Monday, September 22, 2014

Hip Hop Hippie Blog Hop

Yes, it sounds crazy I know.

With A Hip Hop Hippie To The Hip Hop

I have been tagged by a wonderful writer and person Elsa Winckler in an Author Blog Hop.
Visit her website at http://elsawinckler.com/


So here are the questions the tagger sent through to me and my answers:

What are you working on now?

I've recently worked through a content edit for my second book in The Creators series called The Dance of The Firefly. It's my ballet novel!

Give the beginning on your WIP as an excerpt. (This isn’t completely polished.)

Rowena Chisanga slipped her foot into her second ballet pointe shoe, feeling the lambskin pad her toes against the roughness of the box at the bottom. She hadn’t adjusted to the modern silicone boxes yet. Taking a deep breath, she stood tentatively, one foot flat, the other en pointe. Her wan expression blinked back at her from the mirror that took up the whole wall of her teaching studio. It had been years, years since the dream had died. But the sensual pull of her muscles hadn’t died. She stood on the tips of her shoes and twirled in a gentle pirouette. All her steps came back to her. Without music, she danced about, her breath coming in gasps and her feet aching, but she felt alive.

She sneaked a peek at the mirror. By now, she could have been a prima ballerina. Yet she appeared ancient in her reflection, her arms stiffened, her face pale. A tear moistened her cheek.

“Mom,” she whispered.

The words, “I miss you,” didn’t come out but she felt them right down to the aching hole in the middle of her gut.

“Mmmh mmmh.” A harsh throat-clearing came from the door. Rowena spun en pointe to face the entrance to her studio, bringing her hands down in a gentle fall. One of the parents stood there, hands on hips. One of the fathers. She swallowed the tears and the frustration. The last students had left an hour ago. What did he want?

“Hi.” Life had to continue, even through the numbness. “May I help you?”

“I wish to discuss something with you. I’m Jamey’s father.”

“Oh.” Cold shivers ran down her spine, mingling with the cooling sweat from the brief exertion that had sapped all her energy. Jamey. Her most trying student. The one who made her wish she didn’t live in a remote African country where no ballet star could ever rise to prominence, hence her having to teach instead of perform.

She padded towards him on the soles of her pointes, the leather and boxes making soft knocks—one of her favourite sounds—against the springy wooden floor. Upon closer scrutiny, the man’s eyes were narrowed, his gingery-brown eyebrows jagged.

“What would you like to discuss with me?”

He seemed to brace himself, a vein popping in his forehead. “My daughter came home from her ballet lesson today in tears. I want to know why it’s necessary for you to shout at her continuously.”
Rowena clenched her teeth together and counted to five in her head. She managed to speak in a calm voice. “Jamey doesn’t listen in class. She just wants to play.”

“She’s only six.”

“I know that, but I’m trying to teach them a dance for the concert coming up. She won’t cooperate with even one sequence. Instead, she talks and giggles, clowning around.”

“Then you don’t have control over your students.”

“She’s only six,” she said.

The man’s eyebrows lifted, a minuscule movement. Was he amused? “Look, I can take her to another studio if you can’t handle her.”

Rowena just stared at him. Where? She was the only ballet teacher in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia—the womb of Africa, as people called the country. Her country was shaped like a foetus in a womb, and found in the bottom-central part of Africa. Landlocked, hot, tropical, and the only home she’d known.

“Be my guest.” She turned her back to him and took graceful, pointed steps to the barre. She lifted her leg up against the barre and stretched open, all the time hiding the racing of her pulse. What could she say to him? For once, she didn’t care. Too much had happened in the last week. She couldn’t handle another problem.

She’d expected him to disappear. Instead, she jumped as a shadow appeared in front of her. The man stood a foot from her. Close up, his presence seemed to permeate her. For a brief moment, her gnawing sorrow vanished and attraction surged in like a current of potent goodness. His features were clear-cut yet contrasting: bronzed skin against almost ginger hair. It could pass for a more golden brown. Speckles of day-old matching beard. Light brown eyes like the earth near Lake Kariba. Sturdy posture, straight and purposeful. Broad shoulders. Strength she could rely on at this time.

She pushed the crazy thoughts away.

