Monday, January 25, 2016

Tara Quan's Feline Valentine

Today, I have Tara Quan, fellow Decadent Publishing author, talking about her new release, Feline Valentine. She's also answer some questions about herself so you can get to know her better.

A year ago, I released Fireworks at Midnight, thinking I would leave the world of A Witch’s Night Out forever (I’d planned the series as a trilogy). Unfortunately, my characters had other plans. Since I’d sicced Madame Eve on her cat familiar, earth mage Shelley Dupree insisted I make things right. To be fair, I’d already given her a magical handicap, forced her under house arrest, and buried her in bills—taking away her feline companion did seem a cruel and unusual punishment.
It took me two months of fictional time to even the scales with Feline Valentine.  Part of Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series, my interracial paranormal romance is set in Washington, D.C., where magic-wielding folk try to live alongside us pesky humans. It’s my first true “shifter” AND “foodie” romance (talk about ticking two boxes with one book), and a quick read of the blurb should tell you what I mean.
To celebrate this unexpected return to my favorite series, I’m giving away a $15 gift card. To enter, leave a comment here and drop your details in the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post [or at my website:].

Feline Valentine (A Witch’s Night Out) by Tara Quan
Under magical house arrest in her great-grandmother’s suburban cottage, college graduate and reluctant earth mage Shelley Dupree whiles away most mornings spying on the warlock next door. Though erotic daydreams offer some distraction, she faces long working hours, cash flow problems, and a repeat burglar. On Valentine’s Day, she sets a trap for the mysterious intruder, intent on ending his crime streak once and for all. But her scheming cat familiar foils her best-laid plans, and, with a little help from Madame Eve’s 1-Night Stand service, she discovers a far more dangerous species of magical feline.
After moving in next to a ramshackle building on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., pastry chef Adrien Chatdurois is plagued by repeat sexual fantasies starring the same curvy brunette. In a state of constant arousal, he devotes his early mornings to grueling exercise and spends the rest of his day handcrafting the city’s best chocolates. When his younger brother stirs up trouble on the shop’s busiest day, the frustrated shifter is forced to pay a surprise visit on his reclusive neighbor. He soon learns not all witches are wart-covered hags, and one in particular might prove the most delicious of desserts.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Comedy, Interracial/Multicultural

Check out the rest of the series here

Her doorbell rang.
An ominous crack followed the box’s impact with her yellowed kitchen floor. Sweat dampened the back of her neck. She must have imagined the sound. Her doorbell had been broken for weeks—months even. She’d taped a scribbled sign telling food delivery people to leave items on the porch. No one other than her family ever visited.
Everything, including the array of curiosities in front of her, must be part of a hallucination brought on by prolonged celibacy. Sweets wouldn’t dare sic Madame Eve’s service on her. Everyone Shelley knew who’d used it had—
Ding dong.
Okay, she could fix this. She’d meet the guy and tell him to scram. No way could the matchmaker’s mojo work in less than five seconds.
Muttering curses under her breath, she marched past the counter, through her makeshift office, and across the small living space, to stop in front of the thick wood barrier. Peepholes hadn’t been in vogue back when this place had been built. Since she hadn’t bothered to switch out the bulbs after the porch lights died, she couldn’t have discerned more than shadowy shapes regardless.
Pulling her shoulders back, she summoned her inner bitch. She had to run the guy off. Failure would end in disaster. Acting rude and obnoxious was a matter of determination, persistence, and effort.
She swung the door open.
The warlock next door stared back at her.
Her next breath erupted as a cough. “F—udge cakes.”
As opening lines to Shelley Channeling the Shrew went, she could have done better. She blamed her parents. No matter how many times she’d thought, read, and heard four-letter expletives, she couldn’t shake the ingrained childhood habit of modifying them for polite company.
It didn’t help that the man had a brown cake box sandwiched between his waist and left arm. Responding to the stimuli, her stomach had short-circuited her brain and demanded sustenance—ideally, in the form of fudge cake. Her gaze dropped to the bottle clasped in his hand. She’d had a champagne craving since this morning.
Her hunky neighbor’s green eyes had widened to a comical degree. Perspiration beaded his forehead. His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. When his mouth opened, no sound came out.
What did he have to be shocked about?
Of course, only now did it occur to her she could have pretended not to be home. Just because someone rang the doorbell didn’t mean she had to answer.
It would be so rude not to, her goody-two-shoes inner voice who sounded suspiciously like her mother countered. I raised you better.
As she contemplated slamming the door, an act that met with immeasurable resistance from the metaphorical angel on her shoulder, her neighbor croaked, “It’s you.”
As first exchanges between potential soul mates went, this might be one for the books.
At least the guy came with more than one bribe. A covered plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries balanced precariously on his other palm. Her gaze drifted over his bare forearm and along tensed biceps. The short sleeve of his red T-shirt accentuated his muscle definition.

