Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday~Great Exploitations by Nicole Williams

Do you know Nicole? You might recognize her name from her popular Crash series starring the delectable Jude Ryder. Or maybe you've read Eternal Eden or another one of her absolutely fantabulous books. She has quickly earned a top spot on my "must read all" list, so as soon as I found this little gem, I was on it!

Talk about original.

Great Exploitations is a short story introduction to her new Mischief in Miami series and is just the right amount of tease to leave you wanting more. Needless to say, I can't wait for book 2!!

So, rather than review it, I will share a little teaser to help lure you--ahem, entice you to add it to your TBR.


Oh and there it was, the first tear.

Sadness: check.

"How can you be so calm? How can you stand there and pretend I'm asking you to do nothing more than drop my husband's shirts off at the dry cleaner?" she said, flailing her hands about as she struggled to catch her breath. We were getting close to the next one: mild hysteria.

My instinct was to hug her, or grab her hand, to offer some measure of comfort. But I didn't. I wasn't one of the best because I'd turned off my instincts; I was one of the best because I'd learned how to manage them.

Don't get personal.

I'd held to that rule, and it had never done me wrong. Offering comfort was too personal. Tough love was even too personal. I strived for apathetic logic.

"I stay calm because emotion is a handicap," I explained, clasping my hands to keep from reaching out.


Everything about this story is so well written and planned out and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Be sure to check it out! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Sneak Peek~ That First Kiss

“So…” Piper dragged the word out, waiting for him to explain himself further.

“What do you mean what?” Piper asked, growing frustrated. “You told me we had work to do, but it’s pretty obvious that there is something else going on here. So, what’s on your mind? And don’t say work, because it’s plain to me that’s not what you dragged me away for.”

Tate rounded on her. “One, I didn’t drag you anywhere. You came willingly. Two, I wasn’t lying when I said there’s work to do.” He took a step back, visibly calming himself. “Look, you were right. I did have another reason for dragging you away.”

“Aha!” Piper jumped on her heels, pointing a triumphant finger at him. “So you admit that you dragged me.”

Tate smirked. “Honestly, you make me sound like some sort of caveman. Had that been the case, you would be unconscious and completely at my mercy right now. And trust me,” he said, his voice growing husky as they fell off his tongue and he stepped forward, closing the distance between them. “I can think of so many things to do to you, and you wouldn’t be complaining about any of them.”

As close as he was now, Piper was forced to tilt her head back to meet his eyes. The fire she found in them made her body tingle, and she swallowed thickly, wanting to step into his arms and lose herself in his sensual promise. “I doubt that,” she murmured, not wanting him to know how much his words were affecting her.

Tate’s eyes dilated and she felt a jolt of electricity pass between them when he reached out to grasp her hips. He pulled her up against him, forcing her hands up to his chest to brace her as she crashed into him. “You doubt me?”

Already beginning to lose herself in his ocean blue eyes, Piper managed a weak response. “Can’t doubt what I already know.”

The fierce look of possessiveness Tate unleashed on her made Piper’s knees tremble. Desire consumed her and before she knew what he was doing, before she could even consider stopping him, Tate’s mouth crashed down on hers. 

*Note: Excerpt is not final and is subject to changes by the author.*


That First Kiss is scheduled to release soon! Add it to your TBR: 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Teaser Tuesday--Avoiding Responsibility by K.A. Linde

This week's teaser comes from the second book in the Avoiding series by K.A. Linde. If you like high octane drama and steamy love scenes, this is a series you definitely don't want to miss out on!


 "Let's do dinner then," he suggested a confident air taking over his cool demeanor.

"Tonight?" she asked lifter her eyes to meet his.

"Yes. We're always so low key. I want to take you somewhere nice," he told her pulling her off of the bar stool and wrapping his arms around her waist.

"We're not low key," she said giggling as he covered her mouth with his own.

"We're low key compared to where I want to take you," he said pulling her back towards the bedroom.

"I'll think on it," she said following him upstairs.

"Don't make me wait too long," he said watching her strip out of his shirt.

