Friday, November 30, 2012

Andrew P. Weston, Guardian Angels Interview

Today, I'm pleased to announce a special guest, Andrew P. Weston, author of Guardian Angels. He agreed to do an interview with Book Babe. *Due to a few miscommunications, the giveaway was removed from this post. However, it still exists. I'm just waiting for the code again. Those of you who entered are still entered. The rafflecopter is still running, even though it is not currently on Book Babe. Very confusing morning. Thank you.*

The beginning of the book takes readers to incidents all over the world. Islands, Alaska, New York. This makes me wonder how much you've traveled and where to? What's the most exotic place you've traveled to?

The most exotic place has to be the jungles of South America. I had to visit there a few times because of the specialist roles I fulfilled in one of my previous occupations. 

I found the place fascinating. I’ve always had an affinity to ‘nature’ and animals etc, and the more you understand about such environments and the things that naturally live there, well, the less they freak you out.

It’s amazing to be prowling along, and come across cobwebs as big as a house, with butterflies the size of dinner plates captured in them (Or birds!) ha ha. Or to hear the throaty growl of a panther that’s watching you – and giving you a lesson in what ‘true stealth’ is all about.

And the trees and the flowers! What an incredible variety.

Imagine you have one of the powers of your heroes. Which would you choose?

Teleportation! I think any emergency service worker (and those in the military) would find that power irresistible. The ability to go anywhere, at just a moment’s notice. Wow!

A bit of oneself always goes into a book. Which character has more of your traits?

Difficult! I put parts of myself into Adam, the Overlord. Andrew – his Shadow Lord, and Victoria, the Lord Inquisitor. There are also aspects of my personality in Lei Yeung & Luigi Espasito. 

I did this so I could easily identify with the reactions they would have under different circumstances.
I’ll leave it to you to try and guess which parts!

What was the hardest scene to write?

The prologue. This was my first attempt at writing, and I wanted to get the initial invitation/impact right! It sets the tone for the entire book. So, I’m pleased with how it eventually turned out.

How was the editing process for you? Was it a learning experience? Some actually like edits, the more comments, the more progress authors feel they make. Some pull their hair out. Which are you?

Well, I have no hair to pull out (ta-dah!) So, I enjoyed the editing process. I’m new, and I’ve been conditioned by a lifetime’s experience. So, when more experienced writers/editors offer their sound advice and criticism, well, only a fool would turn it down! I’m very fortunate. Pagan Writers Press is a very small, select and close-knit family. I’ve been helped tremendously. I’ve got some great ideas and concepts floating about in my head, and they are helping my skill level catch up to match!

What movie stars would you cast for a movie of this book?

The Overlord – Vin Diesel
Andrew – Karl Urban
Victoria – Angelina Jolie/Penelope cruz
Naomi Cruiz – Eliza Dushku
Lei Yeung – George Takei
Luigi Espasito – still thinking about that, Leonardo De Caprio?

Did you have a picture nearby for inspiration as you wrote this? Did you listen to a special soundtrack?

No – it was all a product of my warped and fragile mind.

What's in your writing future?

I have a series or two I’m planning to develop, News about them are on my site/blog.

But I think the most important thing is to keep doing my best to improve my craft. It returns the trust and ‘risk’ my publishers put in me – as a new boy – and it will ensure my work continues to grow, and bring enjoyment to those who read the books.

At the moment, I still think I’m ‘playing’. I won’t feel comfortable until I can throw everything else aside and concentrate all my efforts into writing full time. (With time out for the films and sequels of course) – see you on the red carpet! I’ll be wearing Giorgio Armani dahling!

Please tell us something about your own career in law enforcement. Did you put anything you have experienced or seen in the novel?

Oh yes.

I served in the military for nine years, followed by twenty-three years in the Police Service. During that time, I lost count of the incidents I had to deal with where someone’s life was changed forever by unexpected tragedy!
Life is a very fragile thing, and “out of the blue” such things can strike when people least expect it, bringing untold calamity and suffering.

Attending those incidents often used to make me think, “What would have happened if we had got here sooner? Or if we had the resources or training to undo all this suffering and damage? What would it be like to have the technology and training to not only anticipate such accidents and disasters, but prevent them happening in the first place?

That’s how the Guardian concept was born.

The one accident that inspired me to actually put my thoughts together into a more structured form involved the death of a young boy on his way home at the end of a school day.

Rush hour traffic is dangerous at the best of times. When you add in the factor of a little boy with little appreciation of the hazards involved, well…you can guess what happened.

