Monday, June 22, 2020

Pre-order Time for Madison Michael's Book Dare to Hope

Dare to Hope
Double Dale Romance Series (Book 1)
By Madison Michael

Maddy is offering a few lucky readers the chance to win an ebook of Dare to Hope from ibooks or another ebook format. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter! You may enter each day for a chance to win so be sure to follow along with us on the Pre-Order Tour.

♥♥Pre-Order Details ♥♥

Dare to Hope is now available for Pre-Order on B&N, Apple Books or Kobo. After it's release it will only be available on Amazon, so Hurry! Go Pre-Order your copy if you prefer these formats for reading.

About Dare to Hope: 

She’s Betting on Love and the Stakes are High

The “Crazy Eights,” eight women who have been friends for 30 years, have a powerful connection yet rarely see each other. At a pivotal time in their lives, they create a way to remedy this predicament, an audacious dare contrived to bring them together for weddings – each participant must get married within twelve months. The stakes are high. Win the bet and lose your heart; or lose the bet and perform a personally mortifying task.

In the first of their stories, we meet Eliana, beautiful and brilliant, but starting over, focused on her career, not on some foolhardy dare. Longing for a family but recently divorced and on her own, Eliana sets her sights on a new job, a new home and accepting her single, childless status. Independent and determined, she has no idea that in less than six months she will both win and lose her heart’s desire.

Jeremy Klein, genius engineer and inventor, is also making life changes. He’s sold his startup to a major medical device company, becoming President and CEO, and a billionaire before he is forty. Although he’s gun-shy about the dating game, Jeremy knows it’s time to apply his smarts, sex appeal and new-found success to finding true love.

When Eliana meets Jeremy, they bond quickly. The couple has so much in common and a chemistry that sizzles. Winning Eliana feels like a fantasy come true to Jeremy. Their attraction is immediate and electrifying, and a one-night stand morphs into planning a future. But plans change. On track to wedded bliss, baby and all, Jeremy and Eliana are derailed by accusations that threaten their relationship, Eliana’s career and Jeremy’s future as CEO.

Spies, lies, allegations and misunderstandings abound, threatening to destroy their happiness. That is, until those “Crazy Eights” get involved, scheming and manipulating to win Eliana her happily ever after. Can a group of determined friends help Eliana and Jeremy hold onto love?

In the tradition of The Beguiling Bachelor Series, Madison Michael creates a romance series about independent and sassy women, sexy and successful men, true love, and lasting friendships.

Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance

Buy Links:


An Excerpt from Dare to Hope:

