September 30, 2011

Bernadette Marie and The Executive's Decision







The Executive’s Decision was just a funny thought once that blossomed into a wonderful novel.  What if you met your soul mate on a city bus? Not so odd maybe but what if you fell right into his lap?  That’s how the book opens and the characters just moved the story from there.




The book itself was supposed to be a standalone book, but I’m a sucker for family series.  Regan has a sister and two brothers.  They all have very unique personalities and were going to need their own stories.  Let’s not forget the nephews and, well, soon enough everyone will have had families and it could go on and on.  


It is challenges, such as the one presented to me by The Executive’s Decision, that keep me writing.  Whether it be the fiancée who doesn’t remember the man she is going to marry, but only remembers her ex-husband, or the actors who are only put into a coupling for a publicity stunt, it’s fun to build stories around them.











BIO:
Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years. 

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009  she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and will begin the process, eventually, of taking on other authors in other genres.  Also in 2011 she became co-owner of Seven Songs Press and will release a novella as part of an anthology with other very talented authors in November 2011.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events.  She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.  An avid reader, she enjoys most, the works of Nora Roberts and Karen White. She loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

LINKS:
WEBSITE: www.bernadettemarie.com
BLOG: www.authorbernadettemarie.com
EMAIL: info@bernadettemarie.com
FACEBOOK:www.facebook.com/authorbernadettemarie
TWITTER: @writesromance

BLURB FOR THE EXECUTIVE’S DECISION:
Regan Keller fell in love with a wealthy and powerful man once. He was her boss. When that turbulent relationship ended, she swore she’d never again date someone she worked with. That was before she literally fell into her new boss’s lap.

Zachary Benson is the head of a successful empire and used to getting what he wants in the boardroom and outside of it – and what he wants is Regan Keller. He’s determined to convince Regan that even though he’s her boss, they can share a life together.


However, when Regan’s past threatens to destroy the architectural firm Zach has invested his entire career in, he has to make an executive decision whether to choose his business or fight for the woman he loves.




EXCERPT FROM THE EXECUTIVE’S DECISION


Chapter One

Thunder rippled through the gray clouds that loomed overhead.  Regan Keller raised her eyes to the sky.  Please, please don’t rain. As she sent up the silent prayer, she felt the first drop  hither forehead.
The nervous flutter in her stomach quickened as she looked down at her watch.  Surely her day couldn’t get any worse. But the sky opened up, and those around her crowded together in the bus stop shelter.  Her hair, tied in a tail at the base of her neck, dripped rain down her back as she hunched in her coat.  How could she have forgotten her umbrella?  Had her car been running, she’d have the one tucked safely away in the glove compartment because spring in Tennessee often meant sudden storms.  She should carry one in her bag but had suffered a lapse in memory, having opted for the sunny beaches of Hawaii for the past two years.  
As the bus arrived, those under the shelter huddled onto it ahead of her, claiming every seat.  Soaking wet, Regan wedged herself between two people and held onto the handrail above her head. She looked out the window at the commuters driving themselves to work in the pouring rain.  That should have been her.  
A bitter-faced old woman sat below her, her oversized bag occupying the next seat.  Regan bent to ask her to move it, but the woman glared up at her and gave a grunt that sounded like a dog’s bark.  Regan flinched and tried to look away.  But she was compelled to keep an eye on the woman.
The man to the other side of the vacant seat snickered. Regan looked down at him in his long black overcoat and perfect hair.  Hemmed in between the old lady’s bag and an overweight man in a jogging suit, he was as pinned in his seat as she was to the people around her.  She would have given him a piece of her mind for laughing at her had the bus not jolted to a sudden stop.  It lurched forward then back and tossed Regan onto the man’s lap.
“I would have offered you my seat,” he said with a bright grin as the bus lurched again.
“Why, you…” She struggled to free herself, but the crowd moved in tightly around them as the bus bounced down the street.  The pace of her heart kicked into gear and she could feel the sweat bead on her brow.  
She hadn’t been this close to a man in over a year, and the panic of having him actually hold her on his lap was making her more than uncomfortable.  “I need to stand up.”
“You might as well sit.” He wrapped his arms around her.  “Doesn’t look like you’ll be standing again anytime soon.”
Regan took a few deep and cleansing breaths.  She forced down the panic that was filling her body and tried to push it away.  Alexander Hamilton thought she was dead.  There should be no danger in sitting on the lap of a nice-looking man.  She should find it within her to enjoy the experience and focus on something else.
He didn’t have an accent native to Tennessee like hers.  Perhaps the rain had caught him off guard as well.  If she didn’t relax, she’d have a heart attack, and this nice gentleman who wasn’t from Nashville would probably be blamed for her death on the bus on his way to work.
Accepting her predicament at face value would be a prime opportunity to let go of bitter feelings for the opposite gender, though after what she’d been through, she wasn’t sure she could.  The thought of ever loving another man or letting one touch her made her palms sweat and her stomach clench.
The man smiled at her, and a dimple formed in his cheek. “This is your first time on this bus, isn’t it?” He pushed back a wet wisp of hair from her forehead, and she flinched away.  “It’s always crowded, but I know I would have seen you.”
“My car wouldn’t start this morning.”  She pressed her hand to her jittery stomach and willed it to settle.  “I start a new job today. Car trouble couldn’t have come at a worse time.”  
“New job?  Congratulations. So what is this new job?”
God, he was handsome, and wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the ride?  But she wasn’t.  “Executive assistant.”  The words shook as she spoke.
“Pretty important.”
“You think it’s just some glorified secretary, don’t you?”  She clenched her teeth and her fists.  Why wouldn’t she be angry?  The last man she’d worked for had interpreted the title executive assistant as a license to run her life and to ruin it.
“No.  I was serious.  It’s a very important position.”  He looked sincere.  “So where is this new job?”
“Benson, Benson and Hart.”
“Real estate development.”  
“Yes.”  Her breath was becoming harder to push through her lungs. “I should get off your lap.”  
“You’d ruin my day.”  He laughed easily, so she tried to relax.  “So whose executive assistant will you be?”  
“Zachary Benson’s.” She looked around for a space to stand.
“CEO?  He must have been very impressed with you.”
“I’ve never met him.  His current assistant is having a baby and leaving the company.  He was out of town when she interviewed me.”  She thought about Mary Ellen, his current assistant.  The interview had had a motherly quality to it.  She wasn’t sure whether it was because Mary Ellen was pregnant or that worried for her boss. “I think she takes good care of him.  It’ll be a hard pair of shoes to fill.”  And if that hadn’t had her stomach tied in knots, here she was having a conversation about it with a man she didn’t know while sitting on his lap.  Had she completely forgotten the last man she’d gotten this close to tried to kill her?
“I’m sure he’ll be pleased with her choice.”
“Thank you.”  She wanted to wiggle away from the hard muscles she could feel in his chest, from his arms that held her tight against him, and from the legs of a man who obviously kept in shape.  She couldn’t, so she kept talking. “I hope he likes me. I can’t imagine him not wanting to meet me first.”
“Maybe he’s ugly.”
Finally a laugh rolled from her throat. “That’s not what Mary Ellen said.” She tucked in her lips.  “She says he’s a hottie.”
“Hottie?”  His voice lit with humor.  “Well, you’ll enjoy your job then.”
“Strictly business here.  I don’t get involved with the boss,” she said sternly.  Not anymore.  This was, after all, her chance to take back her life after making such a mistake.
The bus stopped, and the old woman stood and grabbed her bag.
“Move!”  She shoved her way through the people who climbed on and made her way out the door.  Before Regan could stand and claim a seat, the crowd around her pushed her closer against the stranger, whose arms wrapped tightly around her as others dropped down beside them.
“Your stop is the next one,” he offered, and she nodded.  “So what’s your name?”
“Regan.”
“You’re native to Tennessee, aren’t you? Your accent gives you away.”
“I was born in Memphis.  I spent most of my life in Nashville though.  I did a stint in Los Angeles and then lived in Maui for the last two years.  I missed home though.”  The more she tried to suppress her nerves, the more she talked.
“Los Angeles?  Tried your hand at Hollywood?”
“No.” She shook her head.  “I worked for a prominent lawyer who had some big-name clients.  But I wasn’t seeking fame and fortune.”
“Well, Ms. Executive Assistant, I’m glad you came home or this would have been a very boring ride this morning.”  The bus stopped, and most of the people began to move to the door.  “This is your stop.”  
She finally stood and turned to exit with the crowd without looking back.
The man caught her hand and held it.  Her very core shook, and her first instinct was to rip her hand away.  But she needed to move on and not be so damn afraid of every man that gave her attention.
“Would you have lunch with me?” he asked.
“What?” She looked back at people climbing on. If she didn’t exit the bus now, she’d miss her stop. “Oh, I don’t think so.”
“Meet me at the hot dog stand at noon just on the north corner of your building,” he said with a wink and a nod.
She couldn’t think to speak.  She nodded as she hurried off the bus.
The rain had subsided for the time being.  Regan had almost dried off as she sat on the handsome man’s lap.  The smell of his cologne lingered on her coat.  She closed her eyes and breathed in the scent of him.
She stopped as she neared the door and turned to see the bus drive away.  He was watching her from the window, and he waved.  It occurred to her she didn’t even know his name.  
She looked down at her hands.  They were shaking.
Get over it.  Move on.  Not everyone wanted to hurt her.  Not every man was evil with ulterior motives.  No, some were just nice men who wanted to take you to lunch.
Well, it wasn’t like he’d asked her to stay at a hotel.  He’d offered to buy her a hot dog.  Really, it was harmless.  And he’d assume she was too busy with her new job if she just didn’t show up.
But she wanted to.
Well, there was no better time to move on with her life, and no better way to get to know the man on whose lap you’d ridden to work than over a hot dog.  
A tingle of hope shot through her.  She needed to start taking back her life the way she wanted it.  No more mistakes. No more regrets.  It was her life now, and she was going to enjoy it.






End Excerpt



September 12, 2011

Rachel Brimble and Her Latest Novel "Paying the Piper"







Back to school, my darlings!!



Until these summer school holidays I always thought I was pretty good at time management…but how very wrong I was! Oh, lordy, lordy! Six long weeks of barely typing a word and when I did it wasn’t very good – not a great recipe for producing something polished enough to submit to a publisher come the Autumn.



I’m mum to two young daughters of twelve and ten – the age where I stupidly assumed they would be out with their friends playing in the sunshine. Remember when we did that? Yes? Well, as other writer mums out there reading this undoubtedly already know, such nonsense is laughable. I soon discovered kids don’t need to go out with friends when they have virtual ones all over the internet and TV, arrghh!!



Alas, the holidays are over and my little darlings are back to school so I am feverishly writing once more, hoping to finish a novella and another novel by the time they break up for Christmas…she says. The interruptions were mammoth, the moaning and fighting worse than ever or maybe it was just my own frustration and naïve expectations that caused me to drink far too much wine and break out in hives over the holidays.



But anyway, onwards and upwards, we are into September now and don’t have to think about the summer holidays again for another ten months, yay!



The novel I am here promoting today, Paying The Piper, is a darker, grittier story than I usually write – it focuses on the romantic union of two lost souls searching for escape from their fathers’ expectations and abuse.



Here’s the blurb:



Nightclub manager Grace Butler is on a mission to buy the pub where her mother's ashes are scattered but the owner wants to sell to anyone but her. And that owner happens to be her father...who has a secret she will do anything to discover.



Social worker and all around good guy Jimmy Betts needs funds to buy a house for three special kids before their care home closes. Time is running out and he's desperate for cash. He agrees to to a one-time 'job' for bad-man Karl Butler. But in a sudden turn of events, Jimmy finds himself employed by Karl's beautiful, funny and incredibly sexy daughter, Grace. Their lives couldn't be more different, yet one thread binds them: they're both trying to escape the bonds of their fathers. Maybe the only way they'll be free is by being together, instead of alone.



Buy Link:

http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=81&products_id=424



I love writing a TOTALLY different sub-genre with each book I write. It keeps things fresh for me and also, I hope, my readers. So far I have had two romantic suspense novels (the third is under consideration as we speak!), one romantic comedy, one Victorian historical (the second is with my agent) and two contemporary romances published. They are all entirely different – except for my voice which people say they always recognize, which is great.



So as gritty as Paying The Piper is, the book I am working on now is funny, sexy and bright. A complete contrast in every other way apart from the best bit – the romance.

My question I’d like to throw out to Clare’s visitors today is how you guys read? Do you often swap romance sub-genres or stick to the same one? Do you vary your genres completely from book to book?



I have recently acquired an agent and wonder how long I will be able to continue with my enjoyment of changing sub-genres with every new novel, or will my publisher want me to stick to one until I ‘make it’ so to speak?



Does it irritate readers rather than interest them? What do you think? I’d love to hear from you!



Bio



Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Having always believed there’s someone for everyone, Rachel started writing her own tales of love once her children were at school. Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press. She has recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel cannot imagine her life without romance or writing!


When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…







September 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday- An Excerpt From 'Cold Warriors'



Caitlin looked into his eyes, her heart pounded.  She was mesmerized by his gaze. Keegan's hand moved slowly through her hair, sweeping it behind her shoulders.  He leaned forward, his nose inches away from hers. Their lips met slowly and pressed firmly together. His mouth parted, as he gently met her velvety tongue with his, unleashing a passionate kiss.

September 7, 2011

Call for Submissions- Honor Guard Line- Decadent Publishing

Decadent Publishing is actively seeking stories that fit our new Honor Guard line.
The Honor Guard line is composed of contemporary multi-national romance stories with a heat level of 3-5 and word count between 10k-30k.

Setting: US embassies around the world. The hero can be any alpha male having to do with embassy operations: Marines, MP, CIA, Homeland Security, NSA, etc.

The heroine can be an American or foreign national. Her age should be 25+ (can be Late Escape--romance between couples age 50+--as well). If your setting is in India, Australia, Norway or wherever, we need "local flavor". Tap your travel experiences!

If you write about the military, make sure it's accurate. Give us fun, adventure, romance, interesting settings, strong characters and hot lovin' combined with cultural insights. HEA is mandatory.

Decadent is also taking submissions in our popular 1Night Stand line and is open for general sunmissions in the following catagories. Please keep word count between 5-50k at this time.
See SUBMISSIONS page on the website for details. http://www.decadentpublishing.com/index.php?osCsid=084930d6cc456d4ae1915b6958c5a3e5&content=submissions

Historical paranormal romance
Late Escape romance (couples who are 50 years of age or older)
May-December romance
Comedy (romance or mainstream fiction)
Time travel (romance or mainstream fiction)
Erotic Romance
GLBT (especially F/F)
Non-Fiction (Biography, historical, memoirs, autobiography)
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