The scene was horrendous, as were the terrible sobs of the woman driving the vehicle he ran out in front of. She was a mother herself, and her anguish was heart rending, even though there was nothing she could have done to avoid him.

That’s why the opening chapter of Guardian Angels involves a young boy stepping out into the path of a truck. It describes what ALL the Emergency Service personnel there that day wish could have happened, had someone like a Guardian Angel been there to help.

Thanks for the interview Tara. Great questions. I really enjoyed being here.


Really enjoyed having you, Andy, and for those of you whose interest was no doubt piqued by his answers, here is more about the book:

In a series of terrifying events, otherworldly beings intervene to save innocent lives. The world community reacts with relief as they realize that angels may in fact exist, and they are diligently protecting us.

But there are those who would seek to stop what they feel is a threat against their livelihoods. How far will some go to battle the Guardians? Is the fairy tale over before it even begins?

Guardian Angels is a powerful and compelling story about the catalyst that has the power to unite society in the hope for a better future. The spark of hope is fragile—can it last?

Buy Link

Guardian Angels (Guardian Series, Book 1)Excerpt: (Unedited)

Luigi decided to toast himself and his accomplishments again. Finding his glass empty, he rang the bell for a top up, and continued to gloat, firmly believing he was beyond accountability.

When the door to the study opened a few minutes later and Gianni, the housekeeper, came in with his favorite Black Pearl Louis XIII cognac on a silver tray, he insisted the old servant stay with him and drink to his success. “Come, Gianni, stay, celebrate with me. Good times should be shared with trusted friends.”

The gesture wasn’t missed by Gianni. At fifty-five thousand dollars a bottle, the cognac was one of the most expensive in the world, and he quickly poured a generous helping into two glasses. As he handed one to his boss, he paused momentarily to savor the bouquet of the blended flowers, fruits, spices, and the deep amber color of the aromatic liquid. “You’re looking particularly pleased with yourself today, young Sir. Good news?”

“It’s the very best of news, Gianni, and one that appears to be maturing with age.” He replied without looking away from the screens.

The old housekeeper tossed down his drink in one and shuffled to stand deferentially behind his employer. He listened as yet more reports of the suffering caused by the missile detonations were announced. “That mess doesn’t look like there’s much to be happy about, Sir. Surely that doesn’t please you, does it?”

“Aah, Gianni, sometimes, when you need to make a point, you have to catch your enemy’s attention,” Luigi replied. “You have to ensure they not only respect you, but fear you. I’m pleased because I’ve done just that. Wouldn’t you agree, my old friend?”
When no reply was forthcoming, Luigi naturally assumed the old housekeeper must have been unable to hear his question. Turning in his seat, he felt a peculiar throbbing, tingling sensation in his teeth and sinuses. “I said ‘wouldn’t you agr . . . .’”
Luigi’s voice choked off in his throat as he caught sight of Gianni’s eyes. The distinctive, familiar, lazy old eyes of his long-time employee seemed to be undergoing some kind of metamorphosis. Gone was the semi-vacant, un-focused faraway look he always seemed to display as he pottered about. Instead, Luigi was looking into the hardest, most piercing eyes he had ever seen, eyes that seemed to glow with an inner furnace to match the cold look of rage chiseled onto his face.
The shock made him drop his glass onto the carpet, spilling about three thousand dollars worth of the deep amber nectar.

Transfixed he watched as Gianni’s body straightened, grew, and bulked out. As the years fell away from his face, he realized without a doubt that he was going to fully shoulder the burdens his choices had wrought.

Before him stood his own personal living nightmare made flesh, dressed from head to toe in black. Instantly he felt the fire rising within him, straining for release.
The Guardian stepped forward, making the barest of gestures with his finger as he did so, and Luigi found himself lifted into the air by some unseen force. He was held motionless, helpless as a puppet awaiting the commands of his master.

Nodding at the screens, the Guardian spoke. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Andrew, Guardian Lord of Shadow Operations. Did you seriously think you’d get away with something like this?”

Luigi stared defiantly back, fighting to overcome his shock at the Guardian’s presence, and surprised at the lack of access to his ability. “Do what you want, asshole, at least the world sees you as the frauds I knew you were!” he hissed.