His grin was devastating up close – wide and welcoming, with a hint of naughtiness and the promise of shared pleasures. But it was his eyes, deep coffee brown and fringed with long dark lashes that were his best feature; piercing, intelligent and inquisitive eyes, trained on her.
Please, God, Eliana prayed quickly, do not let this man be the new sales manager. It would be lamentable if she had to keep him at arm's length. He was the first man Eliana had felt drawn to since Nico. If she was honest with herself, he was the first man she had ever felt this attracted to so immediately. It was enough to make her believe in love at first sight or fate.
"Hi," he stepped closer, ignoring the empty stool beside her to halt just inside her personal space. Usually, Eliana would have reflexively backed up, but she savored his closeness, the power emanating from his presence. Even in this stuffy bar, he smelled good – fresh, like soap and good whiskey. And up close, his eyes were more magical – a hint of gold dancing in their depths.
"Hi," she responded on a breath, letting the single word hang there for a moment before adding "You aren't in sales, are you?"
"Nope." If he thought it was a strange conversation starter, he kept it to himself. "Engineering and design, although I have dabbled in sales. I could be in sales for you," he offered in a voice smooth as brandy, redolent with sexual promise and a hint of curiosity. She laughed at his offer. "Are you in sales?"
"Yes, I am. I was thinking of what a crime it would be if you turned out to be my new boss. I'm meeting him tomorrow."
"Jeremy," he responded, extending his hand to shake hers. "Not in sales. Is your boss named Jeremy?"
"Thankfully, not." Eliana extended her hand, savoring the moment as Jeremy wrapped his long fingers around hers. She noticed there was no wedding band as she admired the strength and length of his fingers, the fine hairs on the back of his hand, and his grip - warm and dry. His skin was soft over fine bone and healthy muscle. Everything about him captivated her. "Eliana."
Jeremy seemed in no hurry to release her hand, but after several beats too long for politeness, Eliana pulled hers from his. "Is this seat taken?" he asked, already sitting down, not thinking twice about it. "Or perhaps that table against the wall? I am anxious to learn why you don't know who you work with, Eliana."
Eliana laughed and watched as Jeremy's breath stopped. His every emotion was transparent, especially the desire flaming in his eyes right now. A passion she reciprocated. Wholeheartedly. She couldn't remember such an instantaneous attraction. But with Jeremy, she felt electricity and lust move through her entire body, just from the touch of his hand and the sound of her name spoken in his rich baritone.
"Eliana," he rolled the word around his mouth as if tasting a fine wine. "What a lovely name." Eliana panties dampened. He was just saying words, but their underlying promise was undeniable. She wanted to be alone with him. She wanted to be naked with him. And all she knew was his first name.
Eliana nodded toward the table, questioning her sanity. She was sure about what this man wanted, but after only minutes, her body governed her head. Jeremy spoke briefly with the bartender, passed him a fifty like it was a single, and motioned for her to lead the way to the empty table. Before they had settled in their chairs, both had fresh drinks. Earlier, the bartender had responded to her beauty with decent service and half-hearted flirting, but he reacted with alacrity to the big tip.
"So, spill," Jeremy directed, leaning forward on his elbows and putting his mouth dangerously close to hers. Just a few inches, Eliana imagined, and they could be kissing. "I am dying to hear your story. I want to know absolutely everything about you." The way he lingered on the word 'everything' made Eliana wetter still. Oh man, she was in way over her head.


Meet Madison Michael:

Madison Michael loves to binge news, movies, books, Oreos and romance – reading romance novels, writing romantic stories, watching Rom-Coms over and over. Maddy has spent her self-isolation fretting about the health of her friends and neighbors and catching up on TV programs from ten years ago. Hunkered down with her cat, Gracie, and a Zoom life-line to the world, she is wondering how people date and social distance, how much junk food she can consume in a day and why Gracie only wants to play when Maddy needs to work.

Oh, and Madison is also hard at work on the rest of the Double Dare Romance series. Watch for more of the series in Autumn and Winter, 2020.

Madison’s Social Links:

All Caught up on Madison’s Books?

The Beguiling Bachelor Series – 
Four Successful, Sexy Men meet their matches – and how!
The B&B Billionaire Books – Second Chance at Love stories set in small town America
Standalone Stories – from Sweet Time Travel to Sexy May-September Romance
(available only when you sign up to be an Insider)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Cat Therapy Hook - #MFRWHooks

Every Wednesday, Marketing for Romance Writers holds a book hooks blog hop. I decided to take part this week to show some love to my book and other authors too.

If you want to take part, click here:

So, what hook am I going to use? That's a hard one.

Well, one of the biggest themes threading through my book, Cat Therapy, is cats. We are on Level 3 Lockdown in our country. That means we can do most things but we're still not allowed to have social gatherings. So, we're still kind of isolated. The other thing is it's a cold winter for us here in South Africa. Our cats become extra-friendly in this weather. They lie on our laps, purr, knead, burrow under our blankets. And they provide the healing, love, and comfort and companionship we really need at this time. My kids and I have been loving our two cats. They've even become more tolerant of one another. They normally avoid each other, but due to the cold, have been quite happy to lie quite close. That's a miracle in itself.
They also like lying in a sun spot - my daughter took this pic and darkened out the background.

Cat Therapy is about a woman who has tapped into the healing potential and power of cat love for hurting humans. She is brave enough to open up a bed and breakfast facility so guests can avail of the love of cats. But in the process, she has to choose between her feelings for the handsome yet interfering new vet and the gentle and comfortable widow whose son needs Cat Therapy.

You can purchase my book on Amazon here:

If you'd like to sign up for MFRWHooks, please go here: Marketing for Romance Writers

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

What is Demisexuality

It's pride month and I thought I would talk about an often seldom-talked-about sexuality - demisexuality.

Demisexual Pride Flag

What exactly is demisexuality?

Well, demi means half and it's like halfway towards the asexual spectrum. Asexual people don't experience sexual attraction and don't crave a sexual relationship. They may crave romance and be happy to share intimacy with someone they are romantically attracted to, but they don't long for it.

Demisexuality is when a person isn't attracted to anyone until they experience a deep emotional bond first. That may sound like what several people feel - they don't want to sleep with anyone until they have a solid, exclusive relationship first. But...there's a difference - demisexuals genuinely can't get themselves interested until they have a solid emotional connection first. They're not just being sensible about it. So, they may feel left out growing up as they're not into as many crushes and hookups as other young people. It's not that they don't have a sex drive, or don't have a desire for a sexual relationship; it's just that it doesn't happen as easily for them. For them, hookups and casual relationships are unpleasant and unfulfilling. They don't desire people just for nooky-nooky.

Isn't that like what religious people do? They don't want sex until marriage? No, that is a choice; although from what I've heard, not that many religious people have the strength and willpower to stick to that choice. For demisexuals, it's not a choice but a sexuality, an aspect of their natural bent.

The reason why I'm talking about this particular bent is that I think I'm partly demisexual. The reason I say "part" is that I can be attracted to someone straight away, but...I just can't get interested in a sexual relationship too soon. Growing up in a strict religious path, I didn't realise this about myself because we were required to wait it out. But there are several signs that I've got some demisexuality in me:

1. I wasn't boy crazy like other girls growing up. I often felt odd and different to others. I used to get crushes but they were really rare and part of the reason I got them is I felt I had to find a boy to crush on because everyone else was talking about it and I felt left out. There was only one time I developed a genuine crush on a guy and I think that's because he was really sweet and friendly toward me. Sadly, he decided to date my friend instead and I was devastated. At that age, it affects you so much. But yes, I didn't have posters up on my wall. I did get celebrity crushes though, which many demisexuals say they don't get.

2. I've never been into those pinups of bare-chested guys on book covers, etc. I could never understand what all the fuss was about. I tried to write erotic romance for a few years because I thought that would sell, but I really wasn't good at it, lol. That's because erotic romance is based on first a sexual relationship which then leads to something more. My erotic romances were just not sexy enough. I don't enjoy reading the genre either. Says a lot about me. I always prefer the slow-burn romances.

3. When I dated my first husband, I wasn't that into him at first. But we developed a special bond because we had a lot in common. Plus we did some fun things together. Suddenly, he became deeply attractive to me.

4. I am battling to date nowadays. With the advent of online dating, sadly we have become a hookup culture. Because there is such a choice out there now at the click of a button or a swipe right, people realise that they can have casual relationships so easily. Almost every relationship I've tried has ended in me breaking up with the guy because he wanted a sexual relationship almost straight away. There was only one guy I dated that didn't try to kiss me on the first date and he was religious. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the men nowadays but I've discovered that many women are also like that. As much as I may find a guy attractive, for some reason, I can't really enjoy a kiss on the first date. I think hookup culture isn't a good thing and is preventing a lot of young people from doing the hard work of building true intimacy.

But in the end, I'm still not sure I'm totally demisexual as I do feel attracted to people early on when I find them an appealing human. I wonder if my religious upbringing has played a part in the way I think and feel. I no longer believe it's good to wait until marriage anymore. I believe it's good to get to know someone sexually before you make that strong commitment. So, my religion isn't holding me back, but it could be subconscious. I know a lot of ex-religious people who have very active sex lives though.

Even though I'm not totally demisexual, I want to honour those who are. May you feel seen and heard and wish for others not think you're some strange anomaly. You are you and you deserve honour as a sexual being too. You do you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Communal Grief Poem

I feel the world's grief today,
It's a sadness inside my being,
For unspeakable injustice,
For aching loss.
Even though the crime took place across the seas,
I feel the pain of many lives
Who bear the grief of a good man
Taken too soon.

I feel the grief of injustice, of prejudice, of hatred,
That the world needs something drastic to change its tune,
But I know that one day,
Things will be better,
That love and peace will prevail,
That equality will be a strong pillar,
Across the land.
Come quickly, that beautiful day.
Move in the hearts of man,
May he never be the same,
From now on,
Until forever.