Saturday, April 19, 2014

Janice G. Ross spotlight

My Inner Drama Queen

Anyone that’s knows me should be aware of my motto: “I don’t do drama, I only write it!” Yes, that’s me, Janice G. Ross. You see, I aim to live a stress free live and am quick to walk away from anything that challenges that goal. But I do believe that everyone had the potential to call out drama as needed. In my case, I love to read and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to write; therefore, what better way to add a bit of drama to my life than through my characters. The biggest benefit of doing so include is that no matter how much havoc you wreak; it cannot effect your day to day. Isn’t that glorious?

In my writings, I’ve taken serious topics and not so serious topics to create a range of stories. Through each of these storylines, I’ve tried to infuse various levels of drama, in order to make the overall novels realistic. When writing dramatic scenes, I think about the very opposite of what I might do and I make my characters do just that. Remember my motto…I don’t do drama, I only write it! I reason through the totally unreasonable behaviors, even attempting to push these individuals well beyond. I try to force myself to think about all the anger and all the troublesome thoughts that could potentially creep up in the minds of my “drama queens”. In doing so, I channel my inner drama queen and force the hands of my characters. Here’s a sample of me doing just that:

Girls I

Only The Beginning

The hour was nearing 1:00 a.m. A new day, different home, and different circumstances; the past could be dashed aside in the matter of seconds as the impending threat reappeared. With the phone silenced, he was okay. But the door was a different tale, for soon all would be revealed.

Quickly, he approached the door and swung it inward. On the verge of another explosion, Jessica halted. On the lower steps to the home, one foot was firmly in the air. The thrashing was not by hand, rather by the slithery sandals. She immediately placed the weapon to the ground. He looked down upon battling eyes, his expression churned with sympathy. Their eyes locked.

“It’s time to come home, Stevie.” Rage was no longer her driving force. There emerged gentleness in the words, yet disaster-twitched lips and wet eyes refused to liberate the floods.

His answer was simple. “Jessica, you do what you want. I’m not going anywhere.” He wagged his head from side to side, mockingly twirling the glass of deep-brown liquor.

“It’s not my fault, baby.” She paused for a further reply. “Let’s go home and discuss this. Please, Stevie?”

“No. You need to go home. When I’m ready we’ll discuss what needs to be done with my home and your business. You’re not going to hold that over my head forever.” Perhaps the effects of the wine helped to reinforce his strength. He openly smirked, nodded his head, and clicked his tongue. When he stepped back to shut the door, she plunged forward with a fierce force. The glass of wine was unwillingly thrown from his hand.

Otherwise he remained unaffected by her paltry attempts at brutality.

From behind him, at the top of the inside stairs, Jillian approached as a witness to the unsavory scene. “Stevie, what’s going on here?” Fear overrode uncertainty as she rushed down the stairs.

“Get out of my house before I call the police!” Jillian’s feet barely pounded on carpeted stairs.

“Go back to bed, Jillie. I can handle this.”

“No, Stevie, enough is enough. I don’t want her here.”

“Shut up, bitch! You can’t have him.”

Jessica turned all hatred in the direction of the descending foe.

Barely paying attention to her manner of travel, Jillian slipped midway up the steps. Her head twisted and her sides lashed against the wooden staircase handle, yet in her scramble to rebalance herself the back of her head collapsed against the steps causing her entire body to crumble under the force.

Stevie rushed over to assist.

Jessica glared in horror.

“Baby, are you okay?”

No response.


Stevie was no longer concerned for Jessica’s feelings. He only focused on what was right at the moment; and at this moment his emotions circled the woman who was now in his arms. Jillian was dressed in one of his loose red and gray boxers and a white tank. Her chest
heaved in full force as curling lashes fluttered open and shut.

“Baby, talk to me.” His words plucked with mounts of fear. He finally turned to Jessica and commanded, “Call 9-1-1.”

When she refused to respond right away, he barked the orders again, “Call 9-1-1, now! The phone’s over there.” He motioned with the tip of his chin.

A flood of moisture caught his attention. As he lowered his head in examination, he noticed a drop of red on
the carpet directly below them.

“No, Jillian . . . No, Jillian!”

Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and
migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure
she has not physically been around the  world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams. 

Janice is an author. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences. Janice’s debut release was entitled Damaged Girls. She uses the three books in that series to detail the effects of different forms of abuse, discussing issues that are known to be taboo. Her next release, Jumping Ship, is a dedication to her country of birth and an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series – due out in 2014. It’s poised to be a colorful and emotional experience of life, love and family. As of present, she is also a contributor to a short story collection – Just Between Us, Inspiring Stories by Women. And lastly, Loving Nate is a novella about the realities of losing one’s self to love.

Janice enjoys reading. And is drawn to stories with distinct characters that she can love or hate, characters she can form alliances with or characters that she can swear off and despise. She is also weak for a good cultural tale, preferably in the form of historical fiction. Janice loves to be taken off guard by clever language and settings.

Janice is also a devout supporter and promoter of other authors through social media. She hosts a weekly show, Cultural Cocktails, on the largest social radio network, Blog Talk Radio.

You can connect with Janice on


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Christy Gissendaner tells us about In too Deep

(Kitten, you shouldn't be here. There's a wolf coming over.)

Guest Post by Christy Gissendaner
       Take one bridesmaid. Mix in one sexy alpha wolf. Toss is in a pinch of danger. And voila! You have my latest release, In Too Deep. For this one, I got to combine several of my favorite things. Shifters, weddings, beaches, and mermaids. I know, I know. It seems like an odd mixture, but I had a lot of fun writing it.
       I haven’t publicized the “secret” behind Emma’s (the heroine) background on purpose. It’s even mentioned she’s “human” in the blurb. That isn’t entirely true. As I wrote this book, I noticed I mentioned the ocean and the current quite a bit during Emma’s scenes. So when I came up with the idea to expand on the paranormal nature of the book and explained it to my husband, he gave me the crazy eye. Mermaids? Really? I knew I wanted her ancestry to be a bit of a twist, but even I didn’t expect it to come together like it did.
       Wolves and mermaids do seem an awkward pairing, but trust me. It’s not as simple as it seems. Emma isn’t quite a mermaid, although she does have an affinity for water that is quite awesome, in my humble opinion.
       And check out that cover? Isn’t Drake one sexy hunk of an alpha male? But perhaps even better than the man on the cover, is the little hint of what’s to come that can be found on the left side. See that little fin flipping there? I loved having it included. And no, it’s not a whale. ; )
       Before I go, I would like to thank Liza for having me. Happy reading, ya’ll!


In Too Deep

Christy Gissendaner

Contemporary, Paranormal Romance
 Publisher: Etopia Press

He’ll risk everything for the love of one human.

Agreeing to be her good friend’s bridesmaid, Emma Anderson jets off to Tybee Island for the wedding. Her dress is perfect and her shoes are adorable, but her friend’s elegant beachside home hides an ancient secret…one that threatens to expose a secret society of werewolves.

 Drake Randolph has watched his sister’s friend grow into a ravishing woman, but he’s always kept his distance. As the heir to the Randolph fortune and the alpha of the Secret Society of Savannah Lycanthropes, Drake cannot afford to draw the innocent little brunette into the dangerous lycan world.

 Passion between them soon blazes hotter than the Georgia summer. But when the wrong woman is kidnapped to prevent the wedding of a lycan to a mortal, Drake must risk everything to save Emma from the ones who will see the downfall of all he holds dear.

Short Excerpt
Kicking off her white sandals, she descended a set of wooden stairs and stepped onto the sand. It squished between her toes, damp and still warm from the heat of the afternoon. The moon shone over the water, gleaming in the waves pulling toward the shore.

She stood at the water’s edge. The current sucked at her toes, burying them in sand, and she absorbed the soothing sounds of nature. She tipped her head back and closed her eyes. Perfect.

For a moment, she flashed back to her childhood. Not the endless summers she’d spent with the Randolphs. Earlier than that, long before her father’s death. A memory floated out of her grasp, on the edges of her subconscious but always moving away from her.

The water surrounded her ankles, the tendrils of the tide resembling a caress. As if someone touched her.

She opened her eyes, startled by the sensation.

A particularly large wave crashed around her legs. Thrown off-balance by the unexpected surge, she stumbled a bit until she regained her footing. Whatever memory she’d been chasing fled, replaced by the shock of the water splashing against her knees.

She returned her attention to the water. It eddied around her, the glow of the moonlight reflected in the tiny swirls of liquid. Bending down, she touched the surface and a jolt of energy poured through her. She lurched backward just as another wave crashed against her.

Weird. She moved closer to the shore, not afraid of the ocean but concerned by her reaction to it. Something wasn’t right.

The cry of a seagull jerked her back to the present. She glanced down and grimaced at the soaked bottom half of her dress. She didn’t mind as much as she should. At least the delightfully cool water eased some of the oppressive heat of the day.

The breeze, which had been strong all day, caressed her bare shoulders and ruffled her hair. She lifted her arms and twirled, letting out a tiny sound of pleasure.

At the end of her twirl, she caught sight of a figure standing alone on the patio. The moonlight wasn’t needed for her to recognize Drake. No one else had such a commanding presence. He tugged at her heart like the ocean’s current tugged at her ankles.

Christy Gissendaner is a romantic comedy author and believes that laughter and love should go hand in hand.

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

To find out more, please visit

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cover Reveal: Return to Newport by A. L. Parks

Today we reveal:

Return to Newport
 A.L. Parks

Genre: Contemporary / Adult / Romance 

Eve is ready for a clean slate. She nearly lost the love of her life in The Return. Now Eve must confront the people refusing to let her go quietly into her happily ever after with Jake. Returning to Newport to tie up loose ends may be the biggest mistake of her life.
Jake wants one thing – and one thing only – Eve. He is ready to build a life with her, and spend the rest of his days loving only her. But his surprise visit to Newport makes him question everything he thought he knew about her, including her love.

At the center of the turmoil is Eve’s ex-husband. Intrigued by the changes he sees in her, Brad is determined to sabotage Jake and Eve’s relationship – and take Eve back.
Jake and Eve must face their demons, and battle the outside forces that seek to destroy their future. Can their love survive the Return to Newport?

Jake. It nagged at her that she had still not had a word from him. She walked into the kitchen to find some crackers to calm her now upset stomach. What the hell was going on? She heard the kitchen door open, but had already pressed the button for Jake’s phone, and she didn’t turn around. Clarissa’s voice filled the air around her.

“Hey, Mom, I have a surprise for you,” her voice sang.

“Hold on Clarissa, I’m on the phone. I haven’t heard from Jake all day,” she muttered more to herself than for Clarissa’s benefit. Jake’s voicemail picked up, and Eve shifted her weight as she heard the beep. “Jake, where the hell are you?”

“I’m right here, beautiful,” came the deep voice behind her.

Eve turned around, and her eyes met the most beautiful blue eyes that she had ever seen - the ones that held the deepest love - all for her.

“Jake,” she exhaled, and came towards him. Her arms went around his neck, and she launched herself at him. He wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her tightly against his body. She pressed her lips against his, tilting her head to the side, and slipping her tongue into his mouth. She was desperate for him, needed to feel him, make sure he was truly there.

“Geez, you two, get a room,” Clarissa’s voice giggled behind them. Eve placed her forehead against Jake’s, eyes closed, and breathed him in. All the worry, the fears - the demons - all of them melted away with the stroke of his hands across her back.

He exhaled, and pulled Eve tighter against his body, whispering in her ear, “Now everything feels right again.”


Author Bio
Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, A.L.
Parks has spent the last 25 years moving all over the United States. Married to the Navy - well a man in the Navy - Parks has lived in various places throughout the United States. Now she resides in the Washington D.C area, and loves every minute. She has four children, and one spoiled German Shepard. 

2013 marked her debut in publishing. Her first novel, Strangers, released on her 45th birthday. She was amazed at how many people fell in love with a story about two people dealing with grief, and finding love again. Abby and Bryce were the perfect couple to introduce Parks as an up-and-coming author.

Her second novel, The Return, released in December 2013. A wonderful Christmas romance, it is the first book in the Return To Me series. Book two, Return To Newport, is set to release on April 29, 2014.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

19th century- What were women like?

  2. Must we write to what people ‘believed’ happened in the 19th century, or what could & did happen? Some real women truly did extraordinary things throughout history and I prefer to use them as my control group rather than the ‘average’ woman of the historic time held by common belief per modern readers. 
    I suspect if we had a time machine and could go back to view real women of history, we would find the women then as diverse as we are today. There will be women who truly believes a man is master (and yes they still exists) and those who wants to be their own master, and every nuance between. I don’t think humans have fundamentally changed in a very long time. 
    So yes, given the right circumstances, women can fence, shoot arrows & guns, captain a ship, head a smuggling ring or live as a man and become the finest surgeon in England. To me, believability comes from ‘is it possible’ not ‘is it probable that 51% of females of the time did this.’ I don’t need a majority behavior. My characters like to be unique.
  3. And who is to say this ‘belief’ is even close to being valid?
  4. Only clothes, style of transportation, types of sport, and standards of living alter over time. And while we adapt to the situation we are born into, due to our various personalities, we will all react and behave differently to the same stimuli. Some will learn to get along, and some will break out. 
  5. In Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen provides five very different young women, who react differently to the same environment.
When Jane Austen wrote her books, she wasn't writing a historical novel, she was writing contemporaries. However, she did have a shielded life, her father being a minister, and it being a large family of six brothers and two sisters.

Still, I believe her reality has to be closer to the truth she knew than the standard reality that we now have of the past. 

The further away we get from the truth, the more generic it becomes. 

So let us study the past through Jane Austen's characters.

All are very different: Jane the beautiful kind daughter who waits for love to find her, but embraces it when it comes. She epitomizes what a young woman should be.

Elizabeth who examines life with a satirical eye, who challenges authority, (Not only Darcy, but his Aunt), who fights against injustices,

Lydia, who sees the reality of her situation, as the youngest of 5 daughters with a pathetic dowry to catch a man. She runs off with a soldier to London and lives in sin until they are found and married. She refuses to allow shame to touch her. She did what was necessary to become Mrs. Wickham...and thus, there is no shame involved.

Kitty, the sister without a sense of self, she  follows and emulates others.

Mary: Rigid, rule conforming, judgmental and plain. Perfect for their cousin, but Mr. Collins wants a beautiful wife, and when he cannot have that, he settles for a plain, kind, pragmatic wife.

They are all stereotypes, but real enough to Jane that she could bring them to life, which probably means they all existed in the people she knew.

Then move to Sense & Sensibility, and you get two more young women: Elinor, quiet, supportive and kind, but with low self-esteem,

and Marianne, spoiled, vivacious and mesmerizing.

Then in her later novel, Emma, Austen provides a young who externally appears to be the proper young woman, but in fact, has many flaws she must fix, including rudeness and a meanness of spirit to those less fortunate before she can become worthy of the man she loves.

While none of them  learned to fence or fought pirates, I believe if offered the opportunity Lizzie, Lydia and Marianne would have done so without hesitation.

I was surprised to discover that Jane's books did not conform to 19th century expectations of a novel. They failed to express the strong emotions in sound and color that was expected by readers. Does that mean her characters were too subdued?

By the end of the 19th century, women became very vocal about their rights, or lack there of. The New Women and other organizations challenged and forced a great deal of changes through Parliament. 

If ignored, they would rally people to the streets to protest not just for their rights, but for their children's safety. They had far more influence than the men of power wished to admit.

Women who did the extraordinary, who spoke up, who did not conform to the rigid standards of the time, were the ones who changed the world. It is those women I wish to celebrate in novels, for they inspire me.

History of the 'norm' is filtered and diminished to such a degree, who knows if it is true at all. Did all young ladies learn to play and sing? According to Jane, they did not. Did any of her young ladies spend a moment sewing? Not that I recall. However the movies certainly had them doing so.

But did a real woman dress like a man, attend medical school and become the highest ranking doctor in the army, performing the first successful Cesarean where mother & child survived. Yes, that is well documented and certain.  That is a heroine extraordinaire.

In my upcoming Late Victorian Mystery/Sleuth novel, The Troublesome Assistant,  my heroine, Vic, decides early on in life that she would rather have the opportunities of a young man rather than the confined and strict bindings of a woman. So she dresses as a male from the age thirteen onward. By the time she goes to Oxford, she is most convincing as a young man, so much so, that the greatest sleuth in England doesn't catch on right away.

I'm very proud to declare my heroine a one of a kind.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Seduced by the Game

It’s time to drop the gloves and fight! Support the Fight against cancer that is.  This anthology of 8 brand new novellas is hot enough to melt the ice these players skate on. Featuring stories from popular New York Times & USA Today, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble bestselling authors, including Toni Aleo, Cassandra Carr, Cindy Carr, Jami Davenport, Catherine Gayle, Jaymee Jacobs, V.L. Locey, Bianca Sommerland, and Nikki Worrell.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author - Toni Aleo TANGLED IN THE LACES

In Tangled in the Laces, Karson King is on the fast track to the pros and Lacey Martin is coming back from a hard fight against cancer and is terrified of him but their love is too much to ignore. Will Karson prove that he will protect her heart at all costs, or will he leave Lacey to pick up the pieces of her life once again?

Cassandra Carr and Cindy Carr HOOKING HANNAH

When Hannah attends an all-star game, she doesn't expect a hockey player of all people to turn her world upside down. Her sister is married to a player and Hannah never wanted that life. But Scott could change everything. For Scott's part, he has to know the woman who stirred his blood with just a look, and once he does, he realizes he wants Hannah to be his forever. Now to convince her...

Jami Davenport CRASHING THE BOARDS (Seattle Sockeyes 1.5)

Professional party crasher, Izzy Maxwell, needs the cooperation of reluctant party guest Cooper Black, the team captain of Seattle’s new hockey team, but Cooper can’t get past his anger over the team’s relocation to Seattle. Can Izzy melt Cooper’s frozen heart or will this party crash along with her fledgling business?

Catherine Gayle TAKING A SHOT (Portland Storm 2.5)

Katie Weber has had a crush on Jamie Babcock for almost two years, since he joined her father’s hockey team, the Portland Storm as an eighteen-year-old rookie. When cancer takes her health, her hair, and even her friends, she can’t bear to go to senior prom…until Jamie intervenes. 


Bryan's life gets turned upside down when he gets traded to the Dallas Comets, and things get even messier when he meets Georgiana, the Director of Team Services. He's got a lot of work to do to prove his worth to his new team, but Georgiana's sure he'll prove to be a valuable trade.


Superstar Cam Evans is fighting to climb out of a slump that`s growing worse with each day of living in denial. Fresh from the minors, Jacobi Neal is hungry for this chance to play back-up for the legendary goalie. Can two men battle each other, their inner demons, and the sizzling attraction building between them?

Bianca Sommerland BLIND PASS (The Dartmouth Cobras 0.5)

Nothing could stop Tim Rowe, the assistant coach of the Dartmouth Cobras, from falling in love with Madeline, but love alone can’t satisfy every need. Sometimes, to reach the goal, you have to take the chance with a . . . Blind Pass.

Nikki Worrell - CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN (Prequel to Scorpions Series)

Keith Lambert is the captain of the Flyers—until he’s not. To everyone’s shock, he’s traded to the San Diego Scorpions. As if that’s not bad enough, Phoebe, his girlfriend of two years, decides she doesn’t love him enough to follow.

All alone in a new town, Keith is drawn to Kelly, his take out delivery girl. When she shows up at ice girl tryouts, he’s lost. She’s all he can see. Can he convince her to forget her past and take a chance on him or is he destined to be alone in a new town a little bit longer?

**Proud Supporters of Hockey Fights Cancer.

Heri Apparent by V.L. Locey

G-rated excerpt

      “Ivan said I’d find you in here,” he said, filling the doorway. I glanced around the goalie coach’s sparse office. “Listen, about last night…”
      I lifted a hand. He clamped his lips tight. “It’s okay,” I said. “I just want you to know I’m not here to take your job."
      Cam stepped into the room, nodded at a knot of players heading to the weight room, then closed the door after they passed. I kicked a rolling chair out for him. He smiled uncomfortably before sitting down.
      “Yes, you are, and that’s okay.” I started to argue. It was he who silenced me this time with a raised palm. “You say you’re not, and maybe in your heart you think you’re not, but on some deep, competitive level, you are. When you hit that ice last night, and the crowd was on its feet, tell me you didn’t fantasize about skating over to the net.”
      I averted my eyes. Cam chuckled sadly.
      “Been there and done that." I found myself drawn to look at him. There was something about him. The way his eyes turned up at the corners, or the laugh lines, or maybe even the strands of silver that were threaded through the cocoa brown. Hell, maybe it was his full bottom lip or the sandalwood cologne he wore. Who knows? “I didn’t mean to get on you like that, though. I watched your tapes last night. You’re good, Jacobi, damned good. Maybe Plante good.”
      I sat in that cheap office chair with my mouth open. Cam reached out to playfully close it. His fingers were warm. I so wanted them to stray over my cheek but they didn’t. He simply shut my mouth then smiled while placing his hands to his thighs.