Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Meet Belle Ami. Author of Sexy International Romantic Suspense

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments

Meet fast paced romantic suspense author Belle Ami. I read her novel Escape Here’s my review:
Escape is fast paced highly sexy romantic suspense set in Iran and Israel.
Cyrus Hassani is known in his world as one of the top men protecting Iran’s nuclear development program.
Israel knows him as their best deep cover mole. When Layla Rose Wallace, daughter of one of America’s top physicists is kidnapped in Dubai and sent to Iran, all hell breaks loose.
Israel is afraid Layla could be used to force her father to work for Iran. Cyrus is ordered to rescue her and get her out of Iran at all costs.
Cyrus is angry, torn between the destruction of the cover he gave so many years to build, and the growing impossible attraction he feels for Layla.
Layla is unwillingly drawn to a man who tells her he has no soul. Together they race to escape the deadly net set to keep them from leaving Iran. I was fascinated by two environments and cultures I knew little about. The pace kept me racing through the story to see what happened next. If you like sexy romance, foreign climes and a good thriller, this is your read.
Belle, can we have an excerpt?

I’ve included an excerpt with cooking, since food always finds its way into my manuscripts.
* * * *
Layla bolted upright, gasping for air. The nightmare of being drugged and abducted had vividly replayed in her dream. Her face and ribs ached. She looked around the unfamiliar room. How did I get here? Her last memory was of driving in the Range Rover with Superman. Panic filled her. Zamir? Where is Zamir? I wonder if his father has started negotiating for our release. Have they notified my father? Does Zamir even know I’ve left the prison? I need to get a message to him; maybe the man with the green eyes will help me? Her mind spun with a million questions.
Determined, she rose from the bed. She would ask Superman for help. She crept out of the bedroom suite and tiptoed down the stairs. The fragrance of cooking meat and spices awakened pangs of hunger. She was starving. She followed the aroma to the kitchen. Superman, in an apron, stood over a stove stirring a pot. He dipped a wooden spoon into the pot and tasted the stew. “Hmm” Seemingly satisfied, he placed the lid on the pot.
“It smells delicious. What is it?”
He whirled around in surprise, his hand instinctively reaching for his holstered gun. “You scared the hell out of me.” He relaxed, smiling at her. “It’s called Fesenjan. It’s a traditional Persian stew made with pomegranate, chicken, walnuts, onions, saffron, cinnamon and a pinch of sugar. Are you hungry?”
“Starved. Who taught you to cook?”
“My mother. This should be ready soon. Why don’t you sit down?”
“My mother’s dead.”
“So is mine.”
They stared at each other, taken aback by each other’s candid answer.
Layla swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. “I have a million questions. I hardly know where to start.”
Cyrus pulled out a chair for her at the kitchen table. “Start at the beginning.”
She sat, folding her hands in front of her. “What’s your name? I can’t very well call you Superman.”
“Superman?” He shook his head, perplexed.
“In my mind, I’ve been calling you Superman—the way you rescued me from that guard. You swooped in like a superhero.”
The dimple in his chin hollowed out with his smile. She dropped her eyes in embarrassment, thinking, He’s way too good looking. Every time he smiles, my heart does somersaults.
“I like that.” The dimple in his chin grew even deeper with his broadening grin, and his green eyes gleamed with amusement.
“What?” Be still my heart. A smile like his could bring a woman to her knees. Not good, Layla. Don’t fall for the bait. He’s the enemy. “Oh, for God’s sake, please tell me your name.”
“Cyrus Hassani at your service. I am thirty-two.” He bowed his head. “What would you like to know about me? Unlike you Americans, I don’t have a Social Security card.”
She found his amusement annoying. She didn’t like being toyed with. “Mr. Hassani, I seem to be beholden to you. You might consider telling me a little about yourself so that I might have an idea of who I’m dealing with.”
Cyrus rubbed the shadow of beard on his face. “I hold a degree in nuclear physics from the University of Paris and a law degree from the Imam Mohammad Bagher University here in Tehran. I was conscripted by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security when I graduated university, and since then I have risen to the rank of attaché to an important man. My assignment is to keep you safe from all harm until your release. How am I doing?”
“Good, you’re doing well. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Although, I must say it sounded like the kind of recitation you’d give if you were captured by the enemy.”
His laughter filled the room. “I suppose the presentation might have seemed a bit canned. Now tell me, have I passed the first hurdle with you? May I call you Layla? Have I gained your trust enough for us to be on a first name basis?”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Cyrus. I appreciate your candor, and I’m grateful for your rescue. I guess you are a superman of sorts. I still have a lot more questions. I think first names will make this easier for both of us. Please, call me Layla.”
“Shoot, Layla.”
“My boyfriend, Zamir, and I were abducted from Dubai. His father, Omar Kamel, is a wealthy Saudi businessman. I’m sure he’s begun negotiating for our release. I want to know how Zamir is, and can you tell me how much longer we’ll have to be here?”
Cyrus looked at his watch. “Zamir is fine. In fact, he should be getting on a private jet right about now on his way to Saudi Arabia and his family.”
Layla felt the blood drain from her face. Tears welled in her eyes, tracing a path down her cheek. “I don’t understand. I’m supposed to be on that jet with him. He would never leave without me
Cyrus’s voice remained even, if not a little compassionate. “I’m sorry, Layla, but he did. Don’t think too poorly of him. He had no choice. His father made no effort to include you in the negotiation. You could not possibly believe an Arab family would open their arms to you, an American Jew. He’s a boy. None of this is in his control.” As an afterthought, he added, “If it’s any comfort, I’m sure he’s as devastated as you.”
Layla stared at Cyrus, trying to process what he said. Taking a breath, she wiped her tears away. I should have known better. I’ve been a fool, a child. She stared at her folded hands, trying to catch up with her thoughts. The realization she’d been left to fend for herself dawned on her. You come from a long line of fighters, she told herself. Your grandparents are Holocaust survivors. It’s time to become who you really are. Facing the truth strengthened her resolve. Looks like you’re going to have to find your own way out of this.
She tried to fathom her situation, thoughts racing. Cyrus stared at her, his sexy eyes filled with compassion. She returned his stare as if seeing him for the first time. Is he a friend or a foe? It occurred to her that the flipping gorgeous hunk of a man who sat across from her might be her only chance out of Iran. It was not in her DNA to use people, but under the circumstances, this man might be her only way out. She looked down at her hands as she tried to devise a plan.
When she looked up, she found Cyrus studying her. She blushed. “I guess that’s all the questions I have for now. I really am hungry, though.”
“Good. Then let’s eat.”
She found herself unable to resist. “I hope Superman can cook as well as he comes to the rescue of damsels in distress.”
“Be sure to let me know what career I’m better suited to, cooking or taking down bad guys.”
“Right now, I’m hoping it’s cooking you excel at.”
“Actually, my greatest skill set is in the bedroom.” His piercing green eyes dared her to look away.
Layla’s cheeks burned, and he doubled over in laughter.
“I… I beg your pardon?”
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist, Layla. You’re quite pretty when you blush.”

