Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Blast & Giveaway - How to be Manly

Howtobemanlybabber
When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to get in shape and get the girl. Summer goals: lose the milkshake weight, join the football team, and turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love. But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-baked weed-dealing schemes, Matty’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. When on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matty suddenly has much bigger things to worry about than football and whether or not Cassie’s going to call him back. And it turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought. Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing… even when you’re not sure what that is.
How To Be Manly

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Put How To Be Manly on your TBR list  

Meet the Author:

MOW author pic_cr suzanne swansonMaureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years. She loves high school football, but only when she happens to teach at least half of the players on the field. Her short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith, Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle. Maureen writes articles about issues in education for local and national publications. She also muses about inspirations for a writer’s life in Friday Free Topic at http://maureenoleary.wordpress.com. How To Be Manly is her first novel. Find Maureen on: Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

The author is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback. Fill out the form below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Meet The Real Jersey Girls (And Guys)



Drew DiPalma feels like he’s living a lie. He’s had it with his Hollywood persona, the high-maintenance women, and his sleazy agent.  To escape the madness, he flees to a tourist town he’d often visited as a child. He never expected to find love on that little island. Then he stumbles upon Lainey alone on the swing set of a deserted beach.
After a dozen internet dating disasters, Lainey Riccardo has given up on romance—until she meets a West Coast hunk who has no trouble winning her heart.  But Lainey only knows him as Drew, not the Oscar-nominated actor who’s constantly scandalized in the tabloids. When she learns the truth, will the small town Jersey girl be able to accept Drew’s fast-paced life? Or will the truth drive her away forever?
Order Now for only $4.99
 Amazon         Barnes & Noble              Smashwords

 Meet the Jersey Girls (And Guys)


Since the Jersey girls series is set in my home county, many of the characters were based on people I actually know--from old high school friends to my current besties. I tried to stay true to personalities as much as possible, but there were times when I had to elaborate for the sake of the story. Even when a friend inspires a fictional spin-off, sometimes the characters take on a life of their own.  Here are a few of the people who helped to make this series a reality, each of which has touched my life in some way.



Erin, Laura, & Stephanie
Erin
Erin and I graduated together from Wildwood Catholic High School in 1994. We weren’t close back then, but ten years later we became co-workers at an insurance agency.  She became one of my closest friends and was my maid of honor at my wedding.  In our high stress level job, we learned the value of a good laugh. One of our favorite pastimes was giggling at the people who used to email me when I tried the internet dating scene, so I made sure to work this into the story. Erin was also one of my most supportive friends when it came to my writing. She helped proofread for me way before I was ever published.


Elisa

Elisa
I met Elisa when I went back to work after I split up with my first husband. My two older children attended her daycare. It wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered we shared a similar spiritual path. Thanks to her, I was introduced to an amazing circle of women I am blessed to call Sisters.  Her character is a little wilder than she is in real life, but I think I may have been channeling her younger self because she has some pretty interesting stories from her twenties.


Artist: Sharon Coslop

Sharon
Like her fictional counterpart, Sharon is an amazing artist and a woman of strong spirit and wisdom. She became the fourth Jersey girl because I wanted one of them to stay single. While I love a good romance, I also firmly believe a woman shouldn't require a man to be happy or fulfilled. Sharon is a remarkable example of a strong and independent woman who is a role model for many.  She is someone I look up to as a teacher and adviser, and she becomes that type of matriarch to the girls in the series and even  some of the guys. The photo above is one of her sculptures.


Andrew


Drew /Andy
Originally the male love interest in Falling Star was based on my crush for Leonardo DiCaprio.  When I finally decided to make a real effort at writing this story (which was on the back burner for ten years), I decided my cousin Andrew DiPalma was perfect for this role. He’s a real actor in Hollywood and while he hasn’t received mega fame status yet, I have no doubt it will happen eventually.  In additional to being a talented artist, he's also one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet.  He even flew all the way from the West Coast to be my youngest daughter's Godfather. Check out on IMDb or his face book page.

Laura, Erin, & Stephanie
Stephanie
When Stephanie joined the crew at the insurance agency, she, Erin and I quickly became the three musketeers. I couldn’t have a story that involved Erin without including Stephanie. We all had a lot of fun together and the Playboy Bunny outfits mentioned in Falling Star were totally inspired by actual events. That's my tail on the left.

Blanche
Though sadly, she’s no longer with us, Blanche was one of my favorite clients. She was in her nineties and still running a little Doll Hospital where she repaired porcelain dolls. All the little stories she tells in the book are inspired by real events in her life that she shared with me. 

Trevor
Trevor is the owner of Woody’s both in real life and in fiction.  When I started this series I decided it would be fun to include some of my favorite local hang outs, and Woody’s was the first one I thought of. Trevor graduated from Wildwood Catholic with Erin and I. Years later I reconnected with him when I dated a musician who played at his bar. Woody’s helped inspire many of the scenes in this series, especially In Perfect Harmony.  

Haroula

Haroula
Yet another Wildwood Catholic alumnus, Haroula was one year ahead of me in grade school and high school.  Today she manages her family business on the Wildwood boardwalk, a place called The Hot Spot which also makes an appearance in Falling Star. She was very influential in the relief efforts after Super Storm Sandy, just like she is in the story. She is a stellar example of what it means to be a proud Jersey Girl. No story set in Wildwood would be complete without this long time pillar of our community.

Happy

Happy
Adding Happy to the mix was a last minute decision. I was writing a scene with a drum circle and I knew I couldn’t leave out the best drummer ever. I met Happy years ago at an open pagan ritual. He’s an amazing musician and has been a big influence in our local pagan community. 

Greg
Just like in the story, Greg is Erin’s dad and one of the executives at the insurance agency.  He was my boss for many years and he was amazing to work for. While unfailingly strict, he always treated his employees with respect. He also was a great supporter of my work years before I ever got published. While I love being a work-at-home mom, if I ever have to re-enter the traditional work force, I hope I can go back to work for him.

Kevin

Kevin
You won’t meet him until Book 3-Brushed by Fate, but Kevin was loosely inspired by Elisa’s husband. When I asked her if she had any preference for her fictional lover, she asked that I use her husband’s name. While I stayed true to his physical appearance, fictional Kevin has little in common with the real Kevin. This happily married couple’s story is inspirational in real life but not nearly interesting enough for a romance novel


Dwayne



Dwayne

Yes, even the cab driver has a real life counterpart.
Only he drives a Fed-Ex truck instead of a cab. Because of my day job as a review blogger, I see him almost every day when he drops of some packages.  He's one of those people who always has a smile on his face. Whenever I see him, he says, "Hey there, New Age Mama" (that's my blog's name) and it always makes me smile right back. 





Shadow Cat, Snowfox, Phoenix, and Misty
There are a few scenes that take place at Sharon's house and there was no way I could leave out her furry companions. All three of the cats and their dispositions are inspired by Sharon's actual pets. I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Shadow Cat before she crossed the veil, but this gray beauty lived for over twenty years. Snowfox was a magnificent  white feline who you couldn't resist trying to pet, but she often got you with her claws if you did. Phoenix, who is still with us today, is a orange ball of fluff you just can't help but fall in love with.  
Lainey's cat Misty was loosely inspired by by own little guy Onyx. I got Oynx when I was working  on final edits and changed things around a little so Misty would look like him. Originally, she looked too much like Shadow Cat and it was a little confusing, so I changed things up.
 
So now that you’ve met the Jersey Girls and their friends, be sure to pick up a copy of Falling Star and get to know them a little better.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Blast & #Giveaway - Corruption by John O'Riley

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As a category six wizard in her eighties, Josephine O’Connor has always enjoyed a youthful body due to extremely slow aging but when she discovers she’s become immortal, she must return to the workforce. Soon after starting her investigative work for the police, Josephine discovers a secret organization called the Valituras that has amassed ancient magic and power with single-minded determination. Her new assignment of defeating this agency may prove to be an impossible feat as their members have infiltrated all levels of the government including law enforcement and their advanced wizardry rivals her own. Josephine realizes she may be in over her head when the Valituras end up casting an immortality curse on her best friend, Helen, by mistake. To further complicate matters, her grandson’s eighteen-year-old friend starts hitting on her. Fortunately, Helen isn’t too broken up by the curse. Who wouldn’t want to live forever in a young, perfect body? Of course, everyone knows that dark magic always comes at a cost.


