Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Susan Elizabeth Phillips Interviews Herself

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 3 comments
Courtesy of Jen Crusie at ArghInk
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my favorite author and I have long dreamed of having her on my blog. When she published an interview with herself on Writers Space to celebrate the release of  FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT
I wrote again, asking if I could use the interview. SEP's reply? "Go for it."

To celebrate this momentous event I'm giving away my extra copy of an older SEP book. Winner's Choice of First Lady, Nobody's Baby but Mine, or Dream a Little Dream. Rafflecopter at end of post.
 NO WAY am I giving away my brand new copy of First Star I See Tonight.  You're on your own for that one. But it's going to be a hilariously wonderful read, so you should buy it too. I've also included a link to the recipe for Oven Baked Salmon which Susan posted on her Facebook page several years ago because it's now my favorite way to cook salmon.

Here is Susan's Interview with herself.

 [teaser: First Star I See Tonight]

FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT is on sale today.You can order right here.
To celebrate, I'm interviewing myself. Who knows me better, right? Are you ready? [Clears throat...]

SEP: Am I mistaken? Didn't you say that NATURAL BORN CHARMER would be the last of your Chicago Stars books? But now, there's a new one?

SEP: Have you not yet figured out that I'm totally unreliable?

SEP: Well, yes, I do know that about you, so what happened? How did we get another Stars book?

SEP: Life. The changing of the seasons. The vastness of the universe.

SEP: Could you be a little more specific?

SEP: [Sigh] After setting HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS—

SEP: I loved that book!

SEP: You have excellent taste. Anyway...After setting HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS on a remote island off the coast of Maine, I was ready to write a big city book. And big city to me means—
SEP: Chicago.

SEP: Stop interrupting. Yes, Chicago. I've wanted to write a heroine like Piper Dove for a long time—a woman who can shoot, is proficient at martial arts, and is trained in both offensive and defensive driving. All the things I can't do.
SEP: Not quite true. You're very good at offensive driving. Emphasis on the offen—

SEP: You're interrupting again....

SEP: You were saying?

SEP: Piper Dove is the owner of a brand-new detective agency. Her entire future depends on her first big assignment—follow Cooper Graham, the recently retired—and highly competitive—quarterback of the Chicago Stars.

SEP: Knowing how much you love stirring things up, I'm guessing that doesn't go well.

SEP: You are so right. And it gets even worse when it becomes blindingly clear to Piper that Graham needs a bodyguard.

SEP: Uh-Oh.

SEP: Exactly. No way is a macho character like Graham going along with having a bodyguard, especially a female one.

SEP: Are you worried that newer readers will be afraid to pick up FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHTbecause they haven't read the other books in the series?

SEP: [Body-wracking shudder] My worst nightmare. This book is completely free standing.

SEP: Are you saying none of the Chicago Stars characters we've come to love will be appearing in FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT?

SEP: Wrong. You'll see Heath Champion again, from MATCH ME IF YOU CAN, as well as a few other familiar faces. But those characters' stories are complete in their own books.FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT requires NO ADVANCED READING! NONE!

SEP: Stop yelling. We heard you. Sheesh! Now, Susan, you're known for your subplots. I'm assuming...?

SEP: You're assuming correctly. We'll be meeting a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a Chicago teenager who only wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding that Piper find her very dead husband.

SEP: I have to say that sounds amazing. [Pause] Super funny and incredibly sexy. [Longer pause] Absolutely phenomenal! [Shouting] I can't wait to read it!

SEP: You're pushing it. You wrote the book, remember?

SEP: Work with me. Now before you run off and do whatever it is you do, tell us what you're working on next. You know we're all insanely curious.

SEP: And you'll have to stay that way because I'm not ready to talk about it yet.

SEP: Seriously? You, Miss SEP Blab Everything To The World are going all quiet and mysterious on us?

SEP:A new persona. Now how about tending to business and reminding readers how much they're going to love FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT? Except for up-tight, humorless sourpuss readers. They'll hate it.