“Do what I want? I’d love to, but unfortunately my boss won’t let me.”
Luigi stared impotently back at his nemesis as he strolled closer. Once he was standing in front of him, the Shadow Lord said, “As for exposing us as frauds? Well, I really don’t know why you would think that. We never said or intimated we could be everywhere at once. The world’s a sad enough place as it is without you adding to it. All we are doing is trying to help people avoid as much heartbreak as possible.”
Andrew pointed to the repeat bulletins on the screens. “So, once the world finds out that all this was the deliberate act of some sick and twisted psycho who didn’t care how many suffered, just so long as he could score some points, how do you think they’ll react to you, Luigi?”

The point struck home. Luigi struggled in an attempt to slap the Guardian across the face, to do something to help vent the building fury inside him.

Helpless, he continued stewing as the Guardian moved so close he was able to whisper in his ear. “And when they find out about your abilities, can you even begin to imagine how they’ll react to that? You worthless, spineless, pathetic little man. I really wish they’d let me play with you before we throw you to the wolves.”

“F*ck off, asshole, you don’t scare me.”

“Scare you?” Andrew smiled wickedly. “Oh no, Luigi, that’s not my job. That’s hers!”
The Guardian gestured behind Luigi at the same moment he let go with his telekinesis. Although Luigi only dropped about a foot, he crumpled to the floor, becoming acutely aware that the strange throbbing in his teeth was even more pronounced than before.

Turning, Luigi was met with a vision of such barely contained power and fury that he immediately soiled his pants.

Andrew squatted beside him. “Allow me to introduce you to the head of our investigations branch. This is Victoria, our Lord Inquisitor, and she’s very pleased to meet you after all the suffering you’ve caused.”

Victoria stood in front of the TV screens, wreathed in a visible static discharge that blew the circuits of all the electrical equipment in the office and made the hairs on Luigi’s arms and head stand on end. Her eyes, so similar to those of the Shadow Lord, intensified in luminosity and turned from grey to white hot. Luigi shielded his eyes and cowered on the floor in his own excrement.

What a fool I am. He thought.

In reply to his thoughts, the Shadow Lord said, “Yes Luigi, what a murderous, cowardly fool of a man you are. I think the whole world will agree when they find out, eh?”

About Andrew:
If you had the power to make a difference…would you?

Andrew P Weston was born in the city of Birmingham, UK and grew up in the towns of Bearwood and Edgbaston, eventually attending Holly Lodge Grammar School for Boy’s where he was School Captain and Head Boy.

He was an active sportsperson for the school, college and a variety of rugby, martial art, swimming and athletics teams throughout the city.

On graduation in 1977 he joined the Royal Marines fulfilling a number of roles both in the UK and abroad.

In 1985 he became a police officer with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, and served in a variety of uniformed and plain clothed departments until his retirement in 2008.

Over those years, he wrote and illustrated a selection of private books for his children regarding the life of a tiny kitten, called, “The Adventures of Willy Whiskers”, gained further qualifications in Law and Religious Studies, was an active member of Mensa and continued to be an active sportsperson, providing lessons free of charge to local communities.

An unfortunate accident received on duty meant Andrew had to retire early from the police force, but after moving to the sunny Greek island of Kos to speed up his recuperation, he was at last able to devote time to the “Guardian Concept” he had developed over his years in the military and police.

When not writing, Andrew enjoys Greek dancing and language lessons, being told what to do by his wife, Annette, and hunting shadows in the dark.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Kelly O’Day

Book: Wytchfae Runes
Author: Flossie Benton Rogers
Heroine: Kelly O’Day

Kelly O’Day is the strong, sexy heroine of Wytchfae Runes, the first book in the paranormal romance series Wytchfae. Kelly defies orders for the sake of the Viking ghost Ingvar and plunges headlong into dark dimensions to rescue him when he is captured by sinister forces. To Ingvar, nothing is sexier than a strong woman who extends her heart.

Here is the hero’s first perception of her:
In his mind’s eye, Ingvar remembered her as she maneuvered within the eerie circle of green light. Small of stature, but strong looking, she had reminded Ingvar of a queen or a goddess. Golden hair haloed a memorable face with the slightest indication of dimples. A long time ago, he had rubbed his fingers over a stone engraving of the Goddess Freya. This woman had the same unfathomable look about her. Power bled off her like the northern lights.
And yet, at the same time, she had looked all woman. She had taken his measure. His body still prickled from the heat of her eyes on him.

Wytchfae RunesSoon Kelly really starts to get under his skin:
She looked refreshed, as if she had been up early sipping the morning faery dew. He marveled to himself how this wench, no this woman, this remarkable Wytchfae was turning him poetic. Something about her eased the torment he had long endured.

