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Friday, March 28, 2008

BOOK TRAILER: Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief

Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief
by Deborah Slappey Pitts

Edifying the World Thru Words

Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief is the enthralling sequel to I Feel Okay, Deborah Slappey Pitts’ debut bestseller. In Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief, the author shares her intimate story of grief and survival after her husband's death to a silent killer disease, primary amyloidosis.

Drawing from personal experiences of pain, depression, and unnerving despair, Pitts identifies the perplexing stages of grieving and shares her tale of faith and healing. Readers will discover the many stages of the grieving process and how to embrace the light of hope. It’s a must read—an unforgettable story; written with soul, candor, and love.

Website address: http://www.dslappeypitts.com/

TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/v/WEoY3gpX0JM&rel=1

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

COMING SOON: When A Man Loves A Woman


WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN

by LaConnie Taylor-Jones

Publisher: Genesis Press

ISBN: ISBN-10: 1585712744
ISBN-13: 978-1585712748

Website address: www.laconnietaylorjones.com

Where can it be purchased from: All major books stores and on-line at: Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles.com, CushCity.com, Mosaic.com, to name a few

Nursing administrator Victoria Bennett has soured on love. She has sworn off men; they bring too much drama and too much pain into her life. That is, until she meets pediatrician A.J. Baptiste, a single parent who is determined to woo her. A.J. will stop at nothing to have her, and Victoria finds her resolve put to the test...but is this a fight she really wants to win?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BOOK INTRO: Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief

Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief
by Deborah Slappey Pitts


Edifying the World Thru Words

Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief is the enthralling sequel to I Feel Okay, Deborah Slappey Pitts’ debut bestseller. In Shadow Living…Paintings of Grief, the author shares her intimate story of grief and survival after her husband's death to a silent killer disease, primary amyloidosis.

Drawing from personal experiences of pain, depression, and unnerving despair, Pitts identifies the perplexing stages of grieving and shares her tale of faith and healing. Readers will discover the many stages of the grieving process and how to embrace the light of hope. It’s a must read—an unforgettable story; written with soul, candor, and love.

Website address: www.dslappeypitts.com

Monday, March 24, 2008

EXCERPT: The Truth About Love


The Truth About Love
by Tia McCollors

The page-turning sequel to Zora's Cry. Welcome back into the lives of the women you've grown to love.

Marital bliss seems to evade the Manns household, despite the hopes for reconciliation that were once within Paula’s reach.

Belinda Stokes’ rebellious stepson continues to test her faith and marriage, even after his recent brush with death.

Just when Zora Fields gets used to being a married woman, her husband adds the pressure of becoming a minister’s wife…a calling she’s not ready to accept.

Monét Sullivan has gotten a first hand look at the marital conflict and strife of her friends, which is why she’s unsure about a lifetime of commitment with her boyfriend.


Website address - http://www.tiamccollors.com/ and www.myspace.com/TiaWrites

Paula Manns

Istill can’t believe he insisted on taking a paternity test.

Paula Manns shut out the absurd thought. Darryl would come to his senses as soon as he heard his daughter’s first cry. None of Paula’s tears had worked with him. She’d cried out many nights—not just to Darryl, but to God too. It seemed as if both had turned a deaf ear to her.

“Push, Paula. Just one more push and you can see your baby girl,” Dr. Seagroves coaxed from behind the hospital sheet. She patted the side of Paula’s thigh. “Relax your legs.”

Paula dug her nails into her husband’s hand and gripped the bed rail with her right. Darryl winced in pain. Good. It paled in comparison to the writhing contractions she’d been enduring over the past four hours, not to mention the heavy burden from carrying their crumbling marriage on her shoulders over the last year and a half. At the point when she’d seen the light at the end of the tunnel, it was snuffed out by his attitude. She’d only held on this long because of the promises she’d made to God. To fight. To honor the vows she’d made before Him.

The anger Paula used to harbor toward Darryl had dissipated, but it had left the residue of hurt on her soul.

Another contraction pierced Paula’s lower back. She didn’t know how much more she could endure. She’d determined to have a natural birth experience this time. The side effects from the epidural from her son’s delivery left her with back pain for nearly two months afterwards. Micah was five now, and she still remembered the agony, although the obstetrician said her epidural wasn’t the culprit. Whatever. Paula planned to endure the labor without any help from drugs, but when she changed her mind and requested the epidural an hour ago, the resident looked at her apologetically and said, “Eight centimeters. You’re too far along.”

Too far, Paula thought. Too far is telling a committed wife that he’s going to take a paternity test when he’s the one stepping out in the middle of the night. Paula’s legs begin to quiver, keeping pace with her trembling bottom lip.

Everything. Everything was too much. Tears spilled from her eyes.

“It’s okay,” Dr. Seagroves said, not realizing Paula wept about more than the contractions. “Push and hold it for ten,” Dr. Seagroves nearly whispered. “She’s almost here.”

Paula grunted while the nurse helped push her knee to her chest. “You’ve been saying that for the last thirty-three minutes,” she said through clenched teeth. She looked at the large, round, white-faced clock on the wall. The red second hand lapped past the six again. Paula tucked her chin into her chest and bore down.

The nurse counted. “One, two . . . four . . . nine, ten.”

“I can’t do it anymore,” Paula said, falling back against the back of the raised hospital bed. She pushed back the sweaty bangs from her forehead and used the oversized sleeve of her hospital gown to wipe her face. Exhaustion had stolen her strength and reason. “Do what you can without me.”

The moment the comment left her lips, Paula realized how ludicrous it must’ve sounded. Even though Dr. Seagroves’ mouth was hidden by a surgical mask, the obstetrician’s smile surfaced through the twinkle in her hazel eyes.

“Come on, honey,” Darryl said, leaning in close to her ear. “You’ve gotten this far. You can do it.” He looked around at the labor and delivery team in the room. Their eyes were all focused on the event happening under the green sheet below Paula’s waist. “Besides, you can’t walk around with a half-delivered baby,” he said with a half chuckle.

She couldn’t believe he was amused at a time like this. Paula cut her eyes at Darryl and decided not to slash him with words. Besides, another contraction paralyzed her thoughts before she could think of what to say. A groan like a wounded bear rose from Paula’s belly, and she pushed with the last ounce of strength left in her fatigued body, delivering her daughter into the world.

“Five-oh-three p.m.,” one of the nurses said.

Through her blurred, teary eyes, Paula watched Dr. Seagroves suction fluid from the baby’s mouth and nose. After her daughter’s first cry screeched from her tiny lungs, Dr. Seagroves wiped a jelly-like substance from the baby’s face and body, then lay her on Paula’s chest.

“Does this cutie-pie have a name yet?” the doctor asked.

“Gabrielle Elise Manns,” Paula said.

Looking at Gabrielle, she knew the name was perfect. What made it even more precious was that Gabrielle’s initials announced what a priceless jewel she was to the world—GEM. Neither her emerald and diamond pendant nor any of the expensive stones she’d racked up in her jewelry armoire over the years compared to the experience and joy of giving birth to another child. Memory of the labor pains vanished. The only thing she felt was love.

Darryl bent over and kissed Paula’s forehead; his lips lingered —soft and tender. She couldn’t believe it. She guessed the moment had gotten to him too. Paula couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt such a genuine touch from him. At times like this she saw the hope for their marriage’s restoration. This could be the moment things changed. The fruit of her prayers was within fingertips’ reach. She wanted to reach out and grab it before . . .

Darryl’s cell phone rang, and the vision dissipated. He unclipped it from his waist just as he accepted the sterile scissors from Dr. Seagroves to cut the umbilical cord. The lifeline between Paula and her daughter dangled between two metal clamps waiting for Darryl to disconnect it.

I don’t believe this. He better not answer that phone.

Paula glared at him, her facial expression speaking the words that her mouth didn’t. A musical tone played, signifying that he’d powered his cell phone off. Her silent threat had worked.

After Darryl cut through the rubbery cord, a nurse scooped Gabrielle from Paula’s chest. The labor and delivery team worked methodically in the corner of the room to check the baby’s vitals and administer a series of tests to measure her responsiveness. Paula had read enough in her baby magazines to know what all of the poking and prodding on her newborn was all about.

“Seven pounds, nine ounces,” the nurse announced. She lifted Gabrielle from the scale, the baby’s head now donned with a pink and blue striped knit cap pulled down to her eyebrows.

“I’ll get your mother,” Darryl said, his voice flat with little enthusiasm. He pecked Paula on the forehead, but this time the kiss was dry and rehearsed. More for show than anything else.

The drop of hope that Paula had now fizzled away.

Darryl zipped the jacket of his fleece pullover up to his neck, then tightened the drawstring to the matching black fleece pants. He had his cell phone powered back on and up to his ear before the delivery room door closed behind him. The chill that emanated through Paula’s body wasn’t from the thirty-eight-degree February weather.

Paula’s mother, Rosanna Gilmer, had been camped out in the waiting room with Paula’s five-year-old son, Micah. He was overly anxious to see his baby sister and had been asking about her every day and checking the calendar Paula had tacked on the refrigerator. Micah kept a countdown of the number of days until the date Paula had marked with a smiley face. Gabrielle came eight days early.

The nurse brought Gabrielle back to Paula. The infant was wrapped tight as a burrito, swaddled up to her chin in a white receiving blanket. Paula lifted the child to her face and kissed Gabrielle’s perfect pink lips. Only minutes before she’d been detached physically from Paula’s body, but from the moment Paula found out she was pregnant, Gabrielle had been attached forever to her mother’s heart.

“What number is this for you?” the nurse asked in a Jamaican accent. She rolled away a silver tray of sterile tools.

“Gabrielle makes two,” Paula said. “And probably the last.”

“You’re a young lady,” the nurse said, flicking her hand in the air. “If you can do two, you can do three. No problem. I’ve got six. All of them two years apart. Four boys, two girls.”

I haven’t even gotten stitched up yet and this woman is talking to me about having another baby.

The hospital door pushed open, and Micah bounded inside. Darryl grabbed his arm before his eager son could make a beeline for the bed.