Now I am hungry - in more ways than one. But let's go with food. Got a recipe you want to share?

You bet! My improved version of a recipe that is an easy one pot meal & is crowd pleasing chicken & potatoes on the wall

Makes 4 servings (I usually add extra breasts or dark meat because the leftovers are killer)
·         6 tablespoons olive oil
·         4 large garlic cloves, minced
·         3 teaspoons dried oregano (I always use fresh)
·         2 1/4 pounds yukon potatoes, peeled, each cut into 6 long wedges
·         1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces or just buy the parts dark or white your preference
·         3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1.      Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush inside of large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Combine remaining 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano in bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Line the outside edges of a large roasting pan with the potatoes so that they Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, salt, and pepper. Arrange chicken in single layer in center of prepared pan. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Then put chicken in the bowl and soak up the remaining garlic, oil & oregano (if you need to add another tablespoon of oil do so). Then squeeze the lemon juice and any remaining oil mixture from bowl of potatoes.
2.      Roast chicken and potatoes until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 1 hour. The recipe originally called for 1 hours & 10 minutes, however, I don’t like my chicken dried out so an hour is plenty. I also cut my breasts in half.
This recipe is so good, it fills the house with mouth-watering aroma.
I can’t wait to try it.

Belle, is not only a fellow member of my chapter of RWA, LARA, she is one of my critique partners. I and my fellow critique partners have been critiquing her next book and it's very exciting. Belle, tell us about your next book, Vengeance

Vengeance (Tip of the Spear Book 2)
Vengeance is a continuation of Escape. An exciting thriller featuring my hero, Cyrus Hassani, and heroine, Layla Rose Wallace, in a new adventure.
On a lovely September evening in one of Manhattan’s poshest restaurant a bomb explodes. The Israeli Consul General and Layla Hassani are dining in the restaurant. More than a hundred people are killed including the consul general, and Layla unbeknownst to the authorities is kidnapped.
When a YouTube video surfaces starring, a kidnapped Layla threatening another attack, a much bigger one, Mossad and the FBI team up to stop the terrorist from killing millions of Americans. Mossad (Cyrus Hassani) and the FBI (Cass Saladino and David Weiss) are in a desperate countdown to avoid a disaster. For Cyrus, this is not only his assigned mission but it’s personal. He’ll do anything to save the love of his life, Layla.

Where can we find you?
Amazon buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/Escape-Tip-Spear-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01N1X508R
Amazon buy link: http://bookshow.me/TheOne
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Ever-After-Nora-Flite-ebook/dp/B01M8KZIRK
Twitter:  @BelleAmi5
Website:   http://belleami.us

Thank you for being here, Belle. I look forward to your next book.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Being Your Own Valentine. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 9:00:00 AM with 3 comments
It's a day for love or a day for feeling woefully inadequate because
You haven't met your true love.
You lost your true love.
You have kids and exactly when are you going to be able to shove the dresser up against the bedroom door and celebrate properly?

Or there 's the other scenario:
We're celebrating, but is it romantic enough? I bet some else is out there doing it better.
My least favorite romantic line? "You complete me." From Jerry Maguire.
Said by a needy man who wasn't good with either words or relationships, but what the hey, Tom Cruise said it and he's pretty.
It took me a long time to believe I was worthy of love. And I finally realized that the person I most need to love me is . . . me. I needed to know I was already complete.
There are lots of people I love, and lots of people who love me, including my wasband. But none of us complete each other. And that's a good thing.

 We always made our own Valentines. (I found these on my PC from 1984)

This year I cheated and used fFotor online.
Tonight I will make lists. One of things I love about myself, because that's important. And one for things I love about my friend.

I will be celebrating with with my good friend Don who is coming in from Ventura with homemade soup and flowers.
We will be watching Walter so his parents can go to the movies. Maybe I will paint hearts all over him like I used to do for my children.  I plan to bombard my kids with old Valentine pics on Facebook.

And, of course, I want to give something to one of you.

I'm  giving away a 5.00 Amazon Gift certificate.

Leave me a comment telling me at least three good things you love about you. that you are going to tell yourself. And your email address.
 Yes, you are definitely worth loving. Love on!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Title and Blurb Help. Amazon Gift certificate giveaway,

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 9 comments
My next book was accepted by Soul Mate Publishing and tentatively comes out July 12th.

The book is a sequel to Time and Forever  It's a contemporary time travel romance. 

 What's it called?

In the contract, it's called Maybe This Time. I love the title.
So do a ton of other authors. I need a new title. 
I also need a good blurb
That's where you come in, dear reader. I am offering two ten-dollar Amazon gift Cards: One for best title, one for best blurb.
If one of the titles below gets the most votes, I will draw a name from the people who voted for it. If someone comes up with a new winning title, then that someone will get the gift certificate.
There are three blurbs to choose from, or mix and match to write your own.

So far I have four alternate titles: Choices labled A-D. Which one sounds best to you? Or give me another title.

A. Changing Time
   A Second Chance Romance

B. Changing Times
    A Second Chance Romance

C.  Time after Time
     A Second Chance Romance

D. A Matter of Time
   A Second Chance Romance

 What's the book about?

This is the logline:  Their Happy Ever After is over before it begins. Unless they can change time.

So far I've written three possible blurbs - all starting with the log line. Which one would make you want to pick up the book? Or mix and match and give me another idea. 

1.  Their Happy Ever After is over before it begins. Unless they can change time.
What do you do when your niece’s birthday gift sends you thirteen years into the past and the only person who may be able to help you is the person you vowed never to see again?
Popular stage actress Jennifer Knight would rather eat worms than face her first husband.
 Lance Davies was more comfortable with machines than people. He’d never known how to handle his beloved, mercurial Guinevere. But now her future self is here in front of him and he wants another chance.
When Fate give gives you a break, you grab the chance to make things right. Even if you have to change to future to do it.
2.  Their Happy Ever After is over before it begins. Unless they can change time.
What do you do when your niece’s birthday gift sends you thirteen years into the past and the only person who may be able to help you is the person you vowed never to see again?
Popular stage actress Jennifer Knight would rather eat worms than face her first husband. The idiot who believed she had done the unthinkable.
 Lance Davies was more comfortable with machines than people. He’d never known how to handle his beloved, mercurial Guinevere. But now her future self was here in front of him and he wants another chance.
This Lance is not the Lance she divorced. He’d changed. Her traitorous body insists that home is in his arms, but her heart has trust issues.
Can two people separated by thirteen years of history find a future where they can be together?

3.  Their Happy Ever After is over before it begins. Unless they can change time.
London 2001
Popular stage actress Jennifer Knight would rather eat worms than face her first husband.
But when her niece Kat accidentally sends herself and Jen thirteen years into the past, she has no choice but to accept Lance’s help.
 Computer guru Lance Davies is more comfortable with machines than people. He’d never known how to handle his beloved, mercurial Guinevere. But now her future self was here in front of him and he wants another chance.
Can two people whose timelines are thirteen years apart find a future where they can be together?

Thank you for your help.  I made a Rafflecopter so I would have email addresses for the winners. Please use the Rafflecopter to leave me a comment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway