to fix my clothes. As I do so, I nearly walk into a blue T-shirt. Startled, I look up and Finn’s lips are on mine. How does he do that? His lips feel so good and so hungry. He hauls me closer and wraps his arms around my waist. I raise my arms up to his neck and draw him even closer yet.
He moves his lips to my cheek, brushing them against my skin, and then over to my ear. “I’ve missed you so much, baby. I’m so glad you’re here.”
I angle my head so I can see his face, my gaze falling to his jubilant, full lips. I’ve missed his sexy smile. I tease, “I can see that.” I giggle and kiss his stubbly cheek, which isn’t as prickly as it was a few days ago. “You shaved.”
“Becks, I had to. I don’t want a full beard.” He kisses me again and my hands slip down to his chest; my fingers scratching over his shirt. Too soon, he pulls away and bites his lip. “Let’s get your things inside.”
I lift a couple bags as he picks up my suitcase.  I ask, “Where’s everyone at?”
 “Well, Ricky is downstairs in the rec room watching a movie. Chrissie is visiting friends and Simone is in her room. Mom is talking on the phone in her room.”
“And what were you doing? Watching the movie with Ricky?”
“I was, but I couldn’t sit still and it was annoying him, so I came upstairs and sat in the living room.”
“What are you so anxious about?”
“You. I couldn’t wait for you to get here. I even sat by that window.” He nods his head to the big, picture window. “I was watching for you.”
Giggling, I ask, “Like a little doggy waiting for its owner to come home? Aww.”
He looks down at me, smiling. “You know you own me, Becks. I’ve told you countless times. I’m yours.”
I grin and he abruptly stops, bending to kiss me; making me smile even more.
We walk through the front door and Finn goes upstairs with my suitcase. Watching him go, I notice he’s also wearing nylon pants like me. I take delight in the thought of us thinking alike. Before I can follow him, I hear footsteps to my right and I look over as Finn’s mom enters the foyer.
“There’s my girl!” she exclaims happily. I smile at Julie Stansborough. Roundish and bubbly, her short, dark blonde hair resembles glints of Finn’s golden hair in the late afternoon sun. Her deep brown eyes are another thing she bestowed upon my boyfriend. Julie is so pretty. Out of the four kids, Finn is the one who got his good looks from her.
I set my makeup and shower bags down on the chair next to me before I walk into her outstretched arms. Squeezing me tightly, she asks, “How have you been, sweetie? I’ve missed you!”
I hug her and then try to step back, but she refuses to let go of me, another trait Finn inherited from her. Laughing, I say, “I’ve missed you, too!”
She sways us in our hug. “Not as much as I’ve missed you. I don’t see nearly enough of you. I just can’t get enough of my beautiful Hadley.”
“We have something in common,” Finn declares from behind me. Julie says something to Finn, but I don’t hear what she said to him. She then lets go of me and Finn circles his arms around my waist, towing me into his chest.
Julie claps. “Look how adorable you two are! I love it! I need to get my camera. Hold on!” She ducks into the living room and Finn instantly spins me around, leaning down to kiss me. My hands automatically go up to his enchanting hair, pulling him closer. I hear his soft groan reverberating through our kiss.
Suddenly hearing the sound of a camera, I jump back, but Finn keeps his hold on me.
“Gotcha!” she squeals. “That one is going to be so cute! I’m going to frame it and put it up in the living room!”
“Mom,” Finn complains, pulling me close to him again.
“Shut up, Finn. You have no say whatsoever, my dear boy.”
“I’ve noticed.”
She spiritedly says, “I’ll send you two copies, so you can frame it, too. I want more pictures of you both. Come on. Hadley, stand in front of Finn and he can put his arms around you like he had them before.”
I scowl and anxiously pull at my ponytail. “I look horrendous.”
Julie frowns and Finn tightens his arms around me, his cologne drifting over me and sparking my desire for him even more. “Finn, tell Hadley how beautiful she is. She’ll believe you.”
“No she won’t.” From over my head, Finn must’ve mouthed something to his mother because she rolls her eyes and looks the other way. Leaning down to my ear, he whispers, “You’re turning me on. That’s how gorgeous you are.” My eyes widen as he slides his hands down to my hips and subtly presses my lower back into him, his breathing stuttering in my ear. Wow. Kind of awkward with his mother in front of us. He’s not full-blown aroused, but he’s definitely getting there by rubbing up against me.