"Never," she told him. His pupils dilated and he began to walk towards her. "Hey now. I really do have to meet Chyna," she said holding up her hand to his chest as his slid down her sides.

"She can wait," he breathed against her neck.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Sneak Peek~ Avoiding Commitment by K.A. Linde

Lexi pushed her hair behind her ear again before asking the question that had been nagging at her since Jack had called the first time. "Why didn't you tell her about me? You had to know Katie was going to say something."

He ran his hands back through his hair several times thinking the question over. He adjusted his position so that he was lying with his head back against the armrest before addressing her. "I didn't want her to know about you. I..." he paused collecting his thoughts once again. "I met Bekah shortly after you and I know. I had no interest in dating anyone. But when I told you she was about as persistent as I am, I wasn't lying. After a few unremarkable dates with her, I called the whole thing off."

Lexi looked over at him surprised. She had assumed their relationship was picture perfect. It was refreshing to hear that it wasn't. "Why? What happened?" she asked curiously.

"She wasn't you."


You can read my review of Avoiding Commitment here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gaming the System

Does this look familiar? I imagine this is how every writer looks at some point during the process of producing their work. For those who do it all, you know, the indies, you know that this look extends far beyond the writing process. Not only do we produce the book, we market it too. Many of us have turned what might have been a slightly more than full time job into three in the snap of a finger. We work, raise families, maintain a household, then, because we're completely insane (sorry, there's no other explanation for it!), we add writer, editor, designer, and marketing manager to our resume. It's a wonder we have time to bathe, right? Right!

So, when this article was brought to my attention today, I was understandably miffed. I don't think it comes as a much of a surprise that there are some people who are willing and able to bilk the system. The more I submerge myself in the world of writing, the better I learn that there is no shortage of cheats. You have the shillers, those who ask their friends and family to write rave reviews to draw in readers. You have those who hire professional shillers, too! $100 for 50 five star reviews? Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Why not take it a step further, shoot for the big times? And by big times I mean The New York Times. Yes, folks, there is a way to get your name--and your book--on  that prestigious list. And guess what, you don't even have to work for it!

Apparently, if you have the right amount of cash, there is a company that will buy a bucket load of your books, and with some secret skills, they can ensure you a spot among the elite. So, okay, you do have to work for it, because where else are you going to get $50,000 to fund this little venture? But hey, it's all worth it, right? Once you hit the big times, you'll start raking in the cash, become famous, have Hollywood knocking on your door, and before you know it, you'll be hobnobbing it with R. Patz and dancing across Ellen's stage!

Obviously, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You may get yourself on the NYT, but once the you hit the list, you're on your own. As Jeffery Trachtenberg explains, those who have done this experience a brief moment of greatness followed by a dramatic drop off, because, surprise! The sales weren't real. The author is left with a spike that doesn't last, the ability to SAY they made it on the NYT, and if they are lucky, they may have caught the attention of a few readers along the way. In  the end, they still have to provide a product that people want to read. So what good does it do to spend a year's salary to artificially make it onto a list if readers come flocking to buy and ask, "Hey. If this guy's so good, why does he only have three reviews?"

I don't know about you, but I would rather earn every single rating and review on my own. If I am ever lucky enough to be recognized for my efforts, whether it be by NYT or the corner bookstore, I want to know that I got there all on my own. I want my writing to merit that attention. Call me crazy, but I don't want to be that person fingered for cheating my way to the top.

Now, if you're thinking, "Hey, Brandi, what about all those books I buy to pass around and do giveaways with? Won't purchasing those books boost my ratings? If I buy enough, won't I be able to eventually push myself to the top and avoid all those costly fees?" To which I will tell you, "Sadly, no." Apparently there's a system to this whole thing that determines where the sales come from and eliminates things like bulk order and promotional purchases. Don't ask me how they do it, they just do. But it seems that someone has found a loophole. Just by the fact that this has made the papers and sellers like Amazon have vowed to discontinue doing business with these companies, I would have to say that the window of opportunity will be closing soon enough. So if you want to get in on the action, better make it soon!


So, what are your thoughts on all of this? Is this something you would ever consider for yourself? Is it worth it? If you knew of an author who had used this method, would you still buy their book? Or would you blacklist them from your library?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Teaser Tuesday~ Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian

It's been a while since we had a teaser, so why not jump right into it, eh? Glad you agree!


"You're awake." The woman with the long black hair. Brady, they called her. Mira recognized her voice and the long-legged gait as footsteps approached the bed. "How do you feel?"

"Like I'm going to vomit," Mira replied, her own voice raw from disuse. "But then, being near rebel scum tends to have that effect on me." She cleared her arid throat. "That's what you are, right? Rebels. Lowlife cowards who plot and skulk around in the shadows like a den of rats, making messes for other people to clean up. Taking the lives of people worth any hundred of your kind."

The woman said nothing in response to all that venom. There was a soft rustle of movement beside the bed near Mira's head, then the liquid sound of something being poured into a glass. "Drink this," she told Mira.

Don't you just love Lara Adrian?! And I think I glimpsed some Chase in there, too. Looks like I'm going to be caught up in the Midnight Breed world today!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Review~ Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters

Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades...normal life.

Until him.

Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness.

Until her.

Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life.

That together, they could face the world.

But the darkness is always waiting.

Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself.

I wanted to give this five stars because it really was an intense book that wrenched my emotions, but it needs a little cleaning up (grammar, punctuation, missing words or letters of words, etc.), which pulled it down a bit for me.

Overall, this was probably one of the better reads I have checked out so far this year. It's gripping, poignant, and...well, beautiful. I loved the journey I took with Maggie and Clay. I was invested in their turmoil and really rooted for their success when it seemed that they had everything pushing against them. The author didn't try to sell a happily ever after, which I really appreciate, even though it broke my damn heart. But, she gave me hope, which is all I can ask.

This was a very honest portrayal of what it is like to go through the ups and downs of mental illness. Many times, I put myself in Maggie's shoes and I just can't say that I would have been able to do much different than she did. Love is a tricky thing and Miss Walters shows us all that sometimes, it just isn't enough.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Secret of Ella and Micha. If you remember the ending, should have an idea of the direction this story took and the feelings you were left with. In some ways, I think Find You in the Dark surpassed that, which, to me, is a good thing.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Six Sentence Sunday~ Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters

Today's Six Sentence Sunday comes from a book that I recently finished and enjoyed so much, I just had to share it with you. Enjoy!

"That's it! I'm swearing off every member of the female population. Do they still have monasteries? Cause a life time of praying and bad haircuts sure as hell beats chicks and their freaking drama." Daniel's lunch tray came down with a loud clang on the table.

Rachel and I rolled our eyes in union and turned to the third member of our trio with what we hoped were supportive expressions.

"What did Kylie do this time?" Rachel asked, popping a Cheeto into her mouth.

I hope you all enjoyed it! Check it out on Goodreads and be sure to return tomorrow for my review!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

News and Updates on the Writing Front

Hey all! I know I haven't updated in awhile, but I'm back! Aside from writing, which is going well, lately I have been doing all kinds of neat stuff. Last night, for example, my family and I went to an art show where my son had some of his artwork displayed :) On top of that, I have been updating and creating all kinds of neat stuff to support my writing.

First, I would like to share with you my brand new website geared toward my alter ego J.C. Valentine. Take a look and tell me what you think! I would love to hear from you.

Second,  I set aside a little time to get several of my books available to you in print. Check out the "Books" section at the top of the page. There you will find links to Lulu if you are looking for that option (A Warrior's Betrayal is included!). They should also be available on Amazon in print soon!

Finally, I have some bookplates and bookmarks available for those of you would like one (pictured above). Pick one or both and I will autograph them however you want.

Just email me at with your mailing information. You can find a direct link in the "About" section at the top of the page. Be sure to put bookplates, bookmarks, or autograph (or something along those lines) in the subject!

If you want them personalized, say so. I will be happy to do that, otherwise I will just autograph them.

Note: If you are a blogger and would like more than one, let me know that too.

Thanks guys!

*FYI: the photo of the bookmark is of the front and the back. There is only ONE bookmark.
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