• Virtual Book Tour

    No Innocent Affair by Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr.

  • Science Fiction

    Renegades by Sara Mason

  • Inner City Strength by Dwight Slaughter

    Sometimes the game is all you have to save your life.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

S.W.A.K.R. - Review of Farsighted by Emlyn Chand



Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all. 
Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.



Old Cover - Wonderful.
New Cover - Phenomenal - I love the colors mixed with the perfect contrast drawing your eyes in and around. Gorgeous.

Book Teaser:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand has to be one of the most author original stories I've read in a very long time. The main character, Alex, is blind, and that in itself had to have been a big challenge while writing this as Chand is not blind at all. That right there is enough for me to give this title 5 Latte's. There is more though. 

Pulling in and obviously well researched the psychic aspects of this plot, it really makes the story intriguing, one of a kind and the mix of characters I have to say were well blended. As three of the teens try to grasp their gifts, or not as Shapri refuses to accept it, we are pulled into a whirlwind of visions, mystery, and suspense. 

I loved the runes and prophecy at the beginning of each chapter, and I am telling you that I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Each prophecy gave us an idea of where Alex's gifts would take him next and the suspense that went with each chapter kept me turning the pages for more.

If you have never experienced Emlyn Chand yet, then you should. You're going to love this series, oh yeah, did I mention it's a series? Open Heart is the next installment and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Farsighted was a phenomenal read from beginning to end and is a hands down in my top 10 must-reads!








Follow Emlyn's Tour HERE

Thursday, February 23, 2012

For 3 Days Only - Mancode:Exposed by Rachel Thompson $.99 Book Bash



TOP 10 REASONS PEOPLE SHOULD BUY THE MANCODE: EXPOSED

10. Men: Clearly, based on the title, this book has to do with men. I’m married to one, have been for almost twenty years. I’ve had several long-term relationships, dated for many years prior, and have been in the workplace since age sixteen. Plus I’m online and interacting constantly with hundreds of guys as part of my social media consulting business and author platform. And they’re kind of always walking around and stuff. I have lots of material.

9. Women: I have two fabulous sisters and a terrific mom, as well as awesome friends and have always worked well with a cadre of chicks. Sure, women are competitive but so are men. We’re all people, right? My book specifically discusses women’s reactions to men and vice versa. One of my theories (after too many martinis one night) is women talk in circles, and men speak in points. Think about it.

8. Sex: Kind of hard NOT to discuss in a book about men and women don’t you think? But I decided to look at it from a different point of view and deconstruct things. Like our private parts – why not? Some people are uncomfortable with it but clearly, not me! I also discuss lingerie – pretty but man, that stuff is itchy.

7. Humor: Much of what I discuss is tongue in cheek, sarcastic, metaphorical. A lot of people have had quite visceral reactions to it because I think they take it literally. And that’s okay – I’m thrilled if I can elicit an emotion in anyone. I just hope people remember this is a humorous collection of essays. I’m no ‘ologist’ and make no claims to be.

6. Chocolate: From my point of view, chocolate is a food group. I can exist on Nutella alone. One guy on Twitter once told me to explain that and about twelve women practically attacked him. Chicks get it, dudes don’t. If we’re PMSing, we become Maleficent. What’s not to get?

5. Martinis: My salvation from a bad day. I’m a vodka girl. I really only have one a week, but I love writing about them. Just the thought of a vodka martini with extra olives makes you – sigh – take a deep breath, right? Hey, I have a drama queen tween girl and a six-year-old Tasmanian devil child darling son. A girl needs her martinis.

4. Stereotypes: There are certain behaviors or ways of communicating that my husband and I engage in. It’s simple fact. That’s what I write about. It’s where Mancode started for me. It’s funny. People can relate to it. We’re not all that different. There are universal truths about marriage, men, women, sex, relationships, etc. This is how stereotypes were formed ‘in the beginning.’

Some people have issues with my book – this is where the controversy comes in – saying I’m simply caving in to stereotypes. I researched stereotypes, DNA, how the male and female brains work, and more before I wrote my book.

Again, this is a humor book. It’s meant to be taken as such. I’m okay with however people want to internalize it and encourage discourse about it. That rocks.

3. Remotes: My guy is pretty obsessed with them. Quantity, volume, types. I could care less where they are or if I put them in a blender one day and crush them to an electronic death they’ll never recover from. Hey, a girl can dream.

2. Chickspeak: I’m quite task oriented (see my COMMUNICATION STYLES post on my blog) but women do say stuff like “I’m fine,” when we’re so not. This confuses men. They think we’re fine. Silly men.


  1. Mancode: The main reason you should read The Mancode: Exposed is right there in the title. We’re got their number. Or do we?

I deconstruct the goofy things men do (organize the garage but not the house – what is that?), the brain shelf (why men can only keep three things on the shelf at any one time: sex, food, and sports – as reported to me by several men), and why they’re obsessed with their own bodily secretions (I know—ewww).

Oh, and did I mention The Mancode: Exposed is priced at only 99cents this week? That’s kinda major! And it’s already made it into the Amazon Top 100? And hit #1 on Motherhood, Parenting and Families, and Parenting and Relationships?

So there’s that.

The book is eBook format and is available from Amazon exclusively but remember, you don’t need a Kindle to purchase eBooks – download their free apps for smartphone, computer, laptop, tablet, or cloud to read any eBooks – even if you’re a Nook (or other tablet) owner – you don’t have to miss out!

Be sure to follow Rachel here: her blog RachelintheOC.com, Twitter @RachelintheOC, Facebook and Goodreads. If you need social media advice, contact her at BadRedHeadMedia.com and follow her on Twitter @BadRedHeadMedia.

I'm a chick who writes stuff that makes you laugh. My blog has been nominated for funniest blog this year. I've been told I write in the style of that Dickens guy. Kidding.

I'm a mom, a wife, and a recovering pharmaceuticals rep. It's been a long process but I'm doing okay, thanks.

I usually write about men (The Mancode), marriage, kids, being a mom, living in the OC (ya know--being a pale redhead living in a sea of blondes) and vodka. Not necessarily in that order depending on the day.

I also write occasionally about serious stuff, like the death of someone I once loved or lost love--so don't be shocked if you come visit and don't see the funny.

Don't come here looking to find advice about how to be sweet or nice. I'm pretty much allergic to both of those words.

If you want to learn how to find humor in everyday life, well, I'm really not your girl either. Mostly I just laugh at stuff and make up words (See "Refrigeratoritis and Manesia.")Yet somehow it all seems to work.

And don't call me cute. (Hint: babies and puppies are cute. Grown women are not.)




Monday, February 20, 2012

VBTC Interview & Giveaway with Author Cindi Maciolek


Cindi is a writer and business consultant, helping small to mid-sized companies with everything from strategic planning to marketing activities. 


Her writing focus is on books, CDs and screenplays and sharing those lessons, experiences and ideas with others.


Her recently released book, Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, is the true story of life with a diva-tastic cockatiel, a story any animal lover would enjoy.


Java Jems: 5 Minute Inspirations for Busy People, is both a book and CD, a unique combination of spoken word and original music. Her first book, The Basics of Buying Art, is sold out. There’s more to come. Stay tuned!


Cindi was also a contributing writer for The Robb Report and Luxury Las Vegas for many years and had articles published byDelta Sky Magazine. 


Her travels have taken her to 23 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.




Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today on the patio at Grape Street restaurant here in Las Vegas.



BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...

CM: I’m a writer and business consultant living in Las Vegas. I grew up in Michigan, then spent several years working in Silicon Valley after graduating from college. I moved to Las Vegas a few years ago. I work mostly with small to medium-sized businesses, consulting on strategic planning, marketing, communications and public relations. I write regularly for Luxury Las Vegas magazine, and I contributed to the Robb Report for several years. Plus, I have my own projects!

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....