A faery witch or Wytchfae, Kelly O’Day’s job is to transition ghosts to their afterlife. When she falls for sexy Viking ghost Ingvar Hrothson she breaks the rule against personal involvement.
Cursed over a thousand years ago to roam the earth as a restless spirit, Ingvar is hell bent on two things—save his sister and destroy the evil sorceress responsible for her death. He needs Kelly to help him go back in time. Hating all forms of dark power, he never dreamed he would be bewitched by a flesh and blood woman with magical powers.

Kelly and Ingvar battle sinister forces and multiple attempts on their lives. With their attraction approaching supernova, the couple must decide whether their romance of a lifetime is also worth fighting for.

Buy here

Are you an author with a strong heroine in your book? Want to see her featured? Find out how here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

From Reader, to Writer, to Author… Carolyn Wren Talks About The Diplomat's Daughter and Her Journey

Last week, I gave a friend the purchase link for my debut novel. She asked if it was for, “the whole lot.”
My first instinct was to laugh, then I realized in her mind it was a valid question.  She knew I had written a series of seven books, and sold the series to a publisher weeks ago and yet they are still not out?  What was taking so darn long?

It was then I knew I had made the transition from reader, to writer, to author. 

Three years ago, before I started writing, I lived in that world where books miraculously appeared.  Where authors created, people and stories. And publishing houses bought, printed and sold them. Now I know writing the book is the beginning of the journey, not the end.

Diplomat's Daughter (The Protectors Book 1)When I sat down to write my first work I was clueless as to the process.  As a book-keeper for an international minerals company, my world revolved around numbers not words.  Until one day when I woke up with a scene so clear in my head it was imperative I write it down.  So I did, and within six months I had created a seven part Romantic Suspense series.  Had I taken writing courses? Read writing craft books? Researched the do’s and don’ts online? Nope.  I simply started writing and didn’t stop.

I had no thoughts of publishing, or fame and fortune.  Just the newly discovered joy of creating stories.  A year went past.  My seven books turned into eleven.  All sat on my desktop or in the hands of eager test readers.  What on earth did I do now?

A chance article in the newspaper, pointed me to a one day publishing seminar held at the local University.  This seemed like a good idea, so I went along.

That day goes down in my writing history, as one of the worst experiences ever.  This seminar should have been subtitled, “don’t even bother; you are all doomed to fail.”  Instead of an informative series of talks on the intricacies of the publishing world,  the eager, freshly minted writers in the audience were maligned, berated and even insulted for a full eight hours.

One lady, who raised the question of writing romance was cut down mid-sentence.  We are not here to discuss romance, she was told.  We are here to discuss legitimate writing.

Such worthy quotes still stay with me. “Without an agent your work will never even get looked at.” And. “Don’t even bother submitting your first manuscript.  No one will publish a debut author.”

The last comment made me curious.  How is one to relinquish the tag of debut author, if no house will publish your first book? I watched in anger and disbelief, as the moral in the room sunk lower and lower. At the end, we all filed out, defeated, heads bent, feet dragging.

To this day, I wonder how many authors went home and never wrote again, or even worse, deleted manuscripts sitting on laptops.  That thought makes me very sad, and very angry.

From a personal viewpoint I simply dismissed the day as a pointless waste of time and went back to my writing. A few months later I was reading a book by Nalini Singh and logged into her website to find out about other books in her series.  Whilst there, I read her post about the importance of finding a writing association, and about the valuable resources they offer. This lead to an online search, and the discovery of, Romance Writers of Australia. 

What a difference from the so called, ‘seminar’ of the previous year.  These wonderful people understood new writers, encouraged and chatted, praised and commiserated when needed.  And most importantly, did not say the word, ‘Romance’ in quiet guilty whispers. Now I started to learn what I was doing right, and what I was doing wrong.  And let me just say, that finding out what the term, ‘head hopping’ meant after writing eleven books, was a bit of a shocker! I remember looking at the thousands and thousands of words in my completed books folder and resigning myself to a lot of rewrites.

Only a few weeks after joining the, RWA I entered their annual competition for unpublished writers called, ‘The Emerald’.  To my complete and utter shock, I started to progress through the rounds.  I entered the international competition, ‘The Daphne Du Maurier' awards, and again the same thing happened.

At this point, I sat down and began to seriously contemplate my next step.  Could I actually do this? Could I be published one day? Was I brave enough to try? With the incredible love and support of my husband, I started to do research. 