SEP: [Dryly] You do know how to sell a book.

SEP: Gotta go. Oprah's on the phone.

SEP: Seriously?

SEP: [Snorts] Of course not. FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT is many things, but "depressing" is not one of them.

SEP: Silly me.

Order right here—Unless, of course, you're an up-tight, humorless sourpuss. ☺ (If your budget is really tight, head for your local library. We love libraries.) AND...Come to see me on the FIRST STAR Book Tour! Best one yet!

Happy Reading,

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

See why I love her? This is from SEP's Website

He’s the former quarterback of the Chicago Stars football team.

She’s trying to make a success of her very own detective agency.

Her first job? Follow him.

Let’s just say it’s not going well.

Not well at all….

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the
 city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. The problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.Which is why a great detective needs a first rate imagination. “The fact is . . . I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just . . . mildly unhinged.”

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him,
whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with
a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding that Piper find her very dead husband.

And then there’s Cooper Graham, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants just might be an intrepid detective
hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.

From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t
stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.

The Reviews Are Coming In!

Kirkus Reviews – Starred Review “This thoroughly enjoyable novel delivers a swift kick to the heart—an essential summer read.”

Now don't you want to rush out and buy it? I preordered my copy last year.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Meet Gail Ingis, Historical Romance Writer and Artist #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments
Please tell us a little about yourself. Gail Ingis is my name, but it hasn’t always been. First it was Gail Gerber, but little by little I added more names, in this order, Ingis and then Claus. In fact, in addition to my other involvements, I am, mostly at Christmas time, Mrs. Claus, Really! In the middle of this entire medley, Gail Ingis has always been my professional name for my interior design business, and now for my writing. Mrs. Claus is mostly for my art, I sign my paintings Ingis Claus, in honor of my hubby, Tom Claus, who does my framing and shlepping to art shows.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book. I couldn’t believe it! I read and reread the email that said, “We would like to publish your book. Are you interested? Would you like to think about it?” I rolled my eyes while I was thinking, maybe a fatal pause for a millisecond, and wrote back, “I’m delighted, I would like that, thank you.” It’s been a fun ride.

If it isn’t too nosy, how about the first time you kissed your true love? Oh my! Memories. My true love is Tom, my second husband, and my framer, remember? He was leaving after a wonderful evening, dinner and movie, “A Few Good Men.” That was our second date getting to know each other. The kiss was just a warm and friendly one, but I did say, can I have another one of those. Touching is so important, isn’t it?Yes it is!

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre? I love Sherry Thomas and Loretta Chase, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career? Gulp, if I had to narrow it down, I would say, that email asking me if I was interested in having Soul Mate publish my book. There’s more—This career is so new that everything is exciting. Loved learning the craft of writing, all those workshops, I should have a PhD in writing by now. My new friends in CTRWA and Soul Mate Publishing, and so many more people I’ve met at RWA, everyone wants to help. My editors, my publisher, my writer friends, my crit group, my release party, and I suspect that my upcoming art bash and book signing on September 8th at Lockwood will be the highlight of 2016. Guess I should include an invitation at the end of this.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing? Painting, sketching, teaching.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation? I paint, read, cook, prune shrubs and pal around with Tom when he's done with his writing as a scientist, medical writer. My grand-kids get a dose of me now and then; they live in different states, the closest is New Jersey.

Got a recipe you want to share?
My Noodle Pudding (secret recipe)
Gail Ingis’ Noodle Pudding-Bake 40 minutes at 325 degrees
pt=pint (same as 2 cups)

1lb medium egg noodles-boiled 8 minutes
4 extra-large eggs/ or 6 regular
1 cup sugar (set aside 4 Tlbs)
½lb (2 sticks) butter-melted (set aside 4 Tlbs melt later if easier)
¾lb cream cheese
1 pt (2cups) sour cream (room temp)
2 cups corn flake crumbs, mix with 4Tlbs sugar and 4 Tlbs melted butter

Beat eggs and sour cream-add sugar and melted butter and mashed cream cheese.  Can mix in Mixmaster, easier to blend cream cheese. Mix together with noodles and pour into buttered square casserole or other pan. Sprinkle with topping. Cover with aluminum foil and keep in refrigerator overnight (it gels).
THEN: remove cover and cook 40 minutes in preheated oven at 325 degrees.

Can freeze after refrigerator. THEN: thaw and cook 40 minutes, no cover. This sounds evilly good. Must try.

Any advice for new writers just starting out? Critical, learn the craft of writing romance, learn to take criticism, it’s the best thing to get you to move forward and create a masterpiece.

What genre or genres do you write? I am a historian, so it’s easy for me, and a delight to write history. I love history.

Tell us about Indigo Sky
Indigo Sky, available on Amazon as an eBook or paperback,  is also available on B&N in paperback. Audiobook coming soon.

Back Cover Blurb:
 In a whirlwind romance, a lovely New York socialite marries a fĂȘted, debonair author. But beneath the charm is a cheating husband addicted to hasheesh. Her dream marriage turns sour and the simplicity of her life runs amok when a handsome stranger, her husband’s business partner, threatens her staunch loyalty to her wayward husband. When she faces the ugly truth about her marriage, her need to finalize her divorce sends her on a mad chase across the wilds of nineteenth-century America with a handsome stranger—she learns hard lessons of murder, kidnapping and more that almost destroy her.
Gail is a wonderful researcher and truly delievers the historical era. The story begins at The Catskills Mountain House in 1863

What’s your current WIP? Historical romance set in Coney Island.Which leads nicely into her art exhibit.

Coney Island: Visions from the Boardwalk 

Gail Ingis is exhibiting 38 works of Coney Island, Thursday, September 8th 5:30-7:30pm. You are invited to her art bash at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850, 203-838-9799 extension 4 to RSVP. A ten dollar donation is requested. Live band, refreshments and a dance demo are included in the donation.
The exhibition will be up until September 30th
  I wish I were in NY so I could go.
And finally, where can we find you?
Webpage with excerpts and background: http://www.gailingis.com
Amazon Author Page with updates and trailer: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

Follow Gail:
Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/29NYE5w
Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/gail.ingis
Goodreads:     http://bit.ly/29Pem1S
Trailer:             http://bit.ly/29xUJ1H
Twitter:           http://twitter.com/gailingis 
Website:          http://www.gailingis.com

Free, win an Indigo Sky eBook download. Thank you for being here, Gail. 
I use the rafflecopter app for giveawaysbecause when people comment, I don't get an email address for them and I need the email to inform the winner. Please enter below.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Meet Debut Author Tracey A Wood and her Midnight Angel