His expression had changed to an almost lost look. Patience settled upon her, sweet and refreshing after days of pure irritation at everything that moved.

“Maybe you could help Jamey.”

“I’m sorry?”

He raked his fingers through his hair. There was anxiety there. Suffering. She took her leg down to give him her full attention.

“What could I do?”

“You could give her extra lessons.”

“I’m full up already, Mr. Hosking. I don’t have time….”

“Jamey loves to dance. Her mother was a ballet dancer. It’s her only connection with her late mother.”

Late mother! Rowena’s lungs drained of air. Oh, how she could identify with that. Although her mother’s death was recent, only six days ago, and she wasn’t a child, she suddenly wanted to hug Jamey and fill her heart with love to take away the lonely hopelessness. How could she have been so impatient with the child? No wonder she was so restless. The concert had become more important than the children. Creating a good image for her studio to get more students had taken precedence over putting something into the ones she had.

He peered into her frozen face. “Look, I’ll pay you double than a normal lesson. Please.”

She nodded. “I will. Of course.”

He instinctively grabbed her hand. “You won’t regret it. Jamey’s a very bright child and she’s crazy about you.”

Her insides shuddered and her toes curled at the simple contact of his hand on hers. His hand was warm and he squeezed a little too hard, but suddenly she wished he would keep it there. But he didn’t.

“Really?”

He laughed. “Yes. She says you’re so beautiful, just like her mommy. You do look a bit like her.” His eyes became dreamy and distant, as though a lifetime of memories passed through his mind.

A pang shot through her. Imagine a man like him loving her like he loved his late wife? What a selfish thought. He was still grieving.

“I think that was why she was so upset you shouted at her today.”

“I’m sorry.” She wiped a loose strand of hair away from her face. “It’s been…well, let’s say it hasn’t been the best week of my life.” Maybe the worst. “I’ll make it up to her.”

“Thanks.” His voice came out strong, confident, less pleading. His gaze—intense and looking right through her—suddenly made her want to flee.

“Shall we make a time, a day?”

“Would Saturday be a problem? I know she’ll be more relaxed then as I’m not at work.”

Would he be watching the lesson? “Um…I prefer the parents not to sit in. It’s distracting for the students.” She couldn’t bear those scrutinizing, brown eyes upon her while she taught, watching her every move, making sure she didn’t say anything offensive.

“Of course. I’m just saying, she doesn’t go to preschool on a Saturday and we normally have some quality time together. I think the preschool gets her hyped up at times but there’s nowhere else for her. That’s why Saturday would be good.”

“Sure. I’m pretty full-up the rest of the week, anyway.”

He sighed. “Look, I’d better go. Jamey’s at my work colleague’s house at the moment.”
“Sure. Saturday at ten?”

“Perfect.”

He walked out of her studio as she studied his work attire—smart-casual chinos and a checked short-sleeved shirt, beige and white. What did he do? What was he like?

He’s single.

What had gotten into her? She’d lost her mother to heart disease only six days before and had sworn off dating several years ago to get her business established. Maybe her heart was in such a weak state that it was going wonky.

She walked to the music system by her desk and played some Tchaikovsky ballet music, her favourite. The steps came back to her in waves and her energy seemed to return. Why had she stopped dancing properly the last few months? She’d done fitness, simple steps, and stretches but nothing with complex movement. Partly her mother’s illness, but also busyness and a little bitterness, since she hadn’t gotten the part in the South African ballet company she was sure she would get. But that was five years ago. She should have gotten over it by now.

The flow of her limbs to the music brought fresh tears to her eyes. She pictured her mom standing there as she used to, leaning on one leg, neatly dressed in her sleek pants and soft blouse—usually pink or peach—admiration pouring from her gaze with a half-smile and half-pursed-lip concentration. She would take in every step that she made, every nuance of form. Afterwards, she would tell her how she did and Rowena would nod because that was what she’d felt her body do.

The music reached a crescendo, mirroring her somber mood. Every cell in her body took on a whole new power—the power of drama and oozing emotion, through her movements. As the piece climaxed, she slid into the splits and flopped her arms down in an exaggerated descend.
She could still do it. After all these years.

How is your work different from others?