Cover for Corruption2

Buy on Amazon | Nook

About the Author:

John for NPWA
John O'Riley has been writing as far back as he can remember. He is an award winning fiction writer and the author of the Grumpy Old Wizards series, The Winters Family Psi Chronicles series, and the Wizards of Seattle series. His movie feature screenplay, Cursed, is an Honorable Mention Winner for the 2012 Screenplay Festival. His most recent accomplishments include the screenplays New Earth, Pinky Swear, and Mutant Wizards in the 2014 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards which made it to Quarter-Finalist status. Other recognition includes the screenplays Cursed, Project Pandora, Pinky Swear, Incipio, and Bad Sister which have been listed as Quarter Finalists, Semi Finalists, and Top Finalists in the 2013 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards, 2012 Screenplay Festival, 2012 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards, 2012 StoryPros International Awards, 2012 Pulsar Sci Fi Screenplay Contest, and the 2012 Reel Authors International Breakout. John was raised in Washington state. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French and worked in a variety of bookstores including Borders and was the manager for one of the bookstores in Florida owned by Goodwill. He loves reading fantasy, science fiction, and humorous fiction. Some of his favorite authors include Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, S.J. Viehl, Kat Richardson, J.K. Rowling, Angie Sage, Jayne Krentz, and Kevin Emerson. He currently resides in Washington state and owns a parakeet named Amy who sings like a canary to help encourage and inspire him.  

Follow John:

Facebook | Website

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card from the author during the Corruption Book Blast a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast & Giveaway - Corruption by John O'Riley

CorruptionBanner
As a category six wizard in her eighties, Josephine O’Connor has always enjoyed a youthful body due to extremely slow aging but when she discovers she’s become immortal, she must return to the workforce. Soon after starting her investigative work for the police, Josephine discovers a secret organization called the Valituras that has amassed ancient magic and power with single-minded determination. Her new assignment of defeating this agency may prove to be an impossible feat as their members have infiltrated all levels of the government including law enforcement and their advanced wizardry rivals her own. Josephine realizes she may be in over her head when the Valituras end up casting an immortality curse on her best friend, Helen, by mistake. To further complicate matters, her grandson’s eighteen-year-old friend starts hitting on her. Fortunately, Helen isn’t too broken up by the curse. Who wouldn’t want to live forever in a young, perfect body? Of course, everyone knows that dark magic always comes at a cost.
Cover for Corruption2

Buy on Amazon | Nook

About the Author:

John for NPWAJohn O'Riley has been writing as far back as he can remember. He is an award winning fiction writer and the author of the Grumpy Old Wizards series, The Winters Family Psi Chronicles series, and the Wizards of Seattle series. His movie feature screenplay, Cursed, is an Honorable Mention Winner for the 2012 Screenplay Festival. His most recent accomplishments include the screenplays New Earth, Pinky Swear, and Mutant Wizards in the 2014 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards which made it to Quarter-Finalist status. Other recognition includes the screenplays Cursed, Project Pandora, Pinky Swear, Incipio, and Bad Sister which have been listed as Quarter Finalists, Semi Finalists, and Top Finalists in the 2013 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards, 2012 Screenplay Festival, 2012 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards, 2012 StoryPros International Awards, 2012 Pulsar Sci Fi Screenplay Contest, and the 2012 Reel Authors International Breakout. John was raised in Washington state. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French and worked in a variety of bookstores including Borders and was the manager for one of the bookstores in Florida owned by Goodwill. He loves reading fantasy, science fiction, and humorous fiction. Some of his favorite authors include Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, S.J. Viehl, Kat Richardson, J.K. Rowling, Angie Sage, Jayne Krentz, and Kevin Emerson. He currently resides in Washington state and owns a parakeet named Amy who sings like a canary to help encourage and inspire him.  

Follow John:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book Spotlight - Romancing Redemption by Bonnie R. Pattson

RomancingRedemptionbanner
October 31, 2014
Facing a life of prostitution or homelessness, Rosie Scott must make a choice centered on keeping her and her sister safe in the wilds of an unforgiving Montana land. With their background, the two girls need a fresh start.In Colby, Montana opportunities are as thick as needles on a pine tree. Savvy and independent, Rosie decides to take a chance and start a business, earning her the respect of many town residents. She catches the eye of two men. One interested in exploiting her past and one interested in redeeming her heart. But Rosie’s secrets and who she really is shadow her hopes for happiness. Can a man love her most when her past refuses to leave?
RomancingRedemptionFrontName
Pre-Order on

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Goodreads

Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane. Follow on: Facebook / Blog / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter / Literary Addicts / Amazon

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Spotlight & #Giveaway - Hexed by Stephanie Nelson

Hexed
Everything and everyone has an expiration date, including Gwen Sparks. When Dorian, the Angel of Death, saved her, he did more than bend the rules: he shattered them.

When Gwen’s memories are stolen, the balance of life and death shifts, and magic goes on the fritz. Dorian realizes that even the angel of Death must face consequences for his mistakes. Everything and everyone has an expiration date, and time is running out for Gwen. If they don’t find a solution, Gwen’s borrowed time will come to an end, and Dorian will lose the woman he risked everything for.

Both will have to make a life-changing decision. Dorian’s choice will result in either altering his very existence or losing Gwen forever. Gwen will risk everything to right Dorian’s wrong, and her decision may just result in her death.

This book includes an Aiden Blake short story. You've heard Gwen's side. Now hear his.

Reading Order
Craved - Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Only $.99 ebook Audio book - Audible Deceived - Amazon /Barnes & Noble /Audio book - Audible
Coveted - Amazon / Barnes & Noble /Audio book : Audible
Hexed
Amazon / Barnes and Noble /


Due to sexual content and language, this book is intended for readers 18+ Stephanie Nelson is giving away a signed set of her series to one lucky winner. Open to US residents ends Nov 7 @ 11:59 PM EST a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Falling Star Release Day #Giveaway

Drew DiPalma feels like he’s living a lie. He’s had it with his Hollywood persona, the high-maintenance women, and his sleazy agent.  To escape the madness, he flees to a tourist town he’d often visited as a child. He never expected to find love on that little island. Then he stumbles upon Lainey alone on the swing set of a deserted beach.
After a dozen internet dating disasters, Lainey Riccardo has given up on romance—until she meets a West Coast hunk who has no trouble winning her heart.  But Lainey only knows him as Drew, not the Oscar-nominated actor who’s constantly scandalized in the tabloids. When she learns the truth, will the small town Jersey girl be able to accept Drew’s fast-paced life? Or will the truth drive her away forever?
Order Now for only $4.99
 Amazon         Barnes & Noble              Smashwords

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama.  Her works include romantic thrillers, paranormal fiction, contemporary romance, and young adult.
  Follow the author Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Pinterest



The Giveaway

One lucky winner is going to receive an amazing prize pack that includes a $25 Amazon GC,
 
A Jersey girl prize pack including a Wildwood Mug, key chain, statue, jewelry box, and more!



And we saved the best for last. The winner will also receive this gorgeous hand-made "Garden Mother" sculpture that was created by Sharon Coslop, an amazing artist who inspired one of the characters in Falling Star. This piece is a painted, fired earthenware clay sculpture, 8” wide and 12” high, ready to be hung.  It is durable, but an indoor piece, because constant weather exposure would affect the paint.



To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the giveaway tools form below.   Giveaway is open to the US only.  Ends 11/24/14 at 12pmEST. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to reply before another winner is selected. Good luck to everyone!