Her mouth watered. Her gluttonous heart did a little flip. She couldn’t settle on what tempted her more—the food or the warlock.

Author Interview

When and why did you begin writing?
As a kid, I read a lot. I don’t know when it started, but I remember at times wanting to change the ending, the pairing, or specific scenes in certain books. That’s probably why I wrote fanfiction in my teens, and I progressed to creating my own worlds after finishing college.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first manuscript, which will forever dwell in the bowels of my laptop, was a vampire romance inspired by my love of Nalini Singh’s style of writing. My first published book is a retelling of Rapunzel, set in a post-apocalyptic zombie world, and it was inspired by a creative submissions call.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Despite numerous failed attempts to emulate my favorite authors, my sense of humor gets the better of me. My stories tend to be funny, light-hearted, and a little tongue-in-cheek. Of course, I’m a romance junkie and it shows.
What books have influenced your life most?
There are too many to count. I think my path to becoming an (English-language) bookworm started with Enid Blyton’s The Enchanted Wood.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Although I adore Nalini Singh as a reader, I think my writing style most closely approximates that of Julia Quinn. I think I learned a ton of language tricks by reading all her books.
How did you come up with the title?
This one was easy. It’s a story with a “big cat” shifter, and it’s set on Valentine’s Day. I was so stoked when I looked up Feline Valentine on Amazon and discovered it wasn’t taken yet.
On the subject of titles, what book are you here to plug?

Alas, I must end with a moment of shameless self-promotion. The paranormal romance I’m here to plug is Feline Valentine. If you get a chance, check out the sample read below or on my website ( Until the end of February, I have a giveaway going on for a $15 gift card. 

I enjoy a book with humour in it, Tara!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another Great Contemporary Teen Novel from Krysten Lindsay Hager

Today, I want to welcome Krysten to my blog again to talk about her third part in her very popular teen series. For those with teenage daughters who like to read (mine is close - she'll be 13 in a few weeks) it's nice to know there are good, wholesome but entertaining books out there for them to enjoy.

Landry in Like

Book 3 of the Landry's True Colors Series
Contemporary Clean Teen Fiction

About the Series:

The Landry's True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image.


Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes. Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind? 


I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.
“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”
“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”
“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”
I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.
“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.
I called Ashanti next and told her.
“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”
“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide IngĂ©nue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”
 “I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”
 I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.
“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.
Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.
“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.

Buy Links:

Author bio:

Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series and the new ​Star Series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? And Landry in Like, as well as in, Next Door to a Star (Star Series). Her sequel to Next Door to a Star will be out March 22 2016.

Krysten is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes YA, MG, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Follow Krysten:

Author talk show interview:

True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book 1):

What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why I Got a Tattoo and What it Means

In response to one of my blog followers, I'm going to talk about my tattoo.

First of all, why did I get a tattoo?

I'm a pretty normal dresser - I just wear everyday clothes - nothing outrageous, unusual or particularly bold and striking. But I suddenly developed an interest in a feminine tattoo. I wanted to do something courageous and out of the ordinary. I've always been a cautious person but I wanted to do something that breaks the mould. Especially because most of the circles I've been in have been religious people. Tattoos were not the usual thing. And I wanted to break out. I'm a bit of a rebel, lol.