Whew, that’s a hard one. I think every writer has a certain charm, something that draws you to their work. I hope I have one too. Some reviewers have said my work is sweet and tender and touching.



And now I’m tagging Ylette Pearson (my dear writer friend), author of Her Bareback Cowboys You’ll find Ylette here: http://ylettepearson.com/ - don’t forget to pop in and say hi next Monday and see which author she’s tagged.





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Release - His Halloween Kisses

My holiday romance novella is now available. Woohoo! Yippie!



Today is also the start of a blog tour for His Halloween Kisses. I'm giving away some prizes on the tour too - Two signed copies of Wedding Gown Girl and three Halloween swag bags.

Don't miss out on the fun tour - I'll be visiting the blogs of other Astraea Press authors! Isn't a blog tour fun??

Not all the buy links are up yet, but here are some:





Here's the giveaway link: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Spotlight - Sara Daniel

Today I welcome fellow Decadent Publishing author Sara Daniel who is talking about her latest release, her Calendar Men romance. Sounds Hot. Over to you, Sara...


It’s a new month! Time to pull out your Calendar Men calendars. While you’re doing that, I’ll give you some background on how they came into existence…

Leonidas Russo is a former US Marine-turned-fashion model. He uses his connections in the fashion world to put a call out for models to be featured in a charity calendar he's put together to honor the memory of his brother, an Army soldier who died in the Afghan war. Proceeds for the calendar in the stories will benefit The Fallen Warriors Family Fund, a charity that gives scholarships and assistance to the families left behind.

All together now, flip the calendar page up and gaze in adoration and unabashed lust at the ripped physique and chiseled face of Mr. September. This is his story…



Gretchen Meyers is a full-figured woman living in a model thin world. Desperate to end her mother's constant, nagging stream of dieting and fashion “advice,” Gretchen tackles the challenge of reviving her mother’s faltering modeling agency. All she needs is to woo back Kyle Ramsey, once the hottest model in the country.

Making the preemptive choice to turn his back on his career seemed Kyle’s only option until Gretchen comes calling. He doesn’t care what she wants to offer him, the answer is no. Still, he’s intrigued by her refreshing personality and all her lovely, lush curves.

When tragedy strikes, Kyle finds comfort and healing in Gretchen’s arms. But he can’t trust her with his career-ending secret and she doesn’t believe their relationship will survive the long term. He’s perfect and she’s not even close. Can the fragile ties holding them together survive Kyle’s opportunity to become a true model hero?

Excerpt:

The restaurant scene, then, had done its job. Gretchen would have to send Jamie flowers. No, she’d send a box of fattening chocolates instead. “Did you enjoy your evening after I left?”

Kyle’s gaze narrowed, he pushed himself out of the chair. “Did you arrange with Jamie to drop by our table?”

“How could I, when I had no idea where we were going for dinner until we were there?” Not to mention, she’d have preferred to sever essential body parts than ask Jamie Feldman for anything. But her irrational possessiveness was her own problem. “The important thing is you had a good time, and you’re ready to make up for everything you’ve been missing over the past year.”

“Those things aren’t important at all.” He advanced on her slowly.

She took a step back and came up against the door she’d closed a moment before.
Kyle flashed a predatory smile. He took her purse and briefcase from her shoulder, setting them aside. Then he rested his forearms on either side of her head and stared into her eyes, his lips a scant inch from hers as he spoke. “I’m here for you. Our date deserves another shot.”

Her heart thundered. The thick eyelashes framing his gray-green eyes mesmerized her. He stood too near for her to formulate a coherent response. This much physical perfection and sex appeal should be outlawed. Her mind was not equipped to handle it.

“What do you say?” he asked.

Yes, take me. “I say, why me?” Her voice rose with an embarrassing squeak as she struggled to compose a rational argument and remind herself she was in her office, just feet away from her employees who’d never seen her anything less than one hundred percent professional. “I get why you went out with me on Saturday. You’d shut yourself away from the world, and I was the first woman to find you. But you’ve been reminded you can have Jamie or anyone else you crook your finger for. Why do you still want me?”

His gaze softened with a tenderness that pierced her heart. He brushed his thumb along her cheek. “How could I not want you, Gretchen? You’re smart and funny and beautiful and not afraid to let a guy who has no idea what you like order for you on a first date.”

