Small Wins, Books, and Booze

Some days, it’s all about the small wins. By themselves, they don’t seem like much. But when you get a bunch of them done within the few hours you have allotted to work before the afternoon crazy train barrels through the house, you feel like you’ve reached the pinnacle of productivity.

I had that feeling today. It was good.

That’s why I’m drinking wine right now.

What did I do that was so worthy of midweek alcohol?

Well, first (literally, it happened at 6:15 AM), I finished another scene for a Hanukkah romance I’m writing for the holidays. It’s  a rom com, and I’m loving it so far! I also love that I’m over 2K words in, and it’s only June.

Then, I decided to finally try the new formatting software Terry bought me…four months ago. I have a book to format, so I figured now was as good a time as any to give it a shot. Of course, I needed to call on a friend to help me figure out a few things, but guess what? The book is FORMATTED and ready to publish!

Score!

I also figured out a pretty critical scene in the book I’m working on right now, a romantic suspense called Hard Time. SWOONY!!! Wait until you see the cover! I’m actually pretty anxious to see it myself, but I digress… This is the story of Jeff and Ariana, who first made a sweltering appearance in Drunk In Love, the St. Jude’s anthology that I coordinated with Jesey Newman of Schmexy Girl Book Blog. And their book is so fantastic. I know it’s probably bad form to admit that, but I don’t care. It rocks!

All in all? Today was success with a capital S. Laundry? Done! Housecleaning? Done! Researching Instagram analytics? Done!

Okay, time to get back to studying for finals, the other big reason for midweek wine. =)

Productivity ROCKS!!!!!

So, what have I been up to lately???

LOTS!!! And I love it!!!

On the Homefront…

Today, I tackled one-half of a monster job – cleaning out our playroom closet. Trust me, it doesn’t even look that good right now, but it’s a 200% improvement from the way it looked this morning. I only had enough time to get one side done, so guess what my job is tomorrow???

 

 

 

The pic on the left is how it looked before I gave up for the day…the one on the right just shows you that we can probably clean all the toilets on the East Coast with the supplies we have on the bottom shelf. =)

 

 

On the Writing Front…

For the past month and a half, I’ve done 30 minute writing sprints every day. Chris Fox says, in his book 5,000 Words Per Hour, my word count per minute will continue to improve as I practice, and he was RIGHT!!! I get up early, eat that frog, and do my first sprint. It’s usually 500-600 words for the first one, but at 6AM and barely any caffeine in me, it’s the best I can do. My word count increases with each additional sprint. You know, as my brain wakes up. LOL.

But today, I did 3 30-minute sprints and got 2,000 words out! Now, since I’m not super prolific, I consider this to be a major accomplishment. So, YAY!!!

I also have a bunch of projects in progress. I finished my first real hard-core romantic suspense, called Fatal Lies, recently, which will release in the fall. And, for those of you who read about Jeff and Ariana in my short story Sex, Lies, and Wedding Bells (as seen in the Drunk In Love anthology for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital), get ready for Hard Time, coming in August!

Click on the title links above if you want to add them to your TBR on Goodreads!!!

And that’s not all…

I’m also working on another romantic suspense called Screwed By The Mob that’s due out this July, a Kindle Worlds novella scheduled for release in October, and I’ve plotted a holiday romance as well!

My dance card is officially FULL for 2017, but I am loving every sweet, sexy, and suspenseful minute! <3

 

Juicy Scenes That Don’t Make The Cut

Sometimes when I write, the characters speak to me and the story unfolds exactly as planned. But other times, I’ll readily admit I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, and the story goes in a million different directions before I finally reel it back in.

Case in point…Joint Venture.

Did I finally pull it together? YES! And it turned out to be an Amazon bestseller, so YAY! But it was rough going. Here’s only ONE of the deleted scenes from that story. I have another thirty or so pages sitting in a folder…LOL!

“I heard you did real well today in that meeting.” Danny sauntered into Lisa’s office later that night and shut the door. “Your boss was really impressed.”

Her back stiffened. “How was your trip?”

“It would have been better if you were there with me, baby.” With an appraising leer, he inched closer, his hands stroking her bare shoulders. “I’ve missed you. Come back to my place tonight and let me show you how much.”

Shrugging out of his grip, she stood, arms folded. Her voice dripped with disdain. “Now Danny, how would Kendra feel about you taking me home tonight, especially after your romantic anniversary weekend in New York?” Color drained from his face, and she allowed herself a small smile at the shocked expression. “Yeah. I know all about it. You’re a fucking lying bastard. I wouldn’t go to the end of the street with you.”