Posted by Susan B James on 1:00:00 AM with 7 comments

 Tracey A, Wood lives in Staffordshire, UK. I met her on another blog where she spoke of using an unexpected medical setback as a steppingstone to follow her dream of being an author.  I was intrigued enough to buy Midnight Angel. I am reading it right now and I found it hard to put the book down at 3:00 AM last night. Can't wait for tonight. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. You'll find my five-star review on Amazon and at the end of this post.
She and I are both published by Soul Mate Publishing. I contacted Tracey and asked her to be on my blog.
Tracey, please tell us a little about yourself. 
I am a full time working mother and wife. I have been married for 31 years. I have two children, both boys. My eldest is disabled and lives at home. I have three cats who are also my babies. I am a great believer in giving everything your all. I don’t like to fail, at anything. I am not a sporty person, exercise doesn’t come easy.
I'm with you all the way on that one. I walk almost every day and I do yoga because I plan to live to one hundred and twenty and I want a workable body.
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
When I first got the email, offering me a contract. I thought it was a scam. No one gets their first book published. I was excited and didn’t tell everyone for weeks, until I knew it was real.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre? 
My current heroine is Charley Davidson from Darynda Jones and her grave series. Riley Jenson is another from the Guardian series by the author Keri Arthur. Also Rose Hathaway from Richelle Mead and the Vampire academy series. Clare Danvers from the Morganville series by Rachel Caine. There are others but I won’t list them all. I do love a strong female lead. Whether they are strong to start or find the inner strength to overcome what is thrown at them.
I've read Darynda Jones and agree with you. I'm not familiar the the others. I love new leads on what to read.
What is your favorite pastime, other than writing? 
From the previous question, you can probably tell. It’s reading. I do love Urban Fantasy, Paranormal suspense and horror books. I myself am a bookaholic. And I hoard my favorites. Right now that's a problem because I am finally investing in new carpeting and that means I have to clear the five wall to ceiling books cases so they can move the bookcases. Not looking forward to that.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation? To be fair, if it does, it’s not for long. I normally do something mundane, like ironing. It is the thing I hate most in the world, but when I do it I like to iron in front of the TV. It helps me to switch off and escape from my thoughts. Then when I go back I can normally get back into my story line. I don’t force it though. Just a couple of sentences and I can normally get into the flow. I am a slow writer anyway. I think it is how I see the scene in my head, as I am writing it. If I can’t see it, I can’t write it.

Tell us about Midnight Angel .(By the way, I adore the cover. I love Fiona Jayde's work.)
Midnight Angel – The Council Book One, is not just a paranormal suspense novel. It is also a love story with a twist. The heroine is Kat Shaw a divorced, estate agent who purchases a country cottage. She wants to do it up to sell. She starts to dream about a man by a stream and begins to imagine bumping into him in the real world. After being viciously attacked in a London park, she goes to stay at the cottage, to rest and get better. That’s when the fun starts!
After almost losing her life in a vicious, bloody attack. Kat Shaw, a thirty-something divorcee, discovers that there are such things as monsters. And the predator who attacked her is not human. She starts to develop unusual skills that have murderous consequences. And she becomes an unwilling witness to multiple, brutal murders, seen through the eyes a killer. Thrown into a battle of Good vs. Evil, she falls in love with two men who are not what they seem. While her attacker stalks her and continues to murder the innocent, she has to find the inner strength to take on and fight the demons from hell—to protect her family and friends while also trying to save her own life.
Buy links: US link: https://goo.gl/3Lk91d  UK link: https://goo.gl/e7L7DV
I had set my alarm clock so I could get up early in the morning, to head off to the cottage. Turning off the light and lying down, I snuggled under the covers.
I was just nodding off when I heard ringing. I hit the alarm clock, but the noise didn’t stop. Blinking, it dawned on me that it wasn’t the clock, it was the phone. I jumped up and answered it before the machine did.
“Kat?” the voice on the other end said.
“Yes?” I didn’t recognize the voice. Who would be calling at this time of night?
“It’s me, Sam.”
“Oh, hi,” I said, my voice flat.
What does he want?
“I was wondering, do you want to go out on Monday evening?”
“Oh, no, I don’t think so.” I tried to think of an excuse.
He went quiet, then asked, “Why not?”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
As the words left my mouth, I realized I shouldn’t have said them. I should have thought of something better. I didn’t know what else to say.
“Oh, so that’s it? You don’t want to see me again, do you?” I could hear the attitude in his voice.
“No. I think we should call it a day.” The phone went quiet.
“That’s about right, you bitch!”
I froze, stunned.
“You lead me on and then dump me, you whore.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My God, where was the caring man from earlier? The one who had given me his jacket.
I slammed the phone down. As I did, I could hear him shouting and swearing at me. I couldn’t believe my ears.
Wow! I certainly had a narrow escape with him. I’m glad I didn’t tell him in person.
I was angry, annoyed that I hadn’t retaliated.
He was so nice. Who would have thought he could turn so nasty? Just wait until I get my hands on Jonathan. I’ll wring his bloody neck. What was he thinking, introducing me to a lunatic?
I made sure all the windows and doors were locked and finally went to bed.
I dreamt about the man on the rock. It was different this time.
The nameless vision of masculine beauty watched the water bubble and swirl as it flowed past him. He turned his head in my direction and smiled. There was something wrong with his eyes. They were not the beautiful blue eyes I loved so much. They were yellow! He glanced back at the stream and my gaze followed his. I looked back to where he stood and took a step forward. He wasn’t there! My heart sank.
Where had he gone?
I scanned the area but he was nowhere to be seen. I heard a noise above me and saw a large bird flying high in the sky. It swooped toward the stream and took off into the woods. Where did he go? He was there one minute and gone the next. I had just plucked the courage up to speak to him and he’d disappeared.
Damn it!

 What’s your current WIP?
I am working on the sequel to Midnight Angel. I am around three quarters through the first draft.

And finally, where can we find you?
 Website: http://traceywood.wix.com/tracey-a-wood 
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TraceyAWood.
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/traceya_wood 
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+TraceyAWoodAuthor/postsWord press:
Blog http://traceyawoodblog.wordpress.com 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/tracey_a_wood
Thank you for being here, Tracey, and thank you for a fast-paced intriguing, read.
Format: Kindle Edition
Midnight Angel is not the kind of book I normally read. I love books set in England, but as a rule, I don’t read any romance tinged with horror and graphic violence. But I couldn’t put Midnight Angel down. I had to know what happened.
Kat is a divorcee with a grown son. She’s bought herself a new cottage and is planning a great time redecorating with her best friends. When she’s assaulted by a monster everything changes. The assault leaves her with terrible wounds and new powers. Suddenly she can see things she’s never seen before, including a lover who first comes to her in dreams. Kat’s caught up in the battle between angels and demons and if she and her new friends don’t find the demons, it could mean the end of our world. Wonderful first book. Looking forward to reading the next one. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meet Tema Merback, Sexy Romantic Suspense Author

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 5 comments
Meet my friend, fellow Los Angeles RWA member and critique partner, Tema Merback. Tema's novel with Soul Mate Publishing,  One More Time is Not Enough, came out July 13th. 
 Susan, I know you love firsts, so, first let me thank you for hosting me this week on your wonderful blog.
Susan: You're right. Firsts are some of my favorite things. Tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
Tema: Funny, you should ask this, because I just signed another publishing contract for a new book. It seems that my birthday in July is very lucky for me.
Last year, I signed a publishing contract with Soul Mate Publishing for the third and final book in my The Only One series: One More Time is Not Enough (also a standalone). Having experienced so many rejections, my reaction was to burst out crying. As writers, most of us have experienced that heart-wrenching moment when you receive a rejection letter, or worse, the impersonal rejection letter that is a one-size-fits-all form letter. When you finally get a positive we-want-you letter, it’s like the heavens have opened up and you’ve been offered redemption for your sins. 
         I was at RWA, and believe me, I kicked up my heels and did a dance. Then, low and behold, again on my birthday, while at RWA this year, I heard from Hartwood Publishing. I’d sent Georgia Woods, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief, a submission letter and I received a fabulous letter back from her that she wanted to publish my latest entitled Saving Layla. She also expressed interest in a sequel, which I’m writing now, working title I Will Not Forget You. 
   Unfortunately, for my first publishing experience, it took one year to bring that baby to fruition. It finally was published July 13.
            I’ve figured out by now that this whole writing, publishing experience is about baby steps. So long as I’m moving forward, I’m making progress. I’m very persistent. The girl who was incapable of dealing with rejection has learned, “No guts, no glory.” 
I am so happy for you. What a fabulous Birthday present! 
Susan: Got a recipe you want to share?
Tema: Well, since I’m a gourmet cook, I always have a recipe up my sleeve. These days because of my focus on writing and social media, I try to keep my recipes simple and one-pot (if possible). Here’s a favorite that I’ve adapted and altered. It’s probably from Bon Appetite. I call it chicken & potatoes on the wall. It is irresistible. It will fill your kitchen with the most delicious aroma. Think Greece or Italy.
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons dried oregano (sometimes I use fresh)
2 ¼ lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
1 4 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces (sometimes I had extra breasts, or legs, or both) in which case I add a little more of everything, especially garlic and oregano
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush inside of large roasting pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Combine remaining 4 tablespoons oil, garlic and 1 ½ teaspoons oregano in a large bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat (I usually use my hands). Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper and line the edge/border of the roasting pan with potatoes. There should be plenty of oil, garlic, oregano leftover in bowl, now toss the chicken and coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange chicken in center of prepared pan. Drizzle chicken and potatoes with lemon juice.
Roast chicken and potatoes in oven for approximately 1 hour. Voila, you have one of the best chicken dinners ever! The potatoes will be a little crispy, and the chicken will be so moist it will melt in your mouth. Everybody loves this recipe. Enjoy. Sounds fabulous. I can't wait to try it.
Susan: What genre’s do you write?
Tema:  My main focus at the moment is romance/suspense/sexy, however, I seem to be leaning toward the thriller aspect. As a reader, I really like a great story with lots of unpredictable twists and turns. I do have a couple of book ideas brewing in my mind. One of those stories is actually a contemporary/historical/romance that has everything to do with reincarnation and past lives. OK I want to see that. Like yesterday.
 Susan: Tell us about your newest release.
Tema: My newest release is One More Time is Not Enough
            My heroine, Adelia Lindstrom Bremen, has a dilemma, she is in love with two men, and she doesn’t know that she’s on a serial killer’s hit list. This is the story of a woman trying to get her life back on track. A woman who instills passion and desire from the two men who love her. Adelia has everything, she is independently wealthy, she has beautiful twin children, and a career that she loves. Even with all of her blessings her life has become a minefield of lies, disappointments, and tragedy: Her parents were murdered, her marriage ended in a messy divorce and custody battle, her children were kidnapped by her ex-sister-in-law and had to be rescued from Cuba, and her godfather that murdered her parents was killed in the rescue. After divorce, a custody battle, and kidnapping, she finds herself swept up in a love triangle.
            Adelia is about to find out that putting her life back together and opening herself to love may be the least of her worries. Can she find her true love and survive being the prey of a serial killer? Can the two men who love her rescue her in time? The clock is ticking.
 Excerpt: One More Time is Not Enough
When they returned to the cliff house, it was late. Adelia suggested they take a Jacuzzi and have a nightcap. While David changed into his swimsuit, she ordered a bottle of champagne and fresh strawberries. By the time he finished in the bathroom, she was in the hot tub, immersed in a cloud of steam, sipping champagne and nibbling on fruit.
“Come on, slowpoke, the water feels like heaven.” She eyed David’s muscled body. “The FBI Academy seems to have agreed with you. You’re a treat for the eyes, Agent Weiss.”
David sighed. “What am I going to do with you?” He slipped into the water.
“I don’t know. What are you going to do with me?” she goaded, handing him a glass of champagne.
Enjoying their playful repartee, she placed her feet in his lap. “This is bliss.” The intimacy of the hot tub was having its desired effect, she could feel the sexual tension mounting.
“You know I’m not going to make love to you.”
“Really. She furrowed her brows annoyed. “Why not?”
“Because, Adelia, even all of this”—he spread his arms wide— “can’t make the reality of our lives go away. You have an ex-husband who wants you back, children who’d be better off with both their parents. I can’t compete with that.”
She could sense his goading her into a confrontation. “You’re not going to spoil this perfect evening. I won’t let you.”
“Do you know what it’s going to be like for me, when this is over? Poor David, too bad his girlfriend went back to her husband.”
“It’s not true, you could stop it if you wanted to.”
“We’re fighting destiny, Adelia.”
Doubt plagued her, but it wasn’t within her power to stop what she was feeling. She stood and placed her glass on the side table. With determination, she reached out and took the champagne glass from him. Then, grabbing a strawberry, she sat on his lap, facing him.
He started to protest. “Adelia, stop . . .”
Without a thought, she placed the strawberry seductively between her teeth and brought her lips close to his.
He stared into her eyes. “Please, don’t do this.”
“Why? Don’t you like strawberries?” She could feel his erection beneath her bikini bottom. “Or, is it just me you don’t care for?”
He growled, then bit half of the strawberry off, his lips brushing hers. He tried to pull away, but her arms encircled his neck, and she deepened the kiss.
“If you keep this up . . . you might get more than you bargained for.”
“Is that a threat or a promise?” she whispered, her lips inches from his.
“You’re killing me.”
“Funny, am I the only one here who knows what they want?”
“What I want isn’t in question.”
“Oh, but I think it is. If you were honest with yourself, you wouldn’t pull away. It’s been such a perfect evening. What’s wrong with two people who care for each other, exploring their feelings? I dare you to tell me you don’t want this. That you don’t want me.”
“I’m trying to protect you . . . me . . . both of us . . . from making a mistake.” He smiled. “But you’re not cooperating. I don’t know how much more I can take.”
“Then surrender and let me win. I’m a big girl. If this is a mistake, it’s my mistake.” She pressed her lips on his, her tongue darting against his.
He rose with her in his arms. “I won’t blame you for what’s about to happen. You know how much I want you. I just hope we don’t live to regret it.”
He kissed her with a lust that turned her blood to fire.
“No regrets. I want this. Let’s take a shower,” she teased, kicking her legs playfully in the air.
Susan: What’s your current WIP?
Tema:  My current work in progress is, working title, I Will Not Forget You. It is the sequel to Saving Layla which I just signed for publishing with Hartwood Publishing. Saving Layla is a sexy, romantic, suspense novel set in Iran. It centers upon two people as different as the sun and the moon, who are caught in a web of political intrigue between Israel’s desire to exist and Iran’s goal of their nuclear destruction.
            Cyrus Hassani is at the top of his game. He has risen to a powerful position in Oghab2 whose responsibility is the safety of Iran’s nuclear program.  Oghab2 is the most clandestine arm of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence & Security. However, Cyrus is not whom he seems, he is Israel’s greatest spy asset, a deep cover mole for MOSSAD. He’s an alpha-male, cold, with a heart of steel. He’s lived in the shadow world for so long that love is the last thing on his mind.
            Layla Wallace is a Jewish, Harvard student, whose father is a renowned nuclear physicist. When Layla and her Saudi boyfriend go to Dubai during winter break, the two are abducted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp and kidnapped to Iran.
            This sets off a tidal wave of events. Cyrus is ordered by MOSSAD to blow his cover in order to rescue Layla and get her out of Iran. Cyrus dedicated to his mission and life’s work, feels betrayed. He fights his intense attraction to the fiery redhead who challenges him on every front, while Layla fights her impulse not to trust her mysterious savior.
            The two are being hunted by Cyrus’s boss, a man driven by vengeance who will do anything to retain his power. Cyrus and Layla embark on a treacherous escape to find a safe haven and freedom. A journey that will ignite their passion and love, and test their ability to sustain and build a future together.
            Saving Layla is a seductive romantic adventure. It is about as current and topical as a book can be, dealing with the possibility of a nuclear Iran and what it means to the world.
            The sequel, I Will Not Forget you, my current work in progress is very comparable to the movie Taken. Layla is again kidnapped, this time in the US by an Iranian Quds Force/Hezbollah team who are seeking revenge against Cyrus, the US and Israel. These terrorists have blown up a restaurant in Manhattan and are planning a major hit on US soil. I don’t want to reveal too much because this book has a lot of plot twists and turns, all of which are real possibilities. I do a lot of research for my books. My goal is always to ground them in reality and current events. I’m very excited about the ending of this baby. Layla’s rescue will ignite a crisis in Layla and Cyrus’s marriage. I’m going to pursue some of the psychological aspects of a relationship or marriage gone wrong. What happens when there is cheating, mistrust, jealousy, and betrayal. Can my heroine and hero get past their issues and hold onto love? I’m betting they can.
And I get to read the next twenty pages this week. I am very excited, as the first twenty are great.
 And finally, where can we find you?
Tema: You can find me wherever there is imagination and creativity. LOL
Amazon buy link: http://bookshow.me/TheOne
Twitter:  @BelleAmi5
Website:   http://belleami.us
Thank you for being here, Tema. Tema is giving away the first two books in the Only One series: The One and The One And More. Although One More Time is Not Enough is a stand-alone. It's always fun to have the series. Happy Reading. 

