Wednesday, May 28, 2014

RISING TIDE: Dark Innocence by Claudette Melanson @Bella623 #Paranormal #Romance #YA

The bell rang, and we all moved to take our trays to the dishwasher.  I was trying to imagine whether Caelyn would be happy or not about my intended gift, so I really wasn’t paying much attention to where I was walking, my eyes focused on the half brownie I’d left uneaten in the corner of the tray.  I jerked my head up as I crashed into the back of the boy in front of me.  I watched in horror as my opened, but untouched, milk carton tipped over to soak the back of his dark, blue shirt, from the middle of his back to his waist.  It would be my luck that Wendy was right across from me in the second line.  She doubled over with laughter, dropping her own tray to the ground with a resounding clatter.  Every head in the lunchroom turned in our direction.
My face was so hot I felt like my head might explode.  I wanted to run away…desperately.  But my feet remained frozen to the floor, my face a mask of horror, waiting for the wrath of the human in front of me to rain down on my head.  He turned around slowly, his large, brown eyes full of shock.  I’d seen him around the school.  A senior.  My heart bounced out palpitations of fear.
Despite that, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful he was.
“Wow…that is cold!”  Not exactly what I was expecting, but he could have said way worse.
“I-I-Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” I stammered.
He smiled…smiled…at me then.  It was one of those smiles that you know the person is putting their whole heart into.  His brown hair fell over his forehead, to one side, in careless bangs, the rest was long, tied into a ponytail that fell halfway down his back.  Before he’d turned around I hadn’t missed that the ends of it were also milksoaked, like his poor shirt.  He had full lips that were the perfect shade of pink, like the inside of a seashell.  They were spread wide in that cherubic smile of his.  Despite my terror, I was instantly smitten.

Rising Tide will sink it’s teeth into you, keeping you awake into the wee hours of the night
Maura’s life just can’t get any worse…or can it?
Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been the best at making friends. Unusually pale with a disease-like aversion to the sun, she seems to drive her classmates away, but why?
Even her own father deserted her, and her mother, before Maura was born. Bizarre physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, drive Maura to fear for her own life. And her luck just seems to get worse.
Life is about to become even more bewildering when her mother’s abrupt…and unexplained…decision to move a country away sets off a chain of events that will change Maura forever. A cruel prank turned deadly, the discovery of love and friendship….and its loss, as well as a web of her own mother’s lies, become obstacles in Maura’s desperate search for a truth she was never prepared to uncover.
Featured on one of the most popular health blogs on the internet as a giveaway!
Be sure to check out the blog on Maria Mind Body Health to win a free copy today! Go to and check out the blog Chicken “Wild Rice” Soup for your chance to win!
Offered as a giveaway on Goodreads!
Head over to Goodreads for a chance to score a free copy today!
Featured on
Offer a review of Rising Tide on
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – YA Paranormal Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Claudette Melanson on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, May 16, 2014

