Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson & Lloyd Osbourne

A black comic novel about the last remaining survivors of a tontine - a group life-insurance policy in which the last surviving member stands to receive a fortune. It is a farcical, eccentric and brilliantly written piece of work.

Two elderly brothers plot to kill each other for a fortune.
Release Date: 27 May 1966
Running Time: 107 minutes
John Mills as Masterman Finsbury
Ralph Richardson as Joseph Finsbury
Michael Caine as Michael Finsbury
Peter Cook as Morris Finsbury
Dudley Moore as John Finsbury
Nanette Newman as Julia Finsbury
Peter Sellers as Dr. Pratt
Tony Hancock as Detective
Wilfrid Lawson as Peacock
Thorley Walters as Lawyer Patience
Cicely Courtneidge as Major Martha
Diane Clare as Mercy
Gerald Sim as First Undertaker
Irene Handl as Mrs. Hackett
John Le Mesurier as Dr. Slattery

Author Bios:
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson's popularity and allow him a place in the Western canon.

On December 3rd, 1894, he died of an apparent cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 44.

Lloyd Osbourne
Osbourne was born in San Francisco, California, on 7 April 1868 to Samuel Osbourne and Fanny Van de Grift. While Osbourne was still quite young his mother married the well-known writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Osbourne accompanied his parents on their frequent travels, and was educated by private tutors in England, France, and Switzerland. He later attended Edinburgh University, where he studied civil engineering. Further travels with Stevenson after his departure from Edinburgh took Osbourne to Samoa. There he served as U.S. vice consul-general until 1897. In the late 1880s, Osbourne began his literary collaboration with his stepfather. Together the two produced three novels: The Wrong Box, The Wrecker, and The Ebb-Tide. After Stevenson's death, Osbourne wrote several more novels, including The Adventurer, Infatuation, and A Person of Some Importance, and produced a collection of short fiction, Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas. Later in his career he wrote, along with his nephew Austin Strong, several dramas. Osbourne died in 1947.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Lloyd Osbourne



Good Intentions by Pembroke Sinclair

Title: Good Intentions
Author: Pembroke Sinclair
Series: Road to Salvation #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Katie has been through Hell—literally—and discovered that it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. In fact, she kind of enjoyed it. She got to be with Josh, found out about her past, and discovered who she wanted to be as a person. Katie didn’t care that her actions went against social norms. She was happy.

But things are changing—again. Wes has come back into her life, and that can only mean trouble. His presence threatens to unravel her new-found happiness. She can’t allow that. She won’t let him back in. Yet, Katie can’t push him away.

Thrown back into a state of confusion and uncertainty, Katie is once again forced to pick sides, and in the process, she may lose herself.

     As Katie stared at Wes, her mind drifted back to an incident that occurred when they were sophomores. He’d had the same sad, disappointed look on his face. It had been during class, and Katie had to get a book she’d forgot out of her locker. The halls were empty, and she was walking quickly so she could get back in a reasonable amount of time. He was down the hall, sitting on the floor with his knees pulled up to his chest, his forehead resting against his knees, and his arms wrapped around his head. She hadn’t noticed him at first; she was focused on her mission. She noticed him only after she’d closed her locker and turned to head back to class. She hesitated. She really needed to get back to class, but she couldn’t leave him in a time of need. Her heart instantly went out to him, a frown covering her face. Class could wait. This was important. She knelt in front of him and touched his elbow lightly.
     “You okay?” she whispered.
     He lifted his head, and it became readily apparent that he’d been crying. Katie moved to embrace him. It was what he would have done to comfort her. He rolled away from her, springing to his feet.
     “I’m fine,” he snapped as he stomped down the hall.
     She plopped on the floor, staring after him and wondering what she had done wrong. Katie’s heart shattered into a million pieces. Tears stung her eyes, disbelief threatened to drop her jaw open. All she had wanted to do was help. Why hadn’t he let her?
     That incident pretty much summed up their entire relationship through the years. Wes was there only when it benefitted him, and it always seemed to be when Katie was at her weakest. She wasn’t going to let him do that again. She wasn’t weak anymore. She wasn’t surviving on his fleeting moments of attention. She didn’t need his pity. She didn’t need his judgment either. What it all boiled down to was she didn’t need him. The fear she’d felt being in his presence morphed into anger. She clenched her fists at her sides.
     “Whatever you’re going to do, get it over with,” she growled.
     Anger flashed through Wes’s red-rimmed eyes and he balled his fists. Katie stiffened. The last time they’d been on this mountain, they’d stopped being friends. There had been yelling, and she’d said things that she knew cut him to the bone—things about his mom—but she hadn’t been sorry then, and she definitely wasn’t sorry now. She was ready for what was going to happen next. If his behavior from the dinner her mom had decided to host without her consent was any indication, he would just yell at her and storm off. That was hardly any threat at all—except she needed him to get her home. Still, she wasn’t going to stand there and take his verbal abuse. He’d had plenty of opportunities to help her out and hadn’t. Besides, she’d made peace with her decisions. Who did Wes think he was coming back and trying to make her feel guilty? She wasn’t going to let him. What else could she say to anger him so he would send her home?
     In a heartbeat, the anger that had surged through him vanished. Tears formed in his eyes, his hands relaxed. He shook his head. Wow. That was new. How did he get over that so quickly? It wasn’t necessarily a good reaction. If he wasn’t angry, he wouldn’t send her home.
     “I don’t want to fight anymore, Katie.” His voice broke as he spoke. “It’s not getting us anywhere.”
     Katie stepped back and eyed him suspiciously. What was this? Was he trying to use reverse psychology on her? There was no way after she tried to kill him that he would be this nice. It was a trap. He was trying to get her to drop her defenses. But why? What was his plan? It didn’t matter. It wasn’t going to work. She was already vulnerable enough. She didn’t need to make things easier for him. But at the same time, she was curious. Why wasn’t he trying to kill her? That thought really bothered her. Why did she care? She hated Wes and all that he’d put her through. He’d abandoned her, broke her heart on numerous occasions, and brought demons into her life. Why didn’t she turn her back on him? She could stick her fingers in her ears and hum to drown out his voice. She should. He was the enemy now.
     “What do you want?” Her voice was low and laced with distrust.
     The words came out before she had a chance to decide if she actually wanted them to. But the old familiarity and comfort she felt in his presence drifted over her. The inexplicable draw she felt toward him overtook her. God! Not being able to control that impulse drove her crazy. She cursed herself mentally. Maybe she wasn’t as strong as she thought.
     Wes held his hands out to his sides to show he wasn’t a threat. “I just want to talk. That’s it.”
     Katie folded her arms across her chest. She didn’t want to hear what he had to say. More than likely, it would be the same speech about how Josh was evil and she needed to stay away from him. Katie huffed. It was the last thing she needed to hear from him. His argument would be hollow.
     “So talk,” she snarled.
     Crap! That wasn’t what she wanted to say. She gripped her biceps and squeezed to keep from lashing out. She wanted to tell him to stay gone and let her live her life, but that obviously wasn’t happening. She had to figure out a way to control and override the impulse that was drawn to the Divine.
     Wes took a step toward her, and she recoiled in fear and disgust. He sighed and dropped his hands to his sides. “I’m not going to hurt you, Katie.”
     “What guarantee do I have of that?”
     A pained look crossed his face. “Because it’s me.”
     Katie snorted. “That doesn’t fill me with confidence.”
     But in reality, it did. She’d known him for a long time. He was good at destroying her mentally and emotionally, but he’d never hurt her physically. Still, she wasn’t sure that was necessarily better. And she knew this interaction wasn’t going to leave her unscarred in some way.
     He pressed his lips together and stared at her hard. “No, I’m sure it doesn’t. Our past has been a bit rocky and troubled, hasn’t it?”
     Katie smirked. “You could say that.”
     “I’ve had some time to think and reflect on the choices I’ve made. I’ve been a terrible person in certain aspects of my life. I get that. No one is perfect. You don’t have to like me, and you don’t have to trust me, but at least hear what I have to say.”
     She didn’t want to. She wanted to scream at him to send her back, but the words lodged in her throat and she stood there waiting for him to continue. After several moments of silence, she snapped at him, “Well? It’s not like I’m going anywhere.” She stared at him intently. “You’ve made sure of that.” For crying out loud why was this happening like this?
     His eyes grew wide. “I had to, Katie. They have you under constant supervision. It was pure luck and a momentary lapse on their part that allowed me to grab you out of the bathroom.”
     She shuddered. It distressed her to think Wes had to kidnap her to talk to her. And that he was willing to do it. No doubt he thought what he had to say was important, but Katie didn’t care. She just wanted to be left alone. It didn’t surprise her that she was being watched. She’d seen the Hounds patrolling her neighborhood. Josh kept her in sight when he could. Obviously for a good reason: Wes had been biding his time and waiting to grab her. At first, Katie had assumed it was so he could kill her. And, technically, he still could. He could just be looking for his chance to gloat before ending her life. He had all the time in the world. He could toy with her for as long as he wanted. But she highly doubted that was his desire. Wes wasn’t threatening.
     What bothered her was the insinuation in his words that there were more things watching her than Josh and the Hounds. If this was his only chance to get to her, did that mean something was around when she slept and showered? And dear Lord, went to the bathroom? Did she have any privacy at all? That didn’t make her comfortable. It actually distressed her more than she could say.
     Fear entered her system again. She desperately wished she wasn’t in her current situation. Despite her unease at her apparent lack of privacy, she mentally cursed Josh and Hell for letting their guard down. Katie knew she wouldn’t have been in this situation if they had been successful in getting rid of Randy and Wes.      But it was unfair to blame the demons. She was the one who’d been tasked with getting rid of them, and she hadn’t. And, in reality, she wasn’t convinced she actually wanted them dead. But it would have alleviated a lot of problems. Most notably, her current state of affairs.
     “They’re probably hoping you’ll show back up,” Katie said softly. And that assumption was apparently correct because here he was.
     “Oh, without a doubt. We definitely have unfinished business, and that will be taken care of in due time.”
     Katie smirked. How long was that going to take? How many more people had to lose their souls? She’d taken several and the Praesuls hadn’t done anything. Weren’t they supposed to protect the world from evil? It was their mission to rid the world of demons to protect the innocent, but they hadn’t been around. That didn’t surprise Katie. They would only act when more worthy people were threatened. Randy and Wes had already made it clear that Katie was expendable. They wouldn’t tell the truth when Katie was in the hospital, making her appear crazy in front of her mom. Then later that night in the hospital when she came back from being in Hell, Randy waited for her in the room. He’d told her that withholding the truth was a sacrifice for the greater good. It irritated her, and she’d asked him if he would lead her to slaughter if her death would hypothetically save millions, and he had said he would do what he had to. Did that mean he would let Katie die if it would save others? She was convinced that was what he meant. And none of the others were apparently worth saving. The people she and Josh took souls from were just sinners. They were definitely not worthy of Randy and Wes’s attention.
     Wes’s face became serious. “I know what the demons told you. And it’s a lie.”
     Katie furrowed her brow and stared at him. Could Wes possibly make a more general statement? And she’d been expecting him to say it. It wouldn’t be a complete conversation without it.
     “I know what they told you about Lilith.”
     Whoa. Okay, that was just a bit too specific. And as much as the statement surprised her, she wasn’t going to let him know that it affected her.      But wait. Maybe it wasn’t as surprising as it initially seemed. Wes could see her soul. He knew she was part Lilith, and more than likely, Wes knew how important she was to the demons.      He was probably just making an assumption. She’d been in Hell when Lucifer had revealed the story. There would be no way Wes could know what had been said. What else had Braden told her? Something about Wes trying to protect her from herself. That was why he treated her the way he did. Wes had never wanted her to discover her true power. She set her jaw. She knew where this conversation was going. She held up her hand to silence him.
     “Just stop right there. Don’t waste your breath telling me that the story they told wasn’t true.” She pointed at him. “You had your chance to tell me your side.”
     Wes took a deep breath. “I have a feeling that not all of what they told you was a lie. And that’s what scares me. But I can tell you this: they used it to manipulate you.” He placed his hands on his hips and stared at the ground for a moment. He looked up at her with determination in his eyes. “I’m going to fix my mistakes. I’m going to make this right.”
     Katie shook her head. No. He didn’t have that right. His chance had passed. He couldn’t come back and save her now. She didn’t want him to. She opened her mouth to tell him that, but she never got the chance. In the corner of her eye, she saw a shadow materialize, and when she turned to look at it, it became a solid black mass. It looked exactly like the shadow Braden had summoned in the warehouse. How was it here? They were on holy ground!
     With a speed that was almost too fast to see, the shadow rushed toward Wes. Arms extended from the darkness and shoved him backward. Katie heard the thump when the shadow connected with him. Wes stumbled and was pushed back several feet on the grass, but he didn’t go down. Regaining his footing, he readied himself to fight. His hands balled into fists. He glared at the shadow, which hovered in from of him, unmoving.
     Wes took a quick step forward and pulled his fist back to strike. As it came forward, the shadow pooled on the ground and disappeared. Wes barely caught himself before falling forward. He glanced around, his eyes scanning the ground for his opponent. The shadow reappeared behind him and shoved him in the back. Wes went down on his knees. Pain pinched his face as the impact jolted his body. He attempted to pop back up to his feet, but the shadow moved around him and caught him under the chin with what looked like a knee. Wes’s head flew backward, his eyes rolled in his head, and he landed on his back. Surprisingly, he wasn’t out. She wanted him to be. She didn’t want him to endure any more. It made her flinch and cringe every time the shadow hit him. Had it been anyone but Wes, she would have rushed to stop the attack and comfort them. Even when it was Wes she had to use all of her self-control to stay away. That feeling was not sitting well with her.
     With a quickness that surprised Katie, he rolled onto his side and jumped to his feet. It still wasn’t fast enough. The shadow anticipated his move. It was ready with a fist to the side of Wes’s head. And that was enough to take him out. His body crumpled into the wildflowers and lay still. Katie stared at him, her mouth agape. Stay down, she said in her mind. And it appeared this time Wes would comply.
     Her breathing became rapid. Her muscles tensed as she waited for what was going to happen next.      She had watched the entire fight unfold before her eyes and couldn’t believe what she was seeing.      If that shadow was the same one Braden had summoned, there was no way it should have been there. They were on holy ground. It was a creature from Hell. Or was it?
     It definitely had a human shape. There was a distinctive head and shoulders, but the rest of the body flowed together as if it were wearing a cape. That was the only thing that made it sort of human.      It didn’t have any other features such as a face.
     Katie was frozen in place as she stared at it. It hovered over Wes. What was it going to do? Should she intervene? Wes was unconscious, and he couldn’t defend himself. He would be easy to kill. Conflict raged inside Katie’s mind. It was a feeling she despised. There shouldn’t be an issue. She chose darkness, why was she even contemplating helping Wes? After several tense moments, it turned to Katie. Her heart leapt into her throat, and her breath caught. She felt the weight slam into her. The thing hit her with such force that the air left her lungs. Fear tightened all the muscles in her body. Both she and the shadow fell backward.
     She braced herself for the impact with the grass and ground. Instead, her spine made contact with something hard and unforgiving. Needles of pain pricked her back and ribs. She would have much preferred the grass. Pain radiated through her entire body. A groan inadvertently escaped her lips, followed by a gasp as her lungs tried to refill with air. Her head hit next, and blackness clouded her vision.
     She lay still for a moment, attempting to let her body adjust to what had just happened. She was chilled from the cold surface against her back and skin, but she still managed to slow and regulate her breathing. Pain radiated through her limbs. The darkness cleared from her vision, and she realized she was on the floor of the bathroom in the hospital. She blinked slowly. What the hell just happened?

Unlikeable Characters By Pembroke Sinclair
Characters, like real people, have their quirks.  There are parts of them readers may like, and others readers may find loathsome.  Katie, my main character from the Road to Salvation series, isn’t always liked.  In fact, some readers have even gone so far as to say they hate her.

My first reaction to that was that I needed to come to Katie’s defense.  I felt like I needed to protect her like I would protect my own children.  I would explain that she acts the way she acts because she’s a 17-year-old girl or give some other excuse, like she’s naive.  I was upset that they would attack her like that.

Then, I stopped.  I was talking to an author friend of mine about how not all main characters have to be likable.  The point of stories is to put characters in challenging situations and see how they react to them.  Not all of them come out fighting.  Some are more passive and maybe a lot more self-centered.  Some are unreliable.  You can’t trust anything they have to say, and they often twist the truth to their own benefit.  Some are sneaky.  Like the real world, characters in fiction display a wide range of personality traits--not all of which are desirable.

Katie is young, naive, self-centered, needy, and whiny.  She has moments of being strong, but they are fleeting and quickly devolve into self-doubt and insecurity.  Katie is who she is, and she shouldn’t have to apologize for that or explain it to anyone.  And neither do I.  If she was any other way, it wouldn’t be the same story.

I understand that readers don’t like her, but some do.  And both of those feelings are correct.  Katie isn’t always my favorite either, and I know her really well.  I don’t cringe anymore when reviewers write about how much they despise her.  In fact, I laugh.  To me, that’s an awesome compliment.  I love to see that my character evokes such a strong emotional response.  It means I’m doing something right.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
The basis of the Road to Salvation series is looking at what could happen when a teenage girl with no experience in love falls for the bad boy.  We have this notion in society that it is expected and accepted for women to fall for bad boys and be the catalyst to change them, but that’s a dangerous place for women to be.  What if the person doesn’t want to change?  Where does that leave her?  This book looks at what could happen in this type of relationship.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 
I learned that main characters don’t always have to be likable, but that doesn’t mean their story is any less important.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?
My favorite books as a young adult were anything by Christopher Pike.  I read everything he wrote.  He was a huge inspiration in how I write my YA books now.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?
Oh, man!  I love anything that doesn’t have nuts in it.  But my favorite are cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and brownies with ice cream and caramel sauce.  Mmmmmm.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?
I would love to be able to multiply myself.  There’s always so much to get done in a day, and I’m only one person, so having some help would be awesome!

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?
I’m pretty boring, but I would pay off my cars and loans, then go on a vacation.  I’m not sure where I’d go, but Alaska and Iceland are high on my list to visit.

Favorite class in high school. Why?
I had two.  One was biology and the other was English.  They were my favorites because the teachers were awesome.  They were both incredibly encouraging and inspired me to love science and English.

How did you get involved with Booktrope?
A couple years ago, I used to do book tours on my blog.  One of the books happened to be a Booktrope book, and the book manager contacted me on Facebook to thank me for having the author on my blog.  We became friends.  At the time, I was working on the first book in the Road to Salvation series, The Appeal of Evil, and I asked the book manager to read it and give me her opinion.  She loved it and wanted to take it on.

Unfortunately, Booktrope was closed to submissions at the time.  However, because this book manager enjoyed it and wanted to represent it, Booktrope signed me, and the rest is history.

Tell us a little bit about your pseudonyms. How do you decide when to use it?
I use my pen name for my fiction and my real name for my nonfiction.  It’s actually quite a long story about why that happened, but I talk about it in a blog post, which you can find here.

Author Bio:
Pembroke Sinclair is a literary jack of all trades, playing her hand at multiple genres. She has written an eclectic mix of fiction ranging from horror to sci-fi and even some westerns. Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming--the home of 56 nationalities--it is no wonder Pembroke ended up so creatively diverse. Her fascination with the notions of good and evil, demons and angels, and how the lines blur have inspired her writing. Pembroke lives in Laramie, Wyoming, with her husband, two spirited boys, a black lab named Ryder, and a rescue kitty named Alia, who happens to be the sweetest, most adorable kitty in the world! She cannot say no to dessert, orange soda, or cinnamon. She loves rats and tatts and rock and roll and wants to be an alien queen when she grows up.


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Race for Love by Nana Malone

Title: Race for Love
Author: Nana Malone
Series: The Donavons #3
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: July 27, 2015
Up and coming racecar driver, Kisima Jennings, is all alone in the world and that’s just how she likes it. After all, she has her career, who needs family? But when a near-fatal crash jeopardizes her future, she’s forced to lean on someone for the first time in her life.

As an athletic trainer, Derek Donovan is driven and has always kept his eyes on the prize, never letting personal entanglements come between him and his dream of becoming a head trainer for the New Orleans Jaguars. That is, until one misstep costs him everything. Now he’s starting over, but with a client as tempting as Kisima, is he destined to repeat the mistakes of his past? Or will letting someone close bring him everything he’s ever wanted?

     "Can you come in here for a sec?"
     Fuck yes. But his rational brain stopped him from doing the stupid thing. "Are you sure about that?"
     She hesitated a second. "Yes. Please, I need your help."
     With an exhale, he knew how this was going to go down. If he touched a wet, slippery Kiss, he was going to want to touch more. Kiss, lick, fuck. But he opened the door anyway.
     Steam filled the expansive bathroom. But through it he could see it was a larger version of the guest bath down the hall. The floor was a white marble and white and gray glass tile lined the shower.  His gaze raked over her hungrily. From her delicate feet and strong calves to the lean strong thighs. But then her mauve towel stopped the progression of his exploration. Damn. "What's the problem?"
     She sighed with relief as she turned, keeping just her head in the stream of the shower, trying to avoid getting the towel wet. She squinted up at him as the spray of water hit her face. "I managed to wash it okay, and even get conditioner in, but I'm dead exhausted and my shoulder started to talk to me. Normally I'd have just kneeled at the tub to wash it, and last time, Leah helped me, but I'm sort of desperate here."
     She was wet, and slick. And he wanted his hand in her hair. He'd had a million dreams just like this one. In fact he wasn't entirely sure he wasn't dreaming right now. "Okay, what do you need?"
     "If you could just help me make sure that the conditioner is out, I can do a quick detangle."
     "Uh, okay." Except to do it, he was going to have to get into the shower. First option was to take off his clothes and climb in with her.  He liked that option.  The idea of burying himself inside her had him biting back a groan. Yeah no, no naked. He'd have to go in clothed.
     He removed his phone and put it on top of the toilet. When he opened the glass door, her eyes flared. "What are you doing?"
     "To make this work properly, you need to be under the stream of water right?"
     She nodded.
     "Okay then, I'm getting wet."
     "Oh, uh..." Her voice trailed.
     "Do you want my help or not?"
     "I do. Sorry. I guess I just didn’t think this all the way through."
      He clamped his jaw together. The sooner you help her, the sooner you can go back to your room and take a cold one. Once in the stream of the shower, her scent surrounded him and he knew he was going to lose the battle and the war. He was already losing a grip on his control and he hadn't even touched her yet. "Uh, just stand in the stream and I'll rinse you out. While you're at it, give me the wide-tooth comb."
     "Oh, you don't have to do that. I'll manage."
     "Don't be silly. I'm in here, I'm wet and I know how to detangle hair."
     A light flush stained her cheeks. "While I believe you've probably done this before, I, uh, black hair is different."
     He blinked at her, the laugh rushing out of him just like always. He never knew what was going to come out of her mouth. "I guess I should have probably mentioned four of my sisters are black, or half black anyway. Two of them with hair curlier than yours. I got this."
     Her jaw unhinged and she did a guppy routine for a moment, then she handed over the wide-tooth comb. "Have at it."
     "Turn around." Damn, why did his voice sound so hoarse? When she did, the water ran though her hair, rinsing out the conditioner and he massaged the rest out with the pads of his fingers. In front of him, Kiss groaned and let her head relax back into the scalp massage he was giving her. The towel she clutched was soaked and no doubt heavy by this point.
      He forced his mind to go blank as he rinsed and massaged. Gently, he began to detangle her hair, starting in sections from the ends to the roots. Growing up, he'd had to help get Brooklyn and Max ready for school sometimes, so he knew what he was doing. When he was done, he couldn't keep his hand out of the softness of her hair and he kept finger detangling.
     Slowly she turned into him, blinking up at him through wet, sooty lashes. "Th-thank you. I couldn't have done that myself and it went much faster."
     The first step in dealing with a problem was admitting he had a problem. He was fighting the pull, but it had been an uphill battle from the minute he saw her. If he was Clark Kent, she was his Kryptonite. "Kiss, I--fuck it." He cupped the back of her head and pulled her into him. Before melding their lips together, he paused, giving her an out, but she didn't protest. Instead, her fingers dug into his soaked T-shirt and dragged him closer.
     When he slid his lips over hers, need took over and all brain function ceased.

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Oh I’m just your average Ghanaian/American girl who lives in sunny San Diego with an American husband who thinks my family is crazy.  My Big Fat Greek Wedding has nothing on us.  In my infinite spare time, I chase around my two year old trying to tame her wild mane of hair, try and corral my spunky Scottie and occasionally let my hubby pamper me.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I honestly didn’t even thing being a writer was an option.  With strict Ghanaian parents, the only viable options were doctor, lawyer, or engineer.  May parents had a small heart attack when I didn’t become either of those and a minor stroke when I started writing, but they survived and I’m much happier.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
A little of both.  I do a quick short outline, then let it flow from there.  I used to have this crazy outline, but soon felt stifled.

Where do your ideas come from?
God only knows.  I get a root of an idea from movies, magazines, books, and conversations with friends.

Out of any of your books, which one would you like to be a character in? And why?
Any of the Protectors books of course.  I’m dying for my own superpower.

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Anything romance.  Particularly romantic suspense, paranormal romance or contemporary romance.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
Pride and Prejudice.

Have you ever fallen for another author's hero? If so, who and why?
Of course.  From Pride and Prejudice to Jane Eyre, to any Nora Roberts book I’ve ever read.  That’s the point of romance books.  You’re supposed to fall in love with the hero.

Describe the characteristics that make up your perfect hero. 
Strong of mind, kind hearted, funny and excellent stamina ;)

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Family scenes.  As a writer it’s a struggle not to put our own family dynamics into every scene.

If you could have dinner with any three book characters, who would you choose and why?
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird – Because she was spunky and courageous. Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice because she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. And Emma Corrigan from Can You Keep a Secret because she’s hilarious.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why? 
Nora Roberts cause I would love to pick her brain. Mark Matherbane, because he changed my life, and JK Rowling because her imagination is so incredibly detailed.

What do you like to do in your free time?
What free time.  I’m always writing, or reading, or chasing hubby, kiddo or dog.  But if the stars do align, I read.

Favorite movie?
Right now, Magic Mike – Don’t Judge

Favorite song?
Brown Eyed Girl

Favorite color?

Last question, are you working on anything right now? 
Yeppers.  I’m working on the next Donovans Books, and the next In Stilettos Series books.

Author Bio:
USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she "borrowed" from her cousin.

It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.

While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Want to know when the next book is coming? Hit up her Newsletter here. You'll only get updated when there is a new release or a special promotion for her Sexy, Sassy Readers.


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The Siren's Touch by Amber Belldene

Title: The Siren's Touch
Author: Amber Belldene
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical
One touch can change everything…

Hitman Dmitri Lisko is determined to avenge his father. Once he takes out the man he believes is responsible for his family’s tragedies, he’s done killing for good. But a mysterious woman may tempt Dmitri to change his plan.

Sonya Truss was murdered in a Ukrainian village in 1968. Now she’s reappeared in San Francisco as a rusalka—the ghost of a wronged woman. And she’s thirsty for the blood of her killer. But she has to make things right before she’s trapped between worlds forever.

Sonya's enigmatic siren powers stir Dmitri's long-buried chivalry, and he finds himself compelled to help her. He also can’t resist giving her a taste of the pleasures she never experienced while she was alive. Soon they discover that touch has surprising consequences. Yet when their shared mission comes to cross-purposes, they must choose between deadly sacrifice—or surrendering to the one act that can save them both.

The teapot jostled like there was a frog inside.

He had to be hallucinating. Holy hell, he’d never been this hungover. Then again, he’d never been on a thirty-day bender either. Quitting cold turkey after a vodka-soaked month was bound to be rough on the system. The teapot was definitely not jittering, only his sanity. Caffeine might help.

He lifted the little round thing by the handle. A gust of steam poured out as deep-brown liquid trickled from its spout into his mug—an antique glass cup wrapped in silver filigree. In his hand, the teapot shook, jostling his arm.

Damn it. That was no hallucination.

A sudden puff of steam collided with his face. He set the teapot down and wiped his moist eyes. When he opened them again, he was certain he’d lost his mind.

Hovering over Elena’s postcard-perfect traditional Ukrainian table setting was a shimmering tea-colored woman. No, not a woman.

He reached for his weapon, knocking his chair to the floor. Scrambling across the room, he got as far as he could get from that...thing.

Back pressed to the wall, his heart drummed against his sternum. What the hell was she?

She dripped brown droplets of smoky Russian Caravan onto the table and gasped for air with her gossamer hands clasped at her neck. Her brown eyes stretched wide in her heart-shaped face.

Had he completely lost his mind? “Fuck.”

The thing yelped, flying away and leaving a sprinkling of tea droplets in her wake. As they fell to the ground, she grew whiter, becoming the soft, shiny color of a perfect pearl.

A ghost. Holy hell.

All his skin rose up in goose bumps. Could you shoot a ghost? Or a hallucination? He was damn sure going to try. He took aim.

She coughed and coughed and coughed some more, making a horrible wet retching sound. Then she darted to a spot near the window, bending her spectral shape over to hack, as if she could clear her throat. Only it didn’t seem to be working.

Without thinking, he lowered his weapon. “Breathe, girl. Be calm.”

Slowly, she straightened, and her chest rose and fell in the rhythm of breath. The sun shone through her translucent form, highlighting a smoking hot set of curves under a long, wet nightgown. Large brown nipples poked through the ghostly, damp fabric, and a dark vee between her legs drew his gaze.


This wet dream of a sexy, drowned ghost was proof he’d jumped into the deep end.

Author Bio:
Amber Belldene is always reading racy books at the most inappropriate times, and has been observed ogling her Kindle in the church parking lot. Even as a kid, she hid novels inside the service bulletin to read during sermons, an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days. Amber is a romance writer and Episcopal priest who believes sexuality is vital to spirituality, love is beautifully messy, and stories are the best way to explore human truths. Evidence of these convictions can be found in Amber's steamy paranormals and quirky, hot contemporaries, which have been published by Omnific, Entangled, and Lyrical/Kensington. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.



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Behind the Tears by Marita A Hansen

Title: Behind the Tears
Author: Marita A Hansen
Series: Behind the Lives #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: December 24, 2015
To trust is to get hurt, to be loved could end in death.

Everyone sees Ash as the toughest of the Rata brothers, the tall, tattooed man who is untouchable. But not many know of his past, of a tormented youth, which almost saw him take his own life. For ten years he's lived with the nightmares of his stepfather raping him, and how it destroyed his family. Further tormented by his first love leaving him, he tries to move forward with his new partner Beth, but is unable to open up to her, his past continuing to eat away at his soul.

Beth knows Ash is keeping her in the dark, and every word he doesn't say, every secret he keeps, pushes her further into his brother's arms, someone who doesn't understand boundaries, a trait that has given Dante a wild reputation: the man every woman wants to bed. Hedonistic and uncontrollable, Dante desires Beth to the point of madness, his bipolar condition worsening with the stress of his hidden desires. He wants to control her, to take her, but he is deeply reliant on Ash, and like his brother, he hides his true nature. On the outside he shows a confident swagger that gets him the attention of both sexes, but on the inside all he wants is one woman who sees him as more than a sexual object.

Sledge, the youngest of the three Rata brothers, finds himself in a different situation, dealing with the affections of his best friend: Beth's brother Corey. Diagnosed with cancer, Corey wants Sledge more than life itself, even though he believes Sledge is homophobic and would find him disgusting if he confessed his love. But when another man shows interest in Corey, Sledge's jealousy eats away at him, and makes him reassess his sexuality, and whether he could be more than a friend to Corey - whether he could be his lover.

As the Rata family's love life is thrown into tangles, the brothers' stepfather escapes from prison with one thing on his mind: To get Ash once again. Someone he will kill for - and has killed for.

***Author's Note: Book 2 has different main characters from book 1. Due to this, you don't need to read book 1 to understand this story. Book 2 is more dark romance and family drama, while book one is street lit and social realism. Book 3 continues directly on from Book 2.***

Behind the Lens #3
WARNING: Rated R18. Contains sexually explicit content, both M/F & M/M.

Dante Rata learns what’s Behind the Lens in this explosive sequel to Behind the Tears.

Dante has a problem with sex – he gets way too much of it. Women want him, force themselves upon him, fight each other to get into his bed, and this ripped to the bones sex god even attracts male admirers. But when Dante discovers hidden cameras in his bedroom, he soon learns his sexual prowess is famous and the women who have been throwing themselves at him are porn actresses, paid to trick him into performing for the financial gain of an underground pornography ring - an organisation who forces people into sexual slavery. Dante’s efforts to outwit Ant Torres, the porn-ring’s instigator, ends with Dante trapped into performing live for his fans; with the threat of death to his loved ones if he doesn’t.

Dante’s brother, Sledge, also has a problem with sex – but with the same-sex. He finds himself attracted to Corey, his best mate. After Sledge is told devastating news about his family, he falls into Corey’s bed, taking him as a lover. Ashamed of what he has done, Sledge tries to hide the relationship from his family and friends, something which makes Corey feel like a dirty little secret. When he finds Sledge talking to a pair of females at a party, he flies into a jealous rage, outing Sledge in front of everyone. Humiliated, Sledge runs out on Corey, which inadvertently leads Corey to Torres’s bed, where he is made to perform for the camera.

When Corey is dropped off at home, drugged and traumatised, Sledge learns about the pornography ring and the danger his brother is in. Intent on revenge as well as saving his brother, he sets out to bring down Torres, along with his crime syndicate anyway he can – whether it takes him with it or not.

Behind the Secrets #4 (Coming August 11, 2015)
Too many secrets...

When Beth receives potentially life-changing news that could ruin her future, she decides to keep it a secret from Dante, the man she hopes to marry.

But Dante has his own problems as his deepest and darkest secret is revealed when someone from his childhood reappears, a secret so disturbing that it could unravel what’s left of his already unstable mind.

Beth’s brother Corey struggles to keep his relationship with Dante’s brother a secret, scared his father will split them apart. But it’s his sister he has the most to fear from, when Beth takes advantage of his boyfriend’s vulnerable condition.

Good cop or bad cop? Saul is eaten away by guilt over what he did to Beth while undercover. No longer willing to keep the assault a secret, he heads down a destructive path that turns him into something far worse than an abuser.

Author Bio:
NATIONALITY AND CULTURAL CONNECTIONS: I'm a true blue Aucklander, born and bred in New Zealand. I tend to write about cultures I have connections to, such as Croatian and Maori. I would love to visit Croatia again as I have family there. However, in My Masters' Nightmare, I have started writing about Italians. My husband is part Italian and I also have a degree in Italian.

SPORTS: As a teen my favorite sports were karate, badminton, and running. I also did unarmed combat and played in a touch rugby team (my gym teacher made me do the last one!) Now, I stick to coaching soccer and running. I have completed two marathons, numerous half-marathons and one 30K run.

CAREER PATH: I started off as a Graphic Designer, then went to Auckland University, where I got a BA degree in Art History and Italian Studies and a post-graduate Honors degree in Art History. I worked in the Art History field, then became a full-time artist, doing commissions. I eventually lost all of my senses and gave it up to be a poor, starving writer, smh.

FAVORITE FOODS: I'm vegetarian. I love pasta based foods, tofu, chocolate mousse and golden queen peaches.

BAD HABITS: I'm a major procrastinator that can't seem to earn money to save myself!

STATUS: Married to my high school sweetheart (which he hates me calling him). We have two kids.


Behind the Tears #2

Behind the Lens #3

Behind the Secrets #4(Pre-Order)

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