Saturday, May 31, 2014

One Lucky Night Blog Tour

One night can change everything…

The crew at Boston’s Brazen Head Pub hasn’t been very lucky in love. Can a mysterious visitor inspire them to look past old hurts and misconceptions and give romance a chance? One Lucky Night is a collection of five sexy interwoven novelettes by Aria Kane, Grace Teague, Ana Blaze, Constance Phillips, and Melinda Dozier.

Lucky Break by Aria Kane
Four years ago, chef Derek Chase walked out of Andrea Rivera’s life after a tragedy neither of them were prepared to deal with. When she’s called to the Brazen Head to repair a dishwasher, old sparks ignite buried feelings.

Lucky Star by Grace Teague
When her life is threatened by a mugger, Charlotte Price realizes she's in love with her best friend, Tommy Leung. The Brazen Head seems like the perfect neutral place to confess her feelings, but nothing goes according to plan.

A New Tune by Ana Blaze
When it comes to dating, Holly Hall has one unbreakable rule: no musicians. Not even gorgeous ones. Especially not gorgeous ones. Dating them only leads to heartbreak. So why did she let singer-songwriter Cian O’Neill kiss her? And why is she thinking about doing it again?

Lexi’s Chance by Constance Phillips
As a bartender, Sean Whelan meets all kinds of women every night, but none turn his head the way that Lexi has. She’s been playing cat and mouse with him for weeks. Tonight, Sean’s determined to get Lexi to quit teasing and take a real chance on him.

Drink or Dare by Melinda Dozier
A bachelorette party Drink or Dare game pairs paramedic students, Rachel Robertson and Killian Whelan, in a flirting match. Soon, the dares threaten to turn their academic rivalry into something much more.


“Lucky Break” by Aria Kane from One Lucky Night

Derek startled when someone knocked hard on the back door of the kitchen, the one that led into the alley. The Brazen Head had been busy, but not unmanageable – a steady stream of orders came through the kitchen. The dishes were starting to pile up in the sink. He glanced up at the clock on the wall. Seven o'clock on the dot. Just what he needed. Some cranky butt-crack-bearing plumber getting in his way and dirtying up his kitchen.

"Andy the handyman," he muttered to himself before pulling the heavy door open.

A biting wind blasted him in the face, but it was the face greeting him that knocked him back a step. It was a face he knew very well, but had never planned on seeing again. Andrea Rivera stood in the glow of the security lights, looking all grown up. She wore jeans, work boots, and a black leather jacket. Her long black hair swept back into a tight ponytail. But damn if she still didn’t look as pretty as she'd ever looked in her sundresses and strappy sandals. Her lips parted in surprise and he found his eyes drawn to their full shape. No, he thought, pretty wasn't the right word anymore. She was pretty when she was a teenager. Now, she was gorgeous and sexy as hell.

"Derek?" she asked, shaking him from his thoughts. Her voice cracked on his name. Must have been the cold February air. She met his eyes for the briefest moment before glancing away. Her eyes were the same honey brown he remembered from that day four years ago.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, his voice harsher than he'd intended. You can't be here, he thought.

Andrea's pink lips turned down and her brow creased. She stared at him like that for a few long seconds, somehow avoiding his eyes the entire time.

"I should ask you the same," she murmured, then sighed. "I'm here to fix a dishwasher."

It was only then he noticed the large red toolbox hanging from her mitten-covered hand. Across the top in permanent marker, she had written "Andy" in scrolling cursive permanent marker.

"Andy’s coming to fix the dishwasher. You're Andrea," he said, as if establishing her true identity would make her disappear. He stared dumbly at the toolbox. This had to be some weird mistake. He found himself wishing for the burly handyman he'd been dreading only seconds before.

She raised an eyebrow at him and waved at the dark alley with her free hand. White flurries whipped in and out of the dim streams of light. "Are you really going to let me freeze out here because I now go by a nickname?"

The authors are giving away two Amazon Giftcards!
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About the Authors:
Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. As a military brat, she grew up all over the country, but now lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he's a chihuahua.

Grace Teague lives in Pittsburgh with her spouse, children and a cat named Mr. Sushi.

Ana Blaze lives near Washington DC with her charming husband and three cats who firmly believe they are royalty. Ana is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff.

Melinda Dozier teaches English to middle schoolers by day and writes at night. She lives in Guatemala, Central America with her college sweetheart and three sons.
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Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, Second Look

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


Matcha provides 4 to 6 hours of mild steady energy as it acts as both a stimulant and a relaxant. This is ideal for focusing on whatever the day throws your way.

Consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body's own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expediture.

​Scientists have discovered that Matcha Green Tea helps protect the skin from harmful UVrays, while improving blood flow and oxygen levels lifting the overall quality of the skin.

Antioxidants are essential as you age to boost your body's natural defenses against oxidation. Researchers have found that a high level of dietary antioxidants can prevent many age-related diseases.

My Review:
4 stars

So, I originally tried this several months ago in my smoothies, and I liked using it, but I never really experimented with it outside of that. But, when I saw how many ways other people have used it, I decided to give it another try. This time, I used it several ways. Not only did I put it in my smoothies, but I also used it when baking and I tried using it to make a latte. While the latte didn’t work out as well for me, the texture and taste threw me off a bit, I loved using it while baking. I made brownies and cookies and added the matcha to give it a healthy twist, but you wouldn’t even know it. The taste and consistency were hardly affected, which I loved. I previously thought I would only use this in smoothies, but now I have lots of different recipes and uses to try. So, I will definitely be using more of this in the future, and I would highly recommend giving this a try. I’m glad I did.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Double Alchemy: Climax Blog Tour

Powerful modern warlock Quinn Fairmont found ecstasy with the silver-eyed and not-quite-human Cade Mairston, but to know true happiness the pair must best both the shadow of a long-ago lover and an ancient enemy who seeks to destroy love, light and all they hold dear.

It begins with a Book of Shadows discovered by a London coven. The grimoire is as dangerous as it is rare, which is why it evokes modern-day warlock Quinn Fairmont’s desire. He collects objects of great power and beauty—like his lover, Cade Mairston.

Against all odds he and Cade found each other, but their perils have just begun. First is the ex-lover who once held Quinn in thrall. And, someone has been killing warlocks. Could it be one of his own kind? There are those too who would challenge Quinn’s power in their quest to overthrow him as Grand Master. Or is the danger something darker, something invoked inadvertently, rising from the shadows, building from the very inside of a man until it brings an end with a quick flash of light? Of the truth, the surface has only been scratched. Now Quinn and Cade must go deeper and find both answers and an end. They must learn what lurks in the hearts of men…and whether it seeks to love or destroy.

Praise for Double Alchemy (Book #1)
“I love Paranormal stories & I'm a huge fan of Susan Mac Nicol's M/M books. In this book, she brings both genres together & gives us this amazing story. With her master storytelling, she takes us into the mystical & magical world of Witches, Warlocks, Withinners & Feys. A world where danger lurks in the shadows.” - Maria Recchia

“I stayed up all night reading this story. Susan has a way of writing that is different than anyone else. She's uniquely brilliant at weaving a tale that brings out my emotions. I have laughed in every one of her stories. That's incredible for me. Not just a smile, but a laugh. I love that. This book needs to be read. You won’t be disappointed.” - Author Kindle Alexander

“Susan Mac Nicol has created a complex and fully realized fantasy world…. Quinn is the star of this novel, taking out the bad guy and learning how to trust in Cade’s love enough to share his unsavory past.” Library Journal

“I completely loved this beautifully and highly detailed written Paranormal story! This wasn't a predictable story by any means. How Susan Mac Nicol takes us on a ride through this very creative and engrossing world that you will not forget, anytime soon and will be wanting more and more of it. I am a huge fan of this author and Double Alchemy, doesn't disappoint by any means at all. I highly recommend this hot, steamy, love, paranormal and so beautifully written story!” Paul Berry

“Susan Mac Nicol brings us another sexilicious m/m romance but also takes us into a magyckal world of Warlocks, Withinners, Fae, Witchfinders and Witches… I loved the combination of the magyck and the m/m romance storyline. I am so glad Ms Mac Nicol is not keeping us waiting as the second book in the series will be released 22nd May 2014. I highly recommended this book to read and is an absolute five star rating from me.” Foxylutely Book Reviews

Praise for Susan Mac Nicol:
"We have to re-iterate that this Author will always be an automatic one-click for us. Her writing is flawless and her flawed characters are completely lovable. There’s always something quirky and fun in her stories as well as drama, angst and heaps of passion! We can highly recommend!!" - Gitte & Jenny - Totally Booked Blog

"Susan has been hailed as a genius writer of male/male literature. Her Saving Alexander has been nominated for several awards and has been reviewed widely. Congrats on all your success, Susan. You have earned it." - Gay Lit Authors

If you were asked to describe yourself, what would you say?
Sometimes it’s a difficult question to answer as we don’t want to be seen to be bragging by saying something good about ourselves but we also don’t want to make ourselves look like a crazy person or loser. I guess we all have to face the truth and delve down deep inside and be honest with our answer. So here’s mine:

I am ‘An obsessive, driven, stubborn, pain in the arse, creative, loyal, quirky, humorous individual. The key word being ‘individual’. I don’t like labels. I think everyone should be exactly who they want to be in life -no hiding, no shame and no pressure to be something they’re not. And stuff anyone who thinks otherwise.’ I think that sums me up admirably.

Favourite colour? Purple
Favourite pet? Polar bear. I want one.
Dog or cat? Dog
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Quickie or candles? Candles
Hunky or chunky? Hunky
Man in Suit & tie or jeans & boots? Suit and tie, but if it’s just the jeans and boots, I might have difficulty deciding…
Walk in the park or chat over cocktails? Chat over cocktails

Purchase links for DOUBLE ALCHEMY (Book #1):

Purchase links for DOUBLE ALCHEMY: CLIMAX (Book #2):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Susan Mac Nicol:
Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, UK, and left for South Africa when she was eight. She returned to the UK thirty years later and now lives in Essex. Her debut novel Cassandra by Starlight, the first in a trilogy, was published last year by Boroughs Publishing Group in the US. Sue’s latest story, Double Alchemy: Climax is her sixth m/m romance.

Sue has written since she was very young, and never thought she would see herself becoming a Romance writer, being a horror/psychological thriller reader all her life. But the Romance genre is now something very close to her heart and she intends continuing the trend.

Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association here in the UK.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Son of a Itch VBT

On the lam from the FBI, the ICE PHANTOM continues with plans to defect to Moscow but not before seeking revenge on J.J. McCall. Meanwhile, the FBI commences Task Force PHANTOM HUNTER, a team ordered by Director Russell Freeman to track down suspected Russian illegals within the U.S. Intelligence Community—and not a moment too soon. An agent of the Russian Intelligence Services is targeting the nerve center of U.S. national security, taking the lie-detecting FBI Agent and her cohorts’ next mole hunt to the highest echelons of the U.S. government.

J.J. and her co-case agent lead the motley crew of spy catchers while she struggles to deal with sobriety, conflicting feelings for Tony and Six, and an egotistical Secret Service agent whose jurisdictional stonewalling complicates her every effort to identify the culprit before he gets away—with murder.

“Well, we’ve been downgraded from a task force to an analytical working group,” J.J. said. “We get no investigative resources. No Gs. Any cases referred for preliminary inquiries must be vetted through AD Nixon, who will probably send them to WFO for action. Put in layman’s terms—we’re no longer the hammer, we are the nail. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t blame any of you if you wanted to bail.” 

“How long this will last?” Gia asked. 

J.J. responded with a shrug. “The Russian National Security Council Director is supposed to visit next week and the President’s trying to smooth relations. Once he’s gone, we may get some breathing room. Until then, nothing.” 

“I’m still in, but what do we do now?” Gia asked. 

J.J. opened her mouth to answer when the song “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” blasted from her cell phone. She recognized ringtone given she’d heard it a thousand times over the past week. It was her favorite G. “Uhhh...if you'll please give me a minute. I should probably take this.” 

J.J. answered the phone as she stepped outside the conference room and closed the door behind her. “Hey, Jiggy. I'm in the middle of a meeting.” 

“You and Tony need to get down the Ellipse right now. It's urgent.” 

“The Ellipse? That’s Secret Service territory. What interests could the Bureau have there?”

“With all the shit hitting the fan right now,” Jiggy said, “you may not want to know.”

“Then why’d you call?” J.J. replied. 

“Because I have a sneaking suspicion the Russians have somehow gained access to a U.S. government agency communications network in this area…and judging by the close proximity to the White House…I think it’s in the White House.” 

J.J. released a heavy sigh and shook her head. “You’re right. I didn’t want to know.”

S.D., thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
On the professional side, I’m a former Intelligence Operations Specialist/Analyst in the FBI's counterintelligence program. I worked at the Bureau for 12 years and got to work in many incredible programs. My first stop was in a unit that supervised investigations involving the truck hijackings conducted by Organized Crime or La Cosa Nostra. Then I moved into art theft. From there I leapt into counterintelligence where I worked 10 of my 12 years, 8 of those years in Russian Counterintelligence. I left the Bureau and went to the DIA where I worked on the Joint Staff/J2 for nearly 5 years. As a contractor, I’d hold positions in U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence before leaving the government world. So, I’ve really combined all of my experience in all of these agencies to create the stories in this series. 

On the personal side, I’m a native Washingtonian (D.C.) and professed nerd-girl who loves all things Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Big Bang Theory. I think I’ve been in denial for years, thinking I was cool. But really, playing the tuba in the high school band should’ve been a dead giveaway. 

How did you get started writing?
I’m a late bloomer when it comes to writing novels I started out writing journals throughout my life, from the time I was 7 or 8. My mom got me started reading and writing from a very young age. She said I was snatching books out of her hand and reading them on my own by the age of 3. I had always had a deep desire to write a book but I didn’t give myself enough credit to believe I could do it. So, I was nearly 40 years old when I gave novel writing a try and I haven’t looked back since. The bug bit and it bit HARD…like pit bull it locked its jaws on me and hasn’t released me from its grip. I don’t think it ever will. 

What was the inspiration for your book?
The biggest source of inspiration for this story is actually a real case. Back in 1999, the FBI’s Surveillance Group (what we called “the Gs” at the time), caught an intelligence monitoring a listening that was implanted in the State Department just doors down from the Secretary’s office. It was splashed all over the news at the time and of course the FBI had to investigate. It was widely reported that the Russians didn’t get much of anything critical from the operation for various reasons. But I thought it would be really cool to use that as the germ of a story and then take it up a notch by asking…what if? 

What if, that operation was only practice for a bigger and ultimately much more successful operation? What if that was the reason it was no big deal. So that’s what we’re faced with when the story opens. J.J. and the crew are faced with potentially one of the biggest breaches in U.S. history and they have to find out whodunit. 

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I started out writing romantic comedy and was a total chicken when it came to writing spy thrillers, not only because of my background, but because I didn’t know if I had the chops to pull it off. So, this series is me writing the genre I really wanted to write. And then too, it is really an amalgamation of several genres so I squeezed no fewer than 4 genres into this one book, but, at least for me, it feels like a good gumbo, it works. 
Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I would never say never, but it is unlikely that I will ever be a Stephen King or a J.K. Rowling. I don’t like scary stuff…and I don’t have the big imagination required for world-building in Fantasy or Sci-Fi for that matter. All of my stories are largely grounded in reality and that’s a comfort zone for me.
So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
My first job is to finish up the last three books in the J.J. McCall Series. Book 3 is A No Good Itch and is due out later this year. Book 4 is That Crazy Itch; and Book 5 is “Life’s an Itch”—both are due out in 2015 if I have my way…but since I can’t write full time I don’t often get my way. Life usually gets in the way. But I’ll get as close as possible to wrapping it up by late next year. 
Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Black…it’s a pigment not a color, but if you see me and I’m not wearing black then it’s probably an evil twin and not me. 
Favorite movie?
This is a tough question. It’s like asking me to name my favorite book. In the spy realm, it’s probably going to be No Way Out with Kevin Costner. 

Book that inspired you to become an author?
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan, and Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. (Keeping in mind my first stop was romantic comedy). 

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it? This is so easy. Lie detecting…like the main character J.J. McCall. As a matter of fact, my son would tell you that I already have this superpower because he’s always getting busted over something. 

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
I’d love to meet Stephen King and talk writing. I’ve seen a few of his speeches on YouTube and he’s really a shoot straight from the hip kind of guy. Now, I probably read “On Writing” by Stephen King about once a year, but I’d love to hear new anecdotes. From a religious standpoint, I’d want to meet with Jesus. And from a business standpoint, I’d love to meet with Oprah and just pick her brain and listen to how she overcame challenges in her life. That would be a fantastic trio—my art, my spirit, my business. 

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
In the J.J. McCall series, the answer would definitely have to be a mix between the intelligence analyst Sunnie and J.J. Actually, what Sunnie does in the book actually was my job in real life. I wasn’t the agent, so I really relate to that work and support she gives J.J. They are both workaholics, fiercely patriotic, loyal to a fault, and pretty smart cookies. I’m a little bit of all those things, I think.

Author Bio and Links:
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported two major programs during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. She spent 20+ years supporting military and intelligence missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Skye, an award winning author, is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She’s addicted to writing and chocolate—not necessarily in that order—and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on several projects, including the next installment of this exciting series.

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Buy Links:
S.D. Skye Novels on Amazon – Kindle and Paperback 
S.D. Skye Novels on Kindle – Worldwide Links