But I didn't do it for years. More because I couldn't decide what I wanted to get. I knew it would be for life so I didn't want to regret my decision. I used to trawl Pinterest to find a tattoo I liked, but nothing struck me. Then I read a book about someone who'd been through a similar spiritual experience to me - the need to leave the church and the pain that came along with it. She found healing through several things that happened in her life and things that she discovered about her spirituality. I wanted that. A spiritual leader said she was like the phoenix/peacock which rose from the ashes out of brokenness. I desired the same.

I found a peacock feather tattoo online and loved it. Then, in November, when we went for a family holiday down the coast, we found a tattoo shop that looked professional and their tattoos seemed to be quality so I decided to do it then. I had already designed my own tattoo that had a peacock feather and quill but it didn't look so good so I decided not to use it. I showed the tattoo artist the peacock feather tattoo I liked on Pinterest and explained all the changes I wanted. I wanted a heart in the centre to represent my heart and four hearts around it to represent my family. I also wanted a quill on the point of the feather to represent my writing and my inspiration. I'd also read up on peacocks and their meaning - they speak of resurrection or rising from brokenness, of new life, of an eye opening to spirituality and goodness and kindness. I believed I was rising out of my brokenness and finding a new spirituality. I knew it was the right time to get the tattoo.

You must be wondering what it looks like: So, here it is:

Was it painful?

Yes, it was. I cringed quite a bit. And it was sore afterwards, not like someone told me. It felt better after a week and I had to tend it with cream and put my feet up a bit, but it was worth it. I love it! And I don't regret it.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello Herd Hops

Thank you to Herd Hops for hosting this interesting blog hop for the new year. Welcome to my blog. We're going to have fun today.

We’re ringing in the New Year with lots of giveaways! And by sharing some fun and wacky facts about ourselves. There’s a new giveaway at each stop so be sure to visit them all!

Here's the list of all the blogs taking part:

Here's a blurb of my story:

Renni has burned out from being on tour as the drummer of Eat Your Words. When she visits Nolan's spa at Block Island for a day, she impulsively applies for a position as the assistant massage therapist as a means to drop out of tour.

Nolan is taken aback by the woman in his office with pitch black hair and body piercings. He can't imagine her working in his spa, but her persistence fascinates him so he gives her the job - on one condition - she gets rids of the excess piercings.

The attraction between Nolan and Renni is immediate despite them being opposite personalities. Renni's fresh energy and charm draws Nolan as does his intensity attract her. Finding they have a lot more in common than expected, they fall in love, but Nolan has a secret and Renni carries baggage from past hurt. Will they focus on their differences or the things that draw them close?

You can win a copy of my ebook by commenting below. Please remember to put your email address in the comments.

Now, for the fun part - ten fun/silly/quirky things about me, my blog or my book:

1. The reason I chose Block Island as the setting for It's Called Feng Shui is because a fellow homeschooler from overseas sent me a huge package of interesting stuff from Rhode Island. I enjoyed going through it and learning more about a place in the US in detail. She even sent me a cotton seed to plant.

2. I have a secret obsession for tiny houses. I love watching tiny house videos on YouTube and dream of designing and building my own and retiring in it one day.

3. I absolutely hate escalators. They freak me out. Put me in an elevator rather where I'm safely closed in.

4. I keep on getting visitors to my blog from companies that sell wedding dresses because of this post:

5. I've just got my first tattoo - of a peacock feather.

6. Even since I was pregnant with my third child I have an aversion to tuna casserole.

7. I'd much rather meet a spider than a cockroach. Spiders are cute really and I hate having to kill them in case they're venomous.

8. One day, I'd like to own a hedgehog as a pet.

9. I'm crazy about cats. They're the best! We own two amazing cats. Here they are:

10. I'm in the process of reading through the Harry Potter series.

Thank you for taking part!