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

3 Good Things Post

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 9 comments
This is my 3 Good things post and, of course, I have a giveaway.
I have three careers: Actor, Romance Writer, Children's book writer. Last week was a great week for all three.
Sunday, July 24th I had a great critique group meeting and my partners liked my pages. I was really worried whether or not those pages would pass muster because I took the story to a place I wasn't sure they'd follow.
Sunday night, my Ray Donovan episode was on Showtime.
Thursday I shot the first of two episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
We were on location in Sylmar and my trailer was amazing.


I had a TV and Blu-Ray player, and a fireplace. Also a fridge and a microwave. There was  a bathroom with a shower. And a wonderfully comfortable black leather sofa, long enough to stretch out on. The only thing missing was a closet to hang the costumes.
I have no set pics because my call sheet said NO PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHY.
I have pics of three of my costumes. I wish I could have taken pics of the cast. I got to work with Rhea Perlman, one of my favorite actresses. Maya Rudolph and Betsy Sodaro are also in this episode but I didn't work with them. I am sorry cause I love their work.
 (Rhea and I were power-walking with Captain Holt. I had four costumes because there were four scenes. It was 99 degrees and I got to wear velour sweats and heavy sweats. The costumer kept me supplied with ice packs. I stuck one in my bra and one in the waistband of my sweatshirt.) Despite the physical discomfort, I had a wonderful time. The cast and crew were all lovely.

Friday and Saturday I attended the SCBWI Summer Conference at the Historical Biltmore Millenium in downtown Los Angeles. My critique partner Hilde Garcia booked a room for the occasion. It was her birthday weekend, and I got to room with her Friday night.  I saw Andrea Welsh, my edition from Beach Lane books and she said she would be checking on the progress of my illustrator. (Happy dance. I didn't know I actually had an illustrator yet.) Friday evening was the Golden Kite dinner.
Saturday evening was the Hollywood Glamour ball. And I go to wear my tiara. Not too many occasions where you can wear a tiara these days. I asked Richard Peck if we could have a picture together.

 When I got home Saturday night, Lynda Burch, the publisher at Guardian Angel Publishing had sent me the cover picture for Mom Is There a Santa Claus and I loved it.  KC Snider is the illustrator and I adore her work. And I had a new five star review for Time and Forever.

Yesterday I shot my scene in the second episode. I had the same wonderful trailer and the same wonderful crew and cast. Lunch was delicious. It was only 92 degrees. I got to wear a short sleeved running costume. And I had time to watch Roy Rogers on my TV.
I also had two more auditions last week. And baby sitting duty so my son would go work on Adam Ruins Everything.
Walter's new head shot. It's time this child started earning college money.
Babysitting Walter is a joy. This is a lot more than three good things.
Now it's time to to get to work on the things I haven't done. I have two reviews to write  - LARA's short story anthology, Summer Sizzle and Tracy A Wood's Midnight Angel.  Right now I'm reading Jayne Ann Krentz's Illusion Town and having the best time. I have to put my new head shots on my actor website (as you can see from the look of this post, formatting is not one of my best skills) And I have a LOT of revision to get through on both my romance novels.
 I have one good thing for you. Enter below. I wish you a week of good things. Leave me a comment about one of them.
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