Tag Archives: #GuestAuthor

Featured Author Friday – Annette Mardis

I am so pleased to present romance author, Annette Mardis to the blog today. Annette is a fellow LSBooks house author and is here to talk about her upcoming release, Shore to Please. We also have a character interview with the main character from Shore to Please, Flipper O’Riley.

Welcome, Annette & Flipper!

HRshoretopleaseThanks so much for hosting me, Amy. My latest book, Shore to Please, the third installment in my Gulf Shore contemporary romance series, spotlights one of my favorite characters, Paul “Flipper” O’Riley, head dolphin trainer at Gulf Shore Aquarium. He’s loyal, funny, and hard-working, and he’s fighting an attraction to a woman who couldn’t be more wrong for him.

Tara Langley is cofounder of SWADS, short for Stop Whale and Dolphin Suffering. She thought she’d found the love of her life, but he betrayed her with another woman. So she buried herself in her mission: convincing Gulf Shore Aquarium that dolphins and whales belong in the wild, not in artificial pools.

If Tara had her way, Flipper would lose the job he loves, and for him that’s an impossible scenario. The aquarium’s dolphins are his babies, and his life revolves around them. While he’s open to having a real family one day, Tara is the last person he would choose to be his wife and the mother of his children.

These two should be sworn enemies, after all. He certainly swears at the sight of her. And his surfer-dude looks and lover-boy reputation aren’t exactly what Ms. Prim and Tidy had in mind when she pictured her ideal man.

There’s no possible way a relationship between Flipper and Tara could work, right? They’re like fire and gasoline. So why do they both want so badly to light the match?

As the two struggle to find common ground amid all the quicksand, Flipper and his coworkers become the targets of an increasingly more menacing campaign to force the aquarium to release the dolphins under its care.

Tara, whose group has picketed the aquarium in the past, immediately becomes suspect. Is she being falsely accused? Flipper is quick to defend her, but is she deceiving him along with the police? Or do more sinister forces have Gulf Shore Aquarium in their sights?

Gulf Shore Police Detective Joanna Tompkins is racing to catch those responsible before it’s too late.

While Shore to Please revolves around Flipper, Tara, and the threats to the aquarium, the book also advances the story lines of other favorite characters, including Evan and Dani, Cosby and Monica, and Jo and Kelsey. Readers will meet a few new faces, too, and a couple more adorable critters join the cast as well.

Shore to Please is set for release June 22 and will available at all major e-book sellers:

LSBooks

Liquid Silver Books (20% discount for preorders)

amazon barnes and noble kobo

Speaking of Gulf Shore Aquarium’s hunky head dolphin trainer, I sat down with Flipper recently for an interview. He was charming and funny, as usual, but I saw cracks in that lover-boy, surfer-dude image he’s cultivated over the years. Here’s what he had to say about that and other subjects.

You seem different since Tara Langley came into your life. Is that a fair observation?

I doubt she’d agree. In her opinion, looking good in a wet suit and charming an audience are the only job qualifications for a dolphin trainer. If she had her way, my profession wouldn’t exist. Just when I think we might be able to find common ground, it turns out to be quicksand. It’s frustrating and irritating.

Are you saying there’s nothing between you two? I sense a lot of smoldering heat there.

Oh, there’s heat all right. But not the good kind. She doesn’t seem to care that Gulf Shore Aquarium’s dolphins were either rescued or saved from miserable conditions at another facility that went out of business. She thinks anyplace that has dolphins must be exploiting them, which just isn’t true. No matter what we say to each other, it rubs the wrong way.

You don’t find her attractive?

(Big sigh) She’s gorgeous, obviously, and I’d have asked her out already if I sold insurance for a living or she wasn’t the head of SWADS. By the way, that stands for Stop Whale and Dolphin Suffering. What kind of a ridiculous name is that? We take wonderful care of our dolphins. I love them as though they were my children, and my excellent staff is dedicated to them, too.

So there’s no chance you and Tara could get together romantically?

That would be like a vegetarian dating a butcher. Not. Gonna. Happen. So please, just let it go.

