Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friendship-is-Forever Tour

It's here! J.L. Campbell's Friendship-Is-Forever Tour!  Wahoo!  I'm super excited to be one of the blogs participating in the tour to promote Distraction.  What a great book.  For those that missed it, please click here to read it. 
And now please welcome J.L. Campbell!

When I got my first publishing contract, I felt as if someone had dumped me in the deep end of a pool without giving me swimming lessons. In a mind-boggling, whirlwind teleconference with the publisher, a group of us were given a list of all the ways in which we could market our books. Since then, I've been big on research. Needless to say, I've not found the golden nugget yet, but I do realize that word of mouth helps to get the word out.

That said, I hesitated to ask Mina to host me on a leg of the tour because I figured that since this blog is mainly about paranormal stuff that I wouldn’t find any kind of readership here. Well, I can chuckle about that now, since Mina read Distraction and liked it. So much for thinking that only readers of women’s fiction would enjoy the book.

Distraction tells the story of three women who are unalike in many ways, but share a strong friendship. I’ve found the blogging world much like that. We have different interests and yet we connect as both readers and writers, supporting each other on our writing journey.

In A Baker’s Dozen: Thirteen Steps to Distraction you’ll meet Dionne, Kyra and Justine a year before Distraction takes place. I hope you’ll like this taste of friendship and things Jamaican. Download your complimentary copy from Smashwords.

Each person who leaves a comment will be entered to win an e-copy of Distraction. At the end of this Friendship tour, there’ll be a main prize of a Distraction note pad & pen and a $10 Amazon gift card. The second prize is a paperback copy of Distraction. Sign up for that at the Rafflecopter here.

Mina, many thanks for hosting!

J.L. Campbell is a proud Jamaican and the author of Contraband, Distraction, Dissolution, Don’t Get Mad…Get Even, Giving up the Dream and Hardware (pen name Jayda McTyson). Campbell is always on the lookout for story making material, loves company and can usually be found lollygagging on her blog at http://thecharacterdepot.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review: J.L. Campbell's Distraction

I mentioned last week I would be posting my book review for Distraction by J.L. Campbell.  I'm unbelievably excited to discuss this incredible, all-consuming tale about friendship, love and betrayal.  Distraction features three Jamaican females who go through their adulthood, dealing with their own personal trials and tribulations.  It wonderfully intertwines the lives of  Justine, Dionne and Kyra so that the reader gets a front seat into their distracted lives.
There were three aspects to this novel that kept me pondering it for weeks if not a month after I read it.  Those aspects were friendship, real-life drama and consequences and perseverance!  

Justine, Dionne and Kyra are close-knit friends who meet often to bond and even vent about their lives.  Their unconditional friendship was the first aspect I enjoyed.  In life, it's often challenging to find friends that will accept you despite your faults.  And trust me, these women had their faults, but was most refreshing was their willingness to support each other regardless of their life choices.  And isn't that what friends are for?     

Real-life Drama & Consequences
All three of these women are uniquely flawed not only by their circumstances, but their decision-making.  As the reader, we get the birds-eye view how their situations evolved due to lying, infidelity and sadly physical and emotional abuse.  Not everyone deals with these issues in their everyday life, but unfortunately most of us know someone that is dealing with it right now.  There were somber moments within this book that were griping.  Justine, Dionne and Kyra like TNT know drama and WOW was it intense.  

There's something to be said for the three heroines that persevered during adverse times.  They each had to find strength to deal with their personal lives and eventually move forward.  Justine was locked in a loveless marriage and between her and her husband, they both had far too many secrets to hide.  Dionne and Kyra let their finances rule them which in return left for some incredible drama.  All three were distracted by something that led them astray, albeit loneliness or financial reasons or just plain stupidity.  In the end, their perseverance prevailed.

If your looking for something different to add to your book shelf or Kindle this summer, check out J.L. Campbell's Distraction.  It was easily a 4 for me.  For those that don't know Book 2 in the series is called Retribution and I got a sneak peak at it too.  And boy was it goooooood!  Can't wait!    

Stay tuned tomorrow as the Distraction tour stops here at my blog!  Woot!  

Mina B.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Buzzworthy Contemporary Romance Novels

I typically don’t post reviews or ramblings about contemporary lit on my blog, but there are a few books that are currently available that are just too incredible not to recognize.  Some of the authors I know and others I don’t, but they all have one thing in common; they’ve seduced with their real-life characters and unique romantic plots.  If you need a break from the supernatural side of books, and you adore romance, check these outs. 
Contemporary Romance Lit for Summer of 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster. I'll repeat it again for those who aren't familiar with the novel. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire!  This book was my all-time favorite this summer. I’ll start by saying it was a complete obsession for me. In fact, as far as ratings go it was a 5. Yes, that’s how much I loved it. It’s not very often, we readers find a male character that we adore or better yet cleave to. Travis Maddox is that character. He’s perfectly flawed and extremely likable. No wonder all the chicks are whipping off their panties for him. All except for Abby Abernathy. She’s a reformed good girl and as much as she’s attracted to the elusive bad boy, she won’t succumb to his charm. Putting these two together made for some spectacular reading. Abby & Travis are the quintessential disaster couple, and Beautiful Disaster is about their wild roller-coaster relationship, which began as a friendship and ends up with love.  I adored this book, and I can't rave about it enough.  Move over Fifty Shades and make way for Beautiful Disaster.  And for those of you that don't know,  Jamie McGuire has just finalized Walking Disaster which is Beautiful Disaster told from Travis's perspective.  OH MY GOD!!!  I can't wait to read that one.  God, I hope she writes a story for each of the brothers.  Love you Jamie McGuire.  You rock!

Marie Force’s McCarthys of Gansett Island 

Like most book addicts, I got hooked on Marie Force's McCarthys of Gansett Island series from Book 1, McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 1: Maid for Love, It’s FREE on Kindle/Amazon, so if you haven’t read this yet, check it out. I’ll admit, I thought it was going to be cheesy.  Instead, it was surprisingly good.  This series is filled with true-to-life female characters—which I love— and die hard men who at times were pretty darn funny. Marie Force’s bestselling McCarthy’s of Gansett Island series suck you in, making you want to explore the Island and uncover every nook and cranny about the characters that live there.  I’m telling you…if I could take a one-way fairy boat ride to that place, I would in a heart beat.  I’m betting you would too. There are six books total in the series and at just under $4, they are easy on your wallet.  Again, the first one is free for a limited time, so download it while you can.

Cecilia Robert’s Truly.Madly.Deeply.You 

I recently read Cecilia Robert’s novella, Truly.Madly.Deeply.You and totally enjoyed it. Liese Hansfeld is determined to spend Valentine’s day and the four days leading up to it alone, reliving her tragic past. She is a lovely, kindhearted woman who has a past that suffocates her future. But her best friend, Freytag Meier, refuses to have Liese give up on love. And he won’t let another year go by with Liese torturing herself. This Valentine's Day, he’s determined to spend every waking moment with Liese. Could it be that she’s the woman of his dreams? Or is it the other way around?  I won’t tell you want happens, but it was truly different.  Aside from its uniqueness, what I loved best about this novella was its sweet nature. There were so many romantic gestures that I found it incredibly endearing. If you’re looking for a quick novella filled with romance, give Truly.Madly.Deeply.You  a try. It’s only $1.99 on Amazon which is a total deal, right? Go get a copy.

Distraction by J.L. Campbell 

I won’t go into too much detail about J.L. Campbell's Distraction since I'm planning on writing a full review next week when the Distraction tour makes its blog stop here.  I will say I loved it and wanted to include it in my contemporary lit list.  Distraction's only $2.99 on Amazon so get it while the price is right.  Woot!  In the meantime, here’s a synopsis of the book.   

Three Jamaican women walk a tightrope of decisions when their lives are derailed by blackmail, deceit and infidelity. JUSTINE CHARLES, sensible and self-contained, battles an addiction which could destroy her marriage, reputation, and relationship with her daughter. DIONNE JONES, an aggressive go-getter, takes risks that cut a trail of devastation through her family and business. KYRA MILLS, struggling single mother, is crippled by debt, bad judgment and destructive choices. Can two of the long-time friends survive startling revelations involving their partners? And will the other push her obsession to the point of danger?

Game On by Kyra Lennon

Kyra Lennon recently released Game On this month and it's getting fantastic reviews.  Go Kyra!  This is actually one I'm reading now and so far I'm thoroughly enjoying it.  I think this book had me at the beginning with all the men and soccer.  Anyway, it's on sale now too for a low $2.99 so get your copy quick before the price goes up.  Here's the synopsis:

After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.

That's it.  That's my Buzzworthy Contemporary Romance Lit for Summer of 2012.  Have you read any of these? Have any contemp lit books you'd recommend to finish off this summer?