Buy Links:

Sara Daniel writes what she loves—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She lives her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband. Connect with her online at:
Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/rx_AL

To celebrate A Model Hero’s release, I’m giving away a $20 Amazon gift card. Fill out the Rafflecopter on my Facebook page to enter. http://tinyurl.com/nn757av



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cover Reveal for Nana Prah's Love Undercover


Title: Love Undercover
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction (Sweet, Multicultural)
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Release Date: September 13, 2014
  




The last thing she expects is to fall in love with a prison guard…

Hotshot Secret Service Agent, Sarita Cerez is thrown into a medium security prison—for work. Her job is to protect the daughter of the president of South Korea. She never envisioned making friends with illegal immigrants or falling head over heels for one of the guards. Now the clandestine activity, which is integral to protecting her charge, may destroy her only chance at love.

He's never fraternized with the inmates—until he met her…

Matthew Carter always plays by the rules, which includes maintaining a strictly professional relationship with the inmates in his charge. But when Sarita saunters onto the unit, all bets are off. Her status as a deportee with a permanent ticket to Columbia means they can never be together, but try as he might, this doesn’t stop him from risking his career for her.

He's a man who values honesty above all else, and she lies for a living. Can two people from such different worlds find any common ground?









As inappropriate as the situation had turned out to be, Sarita was his. At least until she returned to Columbia in what? A few days? A week? No matter when, she would go.
“No wife or girlfriend to hang out with.”
Her chest deflated with her released breath. He wished he could have taken her air into himself. I’m screwed. “What about you? Are you married or have a boyfriend waiting to break you out of here at the first
opportunity?”
Her eyes blazed into his. “Single as single can be.”
The admission sparked something deep within him. He had to touch her. Nothing else mattered except having his fingers glide over her flawless mocha skin. The all-encompassing urge pushed him to stand.
With a controlled effort he strode to the area across from the television and leaned against the
wall.
On every unit, one spot existed where neither the cameras nor inmates could see.
Management knew about it, but the cost of adding a third camera would be too expensive for the
facility to contemplate so they left it. At least that’s the story Matt had been told.
He’d never used the spot, but as he waited for her to join him, he couldn’t imagine being anywhere
else.
He motioned her to him with a crook of his index finger. “Come here.”



Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.


Twitter: @NanaPrah
Facebook: Nana Prah,Author
Goodreads: Nana Prah
Google +:  Nana Prah   




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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cover Reveal - White Christmas Kiss

I warned you a few blog posts back that this would be a busy time with lots of books coming out.

But that's a good thing.

So, here it is - the cover for my Christmas romance, White Christmas Kiss.


Isn't it beautiful!?

I love this story and I loved writing it. Some stories lay close to your heart and this is one of them. Maybe because I wrote it during a difficult time in my life and also because I loved redeeming the bad girl! I delighted in giving Rachelle a chance for love. And the settings were such fun to create.

Here's the blurb:

Rachelle runs a little wedding chapel on the Coderica Passenger Liner. Two years on the passenger liner haven’t helped her find peace from past mistakes. Ray brings his girlfriend on the Coderica’s grand cruise to Europe. When his plans to marry her in the little chapel go horribly wrong and the relationship fails, Ray and Rachelle are drawn to each other like moths to a flame. Romance blossoms in Europe, culminating on Christmas Day. But the cruise ends, and Rachelle isn’t sure she’s ready to leave the Coderica with Ray. Will the memory of their white Christmas kiss be strong enough to bring them together forever?

There is a song in the book, and my friend's musical daughter is composing the tune for it. I can't wait to hear it. Here are the words to whet your appetite:

White Christmas kisses
We share with tomorrow’s wishes.
How long will they last?
Wishes last forever,
Hope never fades and dream roads lead on,
When you’re right here,
Under the falling snow,
Under the Christmas lights,
Wrapped in my arms tonight.

Don’t let go tonight.
Together we’re more beautiful than the garland tree,
The robin in flight.
Dream on, sweet lover, dream on forever,
Our white Christmas kiss lives on,
‘Til we reach the end of Christmases bright,
And hold each other’s hands through the darkest night.