CM: Divatiel, Reflections of a bird’s companion is truly a labor of love. I had the good fortune to live with a loving, intelligent, diva-tastic cockatiel for 17 years. The book starts from the beginning, when I was trying to decide what sort of pet would best fit my lifestyle, shows how she came into and completely infiltrated every aspect of my life, all the way through to when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. It’s truly a story any animal lover would appreciate and identify with. 

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular book?

CM: Since I was blessed to have Jake’ in my life for so long, there are obviously a lot of stories to share. I really had no idea how much fun it would be to live with a cockatiel and how intelligent she was. As time went on, I learned more about her. I let her out of the cage the very first day I brought her home, and she increasingly had more freedom. Some people might get a bit freaked out having a bird fly through the house, but I thought it was beautiful. It allowed her personality to come through.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

CM: I’ve been writing since I was about four-years-old, but I only recently really thought of myself as a writer. I tend to be pretty secretive about my writing projects, so it’s probably difficult for others to think of me as a writer, too. I need to share more in order for it to reflect back.

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?

CM: In this particular case, I think it was relatively easy because it was a memoir. When I write fiction, I tend to work through a lot in my mind before I sit down at the computer so I’m generally happy with what comes out. But, then again, I can’t count the number of times I edit!

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?

CM: I often work on two or three projects at a time, so if I seem stuck on one, I move to another. I don’t think what people refer to as writer’s block is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you just need to process what you’ve written before you move to the next step. At times, I’ll read through the previous several chapters to get myself in gear, or go through my notes. I do whatever it takes, but generally if you’re writing on a regular basis, it flows more easily.

Some people get hung up on names of people, places, and so on. I don’t. I keep the flow going and just refer to it in capital letters as a flag that needs to be addressed in the edit. 

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?

CM: As I said before, I tend to write a lot in my head before I put it down on paper. I know the beginning and the end, and I have some idea of what I want to happen in between, but I really prefer the story take me on the ride. I enjoy getting inside the head of the characters and letting them have some say in their lives. However, it is quite fun to know that you have complete control over what happens to them!

When I edit, I read aloud and use different voices for each character so I can envision what the project will look like on the big screen some day!

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?

CM: I’m working on some projects that I hope will showcase my fiction capabilities since I tend to write so much non-fiction. I truly enjoy writing dialog and creating a complete story from just a thought.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

CM: I like to educate people when I write, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. I want people to learn something in the end, or to provoke thought or discussion. In Divatiel, I list several things I learned from my little cockatiel. Who knew a human could learn from four ounces of feathers and ego!

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?

CM: I think the best thought to hold is that if you want to be a writer, then write. When I meet people and tell them I’m a writer, they start telling me how they have this novel/children’s book/screenplay/song inside of them, just screaming to get out. So, let it scream! Put it down on paper. Writing is a commitment. It sometimes takes years to create what you really love. It doesn’t happen overnight.

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

CM: It’s important to write as much as possible so you can develop your own voice. Don’t be afraid to write! Put as much down as you can, and fix it in an edit. And learn how to type! I can’t imagine writing anything by the hunt and peck method.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

CM: I’m currently writing a business book aimed at small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. I started it a couple of years ago and although I feel the information is good, it took me a long time to find a structure that worked. I finally decided on what I feel will be the final structure and hope to have that out in a few months.


I’m also working on a chick lit novel that I love, love, love! 

BK: Where can readers find you?

CM: Readers can keep up-to-date with my writing activities at www.cindimaciolek.com, on Facebook at Cindi Maciolek – Writer, and on Twitter at @cindimaciolek.

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

CM: Thank you for the opportunity!

Giveaway:

CM: I’ll be giving away one signed copy to one lucky person who is new to my Facebook follow list between now and the end of the book tour on March 12th. I’ll post the winner to my Facebook page on March 17th.


Can four ounces of feathers and personality change a person’s life?

She can if she’s the Divatiel!

Cindi was looking for a roommate, and finally settled on a fine-feathered friend who was a gift from a co-worker. What she got was a loving, intelligent, fun, free-spirited, demanding – Jaké.

After recovering from illness that put her near death’s door, Jaké healed and was let out of the cage so she could spread her wings. She lived her life with gusto. Jaké took risks, used her intelligence to her advantage and loved unconditionally. She took charge, not only over her surroundings but over her owner as well. Luckily, she had a cooperative Mommy in Cindi.

Not only was she demanding, Jaké did things some humans have never done. She flew on an airplane several times, went on numerous road trips and ate fresh vegetables daily.

Jaké lived a very long life and had many adventures along the way, most of which are captured in this book.

Jaké was first a gift to William, then a gift to Cindi, and now a gift to the world.

Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion will tug at your heart strings and bring a smile to any animal lover. 






Friday, February 17, 2012

VBTC Pit Stop - At the Round Table with Mohana Rajakumar, Mommy But Still Me


Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was good in many ways since that is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to her full time gig. She has published three e-books this year including Mommy But Still Me, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, and Coloured and Other Stories. Since she joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines.
Her work has also been published in AudioFile Magazine, Explore Qatar, Woman Today, The Woman, Writers and Artists Yearbook, QatarClick, and Qatar Explorer. She has been a guest on Expat Radio, and was the host for two seasons of the Cover to Cover book show on Qatar Foundation Radio. She was the Associate Editor of Vox, a fashion and lifestyle magazine.



BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...
I’m a woman with a lot of interests who doesn’t believe people when they say you should just choose one.

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....
This is my journey from being an academic and professional who worked 80 hours a week (afraid to get a Crackberry because it would mean even more hours) to becoming the sustainer of another life. The book records all the questions, worries, and fears from trying to get pregnant to caring for an infant.

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular memoir?
At first it was something I did for myself: so I would remember these moments and not lose them to sleep deprivation. Then when I thought about epublishing, it seemed like a book that would resonate with a lot of readers.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
Um… sadly, about six months ago? But I’ve been writing since middle school. I hand wrote a romance novel in eighth grade. My teacher read it and said it was good. I wish I knew where it was now! I wrote another thing – can’t remember if it was a book or a story—for a teacher as a gift in middle school. My Dad found it, read it, and said “Why don’t you do something more productive with your time?”

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?
Structure is something I impose after a first draft. It’s important to get down everything you’re thinking about the world of the story first, and then go back and look at making it technically perfect. 

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it? 
Now that I’ve a few books under my belt, I ask myself: WHAT ELSE? to keep the plot going. And it helps to talk to other creative people to toss around stories ideas.

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write? 
I teach and also juggle a few standing freelance writing assignments as well as startup projects (plus the aforementioned child and the contingent husband) so I only have a limited time to get things done. When I sit down, I have to get to it in four hours a week or less. If I don’t, it doesn’t get done. Sometimes I don’t make my goal in terms of numbers of words or pages or pieces but I usually I do something. And that matters.


BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?
I’ve got three novels in the works right now and I’d like to give fiction a good run for my money in the next six months.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books? 
A world that isn’t the same as theirs maybe in composition – the nationality of the people involved, a foreign setting, but within a story has emotions, dilemmas, characters that do resonate with universal themes in their own lives.

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing? 
Write. Every single day. Even if it a journal entry (Julia Cameron) or a story that’s rejected (Stephen King). And no, email doesn’t count (Me).

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers? 
Ask yourself why and how badly you want to see your work in print. Can you put in the hours it would take to train for a marathon? The stamina to then run one? If other things take priority, you don’t want to write badly enough. And that’s okay. Come back to it. Or it will fade away. And that’s okay too. Writing has become a fad of sorts “I’m working on a book” is something people say to be cool. But don’t pretend to be cool. Do it. Otherwise find something else that’s your true passion.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?
I hope to have an essay collection about living in Qatar ready soon. The editing is as tricky as the writing so I’m stuck there for now. But readers deserve the best so there’s no point in rushing.

I do have another memoir type reader out there already, SO YOU WANT TO SELL A MILLION COPIES? If you like the conversational tone of MOMMY BUT STILL ME, this guide for aspiring writers may appeal to you.

BK: Where can readers find you?
@moha_doha
In Qatar. So if you’re in the area, look me up! 

The modern woman's guide to switching from jet setter to incubator, MOMMY BUT STILL ME retells the story of a first time mother with humor and honesty. From sex with a purpose to ankles swelling into cankles, this is a no-holds barred look at the all the changes, big and small; from knowing "hipster" as a term that describes your generation to using it describe where you like to carry things.
Imagine a man volunteering to trade in his game nights for heart burn and back ache. Good thing there are women around to ensure the survival of the species. This hilarious look at the journey from high heels to high blood pressure, as a jet setter turns into a bed wetter, is what your doctor won't tell you and your own mother may have forgotten in the years since she was blessed by your arrival.
"At our first meeting my future father-in-law waited until we sat down in the Thai restaurant, the oblong menus placed in our hands and the waiter was a distance away, tending to other diners, before turning towards me, his eyes glowing. This was the first time we were all seeing each other after his son had proposed to me. "When will I get to hold my first grandchild?" He asked. For my father-in-law and everyone else, I have a question of my own: When will any of you be satisfied?"



Follow Mohana's Tour HERE


Monday, February 13, 2012

Wet Firecrackers:The Unauthorized Autobiography of Gordon Osmond

Publisher Publish America
Released February 2011

Purchase Links:



Join Gordon Osmond in his attempt to produce from the disparate elements of his long life some coherent whole and purposeto discover the root causes of the author's ultimate sense of highly partial personal fulfillment.
Long on analysis and short on chronological order, this unauthorized autobiography (sic) takes you to Osmond's diverse domiciles, (the United States, England, Japan, and Brazil), and to his toilings in the various vineyards of law, theatre, tennis, and teaching.


In our lives, we all have episodes of pride and shame, of celebration and despair, and of conquest and defeat. Osmond hopes that this account of these opposite events in his life may in some measure illuminate and inform the reader's own life odyssey.


First off, I love this cover. It really draws you in and begs for you to turn it over to see what's in store. The more I read memoirs, the more I'm really starting to like them. Osmond brought a well written story in his Unauthorized Autobiography. From undergraduate school to not being able to discuss sex in front of his parents or risk getting the lecture on how he will wait until he's married, to humorous satires and California Dreaming,  Osmond puts it all out there with humor, dignity, and I think if he were one of my teachers, I'd have breezed through school with ease.

The world could use more teachers like him, one of those that actually tries to connect with and reach their students. He couldn't have said it better when he said, "curiosity is the gateway to learning." Teachers could realize this more and find ways to pique that curiosity instead of just "teaching". Nothing against teachers, but Osmond is right on.

 I found myself laughing more often than not throughout reading this title, and I would just love to meet this guy in person. "Brazil, where nuts come from and sometimes go to", how could you not find that funny? Overall, Mr. Osmond has been many places, accomplished many things, and he takes you along for the ride as he relives it all. I truly enjoyed this read and would recommend this for anyone looking for a relaxing read and a good laugh.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Wicked Wives by Gus Pelagatti


Publisher   Mill City Press

Released  July 2011

Purchase Links:
Amazon (Print)
Kindle

"Wicked Wives" is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia murder scandals in which seventeen wives were arrested for murdering their husbands. Mastermind conspirator Giorgio DiSipio, a stunning lothario and local tailor who preys upon disenchanted and unfaithful wives, convinces twelve of them to kill their spouses for insurance money. The murder conspiracy is very successful until one lone assistant D.A., Tom Rossi, uncovers the plot and brings the perpetrators to justice. "Wicked Wives" is a story made for Hollywood, combining murder, corruption, treachery, love, lust and phenomenal detail as it vividly captures Depression-era Philadelphia.

True life crimes - it couldn't get better. From the first page I was drawn in, and my biggest intrigue was that this happened so close to where I actually live. Set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, society wives were creating a new meaning to infidelity. Giorgio DiSipio was a ladies man, bedding all the woman unhappy in their marriage. When it came about that they could take out a life insurance policy and reap the benefits upon the death of their unsuspecting husbands, Giorgio wasted no time getting his piece of the pie.

Each woman thought they could change his ways, making him true to one, and one only. Giorgio loved the game and played it well, and none of the ladies get their hearts desire.

Tom Rossi was up for the next District Attorney, and when Lillian offs her husband with poison, her mother-in-law knows there is funny business. Rossi, being very knowledgeable in the symptoms of poison and the diseases they can portray, he has no choice but to go with his gut and investigate. Forcing the issue just may cause him his promotion when Lillian turns out to be the Deputy Mayor's niece. The deeper he digs though, and with more deaths falling under "Pneumonia", he can't let it go with a clear conscience.

Adultery, sex and conspiracy, this title played out like a movie. I could see it all so vividly and Pelagatti did a fantastic job pulling you in and keeping you in until you found out how it all ended. Being a trial lawyer in real life, he was able to paint the picture perfectly. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves true crime, murder, and corruption all tangled into one great read.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Today Only - Book Frenzy for Immortal Becoming by Wendy S.Hales



Stop in to Wendy's website for full details - http://www.wendyshales.com/immortal_becoming_book_frenzy.html



Help support a new debut paranormal romance author!
Please "Tag" & "Like" while you're there :).



Shane Einar is a five hundred year old Volaticus Elven warrior, sworn to duty and honor. His species has inhabited the earth since the beginning of time. The sources of vampire, elf and fairy myths, Volaticus are in reality something altogether different. He never expected to meet Jess Reed. A female living amongst humanity completely unaware that she is Hulven, a human/Elven hybrid race of Volaticus, or that she is on the cusp of Becoming into her Elven traits. Shane should turn Jess over to the Symbiosis of Species Council, SOSC. His attraction to her along with her ability to enrapture him with a smile bars him from it. He rightly suspects that this female is his bloodmate. 
Jess had always been psychic, a painful and confusing fact of her life. Empowered by Shane's love, Jess is launched into a world of unimaginable passion where enlightened species walk among humanity. When given a choice to sacrifice the power and beauty of their bloodmating to aid in the rescue of victimized females from breeding cages under the control of an Elven rogue, they discover that honor and destined love comes with a price. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

GFP Tour Stop & Giveaway - Lust on the Rocks by Dianne Venetta


Dianne lives in Central Florida with her husband, two children and part-time Yellow Lab--Cody-body! When not whacking away at her keyboard crafting her next novel you'll find her in their organic garden chasing grasshoppers and plucking hornworms all while drawing wild analogies between kids and plants and men. Definitely men.

A girl's gotta have fun, right?

When she's not knee-deep in dirt or romance, Dianne contributes garden advice for various websites and volunteers in her kids' school garden (a crazy existence to be sure). But at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses--or rosemary!—kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.



Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Dianne! I'm so excited to have you here to chat today and I'm really looking forward to reading your book.

BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...

Originally from Miami (setting for Lust on the Rocks), I was a more tomboy than girly-girl but of course, growing up with brothers will do that to a gal, but I think the rough and tumble spirit is simply part of my makeup. College brought young marriage, quick divorce—neither of which dampened my dreams for HEA.

But finding the perfect mate is tough business. I mean, does that creature even exist? It’s the topic of my debut novel and first in this series, JENNIFER’S GARDEN. Women have become very successful and independent, you know, changing the rules at every turn. Traveling far and wide, seeking new and exciting horizons, our lives have become quite exciting in and of our own right! Why, it can prove downright difficult to find an equally and compelling man under these circumstances!

But we do strive. HEA is what dreams are made of and I wanted a slice of it for myself. Now granted handsome, smart and successful didn't work so well for me the first time I dabbled in marriage but I didn't want to give up. Like everyone else, I wanted it all. I had kids on my horizon (already named my daughter!) and I wanted to be whisked away by tall, dark and handsome, darn it.

Luckily I found him. Picked him up in a bar (though I can blame the entire thing on a match-making friend of mine—God bless her—because I was not even looking at the time!). But sometimes life happens that way. Grabs hold of you when you least expect it and throws you in an opposite direction, then back again, whips you around the block, yanks you to a stop only to kick you into high gear. I know, crazy but that’s livin’!

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....

Sam is a feisty lady lawyer with a lifestyle steeped in personal freedom and independence.  While family is important to her, she has decided to remain childless and husband-free.  Until Vic Marin arrives on scene, that is.  The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions--one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.  Until he walks away.

There is a sub-plot in the novel involving Sam's younger sister Jessica that pulls Sam and Vic into conflict regarding personal choices and decisions, ones that reach into their relationship and force Sam to re-evaluate what she thought she wanted from life and what she may desire instead. Lust or love? It's time for Sam to choose.

She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it. Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life.
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One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far...

Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge, and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.

Until Vic walks away.




BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?

Women today are every bit as independent and successful as men and should live their life as they see fit.  I’ve always believed “nurture” played a big role in how men and women act and react as opposed to “nature.”  However, as I grow older I realize there are inherent differences between men and women, differences that cannot be ignored or discarded. 
But looking around society, I see a major conflict in this arena for woman.  Fair or not, how we conduct our sexual lives has to be different than men.  From how we approach sex to how we react to it cannot be measured in the same terms. Remember, only one of us runs the risk of becoming pregnant—a risk with long-lasting consequences.
 
BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Really during the process of writing my first novel, I considered myself a “writer” but not an “author,” because no one was reading my books but my friends. It wasn’t until I was well into the second or third book that in the course of sharing my stories with NY editors and agents I realized, “Hey, I am an author!” I mean, when they say you have talent, it’s not like your mother telling you—they mean it! (Not to mention they know a thing or two about the craft…)

And certainly once readers discover my books and find they enjoy them, well that’s the cream on the pie. No better feeling as a writer than knowing you’ve entertained someone with your novel. I love it. I never tire of it. And as a reader, I have even more appreciation for the job I do, because I SO love to lose myself in a good story.

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?

Easy—write with a huge poster board behind me loaded with color-coded post-it notes to keep me on track! Pink is for romance, blue is for subplot, purple is for turning points, orange is for emotional motivation, yellow is for scene shifts, etc. Of course these colors change, depending on my mood—except for pink. Pink always means love!

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?

Not so much “writer’s block” as sometimes “I’m not happy with my storyline.” For example, at the moment, I’m bored with my hero and heroine and want to move to the hot action quicker. But can I? Will it work within the framework of my story?

Maybe it just needs a bit more conflict. Juicy conflict, the kind I can sink my teeth into and simmer these two in for a little excitement. Ho-hum, I dunno. Still working it out…

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?

Mood music is about as quirky as I get, other than talking to myself. Or joking with my husband about research material. I like to have water, too. Keeps my brain cells hydrated.

The unintended consequence? Frequent trips to the rest room remind me the laundry is ready to be folded, the beans on the stove are about to burn, the patio herbs need watering…

Oh, mercy—the trials a woman must go through!

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?

My greatest hope is to find homes for my books in the hearts of readers. While most of my writing is considered light, fun, sexy and quick—quick as in speed read, not quickie fulfillment!—I’d like to think there are those who will look forward to my books because they offer some manner of fulfillment.

A few books on my horizon will actually veer more toward WF without the romance, but they are stories I feel compelled to write and thus, HAVE to write.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

A smile, an escape, a second-thought, even a bounce to their step. While parts of my stories may make you cry, the endings will always leave you on a high note. I CANNOT be responsible for anyone losing sleep (unless of course it’s due to fantasy dreaming and then, by all means, I’m your culprit!)

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?

When brilliance strikes, write it down. Now I actually started this practice before reading these sage words of advice from the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, ROOTS, but it was nice to know I wasn’t crazy for doing so.  I swear lack of memory is a by-product of having children!