HIGH MAGA by Karin Rita Gastreich @EolynChronicles #Excerpt #Fiction #Fantasy

Rishona unclasped her cloak and flung it to the floor at Mechnes’s feet. “You are not to question my wisdom or my will in public. Ever.”
Mechnes could not help but smile at the sight of his niece, now a grown woman pretending to give him orders. “With all due respect, San’iloman, I am your military advisor. It is my duty to speak my mind when the weight of my experience contradicts your rather naïve instincts.”
She moved to strike him, but he caught her wrist and forced her arm until she gasped. “It is a little early in the day to start with these games, my Queen. But if you desire a spark of conflict to brighten this weary morning, I am more than willing to please you.”
Rishona kept her eyes hard as stone and her voice taut with menace. “Speak your mind, Mechnes, but do so with discretion. I will not have our disagreements heard by those who would use them to spread malicious rumors against me. Nor will I have our men, who have struggled long and hard up this wretched pass, fall victim to any suspicion that our unity of purpose is wavering.”
He brought her body tight against his, let his breath fall upon her silky skin until he felt a shiver pass through her, followed by the softening of her shoulders and the almost imperceptible tilt of her face that always preceded that ardent kiss.
Before their lips met, he released her. “We must open up this road if we hope to bring a proper army through it.”
“We cannot bring down any more trees,” she insisted. “We are undermining the power of this forest. We need its magic for everything that is to come.”
“This is a very big forest.” He drew out one of their maps, passing his hand over the moss green crescent of impenetrable woodland that swept north toward East Selen and south along the foothills of the Paramen Mountains. “And a very small pass.”
Rishona stared at the map, lips protruding in that familiar charming frown. She rubbed her arms to ward off the damp chill. Noting her discomfort, Mechnes retrieved a dry cloak and placed it about her shoulders.
“I hope you are right,” she said. “It is just that every time we bring down one of those trees, I feel strength torn out of the earth. I fear I went too far by clearing the valley where my parents died.”
“You are Syrnte, Rishona. Your magic derives from the air.”
“Yes, but these creatures were not banished to the Underworld by Syrnte magic. They were imprisoned by the mages and magas of Moisehén, and they must be summoned by the same powers. I will need the air to anchor my spirit when I summon them, but without the earth I cannot control them.”
Mechnes narrowed his eyes. “If you have doubts regarding your ability to manage these beasts, you should have mentioned them before now.”
“I have no doubts.” She looked up at him, defiant. “I know how to gratify the Naether Demons and bring them into our service. But there are many elements involved, and they must be integrated carefully. No one has attempted this before, uncle. Or if they have, they failed miserably, and hence we know nothing of their fate.”
“Are you ready to summon these beasts or not?” He did not bother to hide the threat in his tone. Already he had poured tremendous resources into this conquest. He would show no mercy if she had deceived him.
Rishona straightened her shoulders, expression resolute. “Yes, I am ready. For tonight, I am most ready. And for what is to come, I have time to prepare.”

Lands Ravaged. Dreams destroyed. Demons set loose upon the earth.
War strikes at the heart of women’s magic in Moisehén. Eolyn’s fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Devastated yet undaunted, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. But even a High Maga cannot survive this enemy alone. Aided by the enigmatic Mage Corey, Eolyn battles the darkest forces of the Underworld, only to discover she is a mere path to the magic that most ignites their hunger.
What can stop this tide of terror and vengeance? The answer lies in Eolyn’s forgotten love, and in its power to engender seeds of renewed hope.
HIGH MAGA is the companion novel to EOLYN, also available from Hadley Rille Books.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Kobo
Genre – Epic Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Karin Rita Gastreich on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lichgates: Book 1 of the Grimoire Saga by @TheSMBoyce #BookClub #Fantasy #AmReading

Braeden Drakonin ran his thick hands over a cavern wall he’d found deep in the tunnels of some unknown mountain in Ourea. The yakona’s short black hair stuck to his olive skin, which was covered in sweat from the four days he had spent on this hunt. He was close.

He held up his hand and a gray fire erupted in the air above his palm, fueled by the magic that coursed through his body. The blaze flickered in the dark cave, casting its light across the glossy wall to give him a better view. Its white stone blocks were perfectly aligned without a single crack in the ancient mortar, and the fortification stretched across the cavern in an unnatural line that blocked off half of the cave. Its edges met the curved slope of the organic cave walls, the design bending to fill every possible gap in the rock with a white brick. Engraved into the center of the wall with thin, silver lines was a large symbol: a four-leaf clover the size of his head, made of four crescent moons that looped through each other.

This was it.

Finally, after twelve years of dead leads and the dying hope that it even still existed, he had found the Grimoire. It waited, somewhere behind this wall, for its new master. It waited for him.

He’d grown up listening to the legends of the Vagabond, as had every yakona child for the last thousand years. Most children daydreamed of finding the priceless treasures hidden in the Vagabond’s abandoned village; Braeden, however, had only ever dreamed of becoming a vagabond himself to escape having been raised to kill. He was a prince and Heir to the Stele: an evil kingdom filled with vile yakona that preferred torture todiplomatic negotiation. Becoming a vagabond was the only escape from that life. Though he’d escaped the Stele as a child twelve years ago—living another life while his kingdom thought he was dead—his luck wouldn’t last much longer. He needed to find the Grimoire before his father learned the truth.

Braeden stepped back, examining the cavern as he looked for a door. A sunken tower had fallen across two of the four entrances to the cave, but the worn stone blocks scattered on the floor were all that remained of it. Aside from the collapsed spire, the cavern was completely bare. The solid white wall didn’t have a trace of a hinge or a handle. His stomach twisted into a knot as a slow realization washed over him.

There was no door.

Dread shot through him. “No. There has to be a way in. There has to be something.”

He ran his hands along the Grimoire’s clover symbol, hunting for a clue, but his search turned up nothing.

“No.” His voice shook as he smacked the wall with his palms. The stacked bricks shuddered, and the gray fire in his hand fizzled out. The room plunged into darkness once more. He pulled on his hair and repeated the word over and over, his voice growing louder as panic bubbled in his gut.
He finally lost all sense of self-control.


"The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea. - Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy

Spring 2013 Rankings

#6 Kindle Store | #1 Science Fiction & Fantasy | #1 Epic Fantasy | #1 Sword & Sorcery | #1 Teens
Now an international Amazon bestseller. Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.


Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother's recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book's untamed power. 

Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict - a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn't trust anyone... but she's being hunted and can't survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.


Novels in the Grimoire Saga:
Lichgates (#1)
Treason (#2)
Heritage (#3) - Available Fall 2013
Illusion (#4) - Available Fall 2014

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
 Connect with SM Boyce on Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know About @GaryTroia #AmReading #Fiction #ShortStories

  1. He was deported from the United States of America on a drugs charge in 1994
  2. He Changed his name from Ridgeway to Troia by deed poll
  3. As well as being a bricklayer he also used to clean chandeliers
  4. His secondary school, ‘Abbey Wood’ was so bad that Panorama did a documentary on it
  5. He has a degree in Spanish and philosophy
  6. He is half Italian
  7. He worked as a lecturer for ten years and was head of department for 2 years
  8. He lives in Winchester, UK
  9. He has lived in many places, including: Bilbao, Andalucía, Maryland, Los Angeles, London, Lerwick and Glasgow
  10. He lives with his wife, Marina and his step son Jamie

For the first time ever, this collection of short stories by Gary Troia brings together, in chronological order stories and memoirs from Spanish Yarns and Beyond, English Yarns and Beyond and A Bricklayer’s Tales into one complete volume.

"Excellent! A collection of short stories about depression, alcoholism and drug use. Very compelling reading. I read this short story collection all in one go." (Maria, Goodreads.)

A Bricklayer's Tales is the ultimate "I hate this job" story, written as a collection of short stories and memoirs, each one revealing a snapshot in the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This book of short stories is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book achieves clarity without trying.
Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade.

A collection of short stories and memoirs that include:

The Cuckoo's Egg. Boyhood antics lead to tragedy.
My Grandfather's Shed. The making of an English key
No Comb on the Cock. Gypsies, champion fighting cocks, and career choices.
What I Did In My Summer Holidays In 1000 Words. Could having an idea ever be considered a criminal act?
My Best Mate’s Head. Did a weekend of boozing save Ray from certain death?
The Shetland Isles. A trip to sunny Benidorm, a chance meeting with some Glaswegians, and a cold, miserable job in Lerwick.
Pointing a House in Islington. Too much alcohol and cocaine don't mix well on building sites!
Angel Dust. The peculiar story of a man whose new life in America leads to conversations with Ancient Greek philosophers
Peyote. Hippies, LSD and an idyllic refuge
Return Ticket. Handcuffed and ready for deportation. A sad departure from the States
When I Joined a Cult. Sober dating as Ray discovers religion.
Bilbao. How very, very English!
Teaching Other People. The grass is always greener-the escape from bricklaying.
A Week in the Life of Ray Dennis. With the prospect of no money for food or alcohol this Christmas, Ray has to find work quickly.
Catania. A meeting with a Sicilian fox, some Neapolitans, and a man with a camel haired coat.
Advert In The Art Shop Window. Will a new building job in Spain be the start of a new life?
Gaudi. A flight to Barcelona for a kebab, and a look at the Sagrada Familia.
The Day My Soul Left Me. "To be or not to be? That is the question"
How Not to Travel to The Alhambra. Hung-over, the wrong fuel, the car breaks down. Will they ever make it to Granada?
The Road To Ronda. A terrifying drive to Ronda, was it worth it?
Poking A Carob Tree. A new home and new neighbours, just in time for Christmas.
Spain Reborn.No more commuting to London. Lets celebrate!
Home From Home. A parallel world where the Spanish have taken over Weymouth.
Three Common Carp.An epic battle with a whale and marlin it is not.
Mrs. McClintock. An absurd farce in which a Glaswegian couple retire to Spain
Steak, Egg and Intensive Care. A harmless dinner leads to hospitalisation.
The Unchangeable Chameleon. Can a leopard change it's spots?
A Bricklayer's Tale. The story of a disillusioned, alcoholic bricklayer

A collection short stories and memoirs of British dark humour. 
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fiction, Short Stories
Rating - PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with Gary Troia on Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Lady in France (Memories of Taipei) by Jennie Goutet @ALadyInFrance #Memoir #Women #Fiction

When I walked through customs into the dingy, crowded airport in Taipei, I anxiously scanned the hordes of people waiting to welcome the passengers. With relief, I spotted a Chinese woman holding a sign with the school logo and my name on it—she was the teacher I had been told would come to fetch me. I tried to ask her a few questions, but she patted my hand and said, “It’s okay, it’s okay.” It took me awhile to figure out that she had no idea what I was saying.

I had arrived in monsoon season. There was no direct bus to get from the airport to Taichung at the time. So we had to take a bus from the airport to Taipei center, which took about forty-five minutes. And then we had to transfer to a different bus that would take us to our final destination. This bus was located on the other side of a busy expressway.

That was when I found myself wading through knee-deep puddles in a thundering rain, dragging my year’s supply of belongings, up a steep set of stairs and over the bridge to get to the other side. Soaking wet, we arrived at the station just in time to climb into the heavily air-conditioned bus for our nearly three-hour ride to Taichung.

I can’t remember this teacher’s name, as solicitous as she was, but she handed me a can of syrupy sweet tea with chunks of seaweed jelly in it. As the exploratory sip assaulted my dehydrated, jet-lagged senses, my first thought was that she was trying to be cruel. This I felt, especially after our foray into the monsoon dragging my luggage up and down stairs, but her sincere demeanor told me otherwise. I handed the can back with a polite smile and shook my head no. Then I leaned my head against the glass windowpane of the bus, watching the open scenery and taillights zip by in the dark. I had never felt so exhausted, so alone, and in a world more immense than I could have imagined.

Eventually we arrived in Taichung, and the school bus driver was at the station to bring us to the owner’s house, whose name was Bih Hua. I remember it being very late as I was ushered into her living room, but my sense of timing was disoriented so it may just have been late evening. She directed me to the shower, which revived me somewhat, but I immediately collapsed on the bed in the guest room with the door shut before she could bring me a fan. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I was drenched in sweat, and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Everything was so strange. The smells varied from one street corner to the next, from one footstep to the next—garbage, garlic, exhaust from the motorbikes, powdery incense smoking from a household temple. The air was warm and heavy, and there was a weight to the humidity that made me lethargic.

All around me, I could hear nasal twangs as people spoke in loud voices, in an incomprehensible tongue. I couldn’t understand a single thing that was said around me, or read any of the colored plastic signs hanging over the shop doorways. There was no way to remain anonymous; at the time there were few Westerners in this part of the city, and people pointed at me wherever I went, calling out “foreigner” in Chinese. Even the children being brought by their parents to the school for the first time would see my strange green eyes and turn away in fear, sobbing into the necks of their mothers.


At seventeen, Jennie Goutet has a dream that she will one day marry a French man and sets off to Avignon in search of him. Though her dream eludes her, she lives boldly—teaching in Asia, studying in Paris, working and traveling for an advertising firm in New York.

When God calls her, she answers reluctantly, and must first come to grips with depression, crippling loss, and addiction before being restored. Serendipity takes her by the hand as she marries her French husband, works with him in a humanitarian effort in East Africa, before settling down in France and building a family.

Told with honesty and strength, A Lady in France is a brave, heart- stopping story of love, grief, faith, depression, sunshine piercing the gray clouds—and hope that stays in your heart long after it’s finished.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Jennie Goutet on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, May 9, 2014

To Love A Cat by Billi Tiner @TinerBooks #AmReading #Romance #Women

Cat trudged up the stairs, dreading the coming confrontation. She paused outside Ethan’s door and drew in a deep breath. Steeling herself, she gave a hard knock.

“Ethan, we need to talk.”

“Door’s open,” he replied.

She pushed open the door and stepped inside. Ethan was sitting on the edge of the bed. He met her eyes defiantly.

“Want to tell me what you were doing?”

Shrugging a shoulder, he answered, “Couldn’t sleep, so I went for a walk.”

Cat didn’t immediately reply. She weighed her words carefully. “Okay, here’s the deal, I’m responsible for your safety. I can’t keep you safe, if I don’t know where you are.”

“I can take care of myself. I don’t need you to look out for me.”

“I’m sure you’ve been doing a great job. However, the law says, I’m responsible for you. Besides, walking the streets this late at night is dangerous for anybody. It doesn’t matter how old you are,” Cat reasoned. “I know we didn’t get a chance to talk about boundaries and expectations today. We’ll sit down and go over things tomorrow.”

“You aren’t gonna call Stacy and have her come get me?” he asked, a note of surprise in his voice.
Cat shook her head. “No, I want this to work out, Ethan. I think you could be happy here. Why don’t you try to get some sleep? We’ll talk more in the morning.”

As she was closing the door, he said, “Good night, Cat.”

She smiled. “Good night, Ethan. See you in the morning.”

Cat lay awake for another hour. Having Ethan in the house was bringing back a lot of memories she would rather leave buried. She hoped she was doing the right thing by having him there, for him as well as for herself. She briefly thought about calling Stacy and telling her that this had been a mistake. Then she quickly dismissed the idea. Stacy was right. She understood what the boy was going through. She couldn’t quit on him that easily. He needed her and if she was honest with herself, she needed him, too. Her life had been pretty lonely. Like him, she didn’t have anybody to care about what happened her. Maybe, just maybe, they could find a family in each other.


From the author of “Dogs Aren’t Men” comes “To Love a Cat”, a contemporary romance novel.
Catherine “Cat” James’ life is simple and orderly, and she likes it that way. She loves her job as an accountant. Working with numbers is safe and routine, no surprises. Her childhood had been very abusive and unstable. She vowed not to live that way as an adult. She also made a promise to herself to become a foster parent. She wished someone had been there for her as a teenager, to let her know she wasn’t alone.

Cat agrees to foster Ethan Summers, a troubled teenage boy whose childhood closely resembles her own. Suddenly, her nice and orderly life is filled with chaos and uncertainty. Things really start to spin out of control when circumstances bring police detective Mitch Holt into the picture. He’s handsome, charming, and definitely not what Cat needs right now, or so she thinks.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Billi Tiner on Facebook & Twitter

Charlotte Dent #Excerpt by @MorganRichter #AmReading #ChickLit #GoodReads

Considering how cranky and old she felt by the time she reached Heaven, it was a shock to be carded. The bouncer at the door asked for her ID—hers only, and Bob and Charlotte were the same age. He squinted at her DMV-issued California identification card; she half-expected him to raise a stink that it wasn’t a driver’s license, but he handed it back and let them inside without another word.
“It’s because you look so young, Chuck,” Bob said as soon as they were past the door. She couldn’t hear him over the blasting sound system; only by looking at his lips could she make out what he was saying.
“Clean living,” she shouted back. She shouldn’t mind getting carded—if it wasn’t apparent she was closing in fast on thirty, so much the better—but she suspected it wasn’t so much a case of looking in the first bloom of youth as looking unsophisticated. Unformed. Out of place. The bouncer let her know she didn’t belong.
Bob said something she couldn’t hear and headed off in another direction, the crowd opening around him and swallowing him whole. And the only person she knew in the place had vanished.
She made her way to the bar, three-deep with well-dressed clubgoers. She’d had never been here before, but this was a trendy spot in Hollywood, and cocktails would be priced accordingly. Even with half-price drinks, she needed to be careful. One drink only, and she’d pay in cash, and she’d make sure to reserve enough for the bus home. When the bartender finally turned his harried attention to her, she ordered a glass of the house red. The free hors d’oeuvres Bob mentioned consisted of a tray on the bar lined with grease-stained doilies and a single sad triangle of cheese toast. Too bad. She was hungry.
She should network. That was what this was about, wasn’t it? She didn’t have any idea how to network. If she did, she’d be having a much better time of things.
There was a familiar face down at the end of the bar. Familiar as in personally known to her, and also familiar as in kind of famous, which was the networking double whammy. She angled her way through the crowd, careful not to jostle her wine glass, then reached over and tapped a young woman on the shoulder. “Rachel. Hi.”
Rachel turned away from her male companion and looked at her. Her expression was blank.
“Charlotte Dent. From USC.” She managed to not make it sound like a question. They knew each other, damn it. Rachel would remember her.
“Charlotte! Oh my God. It’s good to see you!” Rachel looked like she meant it, too, like she was half-thinking of giving her a hug despite the bodies in the way. “How’ve you been? It’s been forever.”
“I’m good. You look fantastic.” Having been welcomed, Charlotte deemed it acceptable to slide a little closer to the bar. “I saw you on The Tonight Show a few weeks ago. You were really great.”
“Thanks.” Rachel slid over to give her more room. She turned to the man seated beside her. Expensive haircut, expensive tie. “Charlotte, this is my husband, David. Charlotte and I were in drama school together.”
David’s cool hand clasped hers. “Charlotte. Great to meet you.”
“We got married in March. In Malibu.” Rachel turned a little pink. “David’s also my agent.”
“That’s great. Congratulations.”
Rachel smiled. She looked happy and in love. “Thanks. Wow, it’s great running into you. What are the odds?”
“It’s alumni night.” Rachel looked blank. “The drama school alumni are meeting tonight. I guess it’s a monthly thing.”
“No kidding?” Rachel looked around, then exploded into giggles. “I thought a lot of people looked familiar.”
Charlotte laughed along with her. They leaned their heads together so they wouldn’t have to shout over the music. Rachel placed her hand on her wrist. There was something so convivial about their body language, like they were close friends instead of acquaintances who hadn’t seen each other for the better part of a decade, that Charlotte felt a little melancholy.

When struggling actress Charlotte Dent is cast as a leggy killer robot in a big, brainless summer blockbuster, the subsequent hiccup of fame sends a shock wave through her life. The perks of entry-level celebrity are balanced by the drawbacks: destructive filmmakers, online ridicule, entitled costars, and an awkward, unsatisfying relationship with the film’s fragile leading man. Self-aware to a fault, Charlotte fights to carve out a unique identity in an industry determined to categorize her as just another starlet, disposable and replaceable. But unless she can find a way to turn her small burst of good fortune into a durable career, she’s destined to sink back into obscurity.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - General Fiction, Chick Lit
Rating - PG
More details about the author
Connect with Morgan Richter on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Twelve Houses by Olga Soaje #AmReading #Women #Contemporary

Once we’re outside, Chloe asks me if I’d like to go for a walk along the wharf. She seems to be seeing me in a new light, kind of the way she used to see toys she had forgotten when they were suddenly discovered by her brother or a friend. The newfound joy and thrill were always the same for her.
Whatever her reasons for inviting me here to visit her, or for the walk, I can’t help feel grateful and think that Nathan is somehow doing magic from up there. As we walk along the pier, the fresh salt air is calming to my soul. I have the feeling she’s gathering her courage for something, so I look at her and ask, “Chloe, would you like to talk about something?”
“What makes you say that?”
“Because I know you, and I can see you’re upset about something.”
I’m thinking she’s scared of motherhood and the changes ahead, on top of all the changes I’ve seen so far. Maybe she needs to ask me about the astrological chart I gave her. But instead she takes a deep, purposeful, salt-tinged breath. “Mom, did you ever contemplate a separation?”
“Separation?” I repeat, trying to gather my thoughts—or form a response, for that matter. She stops walking and looks at me, daring me with her eyes. Her shoulders drop, signaling she has relaxed, since part of her secret is out. I almost can hear Magda spell out, “Uranus just walked in,” referring to the planet that represents sudden and unexpected changes. Ruler of originality and freedom.
“Our marriage wasn’t perfect, Chloe. It had its ups and downs, like many marriages do.” She looks irritated as I walk to a bench and signal for her to join me. I can sense this isn’t the answer she was looking for, nor for that matter, is what I’m about to say next. “But to answer your question, no, I never considered it. We had an unspoken understanding that we could fight, but we’d always find a loving way to understand each other after the fireworks of anger had left.”
She looks disappointed. “I just wish Brian understood me.”
I take her fingers, which are resting on her leg, and give them a squeeze as I ask, “How long have you felt like this?”
She looks at the sea in front of her and begins to whisper, as if talking to the wind. “For some time now, I’ve had the feeling that he’s rushing through life, from the office to the house, and everything in between is a task on his to-do list, and that includes me.” I stroke her hand gently to show my support while she continues to talk. “I tried not to focus on it, to find things to do together, even to get the house to seem more comfortable. But he remained the same, and I…I’m not.”
“Honey, when you two got married three years ago, you both seemed like that. Very serious about life, yourselves, and very career driven.”
A tear slowly glides down her cheek, and I want to reach out and wipe it, but I contain myself and only look at the ocean as I speak. “I can see how changed you are,” I say. “This must be daunting and challenging for your husband, as you’re changing before his eyes and he probably has no clue to what to do.” Then I make myself say what I might regret, but I have to know. “What opened you up? Is there someone else?”
The question is out. When she looks at me, her eyes show a tiny bit of guilt, and she remains silent. So I say, “Honey, I know I’m not your first option for talking, but I’m here and I love you.” I feel joy at having the opportunity to say what so many times I couldn’t, but her reaction startles me. She throws herself at me, rests her head on my shoulder, and cries openly.
I make her stop talking as I stroke her hair and say, “It’s OK, it’s OK. Whatever it is, it’ll be OK.” My heart is racing, and I’m thinking the unthinkable. My daughter, my pregnant daughter, might be having an affair.

Can anything good follow the best thing that ever happened to you?
Amelia Weiss loved her husband of thirty-five years very much, but now he’s left her a widow. Without him, she is unable to work in her sculpture studio without crying. She no longer has a bridge to her estranged daughter. And she can’t seem to keep her mind in the present.
But when her daughter reaches out asking for her help and her agent threatens a lawsuit if Amelia doesn’t deliver for an upcoming exhibit, she’s forced to make a choice. Will she reengage with her life and the people in it—allowing room for things to be different than they were before? Or, will she remain stuck in the past, choosing her memories over real-life relationships?
Thrust fully into the present, Amelia stumbles into a surprising journey of self-discovery.
Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Olga Soaje on Facebook