Tag Archives: Women’s Fiction

Wrong place, right time? ‘Fresh off the Starship’ #humor #WomensFic #SciFi @ann_crawford1 @GoddessFish

Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Ann Crawford and her story Fresh off the Starship!

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I’m a fun-loving, world-traveling, high-flying, deep-diving, and living-to-the-max author of eight books. When I’m not flying planes, scuba diving, climbing every mountain (on the back of my husband’s motorcycle) or riding the world’s fastest roller coasters, you can find me in my writing nest with a view of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains out the window. I’ve lived all over–from both oceans white with foam, to the prairie, and now to the mountain. Yes, a little backwards, but what the hey.

My bestselling and award-winning novels go as high and deep as I do—they’re profound yet funny; playful although poignant; heart-opening and heart-lifting; thought-provoking and inspiring; and edgy while universal. I’m also a screenwriter and award-winning filmmaker and humanitarian.

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Website ## Amazon Author Page ## Twitter ## Facebook ## Pinterest ## Goodreads ## Instagram ## Linkedin

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I asked Ann Crawford, “What is the best and most rewarding thing you find about being a writer? Want to share what you think is the worst and most frustrating thing you find about being a writer?” and here is the response.

This is such a great question. The best thing about being a writer, for me, is all these wild, wonderful, way-out-there characters who come knocking on the doorway to my mind, saying, “Write my story!” How could I refuse?

I have to be a writer…there’s nothing else I would do (well, given that I don’t have a rockstar singing voice, LOL). In all honesty, though, it’d be like not breathing.

Writing is not the easiest of paths, however. I actually tried not writing for a while, trying the “practical” route. Ha! That worked like a charm—not.

The hardest part is the amount of time it can take to get established plus the seemingly endless marketing authors have to do, even when traditionally published.

My favorite part is hearing feedback from readers. Writing is the gift I love to give; when readers tell me about how my books have touched them, made them laugh, and lightened up their day, well…that is one of the best feelings of my life.

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Love to laugh? You’ll enjoy this feel-good tale.

A starbeing skyrockets to Earth from the other side of forever with a specific assignment: to help steer humanity away from the collision course it’s on. But we all know how travel can get drastically diverted–instead of landing in Washington, D.C., where she could assist on a grand geopolitical scale, she ends up in…Kansas!

Wrong place, right time? Join our shero on this whimsical journey as she pursues her purpose as well as discovers the beauty of life and love on Earth.

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Matt hands her a large drink with a little mountain of fluffy white stuff on top, with stripes of brown dripping down the mountainsides.

“Here, got you extra whipped cream and lots of car’mul on top, just the way you like it.”

Missy takes a lick of the whipped cream and her eyes go wide. “Oh!”

“Well, yer not supposed to lick it like an ice-cream cone. Sip it.”

She does and then slaps her hand on the table.

“Missy! You okay?”

“Oh, my! How can you beings ever complain about anything?”

“How’s that now?”

“Nothing.” She takes another sip and moans again. Several customers seated nearby look over at her.

“Missy, sweetheart, can you calm yourself a bit?”

She takes a bite of the round treat on a stick he’d set down by her. The moans escalate.

“Geez,” Matt says, trying to sink farther into his seat, “I feel like I’m straight out of When Harry Met Sally.”

“Who’s Harry? Who’s Sally?”

“The main characters in one of yer favorite movies. You made me watch it at least half a dozen times.”

She takes another sip and bite. The moans escalate even more. By this time everyone in the café is looking at her.

“Missy! Perhaps we should eat these in the car.”

“Wherever you want!”

The customers in the café receive one more rendition of “Ohhhhhhhh!” as Matt leads her out the door and she takes another sip of her drink.

Okay, maybe it’s not thaaaat bad here.

~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~

Amazon: US The book will be on sale for only $0.99.

~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~

Ann Crawford will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to Win! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule

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Ann Crawford, thank you for stopping by today!

Love & blessings to all! ❤
Jacey

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more than she bargained for #Contemporary #Fiction @IrisDorbian @GoddessFish

NBTM_TourBanner_LoveLossAndLonging

Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Iris Dorbian and her story Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl!

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Iris Dorbian is a former actress turned business journalist/blogger. Her articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, DMNews, CFO.com, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater,” which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Skirt! Diverse Voices Quarterly and Gothesque Magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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Website ## LinkedIn ## Twitter ## Facebook ## Muckrack.com

~ * ~ TOPIC du JOUR ~ * ~

I asked Iris Dorbian, “What is the best and most rewarding thing you find about being a writer? Want to share what you think is the worst and most frustrating thing you find about being a writer?” and here is the response.

The best thing about being a writer is being able to express an idea or tell a story using words as your stock in trade. The most rewarding thing about being a writer is when your story, article, novel or whatever is published and read. It’s a double whammy if it’s acknowledged and praised. It all ties in with why I write: I write because I have something to say. As a journalist, that could be a news story; and as an author, that could be a long-form narrative that has been gestating in my head for a while and which I’ve been wanting to tell.

As a journalist and author, if I have an outlet for expression, a blog, a newswire, a newspaper, magazine, etc. and if it’s widely read, I’m fulfilled. However, if I don’t have that kind of outlet and if no one reads my writings, then it’s very frustrating and upsetting. I’m not doing this for fame; I’m doing this because I have no other recourse. It’s what I need to do; it’s what feeds me and makes me get up in the morning.

Another aspect I find very frustrating as an author is promoting my work. I always wonder if I’m doing enough. Other questions that arise: Which sites should I target? Who is my audience? How much money should I invest in marketing my work? When do I know I’ve done enough? Should I use a publicist? These questions also plagued me when my first book, “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater” (Allworth Press), a nonfiction trade for the educational theater market, was traditionally published.

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It’s the early 1980s, MTV is in its infancy, the Internet does not exist, Ronald Reagan is president and yuppies are ruling Wall Street. Edie is a naïve NYU student desperate to lose her virginity and to experience adventure that will finally make her worldly, setting her further apart from her bland suburban roots. But in her quest to mold herself into an ideal of urban sophistication, the New Jersey-born co-ed gets more than she bargained for, triggering a chain of events that will have lasting repercussions.

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Looking like a cross between Keith Richards right before his descent into unregenerate drug addiction and a homeless vagrant with a permanent 10 o’clock shadow, Peter flashed a confident smile at me, revealing two rows of jagged, yellowing teeth. Wearing a snug black shirt with a V-neck that showed generous tufts of dark chest hair, a Free Sid button referring to the arrest nearly a year ago of Sid Vicious, the Sex Pistols’ bassist for the murder of his girlfriend and skin tight blue jeans, I recoiled at the sight of Peter but also couldn’t turn away. He was that perversely transfixing.

“Edie, this is my roommate Peter. Peter, this is Edie,” said George whom I had practically forgotten at that point.

Peter duly nodded back at me. “So, what do you think of Professor Jackson’s class?” he asked, gazing back at me with his Rasputin eyes.

I was flustered. His freaky eyes and sexy caveman aura threw me off balance. On one level, I was grossed out by his teeth and he seemed really hairy. But on the other hand, I liked his feathery dark straight Beatle mop, his trim, cute body and his softly masculine deep voice. He was short though—only slightly taller than me and I’m barely 5’7.

“What are you interested in doing when you get out?” I said, the words rushing out of my mouth before I could clog them. What a heavy-handed question to ask someone I just met. I should be muzzled.

“I want to be an English professor,” Peter said forcefully, the leering gleam in his eyes temporarily dissipating. “And write.”

While Peter talked, I continued to eyeball him even though my better Emily Post instincts kept telling me I shouldn’t. It wasn’t polite but I couldn’t help it.

My nose noticed, much to my delight, that Peter reeked of pot, which I soon learned he smoked nonstop. I hadn’t smoked pot in a long while—not since my stint with the misfit crowd I briefly hung out with in high school. My nostrils flared a bit as I tried to inhale more of that familiar sticky-sweet scent.

~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~

Amazon

~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~

Iris Dorbian will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule

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Iris Dorbian, thank you for stopping by today!

Love & blessings to all! ❤
Jacey

not always what they seem… #Women’sFiction #Suspense @LauraMcNeillBks @GoddessFish

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Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Laura McNeill and her story Center of Gravity!

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After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

Laura works at Spring Hill College as the school’s web content and social media manager and is active in her community—participating in fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, and Providence Hospital’s Festival of Flowers.

Laura was recently awarded a 2-book deal with Thomas Nelson Publishing, a division of HarperCollins. Her novel, Center of Gravity, set in Mobile, Ala., will be published in July of 2015. Laura is represented by Elizabeth Winick Rubenstein, president of McIntosh and Otis literary agency in New York. Her writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, Writer’s Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer competition.

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in interactive technology from the University of Alabama. She is a native of Upstate New York and currently resides near the Alabama Gulf Coast with her two children.

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Website ## Blog ## Twitter ## Facebook ## Pinterest ## Goodreads ## Instagram

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Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true.

In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?

Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

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When your children are stolen, the pain swallows you whole. Logic fades, reason retreats. Desperation permeates the tiniest crevices of your mind. Nothing soothes the ache in your wounded soul.

Right in front of me, my sweet, charmed life fell to pieces. Everything destroyed; a hailstorm’s wrath on a field of wildflowers. All I’d known—gone. Foolish me, I’d believed in magic, clung tight to false promises. The lies, spoken from tender lips, haunt me now, follow me, and whisper into my ear like a scorned lover.

What’s left is emptiness.

Give up, a voice urges. Let go.

No! I argue back. My children aren’t gone. Not yet. Precious and delicate, tiny fossils, they exist in glass-boxed isolation. Hidden. Protected.

And so tonight, I run. Blood pulses through my legs, my muscles protest; my lungs scream for more oxygen. Thick storm clouds brew in the distance. The rain falls in blinding sheets. The force of it pricks my skin like needles, but the pain only makes me push harder.

I will rescue them.

Lightning flashes across the wet driveway. The bulk of his truck looms large in the black night. I skid to a stop and catch my breath, pressing a hand to my heaving chest.

They’re here. My children are here.

Thunder booms and crashes, nearer now, the wind whips my hair. A gust tosses tree branches to the ground. Birds cry and flutter to safety. An escaped sandbox bucket spins, clattering on the blacktop.

I grasp the railing and pull myself up the steps. At the top, the door’s shiny-slick with water and humidity. Mother Nature howls and drowns out my knocking.

“Hello! Can you hear me?” With my palm open wide, I slap at the barrier, willing it to open. I will rescue my children. I will rescue them . . . or I will die trying.

~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~

Amazon ## Barnes & Noble

~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~

Laura McNeill will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to win! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule

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Laura McNeill, thank you for stopping by today!

Love & blessings to all! ❤
Jacey

it comes with more than the asking price #erotic #stripping @delongkatie @GoddessFish

VBT Queen of Clubs Cora Tour Banner copy

Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Katie de Long and her story Queen of Clubs: Cora!

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Katie de Long lives in the Pacific northwest, realizing her dream of being a crazy cat-lady. As a kid, Katie flagged the fade-to-blacks in every adult book she encountered, and when she began writing, she vowed to use cutaways sparingly. After all, that’s when the good stuff happens. And on a kindle, no one asks why there’s so many bookmarks in her library.

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Website ## Twitter ## Facebook ## Goodreads ## Mailing List

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What inspired you to write the story you are promoting?
Queen of Clubs was inspired by a lot of things. Some of it was a dare from my man-beast, a writer who wanted to see me try my hand at it. We’re both Frank Miller nerds, and Sin City is our favorite, despite some of its misogynistic overtones. He dared me to write a series of standalone stories that tied together, like Sin City, and after a few of these stories, we found ourselves building other settings around them, too. Not just strippers, but thieves, investigators, etc. There’s a lot of easter eggs throughout the books, where one character has a very minor appearance in someone else’s book. (Each book is written from a different point of view, to offer a different character’s arc.) And a lot of the stories are pushed forward in other books. Cora, for instance, ends on an upbeat note, but we’ll see her place in some other girls’ drama before her return in Season 2, handling the fallout and hopefully reaching a more long-term happy ending. The club is as much a character as any of the people working in it, and it’s a great setting to wallow in.

Did you do any interesting research for this book? If so, please share the process and what you learned. If not, why did you feel the story didn’t warrant research?
Truthfully, it’s not so much that I researched this project, so much as this project was well suited to me because I was already well researched. I’ve got more than my fair share of history with the strip club scene, and brought all that to bear in creating a pretty realistic framework for the club, and recognition of the larger scene. It’s a pet peeve of mine reading strippers in fiction where the work encompasses things that are so very far from industry practice, they’re only used to titillate, sensationalize, or provide a “gritty” patina. I’ve had to compromise on a handful of those things, but I’m happy with how the overall setting came out.
I’ve got a particular interest in the portrayal of sex work in its myriad forms (Professional domination, nude modeling, porn, pinup/glamour photography, stripping, selling sexual services, phone sex, etc. It’s a really diverse industry). It’s a field that I’ve got a pretty intimate awareness of– I’ve got many friends in varying aspects of the field, and have dabbled in a few of the facets, myself. And it’s one that often is not written by people who have that insight, though I wouldn’t consider myself an authority in all facets of it. There’s something fantastical about the setting in fiction, but a lot of that fantasy comes from the shorthand narratives associated with it– drugs, childhood abuse, absent daddy figures, exploitation, lack of self-esteem, deceptive “feminists” encouraging girls to devalue themselves while exploitatively reaping the profits, etc. And while these stories do exist in that industry– as they do everywhere else, in every other industry– they are often used to justify the practices in this one that actually are exploitative, or the crimes of those who believe that those working in the sex industry deserve whatever they get. Or even the legal framework that denies sex workers basic workers’ rights, and allows discrimination and harassment.
So some of my interest in writing Queen of Clubs was a desire to do better– to write a strip club scene that neither marginalized or exploited the women participating in it, but that didn’t whitewash the issues of women who actually do work in strip clubs to make it an ultra-glamorous feminist beacon of liberation. The individual romances, as fun as they are to write, are balanced by the fact that they exist in a pretty wide context.

What was your process for coming up with the title and character names in the story you are promoting?
Stripper names are easier to come up with than real character names. Often, you can find inspiration for those in commonplace concepts, like food, drink, or spices- (Honey, Krystalle, Hennessey, Cinnamon, Saffron), cities- (Berlin, Vegas, London), ancient gods or goddesses (Athena, Ares), even plain old girl-next-door names- (Krissy, Shauna, Lexi).
The Queen of Clubs titles are pretty utilitarian- they’re named for their heroines, simply with the girl’s name. There’s enough of them that it didn’t make sense to brand the stories individually, only the overall setting, as it far outweighs any one character’s contributions to the main shape. And this way, it’s easier to remember.

What is your favorite line, or scene, that you wrote in the story you are promoting? Why is it?
“I loved awkward guys. Guys with rough edges, who were interesting to look at not because they were beautiful, but because they were unique.”
In general, I like openings and endings the most, but this line made me happy, because it’s pretty close to my own philosophy. Give me a guy with a strong voice over a guy with those weird pelvic V muscles any day. You ask me my celebrity crush list, and you’re as likely to find someone like Ron Perlman on it as you are the dude who plays Thor. Sacrilege, I know.

Did you have a favorite drink and/or snack on hand while writing the story you are promoting? If so, what was it? If not, did you have something else that was special going on, like listening to music or where you wrote the story?
Snack or drink? No. I don’t usually eat while I write. Music? Absolutely. I keep playlists for all my girls- these can be found on my website. Everyone has their own personality that contributes to their distinctive sound. Cora’s is often quirky or downtempo, but fairly cheerful and upbeat in tone, Malia’s is slow, often nostalgic or tragic, Tori’s is upbeat, a little rock-y and punk, but also with a lot of attitude and edges, since so much of her hustle is built around her persona as a dominatrix. These’re just a few of my setting scores.
I keep really thorough images in my head of the characters. Everything from their costumes, to their hustles, to the types of men who become their regulars, to their preferred makeup style. Some of this can be translated to offer as tidbits for readers, but the rest of it just stays in my head as background.

What is something readers might not know about you and would be surprised to learn?
When I’m upset, I like to make caramel. I do a lot of other cooking and candymaking, despite my decided lack of sweet tooth, but caramel hits my mad-scientist spot. You heat up the sugar and water, taking pains to keep the sugar from crystallizing, heat it to the burning point, and right before it burns, you remove it from the heat, add any thinners you might want, like milk or cream, and stir it to prevent the cooked sugar from cooling and hardening. Or you just pour it to let it chill and set, like hard candy. But I love watching it turn brown, love the smell of it caramelizing, and love the speed needed to prevent it from burning or setting. Creme Caramel is another dish that soothes me to cook, for similar mad-scientist reasons. You pour the straight caramel into the bottom of the ramekin, where it will harden completely. Then, you pour the custard over top, bake it, and in the process, the caramel pulls the water from the custard into itself to change its texture. You run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, flip it upside down over a plate, and your hard caramel is now a creamy syrup, on top of the solid custard. SCIENCE! And also a damn sexy treat.
Worst thing about caramelmaking? Said caramelizing creates a lot of smoke. I had a lot of friction with my neighbors before I learned to disconnect my smoke detector before I started cooking. 3 AM insomniac caramel candymaking? Great for me. Less so for the guy in the apartment next to me.

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Cover_Queen of Clubs Cora

The exotic dancers and employees of the Queen of Clubs walk a fine line, with only wits, beauty, and market savvy to keep them from toppling into the shark pit. Ride shotgun through lapdances, romance, and sexual awakenings. Don’t worry, these girls won’t ask what your hands are doing under the tip rail.

Cora, an adventurous student, finds herself auditioning for a stripping gig…and it comes with more than the asking price, including a very attractive DJ.

Queen of Clubs contains adult content, and is intended for mature readers. Each Queen of Clubs title is a standalone novella length work.

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I prayed the song wouldn’t end. Would the next one jar me out of this rhythm? Would I wake up and discover it was a dream, that I was still the awkward college student I had to be the rest of the time? I slid the straps of my bra off my shoulders and undid the catch, but hesitated to let it fall away from me.

I looked toward Kirk and met his eyes. Fuck. He’d been staring, a combination of lust, pride, and approval in the small smile on his face. It reassured me, and against my better judgment, I grinned back.

~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~

Amazon ## Kobo ## Smashwords ## B&N

Queen of Clubs is currently published monthly. Visit delongkatie.com for preorder and purchase links, or sign up for the mailing list, to be notified when new titles are available.

~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~

Katie de Long will offer a signed paperback of Queen of Clubs: Cora and a swag pendant to one randomly selected commenter. CLICK HERE to enter to win! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule

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Katie de Long, thank you for stopping by today!

Love & blessings to all! ❤
Jacey