Friday, 25 May 2018
Justin Vincent is a San Francisco based artist who leads a secret double life as a cat burglar. He likes the freedom, money, and self-determination his unusual career provides but also increasingly feels that it is a life he fell into by accident. When a valuable painting is stolen from his lover Valerie, Justin agrees to use his underworld contacts and knowledge of the black market to help. The search leads him to an antiquities dealer who has fallen on hard times and a mysterious European middle man. With the help of his friend Ashna, a skilled hacker, and Gabrielle, owner of an art gallery in Nice, Justin gathers clues that lead him to a mysterious chateau in the South of France and a dangerous web of secrets and lies. To escape with his life and complete his objective, Justin’s skill, luck, and perseverance will be tested to their utmost limit.
“What happened to that painting you used to have above the bed?” I asked.
“Above the bed? I didn’t—” Val turned, stopped speaking, breath caught.
A moment later, she whirled, flipped on the light switch, jumped onto the bed, and placed her hands on the wall above the headboard. In the light, I noticed there was a picture hanger still nailed into the wall and a square of slightly brighter paint where the painting had hung. She ran her hands over the bare wall then turned to look at me. Her eyes were manic, her body tense. “Tell me this is some kind of joke, Justin.”
“No joke,” I replied. “Was it there when you left for the gallery?”
“Yes, I think so.” She stepped down off the bed and started frantically pacing the room, looking everywhere. “I’m sure it was.”
“Did you have cleaners scheduled today?”
“No. They come on Wednesdays.”
“Did you leave your balcony door open?”
She looked at me, suddenly focusing. “No. I never leave it open.”
“It was open when we came in. Was it locked?”
“Maybe not. I don’t know. I was in a hurry.”
“Let’s see if anything else is missing,” I said, turning toward the door.
This is a complicated question. I both agree and disagree. Here’s why:
To me, ‘write what you know’ means choosing settings you are familiar with, characters from cultures you understand from the inside, a time period you have experienced first hand, places and things you have visited/owned. There is a lot of power in these choices. Writing about things that are familiar makes the work of writing a bit easier. You can imbue your story with a kind of authenticity you might not otherwise accomplish.
On the other hand, you must be a very observant and careful writer to write about places, people, and things you know well. It’s easy to stop noticing things when you are familiar with them. Also, writing about something that is totally new to you can be exciting and your readers will feel that. It’s a great opportunity to do research and learn new things.
You can put elements of things you know nothing about in your writing but you should also use your own experience and expertise to make your work really shine. In Old Gold Mountain I did both. I didn’t know anything about being a cat burglar, the black market, picking locks, the Corsican mafia, or chateaus in the South of France. I spent a lot of time researching those subjects. I do know a fair amount about certain neighborhoods in San Francisco, painting, and the drive from Genoa and Nice. So, I mixed up what I knew and what I didn’t know to write a book. It might not work for everybody or every genre of fiction but it seemed natural to me.
I am a writer and educational technology professional. I lived in San Francisco for the past fifteen years but recently moved to Los Angeles with my wife and five year old son. My first book Old Gold Mountain is out now. Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Also available through Apple iBooks, Google Play, and Indigo.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rabbit_fighterWebsite: http://www.bradleywwright.com
Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate? That’s the question my heroine, May Gold must answer in this time travel love story. And she has to answer it in three short weeks, on a tour of Italy. A college adjunct teacher, she often dreams about the subject of her master’s thesis—17th century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man whose passionate art invented the Baroque style. But in reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and older boyfriend. She considers herself a precocious failure and yearns to unleash her passion and creative spirit. May finds she has to choose: stay in a safe but stagnant existence or take a risk.
Opening her notebook to a blank page, she took up the pen, a pen that felt lucky because it reminded her of the first time Gianlorenzo had kissed her. She wrote her memory of that meeting in her book.
His glance was like warm light. My shoulders were barer than they have ever been as I posed for him. My breath fluttered like a bird in a cage.
A briny scent from the water wafted to her and made her pause. She watched the diamonds rippling in the dark surface that reflected slivers of the moon. Gianlorenzo had been making a portrait of her as Truth Unveiled. She shivered. A bird’s cry echoed over the lagoon. What kind of bird called out at night? A bird that had lost its mate.
He touched me the way warm sun touches the fields of Umbria and makes lavender burst open with aroma. As Apollo, he held the sun in his hand. That sun was my heart. He pulled it out of me and now it’s consumed. I’m ash, I’m terrified. How much I want to simply burn for love of him and vanish like a paper going up in flame.
She had to do something for him before she lost him for good and then went home. Beginning the letter to Bonarelli, she had no idea if a few strokes could erase the actual Costanza from Bernini’s life, but if they could, she had to. The irony was that no one would ever know, not even Gianlorenzo. She liked the idea of helping him without his knowing.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE
Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Rachel Dacus is the author of The Renaissance Club, a novel called “Enchanting, rich and romantic…a poetic journey through the folds of time.” Dacus’ book Gods of Water and Air is a collection of poetry, prose, and drama. Her other poetry collections are Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, The Pedestal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her fourth poetry collection, Arabesque, is forthcoming in August 2018 from FutureCycle Press. Read more on her website: racheldacus.net. Follow on Twitter: @Rachel_Dacus.
Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Avoiding sleeping with women was my specialty, an art form even. As the future King of England I couldn’t be caught sleeping with men. My whole life played out in front of the paparazzi, and they didn’t miss a thing.
I had a carefully crafted womanizing persona to maintain. My life came with rules, all of which I broke when I couldn’t resist a one night stand with the enemy: A beautiful paparazzo with a heart of gold. He may be the only person who doesn’t want me for my title, and he can never be anything more than my secret.But secrets have a way of coming out and not only will they scare him away, but they’ll lose me the crown.
“Don’t move,” he said in a whisper.
“What are we doing?”
“I want these for me. I’ll sign whatever you want so you know I’ll keep them to myself, but I get a different you. One only I see, and I want it on film.”
It was the most romantic thing someone had ever said to me.
“I want to be able to look at them and remember this. You.”
“I want a copy.”
“Sure.” He brushed his fingers over the small of my back, sending a spark up my spine. “Now stand still.”
I indulged him and stayed in place. He unzipped the bag and slid out his DSLR. He changed something and then held it up to his face and clicked the shutter. Taking a look at the screen, he moved ever so slightly to the left and held it to his face again.
“Look at the fire.”
I did as I was told. He came close and moved my arm with the drink a fraction and placed my other arm over the back of the sofa.
Click. Click. Click.
He set the camera aside and took a seat on the edge of the chair next to me.
“Done with my repayment so soon?”
There was a light in his eyes. “Not a chance.” He looked me over, his eye stopping on the top two buttons of my shirt which remained undone. “But you’ll want that photo. To release for something. You look too alluring and regal to not have it. It was more for you than for me.”
I was shocked. “Let me see.”
He picked up the camera again and leaned closer to me to show me the screen. I looked like something out of a novel. Mysterious and alluring. I liked it. And I didn’t like many photos of myself.
“You’re quite talented.”
He sat back, keeping the camera in his lap. “How much liberty are you giving me?”
I mirrored him and looked him over, taking my time with my answer. “Why are you asking?”
Lust crossed through his gaze. “Take off the shirt.”
I obliged him, slowly working my fingers down the buttons. I slid it off and set it aside. He looked me over, hungry. My cock stirred at the look. I’d never felt so desired by another person. He slid forward on the seat and brought the camera back to his face. I stayed as I was until he told me to move.
“Sit on the edge of the table,” he said breathless.
I was glad this was getting to him as much as it was me. It was entirely foreign to give someone such a thing over me. To allow someone to take these photos. It was daring and exhilarating. I’d have to be careful or I’d get addicted to the acting out like some bored teenager.
I sat on the edge of the table closest to the fire, and he moved back to take a few shots. I looked up when he hadn’t said anything in a few moments to find him just watching me. The fire illuminated his scar, and I wanted to kiss the length of it, from his brow to his lips. I licked my lip and my chest rose as I inhaled fully, trying to calm myself. He snapped another photo.
“What do you see?” I asked, unable to stand wondering a moment longer. I wanted to know how he saw me.“I see hunger,” he said as he came closer. “The way you look at me.” The camera hung at his side as he stalked closer.
When not staying up all night writing, J.R. Gray can be found at the gym where it's half assumed he is a permanent resident to fulfill his self-inflicted masochism. A dominant and a pilot, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. He frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns and conversations, to jot down notes or plot bunnies. Commas are the bane of his existence even though it's been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn't writing…well, that's not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.
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He shattered my defenses, and I was fragile to begin with…
The first time I saw Adam Black, I was between the arms of a criminal, a gun to my throat and even then, I knew I was staring at the most dangerous man in the room.
Maybe it was his confident, cerulean eyes, or the sex appeal radiating from his pores like heat waves on a scorching day, but by proximity alone he made my vision blur and my heart stammer.
The day I was nearly killed in a bank hold-up, I began to live—because of him.
Now, I’m praying for the first time in years, hoping the scars of my past, the secrets I keep, don’t interfere with my future…
“You’re too young and beautiful to be so jaded.”
The confidence he exudes is threatening. It makes me question my opinions and beliefs. My legs tremble as I take a step back.
“Giving me a compliment directly followed by an insult won’t make me agree with you.”
He closes the gap between us. The smell of his aftershave and skin surrounds me and without thinking I take a deep breath.
“Why are you under the impression I want you to agree with me?”
My eyes widen under his scrutiny. The air around us is charged and it’s hard to breathe.
“In fact, I would much rather you disagree.”
“Why?” I can’t help the genuine confusion resonating in my voice.
“I find you intriguing when you disagree with me. Not to mention, you’re incredibly attractive when you’re flustered. Your heart starts to beat faster and your breathing quickens.”
He raises his hand and presses his index finger along the curve of my neck. His words come true as my lungs struggle to keep up with the demands of my body. Adam’s lips curve into a soft smile as he trails his finger down my neck, resting it against my carotid.
My heart begins to race as a chill ripples down my body.
This man knows how his touch affects me, and he revels in the conquest. Part of me wants to deny him the satisfaction, a very small part of me.
“Do I make you nervous?” He places emphasis on the word I, his fingertips still pressed against my neck, against my pulse.
The book will be free
during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE
V.H. Luis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
My Favorite Reviews of Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1)
Hello! I’m V.H. Luis and today I want to highlight some of my favorite reviews of my debut book Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1). Reading what strangers have written about a story I’ve created is exciting and I’m not going to lie, at times nerve-racking. But more than anything the experience has been so rewarding. I thought I would showcase three reviews, all different ratings.
Review from WishfulMiss
Amazon: Four-Stars – I believe some people go higher on Amazon to account for how that platform tends to have less reviews—I very much appreciate this person doing that.
EXCERPT of Review:
This was such a dark and twisty read for me. Generally it's not the type of book I would actively seek out but every once in while (I'm told) that it's good to step outside your comfort zone and experience something outside the norm. Well, Waking to Black is definitely that for me… But it speaks to the author's skills that she crafted such complicated and broken characters that I somehow came to care about, because I'm invested in Adam and Eve…
I can’t showcase the entire review but trust me it’s incredible. This excerpt in no way does the effort WishfulMiss put into this critique, justice. She even used quotes from the book to help elaborate on the hero/heroine’s motivations.
Some might be turned off by a three-star or four-star rating but I’m actually not. My story made this complete stranger who got my book from Netgalley, feel a full rainbow of emotions. She couldn’t put the book down and wants to read book two. And to be honest, I think much of what she expects out of book two, I can deliver. I was blown away by the effort she put into this and I immediately followed her reviews on Goodreads. She’s the type of reader authors dream of having read their books.
Actually Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2379780476?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
Review from Tracey
EXCERPT of Review:
This is my first experience reading this author and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Warning though--this is a series that continues from one book to the next in case that's not your cup of tea. This is a darker read with lots of drama and angst - lots!
This is a short and sweet review—sometimes those are the best. I love this review because Tracey has very concisely summarized what she considers positives and negatives. Waking is definitely an angst-filled read. And if you don’t like trilogies/series which deal with the same characters (some people don’t), then this may not be for you. She was another of my Netgalley reviews and I couldn’t help but smile when I read what she had to say.
Review from Kerri
EXCERPT of Review:
Wow. I just finished this book and I'm hooked. I need the sequel now...I mean right now. I usually read erotic romance expecting hot sex, not much plot, but pure entertainment. While the sex in this book was hot, it was almost inconsequential to the story and really only served to show the immediate and all-consuming attraction between the main characters, Adam and Evie…
This was one of my Goodreads giveaway readers. I LOVE her review. She recently posted it and I’m not going to lie, I was jumping up and down as I read her words. I understand and appreciate all the points she brought up—Evelyn and Adam due to their past are so damaged that at times they can be frustrating. Again, the fact that I made this stranger feel so many emotions while reading is a HUGE win to me.
Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1) is my first book. I don’t have a following or an existing fan-base so I new when I set out to self-publish that getting readers to read my work was going to be a challenge. The fact that so many strangers have embraced my book, through netgalley, goodreads and now this book-tour (organized by the incredible people at Goddess Fish Promotions), is amazing. Everyone who has read, reviewed, and taken an interest in this book has encouraged me. Fading to Black (Uninhibited #2), will be released August 2018. I will endeavor not to let you all down.
***Thank you for hosting today Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books! It has been my sincere pleasure to discuss some of my favorite reviews.
V.H. Luis is the author of the Black Series, an erotic romance trilogy that follows the love affair of Evelyn Snowe and Adam Black. Her debut book WAKING to Black, will be released in 2018, and the subsequent sequels FADING to Black, and SURRENDERING to Black, will follow shortly thereafter.
Welcome to my internet haven!
I’m a born and bred Miami Girl—and proud of it! I would wear shorts and flip-flops everyday of the week if I could. Growing up in Miami, surrounded by my parent’s heritage has made me proud of my Cuban ancestry. Cafecito and a guava pastry for breakfast? Yes, please! Salsa music while I tidy the house? Of course.
If I’m not busy scribbling notes about the story pounding out of my head, I’m painting, listening to music, or spending time with the love of my life—my son. If I decide to travel, I bring the whole family (in-laws included), or at least I try to, because life is too short not to spend it with family; one of the many lessons my father taught me.
My website: https://vhluis.com/My Twitter: https://twitter.com/VH_Luis_