If you insist. Let’s talk about those three pilot whales you helped rescue recently off Naples, Florida. How are they doing?

They’re holding their own. I hope we’ll be able to release them eventually, but that has yet to be determined.

How’s that adorable orphaned baby dolphin? 

Trident’s doing great. He’s getting acclimated at our dolphin habitat, Dolphin Inlet, and we’ve been working on gating and other behaviors. Gating means getting him to pass through gates from one pool to another. There are no gates in the ocean, of course, so it’s something you have to teach a dolphin. He’s a little hesitant, but he has such an exuberant personality, and he’s a fast learner. Trident is a lot of fun to be around. I’m going to enjoy watching him grow up, and so will my staff and the public.

What made you decide to be a dolphin trainer?

My parents took me to SeaWorld when I was a kid and I fell in love with the animals there, especially the dolphins. I wanted to be either a dolphin trainer or a Major League Baseball player. I played college ball and maybe could’ve been drafted by a pro team. But I would’ve kicked around in the low minors, never reaching the big time, and that’s not how I wanted to spend my life. And then in college I did internships that cemented my desire to work with marine animals. I’ve never regretted that decision. 

I don’t want to spoil any surprises in your story, so I’ll ask a general question. Are you satisfied with the way things turn out for you at the end of Shore to Please?

Yes, absolutely. But I could’ve done without those crater-sized holes in the road. Adversity builds character, I guess, and it makes for interesting reading, with all the twists and turns. Saying some of it wasn’t fun is an understatement, but it was worth it to wind up where we did.

AnnetteMardisShoretoPlease1

Author Bio 
Annette Mardis writes the kind of contemporary romance novels that she loves to read. Her characters are the type of people you’ve worked with or lived next door to, and the plots are filled with the dramas, disappointments, joys, passions, and humor of everyday life. Her Gulf Shore series will transport you to a fictional coastal Florida town where you’ll taste salt on your skin and feel sugary white sand between your toes, the warm sun on your shoulders, and the sea breeze ruffling your hair.

You’ll meet swoon-worthy alpha males who aren’t embarrassed to cuddle a rescued baby dolphin in their muscular arms, and accomplished women looking for an equal partner who thinks that smart is sexy. You’ll get up close and personal with sea life, join the “snipe and gripe” club for girls’ nights out, and fall in love with a parrot who acts like a little boy in a bird suit. You’ll go behind-the-scenes at the local aquarium and out to the beach to rescue marine animals in distress. And once you visit Gulf Shore, you just may find yourself wishing you could stay.

To find out more and Annette and her books, visit her website at AnnetteMardis.com. She loves to stay in touch with her readers, so drop her a line and sign up for her e-mail list for a chance to win prizes and get a first look at covers and excerpts.

Connect with Annette:
Website and blog: www.annettemardis.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMardis
Twitter: @AnnetteMardis48
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Annette-Mardis/e/B00E5UHPMM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/annettemardis/
Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Shelbypie
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=221177296&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic
Google+ https://plus.google.com/+AnnetteMardis/
YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCC1doptfvHDj7h7svO6ZtTA
Tsu:  https://www.tsu.co/AnnetteMardis

Featured Book Friday – Virtue’s Lady by Jessica Cale

Today, I’m pleased to feature author Jessica Cale and her latest release, Virtue’s Lady. Virtue’s Lady is Book 2 of her Southwark Saga series.

Isn’t this cover simply gorgeous?! I’ve read this book. In fact, I couldn’t put it down from the moment I ‘cracked the cover’ (of course, I read it on my kindle app, but you know…).

Not even to get some much needed sleep.

Mark Virtue? Yes. Ready for Book 3? Yes. Yes. Love Jessica’s fascinating posts on her website about Restoration England? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Read on for more about Virtue’s Lady:

Virtue’s Lady (The Southwark Saga, Book 2)virtueslady

Author: Jessica Cale
Genre: Historical Romance (Restoration London)
Release Date: April 13, 2015
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books

From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Blurb:
Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Excerpt:
She hung up the dress, admiring her handiwork. It was not something she would willingly wear, but she hoped the lady would be pleased with the final result. She heard the front door behind her as she bent to pluck a stray thread from the skirt. “We’ve shut for the day,” she called over her shoulder.

When she heard no response, she turned.

Mark Virtue stood behind the counter, his hand still on the doorknob. His long brown coat hung open over his dusty work clothes, the undyed linen of his shirt straining across his broad chest. That chest, a warm expanse of smooth skin over hard, sculpted muscle, was a work of art. Though she had willed herself to forget him, her hands remembered.

Her lips remembered, too.

She licked them with the tip of her tongue, her mouth gone quite dry.

“I didn’t believe it,” he said, his gaze moving from her shapeless leather shoes to her dirty, gloveless hands. Jane looked down, suddenly aware of her shabby work dress. Compared to the other gowns he had seen her in, it was little more than a rag, really. She had braided her hair over her shoulder to keep it out of her stitching and now she wondered what she must look like to him. She touched the end of her braid self-consciously, a touch of embarrassment coloring her cheeks.

She cursed herself for her embarrassment. She had as much right to be here as anyone, and she was done apologizing to Mark Virtue. She straightened her spine and looked him square in his devastatingly blue eyes.

Her knees may have trembled a bit. She did a good job of hiding it. “Well?”

Mark stepped toward the counter. “I sent you back to your father not a fortnight past.”

She shrugged, borrowing the gesture from Carys. “I didn’t go.”

“I see that.”

He paced around the side of the counter while maintaining what little distance he could in the close quarters of the shop.

Jane stepped back, hiding the toes of her soft leather shoes under the hem of her dress. Her slippers may have been stolen, but she still had her silk stockings. She wore them even now, not that he needed to know that.

He had rather liked them, if she remembered correctly.

She swallowed. “What do you want?”

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. “I’ve come to see the new shop girl everyone’s talking about. You look the part, I’ll give you that. Perhaps a touch more dirt, just here…” He brushed her skirt.

Jane crossed her arms over her chest. “Is that what you think this is? You think I’m pretending?”

“Rather unconvincingly, I’m afraid. All the shapeless dresses in the world couldn’t disguise the fact that you’re a lady. Lowering yourself to wield a needle doesn’t make you one of us.”

Jane clenched her jaw. “I’ve as much right to be here as you do.”

“You have no right,” he insisted. “You can’t play at being poor. This is life to these people. This is my life. You think I ought to stand by while you make a mockery of it by working in a place like this when you can leave anytime you please?”

“I’m not going anywhere,” she nearly shouted. “I told you, Mark, I gave it up. Believe it folly if you will, but it changes nothing. I am never going back.”

Mark looked away. “Give it a fortnight.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Give it a fortnight,” he repeated. “Work, and struggle, and starve with the rest of us if that is what you think you want. You weren’t made for this world any more than I was made for yours. Sooner or later, you’ll be desperate to go home.”

“I am home,” Jane said through her teeth. “I’m staying here.”

“How long do you suppose you can last alone in a bastard sanctuary with no money and no protection? How do you expect to live?”

“I have a job, in case you were not aware.” She threw out her arms to indicate the shop. “I work day and night, and I have a little apartment with a door that locks. I’ll make do.”

He tilted his head, looking at her curiously. “In two weeks on your own? Maybe you’ve got a protector after all.”

Jane might have been naïve, but she knew exactly what he was implying, and she didn’t like it. She felt the anger rush to her face, unbidden and terrifying in its intensity. She took a deep breath. “Get out.”

“Jane, be reasonable.”

Her face burned. “You’d like me to stand here while you question my virtue? You of all people? You had no trouble dispensing with it when you thought me an actress!”

Mark gave a long sigh. “For that I apologize. I was a fool. I never should have

thought that someone like you…” He motioned toward her helplessly.

“Someone like me? Who might that be? Am I a lady? Am I a seamstress? Am I a whore? You don’t seem to like me as any of these things, so why don’t you tell me, Mark, who I ought to be. What kind of a woman am I?”

He took her wrists in his hands and held them to his chest, the irritation in his face replaced by something that looked a bit like shame. “That’s not what I meant.” He lowered his voice, his face close enough that she could smell the tobacco in his clothes. “Do as you please. It makes no difference to me.”

Jane’s fingers spanned his chest of their own accord, responding to his warmth. “It doesn’t?”

He shook his head, his eyes settling on her lips. “I don’t want you to get hurt,” he confessed.

She resisted the urge to lean into him with some difficulty. “I’ve done fine this far.”

“Have you?” He took her hand, turning her palm upwards to examine the damage: pinpricks, swollen fingertips, the ghosts of calluses forming where she grasped the shears.

She tugged her hand away from him but he didn’t let go. He held her gaze, his eyes searching hers, and she was struck again by their extraordinary color. Deep blue, green, and grey, shifted across his irises in restless, churning waves, the color of a storm on the river. They darkened as he raised her hand to his mouth and kissed the palm, the touch of his lips like a balm on her sore skin.

Jane held her breath, waiting to drown.

He smiled his crooked smile, a touch of condescension in the corners. “If all you wanted was another night, you didn’t have to go to such trouble.”

***

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25238694-virtue-s-lady

Buy it here:

LSBooksamazonkobobarnes and nobleiBooks

Author Bio:
Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale
Twitter: @JessicaCale
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites
Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com/
Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale

Featured Book Friday: Tyburn by Jessica Cale

Today, I’m pleased to feature author Jessica Cale and her debut novel, Tyburn.

Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1)HRtyburn

Author: Jessica Cale
Genre: Historical Romance (Restoration London)
Length: 95,000 words
Rating: R
Release Date: December 8th, 2014
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books

Blurb:
Sally Green is about to die.

She sees Death in the streets. She can taste it in her gin. She can feel it in the very walls of the ramshackle brothel where she is kept to satisfy the perversions of the wealthy. She had come to London as a runaway in search of her Cavalier father. Instead, she found Wrath, a sadistic nobleman determined to use her to fulfill a sinister ambition. As the last of her friends are murdered one by one, survival hinges on escape.

Nick Virtue is a tutor with a secret. By night he operates as a highwayman, relieving nobles of their riches to further his brother’s criminal enterprise. It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, and any day that doesn’t end in a noose is a good one. Saving Sally means risking his reputation, and may end up costing him his life.

As a brutal attack throws them together, Sally finds she has been given a second chance. She is torn between the tutor and the highwayman, but she knows she can have neither. Love is an unwanted complication while Wrath haunts the streets. Nick holds the key to Wrath’s identity, and Sally will risk everything to bring him to justice.

Unless the gallows take her first.

Excerpt:
Darkness had fully settled over the forest and he was in no danger of being seen as they headed for the city. There were no new street lamps so far out of town, and as often as she glanced at his face, all she could see was the outline of his profile by the light of the moon. He moved soundlessly through the night as criminals must, the warmth of his hand in hers the only reassurance she had that he was still beside her.

They reached the edge of Hyde Park and Sally felt Tyburn looming near before she saw it, the residual tragedy of the gallows rippling along the field in a mournful, near perceptible howl. Because she could not look away, she turned toward the evil and saw the fearful silhouette of the triple tree dark against the violet sky.

This is your future, they seemed to whisper.

In her heart, she answered, I know.

She heard the brutal crack of Claude’s strong, young neck reverberate through the darkest corners of her memory, felt his cold lips against hers once more in a terrible promise, and in

her bones she felt the stillness of one who is certain they are about to die. She was immediately aware of the unique texture of every breath she drew, the sweet sigh of the breeze whispering through her hair, and the dirt, the calluses, the very fingerprints of the hand in hers.

So little of Sally’s life had been left up to her.

She might have days, hours, mere moments left, but she would be damned if she wasted them.

***

Buy it here:

LSBooksamazonkobobarnes and nobleiBooks

Author Bio:
Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale
Twitter: @JessicaCale
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites
Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com/
Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale