Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Gratitude


If you visit this blog regularly, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I don’t always post on a regular schedule. I’m always so busy trying to finish my current book, post on social media, complete online interviews and other tasks that I often forget about my lonely little blog. It’s hard for me to come up with topics I think will interest readers. After all, I’m a fiction writer. One of the things I’ve tried to do in 2015 was to feature other author who had new releases, and I will continue to do so in 2016. 

Today, as we close out the year, I want to share the great news I woke up to this morning… DON’T STOP TILL YOU GET ENOUGH, Book Three in the Stafford Brothers series, was chosen by one of the USAToday columnists as a “must-read romance of 2015!” I am in the illustrious company of some of my favorite authors, including Dame Beverly Jenkins, and to say I’m humbled and grateful is an understatement. You can read it here: http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2015/12/31/must-read-romances-2015-michelle-monkou/

First and foremost, I have to thank all of my readers. Without your support, I couldn’t call myself an author. The thought that you put out your hard-earned money for my books still amazes me. You are incredible! Also, I want to thank the Facebook groups/bookclubs, and friends, my Twitter tweeps, my Google+ family and every book blogger who has featured or promoted my work. 

To my author buddies, you ladies (and a few gentlemen), keep me going when I’ve been discouraged. You also make me laugh and remind me of what’s important in this author life. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and an upcoming year full of great things for all of us! 



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Getting ready for Christmas...

Getting ready for Christmas like...

Posted by Superfruit on Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New Release Showcase!

Today I am honored to be able to share the new release from author Tia Kelly. She is the author of contemporary and women's fiction, and is known for her candid way of capturing life's moments, one character at a time.

To connect with Tia, please visit:


Tia is sharing from LOVE IS, and offering my readers a chance to win a signed copy of the book and a $25 Visa gift card.

It took a once-in-a-lifetime bond to teach her what love is, and a once-in-a-lifetime betrayal to show her what love is not... Love Is. A different kind of love story.

Diane Collins had big plans for her life, and hoops star Warren Scott was not among them. He doesn't want to be the face of the NBA, and she doesn't care that he is. His reluctance to be part of the limelight disarms her and the two embark on an unlikely friendship that becomes an even unlikelier romance.

Soon, his life is her life - filled with VIP treatment, parties and luxuries beyond Diane's wildest imagination. But Warren is harboring a secret, and once it's revealed Diane's decision to stay or go could change the very fabric of who she thought she was.

Excerpt from Love Is:

“Good afternoon, Mr. Scott. Good day, Miss Collins,” the man said as she exited the elevator, and once her bags were removed, she watched Warren slip money into the man’s hand. They both nodded before the doors closed.

“I’ve never been greeted like that before when visiting friends. You know how to leave quite an impression,” Diane said once they were alone. Seeing him unnerved her, and the tension that had mounted between them since the day she left Jamaica faded.

Before she could get a good look at the surroundings, Warren opened his arms and she walked into them. Relieved. Sighing silently as she snuggled into his warm, comforting embrace.

“Thanks for coming,” he murmured.

She lifted her head and caught the worry in his eyes.

He kissed the top of her head and reached for her bag. “How was your flight?”

“A little bumpy. Glad I’m back on the ground now.”

“Says the woman that once couldn’t sit still during a storm in the sky.”

She laughed, keeping her eyes trained on how he moved in his bare feet with athletic grace across the hardwood floors.

“You know I’ll never want to fly coach ever again now. I better get this job just to support the travel upgrades. Limos to and from airports. First-class flights. Exclusive resorts and staying in this building the rest of the week…”

“Should I book you a room at a motel near the airport instead?” he asked, setting her bag down in the middle of his living room.

She paused, taking in her surroundings. Furniture was sparse, but the space didn’t feel bare, just minimalist in a sophisticated way. Creams, beiges and grays against natural white oak floors and dramatic high ceilings made her feel at peace. She recognized the Boston Harbor just outside his penthouse windows. Walking toward the view of the water, she pressed her hands on the side of the steel frames encasing the floor-to-ceiling windows, taking it all in. “This is simply amazing.”

“Ever been to Boston before?”

Diane looked back at him and shook her head. “Never had a reason to visit, but always wanted to check it out. The accent alone always fascinated me.”

“Anyone comment on your Texas drawl?”

“A few,” she said with a smile.

“I made reservations for…” He trailed off when she turned around.

She’d only meant to give him her undivided attention because they still had a few issues to resolve between them, but the heat in his eyes made her breath catch. He took three long steps toward her before pressing her back against the glass, kissing her until they both forgot what they were talking about. Until Diane forgot why she’d wanted to keep herself emotionally distant from him in the first place.

Copyright © 2015 by Tia Kelly

Available Now


#LOVE IS GIVEAWAY

Tia Kelly is giving away a signed copy of Love Is and a $25 Visa gift card to one lucky winner!

To enter, all you have to do is share what you believe love is. Just visit Rafflecopter for details. Contest ends December 31, 2015. Good luck! Winner will be notified on or around January 1, 2016 via email. No purchase necessary to enter. Winner selected at random.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sample Sunday

Sharing another unedited excerpt from I WANT YOU BACK, Nick Stafford's story, Book Five in the Stafford Brothers series.
                                                             
Cherilyn broke down as soon as she closed the door. Her bridesmaids rushed to her aid, helped her sit on one of the white ottomans in the middle of the salon. One of them fanned her with a paper plate from the table with the appetizers that had been provided for the bridal party. Her maid of honor poured her a glass of cold water and pushed it into her hand.

Her mother paced around the room ranting about Nick being an ignorant barbarian, and then she asked, “How could he intrude on your special day like that? What is in the box?” She reached for the gift, but Cherilyn snatched it away and clutched it to her breast.

“It’s personal, Mommy,” she sobbed, her professionally-applied makeup beginning to run down her cheeks. Another one of her attendants dabbed her face with a tissue.

“Girl, what is wrong with you? You are getting ready to marry a wonderful man, and you’re letting that…that boy get you all upset. Nick Stafford is your past. Don’t let him ruin your future!”

“Your mother is right,” another one of the bridesmaids agreed, tipping the water glass up to Cherilyn’s lips. “Forget about him. If he’d wanted you, he would’ve married you when he had the chance.”

“That’s the problem,” she blubbered. “I didn’t want to admit it to anyone, but I still love Nick, and he’s realized he still loves me.”

Her mother stopped pacing and stood in front of her daughter with a red-faced scowl. “How can you be sure that’s why he came? Maybe he just resents being beaten out by a better man.”

“Stop!” Cherilyn waved them all away. “I need time to think.”

“Baby, you don’t have time. Derrick is waiting for you at the altar.” Mrs. Vernon pressed a hand to her forehead and grimaced as if she were in pain. “You can’t do this to him.”

“Would you rather I married him knowing I’m still in love with Nick? That would be starting our marriage out with a lie.”

The bridesmaids all stared at each other as though they were at a loss for anything to say.
Shamika, her maid of honor, took her hand. “What do you want us to do, Cher?”

“Go get Derrick, please, and everyone leave us alone for a few minutes. I have to tell him this face to face.”

“Tell him what?” her mother asked, looking at her as though she already knew the answer.

She clenched her jaw to kill the sob in her throat. “That I can’t marry him.”

“Oh, Cherilyn,” her mother moaned. “Don’t you know how that will hurt him?”

“It would hurt him more to know I married him but was still in love with Nick.” She dropped her head into her hands and covered her face. “Somebody go get him, please.”

“I’ll do it,” Mika said, standing and smoothing her gown. Ladies, let’s go downstairs to the ballroom, so they can have some privacy.” She stuffed a wad of tissues into Cherilyn’s hand and kissed her cheek. “I’ll stay in the hall in case you need me.”

Girding herself with resolve, Cherilyn imposed an iron control on herself while she waited for Derrick to come upstairs from one of the wine cellar rooms he and the groomsmen had on the lower level. How was she going to say this? 

Several minutes later, Derrick stood in the doorway looking suave and handsome, yet his face was clouded with uneasiness. “What’s going on, Cherilyn?”

She slid the box Nick had given her underneath the ottoman and stared wordlessly at him, her heart pounding and lower lip trembling as she returned his gaze. “I…I can’t…”

“You can’t what?”

“I can’t go through with the wedding.” Her voice was fragile and shaking. So were her hands as she dragged them over her face smearing her makeup.

Derrick moved closer and knelt in front of her. “Oh, sweetheart, it’s just cold feet.” He took her hands, held them between his and gazed into her eyes. “Let me get you a glass of wine. That’ll help calm you down.”

Cherilyn grabbed his hand as he went to stand. “I’m still in love with Nick.”

The tension between them increased with frightening intensity, “And you didn’t know that yesterday or last week or last month?” His voice was absolutely emotionless and it chilled her. “How could you?” He pulled the door open with such intensity it slammed against the wall and he stormed down the hall.

Mika ran in and pulled Cherilyn into her arms. “What happened?”

“When I told him I wanted to call the wedding off, he thought I just had cold feet.” She sniffed and blew her nose into a tissue. “But then I told him how I felt about Nick. Oh, God, Mika, the way he looked at me was so awful! Did I make a horrible mistake?”

“Not if you love Nick,” Mika said with a hint of a smile. “Let me help you out of this dress. Do you want to put on what you wore here?”

“Yes, and could you take me home, please?”

“Sure, honey, but you’re still pretty shaky. Maybe you should sit for a few until you calm down. Stand up for a sec.” She started unbuttoning the first about twenty buttons at the back of the gown but stopped when Cherilyn’s parents entered the room. “I’ll go get you a drink,” she whispered in her ear.

COMING LATE WINTER 2016
Two previous excerpts are posted below on Dec. 13 and Nov. 29.

The Stafford Brothers series is available on Kindle - http://amzn.to/1GeCtE4 Nook - http://bit.ly/1MMUrju Paperback - www.createspace.com UK series link -http://amzn.to/1L17mXT

In case you haven't seen it, here's the video trailer for the series: 

                                    

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cover Reveal!

I just wanted to share the cover for I WANT YOU BACK, Nick Stafford's story created by Cover Me Book Covers. Love it!

Here's an unedited excerpt:
Chapter One

Nick Stafford’s hands trembled as he straightened his tie. He needed to be at The Estate, a well-known Atlanta wedding venue, early before all the guests arrived. His gift for the bride had to be delivered in person. It was a gift with special meaning to her, and he’d spent hours coming up with the two lines he’d written in the card. He wanted to put it into her hand himself, even though he knew he wasn’t supposed to speak to the bride.

Rather than have someone else drive him, he took his own car. The peace and quiet of being alone was necessary for his sanity before the ceremony began. His stomach clenched with anticipation and anxiety, yet he couldn’t wait to get there.

Only a handful of cars were already in the parking lot of the Buckhead venue known for its beautiful weddings when he arrived. Nick parked and entered the eighteenth-century antebellum mansion through the beveled glass double doors and absentmindedly gazed at the artwork lining the walls as he passed through one of the front salons.

“Are you here for the wedding?” a tuxedo-clad man asked when he saw Nick stop and gaze into the ballroom decorated in white and peach, Cherilyn’s favorite color.

“I’m here to deliver a special gift to the bride. Can you tell me what room she’s in, please?”

“Sure. The ladies are in the bridal suite upstairs on the right. You’ll hear them cackling.” He laughed and went on his way.

“Thanks, man.” Nick proceeded up the steps, turned to his right and stopped outside a closed door where he could hear the sound of women’s voices. He swallowed hard and knocked. A woman he didn’t recognize partially opened the door and peeked out.

“May I help you?”

“Yes, I’m here to deliver a gift to Cherilyn Vernon.” He struggled to keep his voice from shaking.

“I’ll take it,” she said with outstretched hands.

“Sorry, I have to give it directly to the bride. You understand, right?”

“I guess.” She turned her back to him. “Cherilyn, there’s a man here who says he has a gift he can only deliver to you.”

“Ooh, really?” The bride’s voice rose in expectation. “Tell him I’ll be right there.”

“She’s coming. I’d ask you in, but there are ladies getting dressed in here.”

Nick held his breath and waited. A few seconds later, a rustling sound preceded the door opening wider. He lost his breath when Cherilyn appeared looking like a vision in a strapless gown with sparkling jewels adorning her ample cleavage. When she saw him, she merely stared, tongue-tied.

“Cher, I know this is inappropriate, but I had to come and bring this to you.” She stared down at the box he held out to her. “Please open it.”

She still hadn’t spoken, but she took the gift from his hand and removed the top. A soft gasp escaped her as she stared down at the elegant white gold pendant of the Eiffel Tower that captured the tower’s distinctive beauty. Round diamonds brought the brilliance of the tower's lights to life. He’d taken three-hundred dollars from his already anemic bank account to buy the necklace.

Tears immediately sprung to her eyes. She stepped out into the hall and closed the door behind her.  “What does this mean, Nick?”

“It means you’re getting ready to make the biggest mistake of your life.” His eyes drank in the sensuality of her full-figure in the form-fitting strapless gown. “It means I still love you, and I don’t believe you love Derrick. He was just your rebound man. If you don’t marry him today, I promise you we’ll go to Paris, and I’ll marry you beneath the Eiffel Tower just the way you’ve always dreamed. Please don’t do this, Cher.”

The door suddenly opened, and Cherilyn’s mother stared at him open-mouthed. “How dare you come here, Nick! Leave now, or I’ll have security escort you off the property.”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Vernon, but I had to speak to her before she did this.”

Her nostrils flared. “How dare you!” she repeated with mounting rage. “I’m going to find security.”

Cherilyn held up her hand. “No, Mommy. Please close the door. I need to talk to him for a minute. Her mother glowered at her and turned away muttering under her breath as Cherilyn closed the door again.

“You wouldn’t return my phone calls, Cher. What other choice did I have? I’ve called you every day for the first two months, and you wouldn’t return my calls, so eventually I gave up.”

She blinked as though she were bewildered. “Why are you doing this? It’s been almost a year.”

“Because I can’t let you marry him. I messed up. I know that, baby.” His heart thundered in his chest. “I panicked at the thought of added responsibilities on top of medical school, but I was wrong. If you can look me in my eyes and tell me you don’t love me anymore, I’ll leave.” He knew the answer by the way she averted her gaze from his face.

“I can’t do that to Derrick. He’s a good man.”

“Look at me, Cher. I’m sure he is, but if you still love me, you’re doing an awful thing to Derrick by marrying him. Your marriage would be a lie.”

A tear cascaded over her cheek. “Please go away, Nick.” She shoved the box into his chest. “I can’t. We have two-hundred guests waiting upstairs. I can’t! You need to go, please.” 


He pressed the box into her hand once again. “Wear it until I can replace it with a ring.” 

She swallowed a loud sob then shut the door in his face.

Coming late Winter 2016...