Fast forward, to August 2012.  I won ‘The Emerald’, I got to the finals of the, ‘Daphne Du Maurier’ and I received a contract offer from, ‘Secret Cravings Publishing’.

And I was still mostly clueless… but I began to learn.

First lesson.  Manuscripts are not books.  Those pages and pages of words are not a book.  They are a draft, which with hard work, will become a book.

Second lesson.  Your editor is your boss.  She is not there to ruin your manuscript; she is there to turn your manuscript into a published book.

Third lesson.  Editing is a part of an author’s life, it is a necessity.  Being precious about that sentence you really like and want to keep, regardless of all the reasons why it should clearly go, does not help anyone.
In the weeks leading up to my very first edits, and the learning of the above lessons, I freely admit to being a mess of nerves.  What if my editor hates it? What if she changes every single word? What if it ends up being no longer my book?

I discovered something very interesting about myself.  I could worry myself into a small quivering wreck sitting in the corner.  Or I could take this invaluable information and use it to make myself a better writer.  It was the right choice. When the round 1 edits arrived, I looked at my manuscript logically and objectively.  Yes that’s right, that comment makes no sense in the context of the chapter.  No I don’t need all those extra explanations in the middle of that paragraph.  Yes that is head-hopping and needs to go.

I sliced through dialogue I considered pure Shakespeare when I wrote it.  Merrily adjusted sentences to allow for a clean flow and corrected foolish mistakes, carefully pointed out by someone looking at the story with a clear clean set of eyes.

Editors are not only necessary, they are essential.

But getting published isn’t all hard work.  There comes that joyous day when the cover art arrives.  When words become pictures! And the characters in your head are there for the world to see. What a day.  What an amazing fantastic day.  I have six more books due for release in 2013 and every one of them will be exciting.  But I suspect, seeing the cover art for my first book will always stay with me. 

Finally the big day arrives.  Final proofreading, writing the author bio, and the dedication. Then release day.

Seeing my name for the first time, on the cover of a book. My published book! Is another memory I will hold close.  All the hard work melts away.  The agonizing over the submission letter.  The time consuming and sometimes frustrating task of writing a synopsis that is concise, without skipping over the plot.  The waiting every day and obsessively checking emails to see if the publishing house has replied. Then when they do, the task of edits, corrections and revisions.

It is all worth it. 

I am no longer clueless.  Nor am I an expert.  I still need my editor and my publishers to guide me through.  But I know now that it takes hard work, time and effort to get a book published.

Now I am an author and proud of it.

So when my friend asked why only one book was coming out, even though I had written seven.  I smiled and told her, ‘all good things come to those who wait’.


Thank you, Ms. Wren. Loved having you. Readers, here's a blurb about Caroyln's book:

A covert operative. A life filled with secrets.

Jared Knight works with an elite group of agents trained to track down the worst criminals humanity has to offer. His career leaves no room for relationships.

On a dangerous assignment in Monaco he is captivated by a woman in a crowded ballroom. Disturbed by the uncharacteristic lapse, he is determined to forget her...

Five years later Jared offers Cecilia Benedict his protection when she becomes the object of an overzealous secret admirer. Unbeknown to Cecilia she is the woman who has haunted Jared’s thoughts. He can stay away no longer now her life is in danger.

Cecilia is intrigued by Jared’s serious manner and deep grey eyes. In the close confines they share she finds herself emotionally and physically drawn to him. An attraction grows...

But danger lurks in the shadows, threatening to destroy their relationship before it can even begin.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday Tales: Writing Prompt: Wine

For this week's Tuesday Tale, I'm proud to say I managed to put the word wine in a work in progress. This is from Ladies Uncorked, when the ladies find out their ladies only wine tour is not really ladies only.

“Six wineries, a fancy lunch, two nights in a four-star hotel. I. Am. So. There.” Nicole tossed her long locks out of her face as she glanced up from the glossy brochure in her hands.
“I brought my wine bag.” Rozella tugged the empty wine pouch, folded into a little square, from the tote bag at her feet.
“That only holds six bottles.” Nicole frowned as she eyed the six divided compartments. “I’ll have to get my own.”
“They’re bound to have one at one of these places.”
“Guess we’ll find out tomorrow. We spend a night in a hotel first and tomorrow, the wineries. It’s a five-hour drive to get there. I still can’t believe two hundred apiece covered the fancy hotel, winery fees, and transportation.”
“Here comes the bus now.” Rozella pointed at the red and white bus as it drew level with them where they sat on a bench at the station. “I feel like a giddy child.” She giggled and stuffed the wine bag back in her tote before tugging Nicole to her feet.
The bus door opened with a whoosh, and all the waiting women—sixteen in all—eagerly clambered forward, ready to board. Excitement crackled in the air, accompanied by the sound of women tittering, laughing, or saying goodbye to by standing husbands or sons.
Rozella’s view was hindered by the large straw hat of an old lady who pushed in front of her. She swallowed her irritation and wiped a bead of sweat from her brow.
“Whoa. Would you look at that fine ass piece of man candy.”
“Man candy? Where? This is ladies only.” Regardless, Rozella craned her neck, trying to see what had her friend so awed. She wanted to see this man candy too.
“Well, I could be wrong,” her friend said, fanning herself with the brochure, “but I think we have a male tour guide, and he’s hotter than the sun burning my skin right now.”
Finally, the old lady with the ridiculous hat moved forward and to the side, and Rozella saw a tall man, well-built with muscles showing from under his polo shirt, a military-like buzz cut, and penetrating brown eyes. Sure enough, the logo on his blue shirt said Napa Valley Wine Tours.
Before she could open her mouth to agree with Nicole’s observations, the gorgeous man spoke, “Hi, ladies! I’m Blake, and I’m your tour guide for the weekend.”
A chorus of feminine hellos rang out in reply.
Blake placed his hands on his slender hips—Rozella noted the lack of a wedding band with a flutter of relief—and continued, “We’re going to go ahead and load up your bags. Kindly hand me your tickets as you get on the bus. I ask that you let the disabled and the elderly be seated first. We have a five-hour drive ahead of us and two days traveling together all over Napa Valley, so we’ll be getting to know each other real well.” He reached out a hand to assist the first elderly lady in line. “Any questions at all, concerns, needs, come talk to me. I’m very approachable.”
Nicole snickered next to her, and Rozella finally closed her mouth. She cleared her throat. “Well, so much for ladies only.”
“I’m extremely grateful for this interesting turn of events.” Nicole waggled her blond arched eyebrows.

Be sure to check out the other Tuesday Tales and see what my fellow writers came up with this week too: HERE

Bomb Girls

Lots of stuff going on in this TV show based on the life of women during WWII, more specifically bomb girls, women who worked in a bomb factory. Season one consisted of 6 episodes, of which I recorded on REELZ and watched almost back to back.

Glady's. Can't say I was overly fond of the star: a rich girl "slumming" it, not in the beginning away. She thinks aiding the war effort consists of lifting her skirts for a total stranger of a solider in a dark alley. The first episode I wasn't impressed at all. She gradually begins to improve, but I sensed there may be trouble for her actions later down the road. By the end of the season, however, she was one of my favorite characters.

The rest of the cast:

Betty. She's the toughest bomb worker of them all and a lesbian in a world not ready for them. I felt her anger when she was misepresented in a movie.

Kate. A former preacher's daughter on the run with an obsession with singing. A HUGE disappointment in the end. HUGE.

Lorna. The "crew chief" who is married to a man crippled from the Great War and experiencing some frustrations because it. She loathes the Italian worker, Marco, with a passion, and for great reason. (I thought he was a dick, but my stepmum thinks he is hot. He's also one of those characters you like better in the end than the beginning. There are a few layers to him.)

Vera: Is distracted by the flirtatious Marco and gets her scalp torn off her head. As morbid as this sounds, her story is so far my favorite. I can't wait to see how she overcomes this  handicap of hers.

There's bad news received, deaths, fake letters, a thief, someone gets the clap, there's turning on one's friends, potential rapists... and lots of sexual harassment on the job. I love how the show shows how uncomfortable men's harassment can make women and the distraction leads to accidents. And of course, anytime something goes wrong, like a bad bomb, they blame the women.

As I said, not overly fond of the rich girl, but the rest of the women really sucked me into their lives and I found the factory bits though frustrating to watch at times as the men anger me, fascinating. I found myself watching them make the bombs instead of paying attention to their conversations at times.

If you see this coming up on Reelz again soon, tape it. You won't be disappointed. The shows in order:

Jumping Tracks
How You Trust
Bringing Up Bombshell
Element of Surprise

Website complete with episodes and tour of the bomb factor.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crossing On the Paris by Dana Gynther

Crossing on the ParisThink Titanic, but not quite. It's after The Great War, before WWII, a maiden voyage of a grand ship, but instead of focusing on class division and romance, the story focuses on women. Women's trials, tribulations, women growing, coming to terms with things, realizing this or that...find themselves.