Mina B.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"What If?" Fairytale Blogfest

Okay.  Here's my entry. I chose a plot twist.  I couldn't help it.  Cinderella is my daughter's favorite movie and I remember loving it as a kid too, but one part drives me crazy.  At the end, when she tries on the slipper, and the Prince doesn't show up until the end.  That always bothered me like he was too busy to search for her himself. Come on!  That's totally weak, man.  Right, minions?  Right!  And so...her's my entry.

Go Cindy!

Cinderella could barely contain her excitement.  The Prince--her love--had finally come for her.  She barrelled through the door to a room full of royalty and instantly became mute.

“What she doing here?” her stepmother cried. 

The King’s men starred at Cinderella, awed by her beauty.
“Where is the Prince?” Cinderella asked, realizing he wasn’t there.

“Hello, my dear, " an older nobleman said, ignoring her stepmother.  “You’re the one our Prince seeks?” He asked.  Cinderella recalled him as the Duke, the King’s right hand.

“Aye,” Cinderella said, handing him her other glass slipper.  The man nearly wept with relief.  “Where is he?” She asked.

“At the castle, my dear.”

Cinderella’s face fell.  Her Prince hadn't come. 

Cinderella then spoke in a regal tone.  “My name is Ella, daughter of the Earl of Clemont and the rightful heir to my father’s estate,” she said pointing to a painted picture of her and her father on the wall.  Her claim was irrefutable.  “Escort these people parading as my family out.”
She then turned to the Duke.  “Tell your Prince that if he wishes to marry, he must ask person.”

The Duke bit back a retort and gave a warm smile.  “Indeed, my dear.  I have no doubt he'll arrive shortly.”

Cinderella harrumphed, annoyed that the man of her dreams wasn't there. 

As the Duke left to deliver the message, the guards escorted the step monsters off her estate.  Indignant cries bellowed incessantly, but Cinderella ignored them.  All she cared about now was if the prince truly loved her.  Perhaps they didn't suit?  The thought made her sullen.


The Duke arrived at the palace empty handed. 

“Where is the girl?” The Prince demanded. 

The Duke then relayed the details about Ella to the Prince and his parents. 

The Prince asked disbelievingly.  “I sent a royal search party after her, and she still wouldn’t come?”  

The Queen hid a smile while the King shook his head.  “Son,” the King sighed heavily.  “You have much to learn about women.”

The End.  

That's it!  I'm off to read the other awesome entries! Have a great day!

Mina B.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Beg Your Pardon: My Blog Hiatus & other Updates

I apologize for taking an unscheduled blogging hiatus last month and this month.  I don't believe I've ever gone this long without blogging, but I unexpectedly came down with the flu.  This bugger of a cold knocked me on my a** for the better part of two weeks.  The good news is I'm better now that I'm on antibiotics and a whole host of other medications.

To make matters worse, work piled up which caused some serious delays for me.  Additionally, my sick leave has crossed over into my vacation which has caused other problems.  It's no fun feeling like crap when you're supposed to be on vaca, huh?  Anyway that's life.  Before I forget, I want to apologize for not being able to visit my blogger friends.  I promise by next week, I'll be cruising the blogosphere, stopping by to say hi to everyone.  I hope to be back on my blogging schedule by next week.

In the News
Every now and then I come across some great articles for writers.  These are two that I saw that I thought I'd share.  Let me know what you think if you get a chance.

The Battle Cry of the Romance Authors - Another great article on the what traditionally published authors are faced with nowadays.

Must-read article on Why social media isn't the magic bullet for self-epublished authors.  Reader beware.  There is a ton of speculation in this article, but I think the best message is to diversify your marketing efforts when promoting your book.

What's Happening This Week!
Game On by Krya Lennon is available now!  Need more info?  Check it out on Goodreads! Go Krya!  I missed out on the blog tour, but wanted to show my support for this super-talented author and blogger friend!  Be sure and tell your friends!

Cherie Colyer's YA novel, Embrace, is on sale for $2.99 for a limited time.  Please tweet, share and post this deal to all your reader fans! 


Coming up this Month - August 2012

-- Aug 13th! The blogfest, Twist of the Fairy Tale Classics, begins next week!  Stop by next week as I post my twist on a fairy tale classic!

-- August 21st! Buzzworthy Contemp Lit - I'm putting together a blog post this month featuring some cool contemp lit books I've discovered this summer!  Woot.  The summer's not over yet and it's hot!

-- August 30th! Distraction Book Tour - J.L. Campbell's tour is happening at the end of this month!  Wahoo!  Oooh I loved this book and can't wait to participate in the tour!

Any news you want to share with me shoot me an email!  Have a wonderful week.

Mina B.