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Tag: "giveaway"

Giveaway: No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn

[ 10 ] February 3, 2016

no ordinary life book coverI have 3 copies of No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn to give away!

Open to US and Canada residents only

About the book

Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and their three children or that she’d have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don’t come without a price. In a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it’s impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.

Emotionally riveting and insightful, No Ordinary Life is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children’s lives.

About Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is a summa cum laude graduate from California Polytechnic University and is an architect, in addition to an author. She is also an avid surfer, golfer, skier, and Angels fan. She lives with her husband and children in California. No Ordinary Life is her second novel.

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Giveaway: Casualties by Elizabeth Marro

[ 5 ] February 2, 2016

casualties book coverEnter to win a copy of Casualties by Elizabeth Marro!

Open to US residents only

About the book

As an executive for one of the most successful military defense contractors in the country, Ruth Nolan should have been thrilled that her troubled son, Robbie, chose to join the Marines. But she wasn’t. She was terrified.

So, when he returns home to San Diego after his second tour in Iraq, apparently unscathed, it feels like a chance to start over and make things right—until a scandal at work tears her away from their reunion. What happens next causes Ruth to flee east, away from her guilt and regret. The story follows Ruth’s journey as she tries to outrun her demons only to realize she must face them and confront the truth about her past, her choices, the war, and her son.

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Author Interview & Giveaway: The Las Vegas Madam by Jami Rodman

[ 3 ] February 1, 2016

jami rodman headshotPlease welcome Jami Rodman, author of the new book, The Las Vegas Madam: The Escorts, The Clients, The Truth!

Enter the giveaway below – open to US residents

An interview with Jami Rodman

How did you get involved in escorting? To my friends and I, escorting was more logical, and often safer, than the dating scene. We were young and living in a city where one night stands were the norm following a long night of clubbing. Online dating, like Match.com, or otherwise nicknamed Snatch.com, didn’t fare any better. Peeping Toms and stalkers came from both routes. Beautiful people selling sex was seemingly everywhere, on billboards, in magazines, ads for nightclubs and restaurants, and the more provocative one was, the better she did financially. So when the tipping point presented itself – I was cocktail waitressing and dancing at a strip club, plus flat broke with bills to pay – I took it.

Why did you start an escort agency? To be honest, I started an agency at the suggestion of client I was dating at the time. It seemed like a good idea. All of us in Vegas felt the economic downturn pretty hard. I had a lot of friends from my previous escort days, and they were all looking for a way to increase business. I could use the added income while my other business got off the ground. Over the course of a weekend, I started building a website, and a few months later, there we were.

What was the hardest part of running an agency? I never expected to become as personally involved with all the women. When they had problems at home, with their families and children, I was there to listen and to help. I was their sounding board. Then, when I started seeing a different side to prostitution –specifically the pimps and how they handle their business – it was even more difficult to watch how it affected my friends. But first of all, I had to get the agency off the ground. Las Vegas had a bad reputation for rip-off agencies and escorts. To clean up the industry and break into the market took a lot of dedication, time, and perseverance, just like any business.

Did you work with any famous people? A true professional never tells!

In the book you use the terms escort, prostitute, call girl, courtesan, sugar baby concurrently. Do you make a clear distinction between them? I apply these labels loosely. Although they may come with different rates and expectations – a hooker might spread her legs for a quickie in the back seat of a car. Or an escort puts in more time, invests in lingerie to take it off with notes of a song. Maybe a courtesan does all the above, but adds in conversation over a glass of wine to mimic the act of a long lost girlfriend. However, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, we all played all roles. We saw the same guys. We went through similar internal struggles. Our buyers – Johns, clients, customers, tricks and sugar daddies – were equally alike. Most importantly, we all faced deep life-changes because of the choices we made to identify ourselves with those labels.

las vegas madam book coverWho would buy your book? Any woman who wants to know what her husband really wants in the bedroom. Any man who wants to know what an escort is really thinking when they’re together.

What do your family and friends think you do? It’s all out on the table now! During my time as an escort and a madam, I did things “normal” people do. I went to school. I worked. I started a company. I didn’t give up my whole life to become an escort and a madam. To me, being an escort was a chance to explore, an accessory to my life. It was fun times remembered with a smile. Being an escort is a myriad of emotions, a constant shift of excitement, enjoyment, disgust, boredom and loneliness. Escorts are lonely. We socialize constantly.

What was the hardest part of escorting? Honestly, for me, the hardest part of escorting was not escorting itself. It was guilt and loneliness, not for being an escort, but for my prosperity, the inequality of who I had become when I flaunted my wealth alongside wealthy clients. I’d rather sit in coach with “normal people” than plop down in first class, demanding my drinks have the right amount of ice cubes, avoiding eye contact with those around me, and pretending to be someone I’m not. I also didn’t like seeing how lonely some of my clients were and charging them for the service of being their friend and hanging out.

What did you enjoy most? I met a lot of amazing and fascinating people. I traveled to places I never would have otherwise. I was able to explore my sexual curiosities in a positive and safe manner.

Do you regret what you have done? I do not regret who I am. I’ve had the opportunity to empower women, and men, and change their lives in ways I never could have without being an escort and a madam. I’ve saved marriages, freed girls from pimps and traveled around the world doing humanitarian work. I don’t see any reason to be ashamed of that.

What are some misconceptions about escorts? The number one misconception about escorts is that we are just hired for sex. There’s so much involved in being a paid companion. We’re educated and knowledgeable on current events, we plan our dates with precision, take the utmost care in our presentation, dress appropriately, and it is true, we do love sex (the good ones anyway)!

After reading this book and walking in the shoes of an escort, some people might call you a home wrecker, what do you say about that? I would say exactly the opposite! Men who look for female attention, outside their wife or girlfriend, are going to regardless if I’m around or someone else. I would say it’s better that he hire an escort than find a girlfriend or mistress on the side. With an escort, at least intentions are clear.

You’re not model gorgeous or strikingly beautiful. You’re of average height, and have things like birthmarks and scars – you make that clear in your book. Why would a guy pay $5,000 a night to hang out with you then? (My boyfriend thinks I’m strikingly beautiful and that’s what counts!) Guys want to feel comfortable, adored and paid attention to. Most would rather open the door to a pretty girl next door who he’s going to be able to talk with over drinks. Someone who will make him laugh, and laugh back. They don’t want a Barbie, and those that do, know where to find her.

Are you still friends with any of the clients or women you met during the industry? Absolutely! I made some life-long friends, incredible women and men, who I likely wouldn’t have ever met if I had not had the opportunities I did.

Are there any last words you want to add? I’ve heard the questions above time and again, and perfected short, simple answers to all of them. But summing up my entire life in a few sentences could never do it justice. That’s why I wrote this book. It’s all out on the table – my whole life, history, feelings and thoughts – some are embarrassing and painful, but they’re the truth. I did it in so those reading will take something from it. Whether it’s a simple curiosity that has been answered, or deep questions long overdue.

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Giveaway cope is provided by JKS Communications. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Giveaway: Noah’s Wife by Lindsay Starck

[ 14 ] January 25, 2016

noah's wife book coverI have 3 copies of Noah’s Wife by Lindsay Starck to give away!

Open to US residents only

About the book

Beautifully paced, gently ironic, and teeming with unforgettable characters, Noah’s Wife is a wise and poignant novel that draws upon motifs of the biblical flood story to explore the true meaning of community, to examine the remarkable strength of the human spirit, and to ask whether hope can exist even where faith has been lost.

When Noah’s wife arrives with her minister husband to a small coastal town where it has been raining for as long as anyone can remember, she is driven by her desire to help revive the fading congregation. However, she is thwarted by the resistance of her eccentric new neighbors and her husband’s escalating internal crisis. Soon the rain intensifies and the river waters rise, flooding the streets of the town and driving scores of wild animals out of the once-renowned zoo. Faced with a town of people whose apathy is rapidly turning to anger and a husband mired in despair, Noah’s wife must confront the savage forces of nature and attempt to reinforce the fragile ties that bind this community together before their world is washed away.

Noah’s Wife is not a story about religion, but is an exploration of the faith we have in other people, in the world, and in ourselves. Its young author, Lindsay Starck, has taken an age-old story and reinvented it as a modern allegory. With a fresh voice she tackles timeless concerns such as loneliness, grief, and the whole messy business of partnering, as well as posing some provocative questions about assigned roles for women and outsiders.

About the author

Born in Wisconsin, Lindsay Starck was raised in the Milwaukee Public Library where her mother was a librarian. She studied literature at Yale and creative writing at Notre Dame. Currently, she is editor in chief of Carolina Quarterly and writes and teaches in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and their dog. Noah’s Wife is her first book.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

[ 6 ] January 19, 2016

firsts by flynn book coverPlease join Laurie Elizabeth Flynn who is touring the blogosphere with her new book, Firsts

Enter the giveaway below – open to US and Canada residents

Reviewed by Bethany Kelly

When I first started reading Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, I questioned whether or not I was going to be able to get through the book or like the main character, Mercedes Ayres, by the end. Let me first tell you that I ended up liking Mercedes much more by the end of the novel than I did at the beginning.

Firsts focused on Mercedes and her service to ‘the virgins’–the boys that she sleeps with so that they can get their awkward first time out of the way in order to give their girlfriends a better first time. She helps them plan their girlfriends’ first times, and teaches them how to treat them and what to say during the encounter. She does this to give the girls something that she didn’t have–a romantic and good first time.

In addition to ‘the virgins,’ Mercedes is also sleeping with someone else – Zach – who has been wanting to be with her since they started hooking up. She also has a best friend – Angela – who is very religious and knows nothing of Mercedes’ secret sex life.

When Angela’s boyfriend, Charlie, finds out about Mercedes’ service and is rejected by her, he exposes Mercedes’ double life and ruins her reputation. She must then fight for her best friend and to salvage her reputation. By the end of the novel, the reader will finally get the story behind why Mercedes started trying to help ‘the virgins’ in the first place.

The novel starts out with a bang, introducing the reader to Mercedes who is in the middle of ‘doing a favor’ for Evan Brown’s girlfriend. Who is Evan? A virgin who Mercedes has agreed to teach the fine arts of making love. Not only did this scene draw me in to the novel off the bat, but it also got me curious as to the backstory of Mercedes’ service.

There was never an area in this book where I was bored or where the pace slowed down. There was always something going on that kept me drawn into Mercedes’ story. I kept getting clues on her past and little looks into Mercedes’ psyche, but never quite enough to completely understand why she would willingly sleep with other girls’ boyfriends. That is ultimately what kept me reading–the desire to know the whole story.

The characters in this story were also believable. I really felt like I knew who they were and what their priorities were. I could see myself going to this high school and being friends (or enemies) with Mercedes as the novel progressed. That is probably the aspect of the novel that I liked the most–the fact that Flynn created a world so well that I could imagine myself as a character. She not only did a fantastic job creating a character that was complex and had many facets, but she also made me sympathetic and understanding towards this character even though she made some pretty unforgivable choices.

However, on the flip side of all of this praise was one major plot point that really had me asking, “Really?” A new student entered the mix at the beginning of the novel that felt more like a literary device than an actual character. I felt that it was way too convenient and unrealistic in regards to ‘real-life’ scenarios.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book because it has a very enticing story line that kept me wanting to read more.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.

Review and giveaway copies were provided by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Giveaway: Fallen Land by Taylor Brown

[ 10 ] January 18, 2016

fallen land book coverI have 1 copy of Fallen Land by Taylor Brown to give away!

Open to US residents only

About the book

Fallen Land is Taylor Brown’s debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman’s March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives.

Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.

Fallen Land was selected it as an Indie Next Pick for January. The Southern Independent Booksellers Association has also included Fallen Land in their Okra Picks.

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