He raises his head. “Okay. I think we’re ready. Let’s get this over with.” He winds his arms up around my waist and rests his chin against my temple; feeling his smile, which makes me grin, too.
Julie takes our picture and laughs. “That was perfect! You’re so lucky to have such a pretty girlfriend. Not only that, Hadley is beautiful on the inside. Don’t you ever forget that, Finn Robert,” she advises sternly. I remember him telling me his mom hates Finnigan. I love his name.
“I know this, Mom,” he grumbles like a teen being told to clean his room.
“What do you know? I doubt it’s anything that will change the world,” Simone mocks as she sips down the stairs, her straight, light blonde hair bouncing around her shoulders.
“Go back into your cage, Sims.”
“Make me, Wilderness. Hadley! It’s been forever! I swear the last time I saw you was when you broke your wrist while I was in Richmond visiting my bro.”
Finn loosens his grip on me. “No. That was three years ago. You’ve seen her since then.”
“You don’t ever bring her around,” Simone states as she hugs me. “I’m kidding. We did see each other at the birthday parties Mom threw for each of you.”
Nodding at Julie’s enthusiasm for celebrating our birthdays, I agree, “Yes, I know.”
Simone releases me. “It just doesn’t seem like we see you a whole lot.” Suddenly, she clasps her hands and bounces. “That’s about to change, though! I’m transferring to the U. of VA next semester. I’ll get to see you more often!”
“That’s so cool! Are you going to move in with your brother?”
Making a face, she nods to her brother. “That loser? He’ll lower my IQ; make me get straight B’s instead of A’s. No thanks! I’m going to stay at a dorm for now until maybe I can get my own apartment.”
Julie asks, “Where’s Ricky? Still watching a movie?”
Finn replies, “Yep. He probably fell asleep, though.”
Simone impishly grins with a gleam in her eye. “I’ll go down and wake him up.”
Sliding his fingers between mine, he retorts, “No, because you only want to try to scare him. I’m telling you, Ricky Tesco isalways on alert. It’s part of his nature. You can’t scare the guy.”
Simone shrugs. “Whatever. I’m going to go downstairs and watch a movie with him. You guys coming?”
Julie says, “Dinner isn’t until later, so go do whatever. I have to get some things done. Hadley did you want to come with me to the grocery store?”
Finn irritably answers, “No, she doesn’t. She just got here.”
Simone hops over and reaches up to pinch his cheek. “How adorable! Look how grouchy you are, big bro! Does that mean what I think it does?”
Before Julie can turn to leave the room, she points at Simone and scolds, “Don’t tease your brother.”
I give Julie an apologetic smile. “I’ll just stay here and watch a movie, if that’s okay.”
Smiling in return, she says, “I thought you’d say that.” She spins around. “Alright. Behave, Simone.”
She shouts after her, “I think you need to tell your son that! He has that look in his eyes!”
Finn turns his head and stares her down incredulously. “What look?”
She pokes his chest and he glances down to her hand. “You are up to something, Finn Wilder. I know it.”
Looking back up, he retorts with a frown, “And so are you, Simone Garrison. I am positive.” He squeezes my hand. “Let’s go.” Simone sticks her tongue out at him as he pulls me into the living room. He opens the door to the basement, holding my hand behind him. The walls are filled to the limit with pictures of Chrishelle, Leighton, Finn, Simone, and Jack’s son, Beau, at various ages. Simone was born when Finn was 13 and Beau is six years younger than Finn. Finn told me that Beau mostly lived with Jack’s ex-wife. When he was around Beau, he said they got along without any problems.
I abruptly stop on the steps, yanking Finn to a stop, to stare at a picture of him in high school. Of course, he was such a hottie then, too. Damn. I would’ve drooled after him then, no doubt.
“What?” he asks.
In a senior picture, he’s leaning against a muscle car—not sure what kind it is. It’s blue is all I can tell. His hair is tousled and he has ripped jeans on with a button up, short sleeve shirt, unbuttoned three down from the top. His head is tilted, his thumb in his pocket and he’s smirking at the camera. He looks nearly the same, except he had shaggier hair and no stubble back then. Now, he has more muscles. Probably from all of his crazy dares.
Still mesmerized by the picture, I say, “I wish I would’ve known you. Went to school with you.” I furtively glance at him and he charmingly smiles, moving his fingers against mine.
“Me, too, baby. We would’ve been the Class Couple our senior year.”
I doubtfully grin. “Really? You think so?”
He readily nods. “Definitely.”
“Weren’t you half of a class couple your senior year?”
He peers up at the picture. “No. I didn’t really date anyone to be part of a couple.”
Looking at the picture with him, I quietly mutter, “You wouldn’t have dated me then, either. You were a baseball jock. You probably wouldn’t have even given me the time of day. I was a  nobody.”
Dragging my gaze away from the picture, I hesitantly look at him and his penetrating eyes are already on me. He shakes his head. “I would’ve seen you and that would’ve been it for me. I would’ve fallen in love with you then, too. Not a single doubt in my mind.” I smile and roll my eyes, but he doesn’t smile or look away from me. “Total truth, Becks. I’m the same person as I was back in high school. I know what I would’ve wanted.” He pauses as he twists our fingers together before saying, “I would’ve wanted you.”
Astounded by his spontaneous admission, I stare at him, not knowing what to say to that.
He turns and walks me down the four steps to the first landing, but then brusquely pivots, looking up the stairs past me. He whispers, “Baby, we were meant to be, no matter when we would’ve met.” I smile at him and I feel my love for him growing by leaps and bounds. Leaning down, he sweetly kisses me. “We’ll only be down here for a little while. I want to show you my dare.”
“I can’t wait.” I whisper back with an eager smile.
“I can’t, either. We’ll watch it, visit with Ricky, if you want, and then we’ll go up to my room.”
“You’re going to show me your room?” I coyly ask, biting my lip to stop me from grinning like a jackass.
“Along with something else,” he whispers and kisses me, his free hand moving to my butt and pushing me closer to him. I reach up and drag my fingers over his chest. Tersely, he grabs my hand and brings it to his mouth, kissing it.
Giving me another quick kiss, he tugs me down the rest of the stairs. We walk past the gleaming black bar with black and silver stools, and through a large doorway that leads to the family room with cream carpeting and black leather furniture. I think of Rod’s stupid comment about Tonya and quietly giggle.
Ricky looks over at us as he drinks a beer, his habitually unkempt black hair shooting up in all directions. “Hadley, what’s up? So glad you’re finally here. Wilder was driving me fucking nuts waiting for you.”
I look up at Finn, who rolls his eyes at his best friend. Not taking my eyes off of Finn, I ask Ricky, “He was?”
“Yeah. He was checking his phone and watch every five seconds, pacing, and couldn’t sit still. I made him go upstairs. He’s so damned pussy-whipped.” I grin at Finn’s darting eyes and general uneasiness at Ricky revealing his weakness.
“Shut up.” Finn walks over to grab his laptop off of the sprawling bar. Ricky laughs and takes another swig of his beer.
“What are you guys doing?” Simone asks, coming down the stairs and walking behind the bar to open the refrigerator.
Finn replies, “I’m showing Hadley my Dare of the Week.”Hadley! I unexpectedly beam.
“I want to see!” Simone squeals and bounds over to us on the couch. She sets her pop can on the coffee table and plunks down next to me. “Don’t you want to see it, Ricky?” she asks.
“Nope. I witnessed the dare firsthand. I stopped over to check it out before my shift started.” He stretches his arms over his head and yawns. “So, it’s old news.” He turns back to his movie and drinks his beer.
Finn pulls up the video and he situates the computer down on the coffee table. He settles against the couch and puts his arm around me. His fingers start tapping against my shoulder and I look over to his face. He oddly looks nervous. I look back to the computer as the video starts. Finn smiles at the camera.
I’m already loving this.
“Hey, everyone. I’m here with my good friend, Ronin, who’s going to help me out with this week’s dare. How are you doing, buddy?”
“Great, Finn. I’m eager to get this started.”
“Same here. This week’s dare comes from someone who means the world to me. My girlfriend, Hadley, who is my absolute heart and soul. We’ve been together for three years now and they’ve been the best years of my life…so far. She dared me to show her how much I love her. Well, challenge accepted, Hadley.”
I glance up at Finn and he looks down at me before I return my attention to the screen. He balls his fingers into a fist over my shoulder. This had to have been hard for him to confess all of this on the Air. Is that his dare? That would be enough. I love it."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Featured Author: Sarah J. Pepper Author of Death of the Mad Hatter

Interview with Sarah J Pepper


I specialize in dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn't only filled with hugs, kisses, unicorns, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn't always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn't mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit? 
I had the amazing pleasure of working with Sarah Pepper on quite a few occasions throughout her journey that lead up to her publication date for Death of the Mad Hatter. Her writing is exquisite  detailed and so beyond creative. I love her work, and cannot wait to work with her again!!!!

Can you describe Death of the Mad Hatter in 20 words? A confusion of love/hate words jumbled together in a maddening way that come together to form Wonderland. 

How did you come up with the idea for Death of the Mad Hatter?

Josh Wilcoxon of Wilcoxon Photography has a few twisted fairy tale pics that he does out of his passion for photography. He and a colleague were both Alice in Wonderland fans, so they snapped away. I stumbled onto the pictures and fell in love. Here’s the pics from the TRIAL shoot. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.192648930827126.45220.100263103399043&type=3

Without giving away any spoilers, for those who have not read Death of the Mad Hatter, what was your favorite scene to write? 

Favorite non-spoiler scene…hmmmm I suppose that would have to be a cluster of scenes between Alice Mae and Ryley: here’s one before they get too intense!! 
“Chez wouldn’t get out of the oven, and my aunts were trying to bake sweets,” Alice held her finger along the wall, tracing the brick line as we walked down the hall to the freshman hall. 
“Who’s Chez?” I asked, walking alongside her.
“A spy. He doubles as an annoying, super-villain feline. It would seem that making sure I received a tardy slip on week two was on that cat’s top priority list.”
There were far too many oddities about her comment. “Why was there a cat in your oven?”
“He was curious.”
“Is this cat real or is he a figment of your imagination?”
That earned me a slap across the face. 
Describe a typical day when you are writing. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

Well, I have to get through my 4 year old puppy (Max) before I can reach my computer. He is quite an attention hog, so after a few pets or a run he’s usual good. Then there is my cat (Nelly) who hate everything, me included. But I love her anyway (because I think it annoys her) and then I usual have to get in some kind of a work out to clear my head. So by the time I finally sit down to my computer, I’m covered in puppy slobber, a few scratches from my cat, sweat clinging to me, and (Godwilling) an entire pot of coffee.  Then, I take a breath, talk myself out of getting on Facebook or checking email because that can derail a writing day by 4 hours, and open up Word. I get about six words into my “well-thought-out premise” when my characters hijack my story and make up a series of messes that I have to somehow clean up. So you might be wondering if I have any idea of who kills who or what happens next? No, I am clueless. Pesky imaginary friends…

Do you have any plans for a book signing event?
Yes! I’ll be one of the authors at Sweet as a Peach in GA on April 5th and Penned Con in St. Louis on September 12/13

This book was amazing!! Are you working on a sequel? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
Honestly, I wasn’t planning on writing more until my beta readers/advanced readers “insisted profusely” that I continue with Alice Mae’s story. So, I guess I have to fall down the rumperbabbit hole again and see if I can get my hands dirty. 

What came first, the characters or the concept for the story? 
Characters. Always characters. I focus more on character development than the actual premise. I truly believe everyone has a story to tell, even my imaginary friends. So I just poke them a little, make them show more of their true nature and let the chips fall where they may. I have no problem deleting entire chapters after I finish the story to make it flow faster or explain on others. But, I need the reader to believe in my characters if they are going to give my story half a chance…hope that makes sense.


If  Death of the Mad Hatter became a movie, who would your dream cast be?
If Death of the Mad Hatter became a story, you’d have to revive me out of my shocked-induced coma first!!! That would be my dream for this to be more than it is. Anyways, dream cast… hmmmm. *hold your horses, let me Goggle some actors/actresses*  (45 minutes later) okay. Sorry about that. I got stuck drooling over Chris Hemsworth—which totally made me rethink Ryley’s character… but alas, it can’t be him…. So here’s my cast. Alice Mae: a blonde Emma Stone Ryley: Paul Wesley. Queen of Hearts: Charlize Theron. Jack of Diamonds: Michael Gambon. The Joker: the late Heath Ledger. M.H: Johnny Depp. 

Do you have a favorite author? Oh, I used to then I tripped and fell into Barnes & Noble and found like a billion more!! I am partial to the Sookie Stackhouse Series (two words: Eric-effing-Northman!) But I guess I’d say that Kate Lauren probably influenced me the most. I read Fallen and thought to myself, “Self, I want to write like her.” That single book changed my writing style forever. 

What are your favorite top 3 books that you would recommend? Ummm, well since I already mentioned Fallen and the Eric Northman Series (and probably shouldn’t scream out every single one of my books) I’d have to say: Tale of Two Cities made me fall in love with foreshadowing.  The Time Traveler’s Wife—love this book for secret reasons (no my hubby isn’t a time-traveler) and the Animorphs. I might have been the only girl in SD to read that series but it truly let my imagination run rampant. 

What book, if any, are you reading now? I just finished The Immortal Circus (GREAT READ BTW) and was able to chat with the author. Good fellow!

Do you prefer to read traditional books or e-books? I like both and find the different types to be beneficial, but I’ll always love holding a book and smelling the pages more than anything else. 

If you could work with any author, who would it be? Lol, J.K. Rowling—I’d get her to share her secrets!

What inspired you to start writing? I have no business writing novels. Yep, that’s me. I grew up in the middle of nowhere South Dakota, where the nearest Walmart was an hour drive and I was thrilled to have dialup on my computer. English was never my subject; in fact, my spelling mimics someone with alphabetical turrets and my grammar is well, lacking for lack of a better word. So how did I end up with ten novels? Well, that is a long story, but here is the shortened version: My idea of writing didn’t start until a dear friend forced me to watch Twilight with her. Sparkling vamps? Give me a break. But I humored her, thinking that any night I had an excuse to shove popcorn down my throat was a good night. Within three days following the movie I finished the first two books. Soon after I found a few different authors specializing in the sci-fi/fantasy realm and read their works. Days turned into months about as quickly as I turned each page in the books I finished. Soon I had a dilemma. My favorite authors weren’t coming out with their newest works for another several months. A light bulb went off in my head…

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Metaphorically wrap yourself in bubble wrap. You’re going to get bad reviews, fall on your face, lose entire novels to a crashed computer, and you’ll hear “NO” more times from publishers/agents than you can count. So be prepared and really figure out your reason for writing because you’ll need to revisit it a lot. Oh! And make a happy folder!

Do you have any tattoos or piercings? I write dark twisted novels with a hint of sparkling magic… what do you think? ;)

Do you have any fears? Death. Positively terrified of it. (Religious beliefs aside for a moment. And yes, I’m a believer but…) What happens if there is nothing, squat, dirt and worms after you croak? And then, if there is a big man upstairs and you didn’t really impress him that much with your Rightdoings and end up downstairs with his arch-nemesis, what hell that will be. Literally. That and spiders. Them damn things give me the heebie-jeebies!! 

What do you do for fun, besides writing? I’m an adrenaline junkie!!! Love me some fun. I made a bucket list back when I was in college—so a million years ago for those who want to know my age. I had a pet dinosaur : ) If it’s sky diving, bull riding, speeding on my bike, hiking in the Rockies, playing with jelly fish, or seeing what other trouble I can get into, I’m doing it or done it…. AND I have the bad back to prove it. But injuries aside, I regret none of it.  

Do you have any vices? Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

What was the last thing you googled? Chris Hemsworth…he’s my screen saver now, lol

If you could describe yourself in 5 words what would they be? (mind blank) I asked my husband and he said, “Crazy Bitch.” Gosh, I love him!!!! 

What is your biggest pet peeve? 
WHEN GIRLS SAY “I’M NOT PRETTY” AS THEY APPLY LIP GLOSS IN THE MIRROR, ADJUST THEIR HIGH-HEELD SHOES AND TIGHTEN THEIR SIZE SMALL BELT! I fight the urge to back hand them with a phone book… omg. Maybe this one shouldn’t be published! I sound like a crazy person.  (maybe my hubs was right in the 5 words to describe me) Okay, I just hate it when people aren’t real with themselves. You are who you are and most of the time that isn’t going to change. You can’t change the exterior but the interior can have a complete makeover. So if you aren’t happy with yourself do something to change it. 

Be sure to check out my review of Death of the Mad Hatter HERE

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 YATR Awards Nomination




So I've been nominated as "Favorite Blogger" in the Young Adult Teen Readers Literary Awards. It would be amazing if you could cast your vote as well. The voting will close TONIGHT 12/18/13 and the final rounds will be announced. Here's the link and thank you for your consideration

https://www.facebook.com/events/187844264754697/

Friday, December 13, 2013

Feature Friday: Featuring Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki


Author Bio:
Abi Ketner
Abi Ketner Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Missy Kalicicki:
Melissa Kalicicki received her bachelor's degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan. 



I had the pleasure of interviewing the two amazing authors who wrote Branded. Continue reading to get to know them a little better.

Interview:

Can you describe BRANDED?

Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadliest sins were the downfall of our society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I've been accused of a crime I didn't commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now, every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

How did you come up with the idea for BRANDED? 

Abi came up with the concept of branding people with one of the seven deadly sins. From there, we came up with the story line & characters through a series of meetings & discussions as we wrote the book. It was fun! 

Without giving away any spoilers, for those who have not read BRANDED, 
what was your favorite scene to write? 

Missy- I enjoyed writing the execution scene and some of the other action scenes. It sounds grotesque, but I enjoyed showing how devilish Wilson & the Commander were so that people could really see what Lexi & the others were up against. 

Abi- The first chapter. I loved the instant action and high intensity of it. And the scene with Alissa. 

Did you know each other before writing BRANDED? If so how long?

We’ve known each other since college… so about fourteen years! 

Did you write parts separately or collaboratively?

A little of both depending on the scene. We always look over each other’s work before sending it to the editor though, just to make sure we’re on the same page. 

Describe a typical day when you are writing. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

Missy- I like to write in the afternoon when my sons are napping. I like when it’s quiet. 

Abi- I run and listen to music in the afternoon to get ideas and write in the evening. 

Do you have any plans for a book signing event?

In April 2014, we’ll be at the Cleveland Author Event!! Please come and join us!

When can we expect the sequel?

We’re shooting for Jan/Feb. We don’t want to rush this one, so the dates could change.

Can you give us an idea of what to expect in your next book?

More action. More answers. You’ll see the world surrounding the Hole & find out more about the people that live there.

Will there be a third installment or will the second book end the story?

We’re planning on a third installment. ;)

What came first, the characters or the concept for the story?

The concept came first. We molded the characters as we wrote the story. That was the best part!

If BRANDED became a movie, who would your dream cast be?

I know Abi’s going to say she’d love to see Channing Tatum as Cole. Haha. Honestly though, I think we’d both be so happy if it’s successful that we wouldn't be picky. 

Do you ever read the reviews about your books? If so, do you pay attention to any negative reviews or let them influence your writing?

Missy- I have read both the good and the bad. I love hearing the feedback although I don’t let it influence how I write or the story line  Everyone is always going to have different opinions and I know you can’t make them all happy. So I just give my best and hope it’s enough. 

Do you have a favorite author?

Missy- Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Growing up, my two favorite authors were Anne Rinaldi and Bodie Thoene. In the last few years, I’ve also enjoyed Stephenie Meyer, Ann Aguirre, and Susan Collins. Truthfully, I read a lot of Historical Non-fiction as well… so I can’t really narrow it down unless we’re talking about categories. Haha. 

Abi- Stephenie Meyer, Ann Aquirre and Susan Collins. 

What are your favorite top 3 books that you would recommend?

Missy- I don’t even know where to start! 

Abi- The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and twilight.

What book, if any, are you reading now?

Missy- I just wrapped up Allegiant by Veronica Roth & Horde by Ann Aguirre.

Abi- same for me. 

Do you prefer to read traditional books or e-books?

Missy- I prefer to read the traditional book. There is something so good about holding it in my hands and physically turning the pages. 

Abi- traditional only if I really love the book. Otherwise to save money I will get the E-book

Out of the books that you have read, which character couple would you like to invite over for dinner and why?

Abi- Peeta and Katniss….simply because they are true survivors 

If you could work with any author, who would it be?

I think working with Abi has been a great experience! We have such a good system that I think adding a third party would complicate things. Now, of course I’d love to meet Anne Rinaldi or Stephenie Meyer to pick their brains!!!

Just Missy. 

What inspired you to start writing?

Abi- after reading so many books, I wanted to know what I would write about if I would write a novel…came up with Branded and went to Missy. I would never have done this one my own…and the rest is history. We went right into it. 

Missy- I’ve always written a lot, but most of it was more for my own personal benefit. Abi is the only reason I had the guts to share! Haha.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Missy- If you can dream it, you can write it. Don’t doubt yourself and your abilities. Invest in a good editor & find people who will be honest with you. 

Abi- 100% agree with Missy. 



What are you top 5 most important things in your life?

Missy- 1) God, 2) My husband, 3) family, 4) writing & running, 5) my work at a local Retirement home. (the first three things are not interchangeable but the last two rotate depending on the seasons in my life.)

Abi- 1) God 2) My husband of 10 years 3)my children and family. 4) writing and 
working out 5) working as a registered nurse. My passion is hospice. 

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

Missy- I only have my ears pierced. 

Abi- I have my ears pierced, one tattoo on my lower back. But… me and Missy are 
going to get a tattoo…we made a deal. If we published Branded we would get one. 

Do you have any fears??

For both of us- small, tight spaces, spiders, heights (although Missy is a rollercoaster lover), failure etc. 

What do you do for fun, besides writing?

Missy- Running, rooting for Cleveland sports teams, singing, playing soccer, traveling, spending time with family, meeting new people. I try to stay open to new experiences. 

Abi- Rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies, Running and working out, being a Mom and Wife. I can’t wait to get back into traveling…even if its just our book signings. 

Do you have any vices?

Missy- Nah. Nothing other than an occasional glass of wine. ;)

Abi- same as missy 

What was the last thing you googled?

Missy- a race pace calculator to figure out my pace for my last run on Sunday. Haha.

Abi- house breaking my Boxer puppy using crate training. 

If you could describe yourself in 5 words what would they be?

Missy- passionate, loyal, spontaneous, spiritual, and open. 

Abi- caring, humorous, loyal, spiritual and passionate about what I love to do 

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Missy- When someone doesn’t drive the speed limit, especially where we live since there are so many roads with no passing zones. Haha.

Abi- driving in traffic. And or being late 

Where was the last place someone spotted you and asked for an autograph?

Missy- I just had a person ask me to sign their book this past week. Does that count?

Abi- at the grocery store…to sign my receipt

Where can your fans find you?

You can find us on facebook under abiandmissy, Twitter @abiandmissy, pintrest abi and 

missy. Tumblr abi and misty and our website/blog www.abiandmissy.com






Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Release: Surrendering by Ahren Sanders

Surrendering by Ahren Sanders
Pages 473
Publication Date November 20, 2013

Description:  Ravenel Hayes is a perfect daughter, a loving sister, a loyal friend, and an excellent student. Returning home to complete her MBA and be closer to her family, she has her future all mapped out. That is until her path leads her straight into Declan Collins. The dark haired, tattooed singer with a sinful body is a distraction, one that’s way out of her league. He wasn’t part of her plan. But now that he’s literally knocking on her door, how can she avoid him?
Declan Collins lives life to the edge. His only emotional attachments are to his family and his band. He’s your typical bad-boy, lead singer who lives with no regrets. “Hook-up and head-out” is his motto. His ultimate goal is to take his band all the way to the top, or so it was. When he runs into Raven, she stirs up emotions in him that he had never thought possible. From their very first meeting, there’s no denying the chemistry between them. He’s not a relationship guy, but can she change his playboy ways?
Jealousy, anger, stalkers, and fame and fortune threaten to tear these two apart. Will surrendering to their love get them through the challenges that await them? Or will it tear them apart? 

*Due to graphic language and explicit sexual situations, this book is recommended for readers 18+.


My book review and exclusive interview coming soon!

Excerpt:
"Raven, I'm an asshole and I don't deserve anything from you. You're smart, sweet, sexy as hell and incredibly gorgeous. I thought about staying away, but you draw me back. I know I have a sordid past that makes you hesitant to give in, but I'm asking you, give me a chance? Please give me a chance."

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble Link:
Amazon Link:
Smashwords:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Release! My Lady Series by Shirl Anders

My Lady Series (1-5)
 
Sizzling tales of seduction, intrigue, obsessions, and
passionate encounters with irresistible alpha lords that will
take you on a wild ride and leave you breathless.

This 5 book bundle is regency gone sexy and check out these
hot alpha dukes, earls, and marques who save their ladies while showing the
passion that can be found in regency England.

My Lady Compelled: Meet our hero: The duke even at
his age, he was still the most attractive man that Gabriella had ever seen. He
was muscular and trim with short cut, silver-gray hair, adding a dramatic and
handsome maturity to his tanned and hawkish features.

Lady Gabriella St. John is purchased, from a scandalous
"wives sale," by her long-ago admirer and now ex-spy Drummond the
Duke of Kitteridge.
 

My Lady Enslaved: Meet our hero: The earl looked and was dressed like an
English nobleman, he was older with rich dove-gray streaks of silver in his
wavy jet-black hair. His eyes were shards of black ice, cold and calculating.
His face was planed and masculine. There was not a drop of softness in the man.

Captured between her deadly twin sister and Lord Ravenscar,
Chloe finds herself kidnapped and imprisoned against her will. 


My Lady Captive: Meet our hero: The earl was like
a fierce predatory mountain lion. Golden and sleek with steely pronounced
muscle while his purply blue eyes arced sapphire fire, and his face planed
along rugged masculine bone.

Lord Wyndham Hawkenge risks everything trying to save Lady
Orelan
 from the hedonistic clutches of an old revival,
Alexei Tropov 


My Lady Taken: Meet our hero: The duke was so
handsome with his eye patch, shadowed jaw, and one clear crystal blue eye. A
handsome rogue with strong square shoulders and a lean muscular body.

The Duke of Sutherlin's spying career is over and the time
has arrived for him to marry. 
But Radford isn't certain he
can find a hot-blooded lady like his ex-spying friends from the Archangels
have. 


My Lady Enthralled: Meet our hero: The marques had the face of erotic male seduction and beauty, from his
shaded tea-colored skin to his sensually full lips with melting depths of mahogany-colored
eyes, framed by black-tipped lashes and a long fall of rich brown hair.

This is an erotic romance chiller and not for the faint of
heart.
 Lord Saxonhurst embarks on a dark and very
dangerous adventure to save Joelle and himself from a dangerous cult.

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009OOVZ8O

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-lady-series-bundle-shirl-anders/1113255522

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/my-lady-series-bundle-1-5/id569665151

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=cwwWAgAAQBAJ

Sizzling tales of seduction, intrigue, obsessions, and passionate encounters with irresistible alpha lords that will take you on a wild ride and leave you breathless.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper


Death of the Mad Hatter
by Sarah J. Pepper

Pages: 333


Publication: November 29th 2013

My Review:

Alice in Wonderland has nothing on Death of the Mad Hatter. This book was amazing, so many twists and turns, lies, deceit, love, hate and Wonderful creatures. The story starts with the king being accidentally beheaded, leaving the Queen of Hearts to reign. Prophesy: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the RedCourt until time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their hat to the misfit girl with a boy's name (or was it a boy with a girl's name?) who'd end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinder on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible-like stopping time- and that Love was worth beheading. 


Ryley, a young boy almost 18 years old, was on his way to school, thinking about future plans of college and a full-ride baseball scholarship, but would not mind a schoold with a good physics department. For as long as Ryley can remember, his mom has moved around quite a lot, as per instructions from his father to keep him safe. Upon arriving at school, Ryley bumped into Alice Mae. She was not like any of the other girls at school, she had bright purple eyeshadow, light blue lipstick and naturally blonde hair. She piqued his interest. Soon his would would be turned upside down.

Alice Mae was sent to live with her aunts, who were overly stern, because of her very unruly behavior that was unbecoming of a woman. Her parents thought that by her living with her aunts she would straighten up. Or so they thought. Alice had plans of her own, avenging the death of a very close friend ans mentor was all she could focus on. Alice Mae frequents between realms, leaving her to pick up on Wonderland tendencies. Any question Ryley asked her resulted in riddles, infuriating him to say the least.

Read the story, understand the prophesies, and fall in love with the characters in this story. Take a trip or two down the rabbit hole and escape to a magical place known as Wonderland! Enjoy the love hate relationship that grows between Ryley and Alice Mae. Trust me when I say that you will not be able to put it down!

Goodreads Description:

The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.






Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?






Author Bio from Goodreads:


I specialize in dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn't only filled with hugs, kisses, unicorns, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn't always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn't mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit?


Sarah J. Pepper lives in South Dakota with her real-life prince charming. At a young age, she fell for paranormal books and now incorporates that genre with romance that thrives in the hearts of us all. When she’s not storytelling, she’s most likely biking, hoarding chocolate, or taking a bubble bath. Get a glimpse inside her head at www.peppersreadingcorner.com




My Favorite Quotes:

"A world where the impossibilities of our most far-fetched dreams come true-that was the essence of Wonderland."

"Make him fall so irreversibly in love with me so that he'll chase me anywhere-even here, to Wonderland."

"Brightness is not a measure of brilliance, Genevine."

Comings and Goings Prophecy: You're a HATed fool to believe the Bleeding Heart won't find out your Comings and Goings. Some go. But one fool cannot do both....unless he is in two seperate pieces. Come &Go. Come & Go. Come & Go.

"The HATed fool will die twice before the MADness stops."

"I do believe that so e people are haunted, I don't believe that a misty substance manifests to scare people. But people can be haunted by their past, their family, their upbringing, their future or any number of things."

"One second I want to slap you across the face and the next I want to stop all your worries with a kiss, you big turd face."

"A long time ago, you told me that you that you wondered what it'd be like to be so small that you could hide from all life's problems in a house made up of cards, would you like to come home with me and see what it's like."

Stay tuned for my book review and an exclusive interview with Sarah J. Pepper!