“You don’t understand…we, um, I told you….it was just to appease her…”

“Sure it was. And I’ll bet you didn’t have sex with her, either. Come to think of it, she probably didn’t even want the diamond bracelet you bought her.” She shook her head. “You actually got me, Danny. I swallowed all of the bullshit you fed.”

“But it’s not…I mean, I told you things aren’t good, and…the only reason we went to New York was to…to…see my lawyer,” he sputtered. “So you and I can be together.”

Slamming her pen on the desk, she jumped out of the chair. “You told me you were divorced! I never would have touched you with a ten-foot pole if I’d known the truth. You turned me into a home wrecker. Do you have any idea how disgusting I feel? That I allowed myself to play a part in breaking up a family? Because I was too naïve and stupid to see the writing on the wall?”

“Lisa, Kendra and I are through. She booked the trip to try and change my mind, but I don’t want her. I want you.”

 “And what about the kids? Do you give a shit about them? Do you even care that this will destroy them? For the rest of their lives, they’ll carry the knowledge with them that their father abandoned his family for another woman. They will never get over that! I will never get over that!”

“Don’t do this, baby. I love you. I need you.”

“You don’t love me. You love you. Now get the fuck out of here and leave me alone.” Rage bubbled in her veins, her fingernails digging deeply into her palms. How could she have been so careless as to get involved without anything more than blind trust guiding her decision? It was so unlike her. And because of that huge oversight, lives would be ruined at her hand.  

“Lisa, I—“

Her heart thudded against her ribcage. Stupid, stupid, stupid! She’d made plenty of mistakes in the romance department, but Danny was her worst one. “Leave. Now.”

A dark expression shadowed Danny’s face as he backed away from the desk. His head dropped as he slinked out of the office.

She collapsed into her chair. Her head throbbed as she recalled the exchange with his secretary. Weekend in New York. Anniversary. Romance. Flowers. Champagne. The divorce was a total fabrication. Not that she had any serious intentions with him; their affair was strictly physical, at least for her. But the thought of breaking up a family made bile rise in her throat. All those years of struggling to make ends meet, watching her mom pick up the pieces after her dad walked out, hearing her mother cry herself to sleep because there wasn’t enough money to pay the rent…he was a callous, self-centered bastard who only thought about himself, and Danny was no different.

Snail Slime Oozes Into Skin Care…And Onto My Face!

Snail slime. Blech. How can those two words possibly inspire thoughts of beauty?

Well, hop on the bandwagon because the gooey secretions that these mollusks leave in their wake is packed with nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial peptides, and proteoglycans (fillers that plump) – ingredients your skin needs to look healthy, youthful, and rejuvenated.

The secretion is also billed as having positive effects on acne scarring, acne prevention, dryness and hyperpigmentation. Daily application of topical products containing snail secretion is also shown to significantly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology. – Courtesy of ABCnews.com

My hubby, who knows me and my tendency toward vanity all too well, gifted me with a box Skederm Snail Jelly Face Masks the other day, and I gave it a shot. For $16.99 on Amazon, you get a box of ten masks. You can use them 2-3 times a week to see continuous improvements in your skin’s appearance and overall health.

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Check out my review on YouTube and see for yourself! Oy, the things I share publicly in the name of beauty…

And…I’m doing a giveaway! For a chance to win a box of these miracle masks, subscribe to my YouTube channel and comment on this Facebook post that you did!

#booksbeautyblogger

Are You Ready To Get Plowed???

Plowed is LIVE for a special release price of $0.99! This is a limited time offer and the price goes up on Wednesday, so don’t miss out! And check out the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway. To enter, #LIKE,  #COMMENT, & #SHARE this Facebook post. Super easy!

Contest ends on 11/7. Winner will be notified by email.

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Synopsis

Sexy rock god Daxton Cole has everything… and nothing that can bring him peace.

Music, whiskey, pills, parades of silicone-enhanced groupies keeping his bed warm at any given time… none of it soothes his wounded soul. The demons always win.

His life is a toxic existence on a permanent loop, like a bad 80s movie.

Until…

Sara Russell, the junior publicist hired to salvage his tarnished image, plows into him. Innocent, naïve, and pure, she’s the only one who can piece together what has long been shattered.

But sometimes, when you’re so broken, it’s impossible to become whole again. And even more impossible to save anyone else.

GOODREADS

Purchase Links – 99c for 3 days only!!!

