Carol Oates's Blog

August 3, 2016

Summary
 "We all have to face our demons at some point." 
Psychic Surveys - specialists in domestic spiritual clearance - have never been busier. Although exhausted, Ruby is pleased. Her track record as well as her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach inspires faith in the haunted, who willingly call on her high street consultancy when the supernatural takes hold. But that's all about to change. Two cases prove trying: 44 Gilmore Street, home to a particularly violent spirit, and the reincarnation case of Elisha Grey. When Gilmore Street attracts press attention, matters quickly deteriorate. Dubbed the 'New Enfield', the 'Ghost of Gilmore Street' inflames public imagination, but as Ruby and the team fail repeatedly to evict the entity, faith in them wavers. Dealing with negative press, the strangeness surrounding Elisha, and a spirit that's becoming increasingly territorial, Ruby's at breaking point. So much is pushing her towards the abyss, not least her own past. It seems some demons just won't let go...

Review

A brilliant finale to a series!

I read this a few weeks ago. 44 Gilmore Street was pretty timely after my disappointment with the movie, The Conjuring 2. The later was based on the infamous Enfield Poltergeist, but unfortunately made changes that didn't improve on the original story, giving it the Hollywood treatment. 

44 Gilmore Street did immediately remind me of the Enfield story, with the haunting carry on happening to an average family, living in an average house on an average British Street. So I wasn't surprised when the reference to the case came up. 

Let's face it, we don't usually expect people living down the road or next door to experience a haunting. Because most of us can relate to their living situation, it notches up the creepiness. 

All the team return, but this latest case comes with the added scrutiny of the press. That and the persistence of a new client that Ruby is reluctant to take on threatened to drive a wedge into the team. And at a time they are facing one of their most violent hauntings, they need to pull together. 

The writing, as ever, is engaging but simple and direct with the perfect balance of decription, carrying the reader through the action flawlessly. The story is complex with several misdirects so just when I thought I had it all figured out, it shifts again, keeping me turning pages right to the very end. 

I highly recommend this entire series. 

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Published on August 03, 2016 01:00 • 6 views

July 28, 2016

Congratulation to Nancee Cain on the release of her second novel, Tempting Jo. Look at that beautiful cover. To celebrate release day, I have a few teasers and an excerpt.



Summary

Forbidden love is hell...
Confident and quirky, Jo Sanford thinks her boss is God's gift to women--and she couldn't be further from the truth. Devilishly handsome, Luc DeVille will stop at nothing to lure his administrative assistant right into his arms--and bed.
Over Rafe Goodman's dead body...
Rafe, Jo's best friend, refuses to sit by and watch as Luc tries to win the heart of the woman he's always protected. After all, Rafe is her guardian angel. Suddenly, Jo's caught in the middle of a battle between good and evil. But the closer she gets to the fire, the hotter it burns. Now, Jo's going to learn that when love battles lust, Heaven and Hell collide.

Now doesn't that sound tempting? 

Excerpt
To my surprise, Mr. DeVille scratches Atticus behind the ears instead of pushing him away. “Since we’re stuck here, what should we do?” Finished with his sandwich, he wipes his mouth with his thumb. I’d have been more than willing to lick it clean for him. A pounding on the door interrupts us. Dadgumit, just when things are about to get interesting with Mr., er, Luc. I scurry to the door, intent on getting rid of whoever it is. I find Rafe holding a bag of food and two cups of coffee. “Hey, I figured your power was still out, so I brought you some coffee and breakfast.” His eyes scan my small apartment, narrowing when he spies Luc. Mr. DeVille smirks. “What impeccable timing. Goodman, is it?” He casually swings his legs over the side of the bed and steps into his pants. “Yes, sir.” Although polite, Rafe’s voice has an edge to it. The tension in the air snaps like an impending storm. “The roads are clear, although Mrs. Cabot called and said not to come to work today since schools are still closed and the power remains off for much of the area. Here included, I see.” “How astute of you to notice. No wonder I pay you the big bucks. Of course Mrs. Cabot said to stay home. It isn’t her losing money, is it?” Mr. DeVille pulls off my sweatshirt, revealing those cut abs. I stare unabashedly, and Rafe snaps his fingers in front of my face. Luc buttons his shirt, glaring at Rafe the entire time. “Well, Friday. Thank you for the hospitality. I’m sure since Goodman flew here on the icy roads to check on you, I’ll have no problems getting home. I suggest you take today to study for your classes, and remember I’ll be more than happy to help with your homework assignments.” His eyes flash with desire, and my cheeks heat. Rafe snarls, looking positively feral. “A-Are you sure the roads are okay? Would you like a cup of this coffee before you go?” “I only brought two cups,” Rafe protests. Shocked by his rudeness—and to our boss, no less—I quickly offer, “Mr. DeVille can have my cup.” What has gotten into him? Ignoring Rafe, Mr. DeVille turns to me as he shrugs into his coat. “That’s quite all right. Thank you, Friday.” He gives me a conspiratorial wink and a smile. Rafe, in comparison, receives a cool nod. The hair on my arms stands on end when Mr. DeVille stops and turns to face my friend. I must be having some sort of low blood sugar event because I swear it looks like the rims of his blue eyes have turned the color of a hot stove eye. I blink and find him glaring at Rafe, and the look is returned in kind. Good thing we aren’t living in a century past. If we were, I’m quite certain there would be a duel at fifty paces. He leaves without saying another word. Rafe slams the door with a muttered, “Good riddance.” I cross my arms in front of my chest. “Thanks a lot.” “You’re welcome.” He ignores my sarcasm. I sigh and gratefully accept the warm to-go cup. I can’t stay mad at him for long; he’s my best friend. And he has coffee.
Add Tempting Jo to you TRL on Goodreads


About the Author


During the day, Nancee works as a nurse in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list on her e-reader qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder. Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)
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Published on July 28, 2016 02:00 • 7 views

April 3, 2016

It's Autism month. There is some debate on if it should be awareness or acceptance month. The fact is, even those living with Autism can't agree on almost anything connected to Autism. Yesterday, buildings and monuments all around the world went blue for World Autism Awareness day and lots of people are Lighting Up Blue. I won't be. It's not popular to admit that or to point out what Light Up Blue officially represents. I specifically didn't post this yesterday out of consideration for those who just wanted to enjoy the day and not get involved in the politics of Autism. 

Living with Autism can sometime feel like shouting into a void. It can be lonely and frustrating. Awareness and Acceptance are complex issues, and my own views are continually evolving. The truth is somewhat disconcerting. Although Autism connects us, the Autism community is a community, not divided but splintered into a million pieces. There is very little universal consensus on anything from causes to decision making to if the term should be 'Autistic' or 'person with Autism'. Being a spectrum disorder, Autism affects individuals and families in such vastly different ways that everyone wants something different from Autism month. The one thing that we all want is to feel heard.

It's a touchy subject for some. Like it or not, aware of it or not, agree with it or not, Light it Up Blue started and still represents an Autism Speaks Campaign.

I used to Light Up Blue. I used to support Autism Speaks with money and time. I donated work for a fundraising collection of stories. I spread the word on social media. Then I found out that, like other charities I'd previously donated to, huge sums of money raised was going to pay salaries, research, and marketing campaigns to raise even more money. And very little going to directly to help those in need right now.

That is why I no longer go Blue. 

I don't support everything they stand for, but anyone would be hard pressed to find a group they can agree with on everything. It's not about the goal of the research for a cure because I do support the research. I hope those who are severely debilitated or who wish it can someday access a cure. It's not that they sometimes portray autism as something terrible, because you know what? For some it is terrible. It's not even that they support parents and caregivers as advocates, because what is the alternative? Someone who has never met my son but thinks they know better because they are on the spectrum too? I would no more allow my son to make major life decisions alone than I would a four-year-old. And I am even less likely to allow some autistic stranger tell me that I don't know best for my son and myself. Because I sure as hell do.

So, when I don't Light Up Blue, IS NOT A JUDGEMENT on anyone who does. Is it not me saying I support anti-AS groups either, because I don't. I have no interest in being silenced or discounted as a voice for my son. It is not me saying I support acceptance over awareness. I want both to a degree.

I will never accept something that hurts my child the way Autism does. I do want acceptance in a positive way that helps autistic people integrate and live their life to whatever level they are capable. 

I want awareness. Real awareness, not the fluffy 'isn't autism great for Silicon Valley' awareness. The raw awareness of the good and bad. The meltdowns, outbursts, the stress, the grief, the work from caregivers and autistic individuals, the determination, sleepless nights, the milestones, achievements, and the moments of joy. I want Awareness of how little things can make life a little easier. 

So, regardless of want to achieve this April, if you turn blue or not, whatever it is you support or how you support it, and even if I don't agree with your message, I do hope at the end of it, you feel heard. 

Happy Autism Month.




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Published on April 03, 2016 09:32 • 31 views

February 22, 2016



I am so very excited about this release and I am already reading it. This is a not to be missed book. On FaceBook I described it as "Sheer Brilliance". It's a sort of anti-hero origin story for adults. Or hero origin story depending on your perspective. Dark, twisted, and heartbreaking. Debra Anastasia at her very best.



Summary

The real hero of this story is dead. You should have met him. He was a beautiful man. The love of my life. I didn’t deserve him.

Now what’s left are the jagged edges of the person I am without him, and what I have to do to get by. This isn’t even a story about love. Not really. It’s a twisted tale of revenge and hate—a happily never after.

The only man in my life now is the one I have to kill. I’m Savvy Raine. I used to be a wife. I used to be a mother. Now I am the Revenger.
Excerpt  
There was very little chatter after the alarming phone call. Savvy looked at the clock. It was only five, but the extra help Tallow had enlisted acted like she was about to disintegrate. When they were finally done, they hung Savvy’s costume from a door, fully expecting her to drop trou in front of all the strangers.She looked at the silver outfit meant to demean her and classify her as his, just like all his other favorites.“Yeah, I’m not actually going to be wearing that.” She looked from one shocked person to the other.Tallow recovered first. “But this is what he told you to wear!”Savvy laughed hollowly. “Yeah, he can suck his own d*ck for all I care.”The atmosphere changed. The others now realized Savvy didn’t think it was a huge honor to be a f*ckhole.“That’s not acceptable. I’ll put you in it myself if I have to, but you’re leaving here in that outfit.” Tallow bravely gathered up the skirt and came into Savvy’s personal space. He obviously thought she was just a regular girl.In an instant she’d lifted Tallow into the air by his neck. “I’m not wearing it.” She stared him down until he began to turn blue. Then she set him back on his feet.Tallow was a quick learner and smoothed his fancy shirt. 
          “Okay then, let me see what else we have."


Buy Links 

ibooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1084122072Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1PJmQU3Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01BPV4NSMAmazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B01BPV4NSMAmazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01BPV4NSMAmazon FR :http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B01BPV4NSMNook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-revenger-debra-anastasia/1123424753?ean=2940152803419
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-revenger

Tolino: http://www.ebook.de/de/product/25708811/debra_anastasia_the_revenger.html?searchId=1687382027Print: https://www.createspace.com/6058878      Find the Author  Website   Twitter    FaceBook   Instagram   Goodreads    Amazon
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Published on February 22, 2016 15:15 • 4 views

February 19, 2016




Today, I'm delighted to welcome Elisa Dane to my blog as part of the blog tour for the release of her latest book - Abandoned. As a writer myself, I'm always fascinated by the process of other writers and so I opted to ask Elisa a question about her writing. I will review the book at a later date, but trust me, this book is to the author's usual incredible high standard.

Summary  Abandoned by Elisa Dane
Publication Date:  February 15, 2016 Publisher:  Swoon Romance

My name is Tierra Owens, and I like to kiss. A lot. It numbs the hollow ache in my chest and—for a few minutes—makes me forget how truly alone I am. My mother is an alcoholic. She hates me and insists I'm the reason she's not married to my father, whom I have never met. My best friend, Kaylee, is the only person who knows the real me. Everyone else sees what I want them to: a happy, confident, popular girl who has the world at her feet.
I am a fraud.
Relationships are forbidden. I avoid them at all costs. Sex? Emotions? Those things make a person vulnerable, and vulnerability always leads to heartbreak. When my childhood crush, Mattie shows up at school my world tumbles off its axis. The shell I surround myself with feels more like a pathetic crutch than a protective barrier, and I find myself wanting things. Daydreaming about what it would be like to have a boyfriend, a relationship—love.
The sad fact is: I'll never have any of those things. I am unworthy—trash. Which is why my mom abandoned me.

Grab it now! Amazon  My question 
You don't seem at all shy about tackling difficult subject matter in your books, such as relationship abuse among teens and teen drinking. Can you explain a little about how you do your research?
Hi, Carol! So excited to be hanging out with you today! Okay, so you’re interested in knowing what type of research I do to tackle the tough subjects I write about. Two words: my hubby. I’m married to a police officer that worked in a high school for eight years. He’s also an active shooter instructor and owns his own company, which goes into schools and assess their safety, while training them how to deal with critical incidences, such as active shooters. While I’m never told specific details about any of his cases, I do glean a good deal of information from him as to what types of problems and situations are plaguing today’s teens. I’ve gone to him on a number of occasions while plotting, and asked what types of negative behavior he’s seeing at the schools. He’s dealt with all kinds of bullying, both online, and in person, as well as sexual extortion, substance abuse, physical abuse, etc. My guy is a fountain of information.
He was exceptionally helpful to me while I wrote each of my YA novels. In general, I’ll explain the situation my character’s are in, then ask him if that situation is believable, and if the police happen to be involved, how would they respond? My main character, Tierra, did her level best to keep the police out of her situation, which was not the smartest decision on her part. With my other books, In The After in particular, I pretty much ran every aspect of the book by him while I was writing. I consider myself extremely lucky to have a police officer for a hubby!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I hope you and your readers enjoy Mattie and Tierra’s story!
Give Away 
Ends February 26, 2016


·  One (1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of Abandoned by Elisa Dane (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author 
Elisa Dane loves books, chocolate, reality television, her family, and All Star Cheerleading. Not necessarily in that order! She writes contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. She writes what she knows, and it’s her hope that her stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect for the sport of All Star Cheerleading you may not have had before. She’s represented by Brittany Booker of the Booker/Albert Agency, and has published a NA paranormal series under her real name, Lisa Sanchez.Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads
Thank you, Elisa, for joining us today and Chapter by Chapter for arranging the blog tour. 


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Published on February 19, 2016 01:00 • 9 views

February 9, 2016




 Summary
  
It ends with the beginning. This legendary, indie, cult-favorite series ends its tale with the story of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood before the tattoo. Before the train station, before the church, before a criminal empire there was a foster home and three teen boys who chose each other as family, because the ones they were born into didn’t exist

Still in high school, Beckett is already laying the groundwork for a grander life ahead, one where his brothers want for nothing and get some respect for once. But even as he plans, Beckett must decide if he’s ready to make that choice—diving in to a life that trades his chance at a future, his chance at something as simple as first love with a girl named Candy Cox, for their chance to find happiness.

Blake, Beckett, and Cole’s devotion to each other is forged by fists and the driving need to belong somewhere, to do more than just survive this life. Readers of the series know they each get there in the end, but before we count smiles, we must first shed tears. These early days of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood will play on your heartstrings before serrating them with a knife; they’ll lift your soul with music, only to leave you with nothing but a desperate prayer for hope.

And when you reach the end of the beginning, you’ll be ready to start the series all over again.

Review 
 
It ends where it begins is so true. This is a book that delivers a hat-trick in less than two hundred pages. It is a stand alone book, an ending, and a beginning all in one. For those who haven't spent the last several years engrossed in the tales of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood as I have done, PB is an excellent way to dip your toe in the water. It's complete in itself, a stand alone novel with no cliff ending and no need to be familiar with any of the characters.

But, who are we kidding? If you haven't already, you are going to want to read the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series after this. In which case, it's a fantastic place to begin, right back in high-school.

If, like me, you have been following Beckett, Cole, and Blake through their adventures and heartache as adults, this is a bittersweet goodbye, a gift from the author. It will break your heart and give you hope all over again.

Although it is a book about young adults, this is an Adult book, or at the very least New Adult. It deals with some difficult themes, there is course language, violence, raw emotion, sex, and abuse of all sorts. However, don't let that put you off. It is a gripping story that is not long or drawn out so although it's emotionally intense, it's short enough that it didn't leave me drained as some books have in the past. 

A book definitely worth a spot on your To Read list.
Buy LinksAmazon US: http://amzn.to/1MlhCMp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Y2d98U
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1MxLcSh
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1MUj7GV
Nook: http://bit.ly/1RKRA90
iTunes: http://apple.co/1Qrqg17
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1Y3kuVFGoodreads: http://bit.ly/1NeYnaXFind the whole Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series here: http://amzn.to/1OfpAtk


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Published on February 09, 2016 08:03 • 7 views

December 19, 2015

Volleyball wonder Lucia Ramirez found her love match in Blocked despite the glaring political spotlight aimed on her family. In Aced, the second book in Jennifer Lane’s Blocked series, it could be her brother Alejandro’s turn to get lucky in love.

Medical student Alejandro’s hot Latin looks get him plenty of attention, but his deep faith and admiration for his father keep him on a righteous path, with no time for something as frivolous as love. He strives to do the right thing—study diligently, take care of his siblings, represent the family well—so why does he feel so unfulfilled?

Enter Lucia’s friend and teammate Maddie Brooks, who shines at blocking the ball and acing the serve. Too bad this graduating senior isn’t so confident about her life off the court. Her longtime boyfriend has just bailed on her, and med school applications loom large. Oh, and a nerve-wracking tryout for Team USA also approaches.

Maddie meets Alejandro when he visits Lucia at school, and she’s soon drawn to his sharp mind. Alejandro is similarly intrigued by Maddie’s talent and strength. But will personal biases and family politics smother the slow burn of their attraction? Unless Maddie can learn to believe in herself, and Alejandro can become his own man, their kindling romance hardly stands a chance.

Will either of them be bold enough to try something new? Find out in this emotion- rich story that refuses to shy away from life’s hardest questions. Because love is worth the risk.


Review

Overall I loved this book as much as the first book. It's a sweet romance the delves deeply into what it means to be an athlete as well as what happens when it's taken away. It also deals with darker issues of family dynamics, illness, and race. I couldn't put it down once I started. Based on the first book, I knew I would struggle with Alejandro as a leading man. I knew his principles would irk me, and they did. Jennifer Lane doesn't do cutout characters. She has a way of capturing them with all sorts of views that never come across preachy, even when they are ridiculously fixed in a somewhat narrow world view. Just like real people can be. This book is no exception.

I found Alejandro overbearing and self-righteous, especially at the beginning. But then, I found myself thinking he was a bit wishy washy when he couldn't stick to those same principles later in the book because they didn't suit him. Seriously, the poor guy couldn't catch a break with me. He did have his good points such as being kind and brave, and did eventually win me over. Although, we'd never be able to talk politics.

Maddie I could empathize with a lot more. She is struggling with depression and trying to hold her world together while it is being turned upside down. She had much more moderate world views, however, getting on with her own life seems to be enough for her during the course of the book. It's not that she doesn't care about the wider world, because she does. It's just that she seems to take it as it comes to her without preconceived notions about anyone.

There is almost instant sizzle between these two, although getting to the relationship part was a sort of slow, gentle burn that reminded me of old black and white movies. As if Alejandro was a gentleman courting her. Maddie deserved that, she deserved some love and care. I respected his character more for taking his time.

Since these books are set against the background of politics(Alejandro is the president's son) some of things discussed by the characters are very much a part of American current affairs. However, nothing that I wasn't already aware of or couldn't keep up with and the book is very much about the romance and relationships rather than the backdrops.

Like I said, all in all, I loved it. I'm very much looking forward to book three that will focus on another Ramirez sibling. 


Easy 5 star read, for those who love sweet romance with a side of reality in all it's wonderful and broken glory.


About the Author

 Get psyched for romance with psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane! By day she’s a therapist, and by night she’s a writer. She can’t decide which is more fun.

Jen adores creating sporty heroines and hot heroes in her college sport romances. Volleyball wonder Lucia Ramirez found her love match in Blocked despite the glaring political spotlight aimed on her family. In Aced, the second book in the Blocked series, it’s her brother Alejandro’s turn to get lucky in love. Aced launches in December 2015.

A swimmer and volleyball player in college, Jen writes swimming-based romances as well: Streamline, a military mystery, and the free New Adult novella Swim Recruit.

Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love. She is also the author of The Conduct Series, a romantic-suspense trilogy that includes With Good Behavior, Bad Behavior, and On Best Behavior.

Ultimately, whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, and visiting her sisters in Chicago and Hilton Head.


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Published on December 19, 2015 17:08 • 26 views

December 15, 2015

Let me start by saying, I am way behind on my reviews and hope to catch up over the holidays. This year has really kicked my butt. I'm reading almost as much as ever and although I tend to only spend time reviewing books I've enjoyed, I haven't even found much time to do that!

Adult Read

So, here we go. Broken Bonds is actually the series name for With Visions of Red books #1,#2, and #3. It's available in single books or as a handy dandy box set.

 Amazon UK Amazon US    
 I've read a number of Trisha Wolfe's books in the past and she never fails to impress me, but let me just say that these books blew my socks off. I had book one on my To Read from release but never quite got around to it and by the time the box set came out, I totally forgotten what the series was even about. So, I dived in blind. Although it is three relatively fast reads, they are not books for reading in isolation. They need to be read together and in order.

Sadie Bonds was introduced to the world of blood and violence in a brutal and very personal way. Now working as a criminal profiler, catching the bad guys seems to verge almost on obsession for her. By night she explores her dark fantasies at an exclusive BDSM club. It's there she meets Colton, a rope rigger at the club with a dark past of his own. Meanwhile, there is a sadistic serial killer on the loose and he is trying hard to get Sadie's attention. So begins a twisted game of cat and mouse.

Despite the gore, brutality, and sometimes disturbing scenes depicted, there is a sophistication about these books. I can only put it down to the skill of the author. Think Dexter/Hannibal. With varied points of view, the reader gets to explore the world of police investigation from different angles. The killer's POV was particularly chilling with almost poetic prose I found genuinely scary.

Contrasting that is the developing romance between Sadie and Colton. The sex scenes are sensual and detailed rather than graphic and each scene serves a purpose in propelling the story forward. And these books do zoom along with fast paced action that will keep any reader completely engrossed.

One for those who enjoy an excellent crime read with a dark hit of romance and erotica.

Five Stars


About the Author

From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up fantasy worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her fantasy worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself. 

Find out more at 
TrishaWolfe.com

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Published on December 15, 2015 16:19 • 5 views

December 2, 2015





Title: ACED
Series: Blocked #2Author: Jennifer LaneRelease Date: December 2, 2015Genre: New Adult Sports Romance Length: 80,000 wordsCover Artist: Coreen Montagna 
Synopsis:

Volleyball wonder Lucia Ramirez found her love match in Blocked despite the glaring political spotlight aimed on her family. In Aced, the second book in Jennifer Lane’s Blocked series, it could be her brother Alejandro’s turn to get lucky in love.

Medical student Alejandro’s hot Latin looks get him plenty of attention, but his deep faith and admiration for his father keep him on a righteous path, with no time for something as frivolous as love. He strives to do the right thing—study diligently, take care of his siblings, represent the family well—so why does he feel so unfulfilled?

Enter Lucia’s friend and teammate Maddie Brooks, who shines at blocking the ball and acing the serve. Too bad this graduating senior isn’t so confident about her life off the court. Her longtime boyfriend has just bailed on her, and med school applications loom large. Oh, and a nerve-wracking tryout for Team USA also approaches.

Maddie meets Alejandro when he visits Lucia at school, and she’s soon drawn to his sharp mind. Alejandro is similarly intrigued by Maddie’s talent and strength. But will personal biases and family politics smother the slow burn of their attraction? Unless Maddie can learn to believe in herself, and Alejandro can become his own man, their kindling romance hardly stands a chance.

Will either of them be bold enough to try something new? Find out in this emotion- rich story that refuses to shy away from life’s hardest questions. Because love is worth the risk.

  Add to Goodreads  

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Reviews for Aced“Jennifer's characters always interact with each other in a very comfortable pattern of easy and witty banter. She is exceedingly good at dialogue. Aced is a very brave book. Like Blocked, it is not simply a fluffy, sweet and cozy romance."
~Teresa from Goodreads

"Lord forgive me for I have sinned and lusted over the hottie known as ALEJANDRO. Yup, dibs he's all mine, chicas."
~Nelly from Romance Bytes

"The plot is so well paced, I was reading until the wee hours of the morning."
~Karie Deegan from My Reading Reality

"Blocked captivated my attention from start to finish and Aced does not disappoint. Hotheaded Alejandro meets his match in stubborn and confident Maddie."
~Aaliyah from Goodreads

Giveaways

1) Join us for the Facebook party 12-2-15 HERE . Over 25 Authors with prizes!

2) Leave a review on Amazon on 12-2-15 for a chance to win $25 gift card.


3) And enter the Rafflecopter Release Giveaway:

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About the Author


Get psyched for romance with psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane! By day she’s a therapist, and by night she’s a writer. She can’t decide which is more fun.

Jen adores creating sporty heroines and hot heroes in her college sport romances. Volleyball wonder Lucia Ramirez found her love match in Blocked despite the glaring political spotlight aimed on her family. In Aced, the second book in the Blocked series, it’s her brother Alejandro’s turn to get lucky in love. Aced launches in December 2015.

A swimmer and volleyball player in college, Jen writes swimming-based romances as well: Streamline, a military mystery, and the free New Adult novella Swim Recruit.

Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love. She is also the author of The Conduct Series, a romantic-suspense trilogy that includes With Good Behavior, Bad Behavior, and On Best Behavior.

Ultimately, whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, and visiting her sisters in Chicago and Hilton Head.

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Published on December 02, 2015 06:56 • 10 views

November 23, 2015



Over the years I've made no secret of my love for the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series. Now, it's time to go all the way back to the beginning and meet the boys where it all started. And look at that cover! This is a prequel and can be read as a stand alone, but let's face it, no one is going to want to stop at the beginning. Read on for a look at the summary, an excerpt, some quickfire questions for Debra, and an extra special surprise gift for readers!


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This legendary, indie, cult-favorite series ends its tale with the story of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood before the tattoo. Before the train station, before the church, before a criminal empire there was a foster home and three teen boys who chose each other as family, because the ones they were born into didn’t exist<br /> <br /> Still in high school, Beckett is already laying the groundwork for a grander life ahead, one where his brothers want for nothing and get some respect for once. But even as he plans, Beckett must decide if he’s ready to make that choice—diving in to a life that trades his chance at a future, his chance at something as simple as first love with a girl named Candy Cox, for their chance to find happiness.<br /> <br /> Blake, Beckett, and Cole’s devotion to each other is forged by fists and the driving need to belong somewhere, to do more than just survive this life. Readers of the series know they each get there in the end, but before we count smiles, we must first shed tears. These early days of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood will play on your heartstrings before serrating them with a knife; they’ll lift your soul with music, only to leave you with nothing but a desperate prayer for hope.<br /> <br /> And when you reach the end of the beginning, you’ll be ready to start the series all over again.</span><br /><br /><b>Interview</b><br /><br /><b>Of all the books, what has been the most emotionally draining scene to write?</b><br /><br />Losing Mouse was the worst for me. I knew the series was real then. I cried so hard. <br /><div><br /></div><div><b>In the last book you wrote an experimental scene focusing on the senses of the characters and it worked perfectly. Can we expect anything like that from the new book?</b> </div><div> </div><div>No. Ha. I love that scene, and thanks for remembering it. This book came super quickly. I think the part that is the most dangerous for me is Cole's scenes. He has the worst history, so I felt horrible opening that up on him. </div><div><br /></div><div><b>Music you've selected has been a big part of the Poughkeepsie experience for me. If you had to pick one track to represent the entire series, what would it be? </b> </div><div>It would have to be Drop in the Ocean by Ron Pope. It just sends me back and I love that song. So very Blake. </div><div><br /></div><b>I love these characters so much. It's hard letting go as a reader. Are the boys really done now? Is there any possibility you might revisit them at some time in the future or are you moving on?</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b> </b></div><div class="MsoNormal">They are done. And I'm having trouble letting them go. There's a thread in Saving Poughkeepsie that I could continue, but for the most part it is 99.9% done forever. <br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><b><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";">Buy Links</span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";">Amazon US: <a href="http://amzn.to/1MlhCMp">http:... /> Amazon UK: <a href="http://amzn.to/1Y2d98U">http:... /> Amazon AU: <a href="http://bit.ly/1MxLcSh">http:/... /> <span class="textexposedshow">Amazon CA: <a href="http://amzn.to/1MUj7GV">http:... /> <span class="textexposedshow">Nook: <a href="http://bit.ly/1RKRA90">http:/... /> <span class="textexposedshow">iTunes: <a href="http://apple.co/1Qrqg17">http... /> <span class="textexposedshow">Google Play: <a href="http://bit.ly/1Y3kuVF">http:/... class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;">Goodreads: <a href="http://bit.ly/1NeYnaX">http:/... class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><b>Find the whole <i>Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series</i> here</b>: http://amzn.to/1OfpAtk</div>&lt... class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><h3 style="text-align: center;"><b>Free App as a present from the boys</b></h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lfGyBitcVZg..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lfGyBitcVZg..." width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";"><span class="textexposedshow">Here's the log in info:</span><br /> <br /> <span class="textexposedshow">web: <a href="http://omnificpublishing.com/PT011151... /> <br /> <br /> <span class="textexposedshow">Mobile app <a href="http://poughkeepsieapp.com/Poukeeideb... </span><br /> <br /> Navigation is on the upper right side. <br /> <br /> <span class="textexposedshow">Any questions? Find me here: http://on.fb.me/1MVcrSB</span>&... style="mso-special-character: line-break;" /> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Excerpt </b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sEnSsOOeUSw..." style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sEnSsOOeUSw..." width="320" /></a> </div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">When she ducked under the bleachers, he was a dick, right off the bat. His buzz was wearing off, but he was still high and broken at the closeness of her. “You’re missing your boyfriend during his lawn ballet.” He assumed a stance—douche mixed with confrontational—that he knew stopped people. It set up his walls real nice. With everyone. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">Everyone but her. She walked right up to him. She pushed him hard once, twice, until his back hit one of the supports. And then she slapped him. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">He took the slap and rolled his eyes. “That all you got for me, pink princess?”</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">And then she was kissing him. Oh, God. Kissing him and palming him with the same ferociousness he felt. He grabbed the metal behind him to keep from attacking her and nailing her right on the concrete floor littered with cigarettes and chip bags. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">She pulled away and slapped him again, growling, “Fuck you, Beckett Taylor. Don’t you ever do that to me again. I’m worth more than that, and you know it.” She stepped back, leaving cold space and his heated erection between them. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">He swallowed, his pounding heart trying to beat some common sense into his brain again. It wasn’t working. He let go of the bleachers and advanced. “You have some fucking nerve. You’re the one up there prom-queening it with goddamn Ryler.” </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">She stood her ground as he came at her. And he knew he was intimidating. Shit, full-grown men stepped aside when he was coming. But Candy raised her chin. He was amazed at the fight in her, right there. He pulled her into a dip, just like fucking Pyler had, except he did it like a man who wanted a woman and knew what to do with her body. Candy needed to push him away; she needed to turn her head. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">Instead she groaned and bit his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood. He put his hand between her legs and dragged it up to her breast, squeezing hard so she would feel it through her coat. She sunk her nails into the skin at his neck. She was a buried treasure. He was sure as fuck no one knew about this side of her. Only he could get her panting like she was. He spanked her bottom once. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">“Ow.” She was shocked. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">He stopped kissing and looked her in the face as he spanked her again, more forcefully this time. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">Her “Ow” was quieter, and the hunger in her eyes far deeper than her years. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">Again he spanked her. And this time she purred. Fucking purred. He began slow, circular caresses over the denim that covered her ass. He was desperate to see the red imprints from his hand. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">“Fuck it.” Beckett picked her up and set her back against the metal support he’d tried to cling to before. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">They weren’t alone. Red tips of cigarettes glowed, gentle murmurs of illicit behavior could be heard if you knew how to listen for trouble. Still, he held her against the pole and mimicked the motions he was desperate to do with her. He dropped his mouth to the zipper on her coat, which kept her safe from all his intentions. He used his teeth to pull it down to her cleavage. He buried his face, licking and nuzzling her sweet-smelling neck. He used his chin to move material so he could access more of her chest. She smelled like goddamn candy. His dick could pack gunpowder in a cannon it was so fucking hard. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">After a moment, the murmurs added up. Too many. He glanced around and noticed the cigarettes being stubbed out. He let his prize slide down the metal gently. He leaned down to kiss her lips, then her forehead, right under the edge of her fuzzy hat before whispering, “Go. Cops are here. Go.”</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">And then Candy, sweet-smelling, homework-doing Candy, stuck her hand in his jacket’s hidden pocket and took the gun out. He pulled her hands and his gun close to make sure the safety was on before letting her tuck it into her bra. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">“Anything else?” she asked.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">And then he slipped the rest of the merchandise in his left pocket into her right one. She turned and left. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">“And don’t you ever talk to me again, Taylor. I have a boyfriend!” She stormed away as the resource officer stepped up next to him. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">“You have a way with the ladies, son.”</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">“I’m not your son.”</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">“That’s the truth right there. ’Cause if you were, you’d be on that field kicking footballs instead of selling at my school.”</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: "times new roman";">When Beckett was let off with a warning due to lack of evidence, his one thought was of her. Candy was so perfect for him it hurt. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><br /></div>
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Published on November 23, 2015 09:52 • 11 views