“Hold up a minute, son,” Darryl said. “Let the doctor finish with Mommy, and you can see your little sister.”

Micah stood on his tiptoes, craned his neck, and tried to wrestle his arm out of Darryl’s grip. There were days it seemed he grew taller from the time she dropped him off and picked him up from kindergarten.

“Hi, sweetie,” Paula said. She blew a kiss to her son, who returned one of his own. “Remember how important it is for you to be a big boy now?”

Micah jutted out the strong and angular chin that he’d inherited from his father. He nodded his head and pulled at the bottom of his blue T-shirt. “That’s why I get to wear this,” he said, standing proudly with his shoulders back and chest out.

“That’s right,” Paula said.

While shopping at one of her favorite online children’s boutiques, she’d found him a shirt that said, I’m the big brother. She’d even bought Gabrielle a newborn pink onesie that said, I’m the little sister.

Paula outlined the shape of Gabrielle’s eyebrows with her index finger. It seemed like just yesterday that she’d held Micah the same way. Loving him unconditionally. The way she thought Darryl would always love her. She looked over at Darryl, who was busy texting messages from his cell phone.

Life was different when Micah had come along. Darryl had hovered over his first son as if his life depended on the baby’s breath. Instead of his cell phone, he’d had a camera strapped to one hand and a video camera in the other. Somewhere along the way the frame to their picture-perfect life had shattered, and Paula was still trying to salvage the pieces and put them back together again. She’d made a promise to God that she’d do whatever it took. That was before she knew how much it would take.

My strength is made perfect in weakness.

“Okay. That’ll do it,” Dr. Seagroves said. She pulled the mask off her mouth and slid back on the rolling stool. “Congratulations. You can go ahead and nurse her if you’d like. They’ll come from the nursery to get her shortly.”

Micah ran to the bed as soon as Darryl let go of his arm. After three minutes of examining his sister’s face and asking a barrage of questions, Micah stretched out on the pull-out couch and forgot about everything except his new handheld video game and the iPod his father had surprised him with.

“Come on, Grandma,” he said with his feet propped up on the arm of the couch. “You want to try and play again?”

“I can’t half see that thing, Micah,” Rosanna said.

“Okay,” he said, content to play by himself. He stuffed the buds of his headset into his ears.

Rosanna crept to the hospital bed once the staff cleared the room. The recent flare-up of her arthritis had temporarily stolen her quick steps, brought on, she said, by the rainy weather.

“Grandbaby number four,” Rosanna said, her chest puffed out just as much as Micah’s had been. “You don’t know how blessed you are, little muffin.” She tapped the tip of Gabrielle’s nose. “Now if you can only get your daddy to act right,” she whispered. Rosanna grunted and crossed her arms. The slits of her eyes were sharp enough to cut Darryl straight down the middle of his personal-trainer-toned body.

“Don’t do it, Ma,” Paula said. “Now’s not the time.”

Rosanna hoisted her fake leather purse farther up on her shoulder. She’d directed her comments toward Darryl even though she didn’t so much as cock her neck to look in his direction. “And I wish you would try to pull that mess about she’s not your baby,” she mumbled, looking over to make sure Micah didn’t hear her. “I’ll lose what Christianity I have left.”

“Seems like if you can lose your Christianity that easy, you never had it in the first place,” Darryl said to his mother-in-law, not once looking up from his electronic gadgets.

Paula hoped her mother would call a truce.

She did.

Rosanna looked at Darryl. He looked smug that he’d delivered the final blow. He rocked back on his heels and leaned against the eggshell-white wall. From the look of the smudges around him, other fathers had taken residence at the same post.

Paula pursed her lips and blew out a stream of air. She didn’t realize she’d been holding her breath.

“My baby, Gabrielle,” Paula cooed, soothing the newborn and the storm around her.

Darryl finally walked over to hold his daughter. Paula lifted Gabrielle up to him. She had the same thick eyebrows as her father. He touched his forehead to hers. He seemed to be breathing in her innocence. If only he was as guiltless as he looked, Paula thought.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NEW AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Delorys Welch-Tyson


Ladyfingers: A novel
Delorys Welch-Tyson

iUniverse, Inc
ISBN-10: 0595354181
ISBN-13: 978-0595354184

Ladyfingers is the hilarious sequel to author Delorys Welch-Tyson's best-selling novel, Gingersnaps.

Million-dollar lotto winners, ex-convicts, an internationally famous pop diva, and a Belgian mime are just a few of the outrageous characters descending on the French Riviera. And they're having a party...

Americans Desiree Brown Simon and her husband David Simon live a relatively quiet life in the south of France while they churn out their respective best-selling novels. But when they meet the famous American singer Amelia Jackson, they are propelled into a world of wealth, high society, and gossip. They interact with a group of East Somarian kidnappers, a psychologist, and wealthy socialites, not to mention the infamous Madame Arthuretta Bozell, who has created a discreet lifestyle makeover service called Ladyfingers.

Follow their antics as they all bluff and charm their way through a whirlwind of social gatherings, eventually converging at the wedding banquet of a famous film director at the Negresco Hotel. Ladyfingers gives a whole new meaning to American foreign relations!


A native New Yorker, Delorys Welch Tyson is author of the bestselling novel Gingersnaps and its sequel, Ladyfingers. Welch-Tyson, a painter whose work has been exhibited in The United States and in Europe, is also the former owner of The Rainbow Connection Art Gallery in New York City. She and her husband live in the South of France.

Website address: http://deloryswelchtyson.com/

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BOOK INTRO: Incremental Stages of Ladee Soul: Poetry


Incremental Stages of Ladee Soul: Poetry

Author: Karen Baker

Release Date: December 21, 2007

Publisher: Divine Truth Press

ISBN-10: 0977810321
ISBN-13: 978-0977810321

Paperback: 64 pages

List Price: $10.00*

"Young, gifted poet, Karen Baker, uses her life history in poetry form to show her concern for the plight of orphans in Haiti.”Incremental Stages: an inspired poetic collection of a young woman’s journey of teenage angst, search for love, expression of faith, appreciation of family, discovery of self and burgeoning cultural awareness by Haitian born, first time author and poet, Karen Baker. (Karen also performs her work as Ladeé Soul.)


About the Author: Karen Baker is a young and independent poet who has been performing for nine yars. She is a twenty-two year old nursing student. Her first contribution to the literary world shares poems that reflect life experiences which have served to make her the lady she is today: Ladee Soul

Read an excerpt / Purchase a copy

*10% of all proceeds will be donated to Le Pont Des Enfants (The Bridge of Children) an Orphanage in Delmas 44, Haiti.

For more information about the orphanage email bridgeofchildren@yahoo.com

Monday, March 17, 2008

EXCERPT: The Right Mr. Wrong


The Right Mr. Wrong

by Cindi Myers

This follow-up to Marriage On Her Mind takes readers back to Crested Butte, Colorado where the town Casanova, Hagan Ansdar, meets former Olympic ski racer Maddie Alexander. Recovering from a career-ending injury, Maddie has joined Crested Butte ski patrol, hoping to figure out what to do with her life now that her dream of competing at the Olympics has been destroyed. Hagan is content with his no-strings-attached life until he meets Maddie and discovers how empty his life has been without her in it.

http://www.CindiMyers.com


Halfway down the run, Hagan lost sight of Maddie in the trees. She was indeed faster than him, and her smaller size gave her an advantage in the narrow chutes and tightly spaced trees. He was sorry he wasn’t able to catch up with her, but would concede defeat graciously when they met up again.

Maybe it was just as well she’d outpaced him. He could do with some time alone to cool off. Following her up the trail, he’d had the enticing view of her curvy backside in front of him for the better part of a half hour. The sight had made it impossible for him to focus on anything else. He was definitely aroused, almost oblivious to the arduous climb as his mind conjured erotic fantasies involving a naked Maddie, a very large bed, and the time to explore each other properly. He’d proposed the race as a physical outlet and a distraction.

Of all the women who had practically thrown themselves at him, why would this one -- who had at times seemed to barely tolerate his presence -- been the one to catch him off guard? She was as different from the pretty flirts and sexy sirens he usually dated as he could imagine.

Which was part of the problem. He gravitated to easy, uncomplicated women because they posed no danger of engaging deeper emotions. But a woman like Maddie, one who aroused not only his physical passion, but his curiosity and his protective instincts, was definitely dangerous to his well-being.

He’d felt the danger there in the coffee shop, when he’d told her about his past as a software writer. He’d revealed more about himself to Maddie than he’d told anyone for years. He told himself he’d done it to comfort her. She’d obviously been upset at learning her former competition had achieved a goal Maddie had long sought. He’d understood that feeling and wanted her to know she wasn’t alone.

But such confidences made him feel too vulnerable and he’d forced himself to pull back. He liked Maddie and valued her friendship, but he couldn’t afford to take things further. He didn’t want to venture into the messy territory of more intimate relationships, where the fallout from a single misstep or misjudgment was too much to bear.

He took his time making his way back to the parking area, where the others were packing up and preparing to head out. He stopped beside his truck and began to take off his own skis when Andrea approached him. “Where’s Maddie?” she asked.

He looked around, and realized Maddie was not in the group gathered around the cars. “She was ahead of me,” he said. “I thought she was already back.”

Andrea looked worried. “She’s not here. And the last time I saw her, she was with you.”

He took his skis from the rack and clicked into the bindings once more, his voice calm, though his heart was pounding. “We’d better look for her.” Even someone who was familiar with the area could get lost in the back country. She could ski into a box canyon, or an area of cliffs. She could fall and break a bone, or get trapped in a tree well. His stomach twisted as his mind catalogued the possibilities. He never should have let her ski off by herself that way.

Andrea alerted the others and they soon gathered around Hagan. He supposed as the most experienced in backcountry rescue, both as a patroller and with the local Search and Rescue squad, they looked to him as a leader.

“Zephyr, you and Bryan stay here with the vehicles in case she comes back here,” he said. The two snowboarders would have a more difficult time in the varying terrain they’d need to cover. “Do you have whistles?”

“I have one,” Bryan said.

“Me too,” Zephyr added.

“Signal if she comes back here.” Though in the vast terrain, with all the sound-absorbing snow and trees, it was possible a whistle might not be heard. “If no one responds to the whistle, honk one of the car horns.”

“If that doesn’t work, I can plug in my guitar and turn the amp up loud,” Zephyr said.

“We want an emergency signal, not an avalanche trigger,” Max said.

The searchers set out: Max and Casey with the dogs, Trish with Andrea, and Hagan by himself.

“Maybe you should come with us,” Andrea said. “It would probably be safer.”

“I’ll be all right on my own.”

She looked up at him, her face drawn with worry. “Do you think she’s all right? I mean, she’s had backcountry rescue training, right?”

“She hasn’t been gone that long,” Hagan said. “She will be fine.” But he knew things could turn bad very quickly out here. The backcountry was a fun place to play, but the isolated terrain, below-freezing temperatures and natural hazards could also be deadly.

He headed toward the area where he’d last seen Maddie ski into the trees. He moved quickly, forcing himself to make note of landmarks, to maintain an awareness of his surroundings. The last thing they needed was for him to lose his way also. He silently inventoried the emergency supplies in his pack: extra food and water, first aid supplies, matches and firestarters, whistle and signaling mirror, compass, knife, maps, space blanket. Was Maddie as well-prepared? Even if she was, none of it would make any difference if she was injured.

He forced the thought out of his mind. She was an experienced skier and not the type to panic. She would be all right.

It was after two in the morning and by all rights he should have been exhausted, but adrenaline and nerves lent strength to his muscles. He moved forward with strong, sure strides, until he came to the area where he was sure Maddie had raced ahead of him out of sight.

The moon was still bright, and he studied the snow, searching for a single set of tracks heading away from all the others. He found twin lines in the drifts of powder heading downhill and followed them, growing increasingly worried as he advanced. If these tracks were Maddie’s she was heading away from the parking area, toward a ravine choked with trees.

He forced himself to stop and catch his breath, and drink some water. On a hunch, he pulled out his whistle and blew a sharp blast on it, then listened for a response.

Was it his imagination, or did he hear a faint reply? Was that the wind or three blasts from another whistle? Maddie? Or one of the other searchers?

He blew again, and his heart raced as the reply came again, stronger this time. Moving as quickly as he dared, he skied toward the sound, pausing every hundred yards or so to blow his own whistle and wait for the response.

She was in such a dense stand of trees, he didn’t see her at first. Then he spotted movement and suddenly he recognized her. She was waving both arms at him, and shouting his name.

“Hagan! Thank God you’ve come.” She skied to him and practically fell into his arms.

He held her close, waiting for his heartbeat to slow before he trusted himself to speak. His relief at finding her was like a balloon expanding in his lungs, stealing his breath and leaving him weak. She laid her head on his chest, her arms around him, her shoulders shaking — from cold or from tears?

He pulled back far enough to lift her chin. Ice streaked her cheeks where she’d been crying. “Shhh,” he said. “It’s all right now. Are you hurt?”

She shook her head. “Only my pride. I can’t believe I was so stupid.”

“What happened?” he asked.

“I don’t know. One minute I was skiing, the next I had no idea where I was. I kept trying to find my way back up to where I started, but I only got more turned around. Then I got into these trees and couldn’t see a way out.”

“We’ll follow my tracks back out. Are you sure you’re all right?”

“Just cold.” She hugged her arms around her body. “Especially my hands. I can’t feel my fingers.”

“Let me see.”

Reluctantly, she let him take her hands. He stripped off one of her gloves and studied her fingers. They were very white and the skin was hard, almost waxy. “You have frostbite,” he said. “We must warm your fingers right away.”

“I’ve been putting them in my pockets as much as I can,” she said. “But it’s so cold out.”

“How are your feet?” he asked. Extremities were the first to freeze.

“I have boot heaters.” She indicated the battery operated heaters attached to her boots. “I remembered those, it’s my mittens I forgot.”

“We have to get your hands warm.” He let go of her and unzipped his jacket and began pulling up the fleece shirt and long underwear top he wore.

“What are you doing?” she asked, eyes widening in alarm.

“Put your hands on my stomach,” he said. “My body heat will warm your fingers.”

She shook her head. “Hagan, my hands are too cold, I -”

“Do it.” He grabbed her wrists and forced her hands beneath his shirt.

Her skin was like ice, and he sucked in a sharp breath, but refused to allow her to pull away. After a few seconds, she relaxed, and spread her fingers wide, shaping them to his abdomen.

As the first shock of cold subsided, he was aware of her touching him, of the smallness of her hands, the softness of her skin. The intimacy of their position moved him -- not only the physical closeness, but the emotional vulnerability he felt, as if he’d bared more than his skin to her. He was used to adopting a certain distance with people, even his lovers. But Maddie breached his reserves and touched parts of him he’d kept carefully hidden away for years. The knowledge troubled him, and yet he found himself wanting to be with her more and more, like an adrenaline junky drawn to danger.

She stood with her head bent, not looking at him, but he was aware of her breathing, shallow and rapid like his own. She wore a blue knit hat with a large pom pom on top, and he could just see the curve of her cheek, a lock of her brown hair curling against it. It took everything in him not to pull her to him, to hold her and kiss her and confess how afraid he had been that she had come to some harm.

And beyond that relief were deeper feelings of longing and desire. As they stood in that intimate embrace, surrounded by moon-washed darkness, his earlier arousal returned stronger than ever. Standing so close, she had to be aware of his physical response to her. Was she appalled, or angry?

Or was it possible she wanted him also?

The idea shook him. He didn’t want to be this caught up with anyone, to feel so close to losing the careful control he’d perfected all these years. For ten years, he’d been the one in charge of whatever relationship he was in. With Maddie he felt as if he was no longer calling the shots – as if some force outside himself was compelling him to seek her out, pushing aside reason and caution in favor of his need to be with her.

“I...I think my fingers are thawed now,” she said. But she made no move to pull away.

He kept one hand on her shoulder, but wrapped the other around her fingers. They were warmer now. “How do they feel?” he asked.

She grimaced. “They hurt. A lot.”

He nodded. “That’s supposed to be a good sign. It means the nerves aren’t damaged.”

She slipped from his grasp then, and looked at her reddened fingers. “I guess I’d better have my gloves back.” Still she didn’t look at him. Just as well. He didn’t know how well he could keep his own feelings from showing in his eyes.

She put on her gloves while he zipped his jacket. “Can you follow me out of here?” he asked.

She nodded. “If the alternative is being left behind, I think I could do anything.”

“Let’s go. When we get up a little closer to the road I’ll try signaling to the others.”

She looked dismayed. “Is everyone out looking for me?”

“Most of them. Zephyr and Bryan are waiting at the parking area, in case you returned there.”

“How humiliating,” she moaned. “They’ll never let me hear the end of this.”

“Anyone can get lost out here,” he said. “It’s one of the realities of the back country. Even experts have accidents. People who teach avalanche courses have died in avalanches. People go out for one hour, the weather changes and they get off course and we find them three days later. Everyone who lives here knows these things. No one will think less of you for this.”

The smile she gave him was like an arrow to his heart. “Thank you,” she said. “For saying that. And for finding me. For warming my fingers and...and for everything.”

Her eyes shone with such admiration and true affection, he had to look away. That, or pull her to him and kiss her until they both were breathless. Instead, he turned and started out of the bunched trees. “Follow me,” he said. “This will all be over soon.”

Maddie welcomed the hard work of making the climb back up the slope. It warmed her body and forced her to concentrate on something besides the man ahead of her. Back there in the trees, warming her hands beneath Hagan’s shirt, desire had hit her with the force of an avalanche. She’d felt his pulse beneath her fingers, and the ridged line of muscle along his abdomen and had to lock her knees to stay upright.

Along with physical desire came a feeling of profound connection to the man before her. When he’d held her so tightly after he’d first found her, she’d felt so safe. So comforted. And when she’d looked into his eyes she knew that he understood her — her fears and flaws and silly weaknesses — in a way that maybe no one else ever had. The certainty of this knowledge and her powerful physical attraction to him caught her off guard.

On the heels of this came the realization that she was not alone in her response to the situation. Hagan was aroused as well. Was it only the situation that caused this, this unexpected intimacy in the moonlit darkness? Or was it her he wanted?

At the top of the ridge, they stopped to rest and Hagan blew a long sharp blast on his whistle. “I hope everyone hears that and comes in,” she said. “I hate to think of them out searching for me in this cold.”

“They will be glad to know you’re all right,” he said. He hesitated, then added, “I should have never let you ski off alone that way. I knew you were unfamiliar with the area.”

“It’s not your fault,” she protested. “I was the one who wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”

“I feel responsible. When I returned to the parking lot and you weren’t there...” He shook his head, his expression grim. “I have never felt so sick at heart.”

His evident distress moved her. She reached out and squeezed his arm. “It’s okay. You found me and I’m fine.” She wanted to say more, but she couldn’t find words for all she was feeling. And given his penchant for avoiding emotional entanglements, maybe that was just as well. She’d come to value his friendship; no sense ruining that with deeper feelings.

He nodded and stashed the whistle in his pocket. “Let’s go. The others will be waiting.”

Zephyr and Bryan ran to meet them as they emerged from the trees into the parking area. “Way to go, Hagan!” Zephyr said. “Where was she?”

“I got turned around in a bunch of trees,” Maddie said, trying to make light of the situation.

“Hey, Maddie! Are you all right?” Andrea clicked out of her skis and ran to meet them. She threw her arms around Maddie, almost knocking her over.

“I’m fine,” Maddie said, laughing.

“We were so worried,” Andrea said.

“Hagan, did you find her?” Max and Casey joined the group and Max slapped Hagan on the back.

“I was probably the last to see her, so I had a good idea where to start looking,” he said. “She was smart enough to stay in one place and wait for someone to come along.”

Not smart. Terrified, she thought, but didn’t correct him.

“I think maybe Hagan just wanted an excuse to get you off by himself,” Max said, ignoring Hagan’s scowl.

“I’d have been a basket case, out there in the dark by myself,” Casey said, hugging Maddie.

“I’m glad you’re okay, Maddie,” Bryan said.

“Me too,” Zephyr said. “We were all worried about you.”

Somehow, in the weeks since she’d arrived in Crested Butte, alone and feeling so isolated, she had become one of them -- part of this family of friends who cared about one another. The competitive racing world didn’t foster this kind of closeness, and she wasn’t sure yet how to handle it. But their genuine concern touched her more than she could find the words to express. “Thanks, everybody,” she said.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Casey asked.

“I’m fine.” She stifled a yawn. “Just tired.”

“We all are,” Hagan said. “Let’s go home.”

The heater in Andrea’s car going full blast, she and Maddie joined the caravan down the pass. “I’ll bet you were really glad to see Hagan when he showed up,” Andrea said.

“I was.” She would have been grateful for anyone coming to her rescue, but Hagan had not only rescued her, he had salvaged her bruised ego. In so many ways he was different from her, not only because he was a man and she was a woman, but because they had entirely different outlooks on life. He kept his emotions hidden, while she wore hers close to the surface. He avoided intimacy at all costs while she welcomed the newfound closeness to others that her career had previously made difficult to find.

Despite these difference, in those minutes when she had stood with her hands on his stomach she had felt not only deep physical awareness of him, but an awareness that Hagan, of all people, understood her. The revelation surprised her and made her more than a little uneasy.

In those moments, she’d fallen a little in love with him. She hadn’t meant for it to happen — hadn’t wanted it to happen — but it had been as inevitable as the sunrise.

There was nothing she could do about it, of course. Hagan had made it clear there was no room in his life for long-term love. Her feelings for him would have to be her secret. Something she would consider with longing and regret.

One more dream that would never come true.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

BOOK TRAILER: Searchable Whereabouts


Searchable Whereabouts
by Tinisha Nicole Johnson

Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC
ISBN-10: 0979975700
ISBN-13: 978-0979975707

Rahkel Williams tries to unravel the mysterious death of her beloved uncle, but after finding clues into his life, she wonders who he really was. With the help of private investigator, Darrin Miller, she sets out to find answers. However, people of interest begin turning up dead. Will the truth save her or kill her?

"I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. With all the twists and turns I would have never guessed the ending. It had a really good plot-and I fell in love with the characters." - Knevits Stephens - Armchair Interviews

Website address
http://www.tinishanicolejohnson.com/

Check out the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkC6oC_v5Yc

Friday, March 14, 2008

TRAILER: Keeping Misery Company


Keeping Misery Company

Michelle Larks

Publisher: Urban Christian Books

ISBN: 978-1601629487

An inspirational tale about Ruth Wilcox, the only daughter of prominent Chicago minister, Reverend Isaiah Clayton and his feisty wife, Queen Esther. Ruth has her hands full trying to cope with mounting marital problems and the onslaught of physical changes her body is going through. Lately, Ruth and her husband, Daniel, have drifted apart like two ships passing in the night; with zero visibility between them. The two don’t even share the same bedroom anymore. Daniel hasn’t been happy in the marriage for some time and seeks solace in the arms of his young mistress, Lenora. He oversleeps after a tryst between the sheets with Lenora, and when he arrives home, all hell breaks loose

Link or html for trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnmkB8Gl978

Website address: www.MichelleLarks.com

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

COMING SOON: APRIL


WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN

LaConnie Taylor-Jones

Publisher: Genesis Press

ISBN: ISBN-10: 1585712744
ISBN-13: 978-1585712748

Website address: http://www.laconnietaylorjones.com/


Nursing administrator Victoria Bennett has soured on love. She has sworn off men; they bring too much drama and too much pain into her life. That is, until she meets pediatrician A.J. Baptiste, a single parent who is determined to woo her. A.J. will stop at nothing to have her, and Victoria finds her resolve put to the test...but is this a fight she really wants to win?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

BOOK INTRO: Perilous Passions


Perilous Passions
by
Katherine D. Jones


Former policewoman, Karen Bryant, creates a new life for herself after a career-ending injury. Instead of finding a way to help criminally-troubled families in her Cleveland neighborhood, she finds a way to prevent criminal activity with a program aimed at the youth. Unfortunately, her one obstacle appeared to be a very sexy, Officer Caro Spencer.

Karen and Caro fight crime during the day and fight their passion for each other at night, until unstoppable desire pushes them over the edge.

Romantic Times:
4 stars "This late author's talent for characterization and plotting is obvious in this steamy, suspenseful and unforgettable novel, her last--and possibly greatest work."

This is the last book by Katherine. Please support her book.

To learn more about Katherine and her work: http://www.katherinedjones.com/

Monday, March 10, 2008

TRAILER: The Yin/Yang Effect

The Yin/Yang Effect
by Dana Littlejohn

Twin sisters, Opal and Pearl Jefferson and their best friend Debra Flores are living blissfully by their 'no strings attached' rule, near downtown Indianapolis. They were enjoying all the comforts of a good life: a car, a house, they share ownership of a business and a beautiful face to get them any fringe benefits they might need. All was well in their world until Frank, Jake, Rakim and Doug entered into it.

With the guys on the scene one of the girls abandons the rule and becomes willingly, but secretly attached as she falls in love with one of the guys. As she makes the decision to be with her chosen man, she throws a monkey wrench into everyone else's life around her.



www.danalittlejohn.net

View the trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/v/58y17OfeQZI

Friday, March 7, 2008

BOOK INTRO: Searchable Whereabouts


Searchable Whereabouts
by Tinisha Nicole Johnson

Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC
ISBN-10: 0979975700
ISBN-13: 978-0979975707

Rahkel Williams tries to unravel the mysterious death of her beloved uncle, but after finding clues into his life, she wonders who he really was. With the help of private investigator, Darrin Miller, she sets out to find answers. However, people of interest begin turning up dead. Will the truth save her or kill her?

"I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. With all the twists and turns I would have never guessed the ending. It had a really good plot-and I fell in love with the characters." - Knevits Stephens - Armchair Interviews

Website address
http://www.tinishanicolejohnson.com/

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

NEW AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Delorys Welch - Tyson


A native New Yorker, Delorys Welch Tyson is author of the bestselling novel Gingersnaps and its sequel, Ladyfingers. Welch-Tyson, a painter whose work has been exhibited in The United States and in Europe, is also the former owner of The Rainbow Connection Art Gallery in New York City. She and her husband live in the South of France.

Website address: http://deloryswelchtyson.com/




Gingersnaps
by Delorys Welch Tyson

Random House Publishing Group
ISBN: 0 345 43013 1

You'll never forget them. Aletha. Desiree. Veronica. Debra. Janeen. Louise. Six black baby boomers whose paths crisscross and collide in a wickedly funny, emotionally charged rollercoaster ride of love and hate, jealousy and passion, ambition and desire. They're gingersnaps--spicy and hard, brown and bold--women who refuse to let their cookies crumble when faced with a challenge.

ALETHA: This reigning queen of the talk shows makes a hurricane look like a breeze--but a royal snag in her love life changes her into a shooting star.

DESIREE: Since she's a sister-friend Sigmund Freud, many women "lie" on her couch--but some minds are beyond therapy.

VERONICA: The executive producer of The Aletha Brown Show is a master juggler--until the daddy of her newborn baby takes his act on the road.

DEBRA: What's harder than pushing forty is your overbearing mother pushing you to find a man--in all the wrong directions.

JANEEN: This hot young interior decorator has finally found a man with style--but his favorite pattern is about to clash with her romantic fantasies big-time.

LOUISE: When this controversial ex-nun and bestselling author of Black Men: How to Find One, How to Get One, How to Keep One promotes her book it's a riot--literally.

Rollicking, poignant, and keenly observed, Gingersnaps is a remarkable debut. For what happens when all these friends, lovers, relatives, and associates prepare for a Christmas party in Connecticut is not to be believed. And even if there are no "White Christmas" carols being sung, the chestnuts will definitely be roasting.

In this extremely hilarious novel, Delorys Welch TYson delves into the psyche of six saucy black women whose lives are turned upside down in the endless escapade of truth or consequences. So if you have a craving for something, sweet, hard and downright irresistible, GINGERSNAPS is for you." ---Charlene A. Berry author of Love's Deceptions



Monday, March 3, 2008

EXCERPT: IS NO NOT CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU?


IS NO NOT CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU?
by Angelia Menchan

Sixteen year old Malaaka Greens knows that sex outside of marriage and without love is not for her. There are those who believe she is not being realistic and has outdated views, but Malaaka owns Malaaka and her message to them is this, IS NO NOT CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU?

Chapter Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Malaaka, I don’t know what the big deal is. Jerald really likes you. He's fine. Sex isn’t that big a deal.” Rolling her eyes at her friend Kim, Malaaka stated, “It may not be a big deal for you, but God made my body a temple and I’m not going to casually share it with anyone. If Jerald really likes me, he will understand that. Otherwise he can step and find someone else.”

“Well, I would give it to him, otherwise you’ll lose him.”

“Stop me if I’m wrong, but you have given ‘it’ to several and they’re all gone.”
A flicker of pain appeared in Kim’s almond shaped eyes. She was a five-feet-three inch, African-Korean American dynamo. What she didn’t have in size, she made up for with attitude and loudness.

“Whatever…”

Malaaka stared down at her friend, standing to her full five-feet-eight inch regal height. She was an ebony-skinned beauty whose look screamed, “Look but don’t touch.” Reaching over she hugged Kim close to her.

“Girl, I’m not trying to be mean, but I don’t believe in all that. You know I believe in God. I also believe in me. At sixteen I’m not trying to be having sex or getting pregnant. My momma had me at eighteen and it took her ten years to get a college degree and even though we’re doing well, she gave up so much. There’s a long time to be thinking about all that.”

“Well, I would give it to him.”

“Okay, but not me, when Nancy Reagan said, ‘Just say No’, she meant more than dope.” The giggling teenagers ran to the car. They knew Ava didn’t believe in waiting.

http://www.angeliavmenchan.com/



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