US: http://amzn.to/2e88iUO

UK: http://amzn.to/2eGjDMF

B&N: http://bit.ly/2dRqhvv

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2eXC38D

iBooks: http://apple.co/2eh4Xk0

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2fcUA5u

 

Excerpt

 “Dax, where the hell are you going?” Finn’s question was followed by a yawn so loud, it could have woken the inhabitants of the neighboring buses. “We have sound check in an hour.”

Daxton ran a hand through his tousled, gel-crunched hair and pulled on a Houston Astros baseball cap. “I’m going for a run.”

“Sorry, I don’t speak that language. Come again?”

“I need to clear my head, okay? Buy me some time. I’ll be back.”

“Since when do you run? Don’t you want to get breakfast instead? Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, home fries, coffee?”

“Look, it was a shitty night. I need to get out for a while. Alone.”

“Dude, Merrick is gonna—“

“He’ll deal. I’ll see you later.”

Daxton slid open the tour bus door, breathing in the crisp, fresh air. Nobody in sight. Great, he finally had a chance to escape the questions he couldn’t answer, questions he didn’t even want to acknowledge.

The sun peeked over the clouds as he sank into a hamstring stretch. His muscles were so tight, just like the knot that had taken up residence at the base of his skull. Ironic. Excessive booze normally had the opposite effect. And he’d pretty much drank himself sober after last night’s debacle. How the hell had that guy gotten so close?

He rubbed the back of his neck, desperate to relieve the knot. “Dammit!”

“Rough night?”

That raspy voice made him jump about twenty feet into the air. Christ, did she know how sexy her voice sounded in the morning? He’d love to hear it waking him up after a very sleepless night infused with lots of carnal pleasures. Oh, fuck yeah.

“I didn’t mean to startle you.” Sara twirled her ponytail around her index finger, a sleepy smile on her face. The soft morning light danced atop her head, half-hooded green eyes making his cock twitch. Shit, even at this ungodly hour of the morning?

“I didn’t expect anyone else to be awake.”

“Thought you’d escape unnoticed, huh?” Sara smirked. “I’m going for a run. Figured it was my only chance for some peace and quiet before Merrick assigns me his list of errands for the day.”

“Uh-huh.” His eyes raked over the curves poured into hot pink spandex, mind unable to formulate a thought beyond peeling her out of those constricting clothes. Immediately, if not sooner.

“Okay, then.”

“Okay, what?”

She grabbed her ankles one at a time, pulling each toward to her perfect ass, stretching her quads. “Let’s go. You shouldn’t be by yourself, anyway.”

“So you’re gonna protect me?”

Her pink lips curled into a sly smile. “It’s my job. Now stop procrastinating and move.”

“You’re kind of pushy. Why can’t we ease into it? Nice and slow to start?”

“Nice and slow, huh? Kind of shocking. You don’t seem the type.”

He stretched his arms over his head. “I don’t know what you’re implying. I was talking about running.“

“Sure you were.” She tightened her ponytail. “Trust me, you’ll feel better once you sweat out all the alcohol.”

A slow trot increased in intensity much too quickly, and soon, they were circling the arena parking lot at full speed. Focus, focus, focus! His primary objective was not to collapse. A sidelong glance confirmed Sara had barely broken a sweat since they’d started. No words were exchanged, which was a good thing, since he couldn’t catch a single breath. A burning sensation erupted in the pit of his belly, spreading through his lungs, singeing his insides.  His legs, now feeling more like Jell-O than actual limbs, were on the brink of revolution. Why didn’t he grab a bottle of water? Panting only made his mouth drier, as if it wasn’t already more arid than the Sahara at midday. Sweat drizzled into his eyes, blurring his vision. How many more times were they going to make this death loop?

Sara pivoted to face him, tiny beads of perspiration glistening along her hairline, the only sign she was exerting herself at all. Jogging backwards. Not even changing her gait. He was a step above pathetic – a very short step.

“How is it that you can’t even make it a mile without looking like you’re about to pass out?”

Great, he needed to speak now?

“It’s not like…I’m…Britney Spears…shaking my ass…all over the stage.” His calf muscles ached as his sneakers pounded the pavement. Bacon, egg, and cheese had been a very delicious alternative, and he opted out for this self-inflicted torture? “I play guitar…and sing…doesn’t require…cardio.” He mopped his face with the edge of the t-shirt. “How the hell…are you…able to do this? I don’t think…your boy…friend is…keeping you…up late…enough.”

Croaking out those last words nearly killed him, for multiple reasons.

“You should really consider traveling with an oxygen mask.” She flipped around, giving him a glimpse of her shapely backside, just about the only thing keeping him going. “And, just so you know, he’s not my boyfriend anymore.”

“Not your…boy—“ A sharp pain shot through his foot, stopping him mid-stride. “Ahh!” His body rocketed forward, arms flailing, sending him to the pebbly concrete lot with nothing to cushion the blow except his pride.

Thump!

“Holy crap, are you okay?” Sara fell to the ground where he was writhing in agony, bits of pebble mashed into his skin. “Where does it hurt?”

He let out a loud groan and fell backward. “Fuck. Everywhere!”

“Do you think anything’s broken?” Her hand squeezed his and for the briefest of seconds, the presence of his very intense pain faded, replaced by Sara’s compassion, worry, and genuine concern. Somebody actually cared. That hadn’t happened in…shit, long enough that he couldn’t pinpoint an amount of time. It felt nice. Until the agony crashed over him again like a tsunami.

Sitting up was a struggle, but dammit, he was already hovering on the brink of being a complete and total pansy ass. Ignore the pain. Find out what happened with the boyfriend. Even a fall like that couldn’t quell his curiosity. He had to know, even if he was going to be in traction and unable to do anything about it for the foreseeable future.

“Am I allowed to ask what happened?”

A look of shock flitted across Sara’s face, quickly followed by a snicker. “Wow. Your focus is impressive, even with four potentially broken limbs.” Her playful tone couldn’t mask her nerves, though. She toyed with her ponytail again, normally bright green eyes darkening. “I walked in to find Laney riding him like she was competing for the Triple Crown.”

“Horse racing fan?”

“Yeah, we have a horse farm back home. Raised several thoroughbreds. I always loved to ride.” She averted her eyes, but not before he caught a glimpse of what she’d been trying to shield.

“Where’s home?”

“Minnesota.” She sat back on her heels, eyes still guarded. Conversation over. “So, what do you think? Are you able to hoof it back to the buses?”

“Eli is a fucking idiot.”

A slow smile brightened her flushed face. “Agreed.” She held out a hand. “Come on, let’s see if those legs still work.”

“Are you gonna carry me if they don’t?”

“You don’t pay me enough.”

Gritting his teeth, he pulled himself to his feet. “Christ, I feel like I’ve been run over by a freight train.”

Sara snaked an arm around his waist, hoisting him against her. “Take it slow, okay? You said you liked that.”

The scent of citrus wafted into the air between them. So delicious, like a fruit salad. How could she still smell so good after that run? “Yeah…I figured you’d use that against me soon enough.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Looks like we have lots of time to kill before we make it back to camp. Shoot.”

“What happened last night? Who was the guy?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.“ How the hell did she even know?

”I’m sure your little groupies love the coy act, but I’ll pass.” She cocked an eyebrow. “Daxton, I’m part of your PR team. It’s my job to know everything that goes on during this tour. Sean from security told me someone approached you. I can’t do damage control without all the facts. Who was he, and what did he want? Or, maybe a better question might be what does he know?”

His face twisted into a grimace with each step. The buses weren’t even in sight. With any luck, they’d make it back by lunchtime. “You ever feel like you’re suffocating? That there’s air all around, but you just can’t breathe it in? Like your body resists what it needs to survive, and you feel like you’re constantly drowning? That’s how I feel most of the time. The air, everything around me – what people see, what they want to believe, judgments they make based on half-truths – it’s all toxic. Better not to inhale. The lesser of two evils, but either way, I’m fucked.”

She nodded, her hair tickling his shoulder. “I do know what you mean.” Her voice was soft, sad. There was something beneath that snarky exterior, something he was desperate to uncover, but her demeanor begged him not to press.

They walked for a few silent minutes that seemed to stretch into hours. He clenched and unclenched his fists as waves of pain assaulted his ankle. “Shit, that hurts.”

“I don’t think you should push it. Let me call Merrick.“

“No.” He stopped, teetering on one leg. “Please. Not yet. Can we just sit down for a minute?”

“Of course.” She eased him to the ground and sank onto the pavement. “Is there anything I can—?”

“The guy from last night said he knew my mother.” Daxton held his head, expelling a deep breath. “She disappeared after my brother died last year, without a trace. Without a warning. One day, she was there; the next, gone. With her clothes, car, jewelry. Everything…gone. My dad made a half-hearted attempt to find her, but I was too angry to try. I’d just lost my best friend, and my mother picked that time to bail. We should have been there for each other, but she didn’t care enough to even say goodbye.”

“I’m so sorry.” Sara grasped his hand. Her skin was so soft against his calloused fingers. It was an occupational hazard for a guitarist.

“I don’t want to have anything to do with her. She abandoned her family. Things between her and my dad were never great, but what the hell did I ever do to her?”

“So you had security get rid of him.”

“People always have an angle, Sara.” He raised his eyes to see the empathy reflected in her gaze. “I can’t trust anyone because everyone has an agenda. They want to know what I can do for them, how much I’ll pay to keep something from happening, what they can hold over my head in exchange for things they want. Even if this guy is telling the truth, I’m not willing to listen because nothing comes without a high price tag.Toxic. But the problem is, even though my body tries to protect me by resisting the urge to inhale the poison around me, I want to live, to be whole again, free from all this useless anger and resentment. I need to breathe.” He raked a hand through his hair. “I just can’t remember how.”

Happy Release Day! Palm South University – Episode 2

Title: Palm South University: Episode Two
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: Sept 1, 2015
Find on Goodreads

Drama. Lies. Sex. 

Welcome to Palm South University.

The weather isn’t the only thing heating up in South Florida. At a school where fraternities and sororities don’t exactly play by the rules, relationships are bound to be tested. Parties and sex are definitely key ingredients in the Palm South recipe, but what happens when family issues, secret lives, and unrequited love get tossed in the mix?

Follow Cassie, Bear, Jess, Skyler, Erin, Ashlei, and Adam as they tackle college at a small, private beach town university. Written in television drama form, each episode of this serial will pull you deeper and deeper into the world of PSU.

Where the sun is hot and the clothes are scarce, anything can happen.

Amazon

“Fuck,” she curses as I slam her back against my bedroom door. “Easy, Bear.”
I suck and bite down her neck and toss her onto my bed with ease, pulling my shirt up and over my head at the same time. “I’m not doing easy tonight, babe. You either get me hard and rough or you don’t get me at all. Your choice.”

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer. 

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

 

Do You Need A Great Beach Read????

Summertime is almost here and if you’re in the mood for humorous banter, teenage angst and the trials and tribulations of being young and in love, I’ve just found your first beach read of the season!!!

I am writing this review, not because Ryan Ringbloom is my business partner and co-founder of Author Navigation, not because she may have some incriminating photos of me dancing on a speaker (haha! just kidding! maybe…), but because she’s created a fictional world that I couldn’t escape…and didn’t really want to escape, for that matter.

Regrettably, I bypassed The Fast Series thinking it was going to be way too young for me and jumped right into The Flaw Series (FAB-YOU-LOUS!!!). Then came Books, Blogs and Reality and Fake Boobs and I never looked back, until I realized maybe I’m a bigger fan of YA than I think…

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Fast is her very first foray into young adult romance. I downloaded it two days ago and DEVOURED it. Every spare second was spent with my nose in my Kindle. I couldn’t get enough of Ashley, Patrick, Robin and Kent. I also have to say, just as an aside, I love Ryan’s storytelling style. She begins the first section through the eyes of her heroines and then moves into a second part that is driven by the heroes. It is a unique way of capturing the perspectives of each character and she’s definitely established the delivery as her signature style.

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The book greatly exceeded my expectations. Ryan breathed life into her characters, giving them depth and dimension. I knew them, felt their pain as well as their passion.

What else can I say? I just LOVED it. I hope you take the same chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Fast33

Happy Release Day! Black Number Four By Kandi Steiner

There are three things I look for in a romance novel – lots of steam, tons of emotion and a strong, sassy heroine. You’re probably asking why I didn’t mention a delicious hero. That’s the one thing I usually DO find. =)

Black Number Four delivered on ALL, including the delicious hero.

I absolutely loved this book. I’m not typically a fan of YA/NA but this was an exception. I fell in love with Kip – everything about him was yummy beyond words, including the way I pictured him in his specs. And Skyler was fantastic – I don’t usually say that about heroines but she had so many qualities I love – smart, strong, spunky, loyal. Both characters had to overcome their insecurities and make tough decisions that would potentially throw kinks in their respective plans, making for a very captivating story. There were a lot of twists and turns weaved into the plot that helped develop both hero and heroine so I really felt like I knew them and felt their struggles. This was the first book I’ve read by Kandi Steiner and I’m so glad I did. It was FABULOUS.