Open lips, closed eyes, open hearts,
Keep your heart open forever, my love.
Don’t draw back,
I love you now.
White Christmas kisses,
Are tomorrow’s wishes,
Come true today.
I love you tonight,
When the lights are bright.
I love you forever,
Even if they dim.
Kiss me under,
The white.

Open lips, closed eyes, open hearts,
Keep your heart open forever, my love.
Don’t draw back,
I love you now.
White Christmas kisses,
Are tomorrow’s wishes,
Come true today.
I love you tonight,
When the lights are bright.
I love you forever,
Even if they dim.
Kiss me under,
The white.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

What Inspired His Halloween Kisses

People have asked me whether I'll ever write a biography. I've always said my life is too boring for that. But come to think of it, I have had a few adventures. I suppose everyone's life is dotted with adventures here and there and the mundane in other places. Talk about the mundane, I love this: The Mundane Goddess

Anyway, typical me, I do get off topic way too easily, but today I want to share what inspired the opening scene in my Halloween novella, His Halloween Kisses, which should be coming out close to 31st October this year.



Ali is a young single, starting off in life. She lives with her room-mates and tries to make a bit of extra cash house-sitting for people. On Halloween night, it's blowing gusts outside and the lights go off in the house where she's staying all by herself. Strange noises and sensations send her senses and fears into overdrive. She calls her brother but his friend answers the phone. He comes to her rescue and kisses her in the dark! The kisses they share blow them both away, and thus begins a rather tumultuous relationship between Byron and Ali.

When I was a young adult living with three friends, I used to house-sit sometimes. Usually I accompanied my one friend, but once I did it on my own. A stupid decision. The house was set off a main road in a not-so-cool area of Durban at the time. The owners of the house even told me that the neighbour was a bit weird and creepy, and that I must stay away from him. Once alone at night there after work, I felt rather frightened, as you can imagine. The one night, there were many funny sounds. The house truly did seem "haunted." I use to move a heavy couch in front of my bedroom door at night just like Ali did in the story.

Anyway, my boyfriend at the time (who is actually now my husband) came to visit me there the one night. We kissed and wow, were those kisses atomic! I'd say they were one of the best I had while dating. Fuelled by fear??

So, the opening scene in His Halloween Kisses was partly inspired by true events.

I never house-sat alone again after that!

Here is an updated trailer of my book: His Halloween Kisses




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cover Reveal - My Halloween Novella

The cover for my Halloween Novella has arrived and it's GORGEOUS! AMAZING! FANTASTIC!

Here it is:


I love the colours and the atmosphere! And the little black cat sitting on the writing.

It was hard to write a Halloween book. Being a Christian, Halloween is considered by many of my faith as evil and not something we should ever celebrate. It hasn't really taken off in my country, especially the trick or treat side of it because of the crime factor, but it's becoming more popular. I've actually done a fair amount of research on the origins of Halloween and personally believe it has no evil origins. It may be used for evil purposes. I stand to be corrected though. I just like the festive feeling of having a day to dress up or make goodies, etc. I see the fun aspect of going scary - it actually helps us to deal with scary and fearful things in a way. So, no, as a Christian, I'm not anti-halloween but I don't go for witchcraft and Satanism, those types of things. I personally believe though that as Christians, we should be open to other people's beliefs. I respect those who think it's wrong but I also hope they respect me and accept that I don't see anything wrong with taking a day out of the year to celebrate and have fun in a "scary" way.

Anyway, here is the blurb of my novella. It's a fun, short read with a more young adulty feel than my other books.

Blurb:

Ali’s never been so scared. She’s housesitting for a colleague on Halloween night, but the lights have gone out, and terrible noises and crashes send her imagination into overdrive. When her brother’s friend comes to her rescue, he kisses her in the dark several times. Once back in the light, Ali is embarrassed at allowing him to kiss her. Byron tries to ignore his strong attraction for Ali, especially seeing he’s not ready for a relationship. When Ali finds out why, she runs away, but life has other plans. What can bring them together? Fate, faith, or the memory of his Halloween kisses?

I'm not going to post an excerpt yet as it's still in the editing phase. Should be up fairly soon.