I have notes going everywhere—in the car, by my bed, on my cell phone (now that I’m technically advanced) and practically in the shower! But one never knows when creativity will strike and must be duly prepared.

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

I would write the book of your heart. Write the characters you cannot forget, the theme that persists even when you dream… Don’t write to the market. Don’t try and become the next latest and greatest. Follow your heart, your passion and the rest will follow YOU.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

You bet! In addition to the WF story I previously mentioned, I’m currently writing the third in this series after LUST ON THE ROCKS. You know, the one where my H/H are boring me?

Yes, that’s the one. Ultimately it will be steamy and delicious in a subtle we’re-not-actually-doing-anything-but-feel-like-we-are kind of way—but I have to get them there first! ARGH—I’m ready for those scenes NOW.

BK: Where can readers find you?

My website is diannevenetta.com but you can also find me on facebook.com/diannevenetta and Twitter @DianneVenetta -- Goodreads and more!

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

Thanks so much for the opportunity—it was fun!




Excerpt:




 “It’s nice out here, isn’t it?”
The light breeze tossed hair into her face as she looked at him. “One of my favorite places to be.” The feel and sound of crashing waves reminded her of life’s ebb and flow, the powerful force of nature, the calming sense of continuity. Sam loved the ocean, from the deep dark depths to the slide of incoming tides across a shore littered with shells.
Vic kept his pace slow. Jean pant legs rolled up, he carried his loafers in one hand, allowing the other to occasionally bump with hers. “Why aren’t you tied down yet, Sam? Seems to me, a woman like you would have men lining up with proposals.”
She chuckled at his compliment. “I don’t want to be tied down.”
“Ever? You mean to tell me you never met a guy who did it for you?”
“Did it for me?” she repeated, amused by his choice of words. But she knew what he meant and relaxed into a laugh. “I’ve met a lot of men who have done it for me, as you so neatly put, but I choose to be single.”
“Why? Someone hurt you?”
“No.” Other than my family. Being forced to care for five little kids when you were scarcely one yourself wasn’t so great. But life did that to you. It put you in situations and forced you to deal—which she did. But that was behind her now and she didn’t intend to go back. Ever.
“You don’t want kids? Is that it?”
“Let’s say I had an overexposure at a young age, caring for my brothers and sisters and I’m cleansed of any desire to have my own. What about you?”
“What about me.”
“Siblings, nieces, nephews...”
“None,” he said, and Sam almost tripped over the soft quality of his voice.
“Must be strange.” When he didn’t reply, she said, “I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right.”
He looked at her and said, “Don’t worry about it. No big deal.”
But the vulnerability in his eyes unraveled her heart. Had he been hurt? Was that the reason behind his distinct change in demeanor, the wall that slid between them?
This was usually easy territory for a man. Unless there was a problem, rang the sentiment again. “Ever thought about marriage and kids for yourself?”
“Maybe someday.”
Someday?”
“I’m focused on my career, but later, when I’m ready to settle down...” The thought fell away. “Who knows?”
“They’re a lot of work,” Sam tried to make light, willing the ease to return.
“But the connection is worth it.”
She turned to him and he stopped. In the distance, the sound of partygoers blended with the thumping base of music drifting far and wide. Behind them, a large wave crashed. Racing up the shore, it submerged them ankle deep, then glided across the wide expanse of sand as it made its retreat to the ocean. Something changed. The hairs on the back of her neck stood amidst goose bumps prickling her flesh. Vic’s gaze cut through the gentle evening light as he touched her hair, ceasing its lash across her cheekbones. Her pulse quickened.
“I had a nice time.”
“Me, too,” she uttered, her breathing reduced to wisps.
“I’m glad we’re working together.”
She could only nod, suspended by what came next.




Giveaway

Dianne will be giving away a $25 Amazon OR Barnes & Noble Gift card to one lucky commenter from her tour. So be sure to leave a comment with your email address to gain an entry.
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