The youngest of the three women this book focuses on is the lower class. She works on the ship, lives in steerage, is not taking well to a life at sea. I'd say she was my favorite. She has a birthmark on her face that sadly, in most people's eyes, makes her unattractive. Worse, SHE feels unattractive. This makes her susceptible to a certain engine worker's charms. The entire novel is a learning experience for this girl. Her story is sad and triumphant both.

The middle-aged lady is married with three children. She's just stepped away from her sister's shadow in Paris, her flamboyant, daring, deliriously happy sister, and she is going back to her boring life with her boring husband. When a handsome doctor shows her attention, she's tempted to do things she has never done before. But sometimes it takes a walk on the wild side to see what one really does have.

The old lady is dying of breast cancer and meets with a shock on the ship. Her past catches up with her so to speak. How will she choose to handle it? Is it too late to right a wrong? When does doing the "right" thing become bad?

Quibbles: Julie's bits were my favorite, but I got tired of hearing about her dead brothers. It goes on and on and after a while, I began to skim those parts. Constance..I would have liked to see her story turn out a bit differently, but that's just me. I'm wicked. Vera...while I appreciated her reminiscing  her journal and memories also bored me. I was really only interest in the here and now, the ship, the drama, and all the pontificating about the brothers and lovers grew tiresome.

Otherwise, I must say, the historical setting was very well done. I really felt as though I was on the ship, whether it was in the hatcheck or the engine room or the deck. The author also has a good writing style, and I appreciated that not everything ended all hunky dory. Life doesn't always end perfectly and I was pleased that I wasn't able to predict every single turn of this novel, nor the ending.

Three bikes. I received this from Netgalley.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Strong is Sexy Woman of the Past: Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s and Suffragette.Most of you probably think the fight for integration in the U.S. started with Rosa Parks and her refusal to give up her seat. In truth, this battle was waged in 1884 on a train.

While on a train, a conductor asked her to give up her seat and move to a crowded smoking car. She refused. Ida was then dragged off the train. It's said that the surrounding white passengers laughed.

Upon her arrival in Memphis, she set out to sue the railway, becoming a figurehead in Memphis society. And she was only twenty-five at this time. She won in the local court, but when the Supreme court overthrew the ruling and forced her to pay the money back, she complied...yet not with her tail between her legs.

She was persistent, having long ago grew fed up with being paid 30 bucks a month while white women doing the same job made 80. She was a teacher who dropped out of school to keep her and her orphaned siblings together.

She went on to become an editor and wrote under a paper with a pen name, constantly empowering African Americans and voicing the injustices being done to her race on a daily basis. Her focus was on the public act of lynching. She raised money to investigate the more suspect and started anti-lynching campaigns. Ida even took her cause and her fight to Great Britain.

What I like about her: Even mobs, anger, and beatings did not stop this woman from speaking her mind. And  guess what else? She was one of the first American woman to keep her own last name along with her husband's. She was a woman who lived before a close-minded world was ready for her.

She was one of the first African American women to run for public office before her death a year later.

This is def an inspiring woman in history for African Americans and WOMEN both. She fought for African American rights, and at the same time, was an example of all a single determined woman could accomplish.

Want to know more: I found this site superbly helpful:

'Til next Saturday, ladies, remember you have just as might right as the next person, stand up for yourself, and don't take "NO" for an answer. Oh, and don't forget, STRONG IS SEXY.

Friday, November 23, 2012


FREE BOOK for three days, November 23rd, 24th, and 25th, in honor of Black Friday. The lovely flight attendant, Telma Cortez is being generous with her very own story! 


Telma Cortez is a Senior Flight Attendant with VisionAire, and she meets every kind of passenger, handling every kind of pass lustful men can invent. Everett Samson is not like other men, there’s something more to him that draws Telma… into something much more serious than a casual dalliance.

Microburst is the latest release in the AeroRomance Series, a softer spinoff to the AeroSexual series. Each story features someone from the aviation world: a pilot, a flight attendant, a mechanic...

So the next time you fly, have Microburst on your Kindle, and you'll never see flight attendants the same again. ;)

Don't waste another second. Download HERE

Thanksgiving Blog Hop

Maiden Behind the MaskStarting today and ending Monday, my fellow authors in Tuesday Tales are doing a blog hop. I encourage you to stop by each one of their blogs and see what they are giving away. Me, I've put together a little set of my sweet reads. One lucky commenter will win ebooks of Style Me Sexy and Maiden Behind the Mask.

Style Me SexyMy question is: Where is your happy place? When you meditate, try to relax, what's the place you visualize in your mind? *Be sure to leave your email address. I'm beyond tired of choosing winners and discovering I have no way to contact them. LOL*

Winner will be announced on Cyber Monday at my convenience.

Others participating:
Jean Joachim
Jessica Sales
V.L. Locey
Kathleen Ball
Sherry Gloag

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Sarah Niles, Danny Cooper

Book: Loving the Pink Kiss, Pink Crush
Author: Shiralyn J. Lee
Heroine: Sarah  Niles, Danny Cooper

In the sense that any of my leading ladies come across as experiencing a roller coaster ride of emotional heartbreak, depressing thoughts, or pure anger over a spiteful vixen, I implore you to think twice before assuming that they are weak in nature. These ladies are mainly based on my own actual life experience or someone who I consider to be a close friend.

Loving the Pink KissSarah Niles, my lead character from Loving the Pink Kiss is a true reflection of myself. She led the life of a party girl, shagging guys for the sake of getting some action after a brill drinking session. But her life as a straight girl was quickly dissolved as she meets a Canadian woman Robbie. Within days she senses that something is different about the way she is acting. Throughout the story she is introduced to falling in love with the right person (Robbie) but her insistence to find out about past girlfriends causes her to lose what she had just found. It takes for her to be at her lowest point in life, to be treated as nothing more than a sex toy and then tossed away like trash. When she is at her lowest point she discovers that she is worth something. Her need to belong is like a hunger and her fight returns. She finds her strength as she overcomes the bad obstacles that were thrown her way. These obstacles I myself have had to overcome. Based on my life where I had lived in a 20 year marriage knowing that it wasn't right I allowed things to happen that would never happen to me now.

Danny Cooper from Pink Crush is another fine example. Again I choose to use the finding love and losing it scenario but that's just the surface story. Beneath this, Danny's mind is in turmoil. Using the emotions that I felt when my family turned their backs on me for being a lesbian I induced them into Danny's character as I know that so many lesbians and gays have lived through these traumatic experiences.
With these two stories alone my heroines have started out as raw characters thinking that they are strong but that is their undoing as this shows only on the outside. Once they find themselves being manipulated by an emotion they hadn't yet experienced...LOVE...they find that this alone can send their world crashing down in an instance.

Pink Crush
As with the stories, Love for Lidia and The Submissive Scullery Maid I gave these characters strength from the beggining. These stories were set in the Victorian era so rather than making them out be to weak, because I feel that the Victorians had a different way of thinking than we do today, I put in place an already existing power. These stories were written in the sense of where I'm at in life today. No longer am I an emotional wreck crying over what I once had. I am in love and extremely happily married so these emotions come across in the scenes written out.

As for my BDSM stories, I use my fantasies as a base for the characters. The strength isn't with the Dom as most people who don't understand this type of world are led to believe. The strength is with the Sub. She will set the ground rules, tell the Dom how far she can go and what she definitely wouldn't do. There are two different strengths going on here. The Dom who holds the power as the viewer looks in and the Sub who creates the power before anything is performed. Going back to my first marriage I was controlled by the other person who was a dictator. It was a mental control, conditioning I would say. But now I have the control. I choose what I want rather than be told what to have. So now that I have self control I can use both sides of the emotional roller coaster and give equal strength to the ladies in these stories.

But every story that I have written has a major piece of my soul. I have lived, laughed, loved, hated and loved again. This is where my ladies find their strength. From within.

Are you an author with a strong heroine in your book? Want to see her featured? Find out how 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

iPad Mini Event Giveaway

I'm participating in this cool giveaway and I'm excited to share this opportunity for you to win an iPad Mini. Just use the Rafflecopter below. It's that simple! And good luck!

iPad Mini Giveaway Event

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The iPad Mini has a beautiful display, powerful A5 chip, FaceTime HD camera, iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording, ultrafast wireless, and over 275,000 apps ready to download from the App Store. The iPad mini is an iPad in every way, shape, and slightly smaller form. Easy for on the go with that same great Apple power punch!
This is one awesome prize and I'm sure we all know someone with a iPad on their holiday wish list.

One lucky reader will receive a iPad Mini {white}!

Giveaway ends December 5th at 11:59pm, open worldwide {residents outside of the US will receive cash equivalent of $329}, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Book Babe is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.