Fan for life! =)

Title: Black Number Four
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 4, 2015
Find on Goodreads

Known as one of the youngest and most ambitious poker players in the country, Skyler Thorne has a reputation to uphold in Vegas this year. Her sole focus for spring semester is to perfect her game and get tournament ready – and have some fun with her sorority sisters, of course. Meeting a care-free pledge with incredible arms adds a whole new element of fun to her semester, but when a shocking discovery about his past surfaces, Skyler finds herself stuck in a game she wasn’t prepared to play. 

Kip Jackson is on a mission from his father. His plan was to get in, have a little fun, and then get out – on to bigger and better things. A feisty girl with bright blue eyes wasn’t on his list of things to do, but she quickly moves her way up to the very top. When he realizes completing his dad’s mission means crushing her in the process, he must decide if his dreams are worth the risk – or if he even has the same dreams, at all.

Two secrets. Two hearts. Two hands being played in one twisted game of deceit.

When the cards are on the table, will anyone be left standing?

The perfect poker face can only hide them for so long.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

“I want to know your secrets.” I walk to the sink and drop the dishes in, waiting.
Skyler leans against the wall and crosses her arms. “Oh yeah? In poker or in life?”
I tuck my hands in my pockets and shrug, my eyes locked on hers. “Both.”
She stays there for a while, smiling and scrutinizing me at the same time. Suddenly, her face falls, and I feel the same resistance from earlier stretch between us like a tense rubber band. “I should probably go,” she says, lifting from the wall.
I check my watch. “Why don’t we go watch the sunrise? It’ll be up in twenty minutes.”
Skyler chews her cheek, her foot tapping on the floor. “I don’t know, I think this would be a lot easier if I left now.”
I shake my head, walking toward her. “What do you mean by this?”
She goes to back up but hits the wall. “This. Us. I just, I don’t think we should get caught up. I have to focus on poker this semester and you’re pledging. It would just be easier if we didn’t complicate things.”
I keep walking until our chests touch and place my hands on the wall around her head, my face inches from hers. Her breath hitches in her throat, but her bright blue eyes don’t leave mine.
“Baby, you made me lick tequila off you the first night we met. This is nothing if not complicated.”

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer. 

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Oh To Be Young And In Love….But When Is It Ever That Simple?

I love stumbling upon a great book, one that draws me in immediately, one that I cannot put down, one that elicits both tears and laughter.  As authors, we strive to bring this experience to readers.  Ryan Ringbloom seems to have it down to a science.

I read Panic on the heels of Flaw, my very first encounter with New Adult author, Ryan Ringbloom. And while I loved everything about Flaw, Panic is on an entirely different plane. I haven’t been held captive to a book like this in a very long time. I laughed, I cried, I empathized, I cried some more – I was completely engrossed in the characters, their experiences and interactions. They were so real, relatable and endearing. My heart broke for them in times of despair and I felt uplifted by their happiness and excitement.

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Courtesy of Amazon.com

The book is broken into two parts and is told from the points of views of four characters whose lives intertwine in quite an unexpected way.  At least, it was unexpected for me.  When I finally realized the final direction, I was on line at GameStop.  My audible gasp resulted in more than a few curious stares from the geeky gamer crew (I say this with affection since I write about the geeky gamer crew).  I had to fight back tears while the incredibly concerned cashier tried to comfort me.

I really enjoyed the way this story unfolds, how the relationships develop between these couples. Ryan has a real talent for delivering a riveting tale through the eyes of multiple storytellers. She gives us as readers eyes into the souls of the fictional characters that she’s worked so carefully to craft.

No words I can write will do this book justice. Panic is an excellent read, one that I’m so grateful to have found. Ryan, you really have a wonderful gift. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

The $25 Thumbnail…Pretty Cheap For Soft-Core

I’m OBSESSED with creating images for Unlikely Venture.  Gotta love the digital age!  One of my fabulous author friends (who is on the best-seller list for New Adult Contemporary on Amazon UK!!) sent me something she put together for one of her books and I decided I needed to create one for mine.  So the search began.  Here’s what I found out.  Images are ridiculously PRICEY!!!  I bought what is basically a THUMBNAIL for $25!  

So many sites have cheesy images that I wouldn’t doctor and post if someone paid ME.  Then there are others that are borderline porn…need to steer clear of THAT as it’s not exactly my genre.

I think I struck a happy balance with this one, although Hubby doesn’t understand why I’m so impressed with my efforts.  “You put some text on a PICTURE for crying out loud!”

Yeah, but I did it MYSELF…and it’s for MY BOOK.  =)

Image

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