Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.
Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.
In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.
There are TWO giveaways so read through this post to find out the details!
Author Guest Post
Karen Ann Hopkins describes Amish tradition, since her debut novel TEMPTATION explores the Amish community:
Interestingly, not all Amish Communities are alike. They all share certain traditions, such as using horse-and-buggies as their mode of transportation and the lack of modern technology within their homes, but some dramatic differences can be seen from community to community. For example, I tailored Noah’s Meadowview church after the Mays Lick community that I have had the most interaction with, but the Poplar Grove community, which is about five miles away from my home, has a very different Ordnung. My community members enjoy indoor plumbing and closed buggies, while the Poplar Grove families rely on outhouses and are forbidden to drive buggies that are covered. The members of this rustic community live a more grueling lifestyle than those in my own community, who, surprisingly enough sometimes look down upon their primitive counterparts, because of their choice to live even more isolated from the mainstream population of America. But, raising my eyebrow high, I learned that the rustic communities tend to be more lenient regarding social issues, allowing the observance of rumspringa, a rite of passage for some Amish youth to experience the ‘real’ world before joining up with their local church. The men in these communities are allowed to smoke cigarettes and even drink alcohol on occasion.
Your heart misleads you. That’s what my friends and family say. But I love Noah. And he loves me. We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms. It should be ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won’t be. Because he’s Amish. And I’m not.
About Karen Ann Hopkins
website, Facebook, Goodreads
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.
Welcome to the LOVE IS MURDER Blog Tour! There are 30 days with multiple stops! Many are hosting giveaways (see mine below!).
Today I’m featuring author Debra Webb and an excerpt from her story Dirty Low Down – A Jackie Mercer Story.
Debra Webb – Dirty Low Down
Temporary Command Center, Houston, July 8, 9:30 p.m.
“This is a bad idea, Jackie.”
“You think?” Seriously. Some jerk-off tortures and murders five women in the space of as many months? Yeah, that really was a bad idea. Helping out with the official sting to take him down? A flippin’ stellar idea. My partner should just get over it.
“Look.” Dawson cast a wary glance at the cops on the other side of the room before huddling close to me. “These guys can’t guarantee your protection. This whole operation hinges on dangling you as bait. I don’t like it.”
Debra Webb, born in Alabama, wrote her first story at age nine and her first romantic romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the military behind the Iron Curtain—and a five-year stint with NASA—that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has penned nearly one hundred novels. Visit her at www.debrawebb.com.
Review of Dirty Low Down
(I didn’t have time to read them all!)
I enjoyed Dirty Low Down featuring PI Jackie Mercer and her hot partner Dawson. Jackie gets sent to help the local police department capture a serial murder that stakes his victims vampire style. Very odd, that, but proved to be interesting. Lots of action, suspense and ultimately a nice resolution to a crime.
Super easy to enter, just fill out the below Rafflecopter widget! Open to US and Canada only. Extra entries available, not required.
What attributes do you concentrate on for your child to master?
Sophia: Loyalty and devotion is definitely something Alexis needs to master before it comes time for her to lead the Amadis. Unfortunately, she’s not exactly trustful of anyone. If she can get over her past betrayals, she’ll learn to trust the right people and to be devoted to her own people. I’ve done what I can to be an example of devotion, especially to the Amadis – I kept secrets from her even when I wanted nothing more than to tell her everything! She’ll come around. I believe in her.
Published: 2011-10-26 by Ang’dora Productions, LLC
Pages: 200 | $8.99
About Kristie Cook
Kristie Cook is a lifelong writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at www.KristieCook.com.
Of course it is a do. One of my favourite books is Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson which is a reworking of her own childhood within a fictional format as opposed to an outright memoir. What matters is that you are true to the kind of story you wish to tell, regardless of what is the inspiration. I would also say that no writer works in a vacuum as if their books are ‘ex nihilo.’ Whether you mean to or not, you write the kind of story you are either interested in, or have been through in some way. It is all inspired by your personal past and you rework it, sometimes even try to ignore it, but then press it down and reshape it so that it can become unrecognizable from truth but it still has seeds in it. There are some stories I love to read but would never be able to write because I would never be inspired to write them because they come from a different sort of experience to the one I have had. But novels should be about trying to tell some kind of truth – either the one you wish was real or the one that is. And sometimes I think the novels that have impressed me the most and the ones that have really stayed with me as visceral works of honest art are the one that you discover had some grounding in the author’s past. You do look at them in a new light and they seem so much more informed. But this novel is not based on my own personal story in any other way than it is about the interrogation and destruction of the family unit.
“To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you’d first have to see Aurelia.”
For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway’s dream to elevate the family name – no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways – and the once prosperous farm.
Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died – alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.
Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia’s youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family’s once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family… and her own part in their mottled history.
“Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void.”
I tried to read this book but it just wasn’t for me. I adore the cover and I think the premise sounds lovely. Maybe I’ll give it another try in a few months.
There is also a scavenger hunt going on with this blog tour. Check it out!
I honestly can’t believe I didn’t read this book years ago! I’m a big fan of Newberry Award winners.
I must admit though, that I haven’t finished the book. Not because it isn’t good but due to poor planning and time management on my end. I will have a full review for you soon!
Of what I’ve read so far, the characters are delightful and totally engrossing and most imporatantly, original. I wasn’t quite sure how to take some of them but they’ve grown on me immensely. I started this book having no idea of what it is about. I still don’t quite know. And you know what? I LOVE it. I love that I have no expectations and that the slate is completely clean. Each word is new and revealing. The story is unfolding brilliantly and so smoothly. I don’t know where it’s going but I can already tell it will be amazing and unique. I am excited to finish this book and then explore the remaining books of the Time series.
To think that this book has been around for 50 years is breathtaking. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to read this for the first time and share it with you. I must admit that I prefer the paperback cover to this new 50th Edition. It is just so much more fun!
But the 50th Edition has some nice bonus features:
• Frontispiece photo*†
• Photo scrapbook with approximately 10 photos*†
• Manuscript pages*†
• Letter from 1963 Caldecott winner, Ezra Jack Keats*†
• New introduction by Katherine Paterson, US National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature †
• New afterword by Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Voiklis including six never-before-seen photos †
• Murry-O’Keefe family tree with new artwork †
• Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery acceptance speech
* Unique to this edition † never previously published
A guest post by Marie Lamba, author of the new paranormal Drawn
We writers have the best job in the world. We get to perform magic, to make things mysteriously appear out of nowhere. All writers do this when they write fiction, but when we are writing actual fantasy scenes, well, that’s more magical than ever.
The trick, as with all magic, is making the audience believe. In my new paranormal novel Drawn, the main character Michelle De Freccio is an artist that draws and then meets Christopher, a hot medieval ghost with a sketchy past. Okay, so you have to suspend some disbelief when you read books like this, but my job is to make everything as credible as possible. I didn’t want to create something goofy, but a novel that is gripping and that feels very real. A story that truly draws you in. To do this, I grounded as much as I could in a gritty reality, and only put in a few spare touches of magic.
On the reality front, it helps to have a character like Michelle who is a born skeptic, and a cynical Jersey-girl to boot. She’s hoping to start over in England and have a more normal life (back in New Jersey everyone called the De Freccio’s the De Freakos…her family has an odd background and she was labeled a freak).
Even Christopher, who is technically a ghost to Michelle, is a realist living in his own world in the 1400s. Convincing both of them that they are linked in a time traveling relationship isn’t easy. People who are skeptics need some undeniable proof…and a touch of magic, like in this scene from the book, narrated by Michelle, when she realizes she’s truly in another time and invisible, among other things:
But Thomas Haston’s vision remains barely focused on Christopher. “Yes, master.” He bows his head. “I shall grab the reins.”
He hurries toward us. Straight toward me. He must be completely blind, because he’s going to walk right into me.
“Watch it,” I say.
He doesn’t walk into me. He walks through me. Like I’m a stream to be waded through. My skin feels itchy and a nasty saltiness fills my mouth. Christopher releases me and looks at me with horror. I look at my hands, expecting them to be see-through, but they’re solid. “What the hell?” I say.
“What in hell,” he says, his voice barely a whisper.
So who is the ghost here, and what, exactly is going on? Here’s the end to that scene:
Christopher takes both my hands, gingerly, as if he’s afraid they’ll burst into flames. “What are you? A sprite? A spirit? A phantom?”
“I’m a freak,” I say. And burst into tears.
While much of Drawn is based in realistic scenes, whether in the present or in the distant past, there are a few times when I really get to flex my magic muscles. One of my favorite moments happens when Michelle brings a book with her into the past, a book that reveals all the battle outcomes in the 1400s. While Christopher would be able to use this information to his advantage, this will clearly mess with destiny. Some things are just not meant to happen, so:
I run my finger over the text to where I left off. “The Duke, misreading his opponent, brought his forces for the Christmastime to the castle of…” Suddenly the page looks different. More white space. Less words.
“The castle of?” Christopher prompts.
I try to focus on the words. “…for the Christmastime to the castle of Sandall, but…” Something seems to move across the paper. My skin crawls, as I slide my eyes downward. I watch with horror as the letters at the bottom of the page disappear one by one.
I flip the page. Letters disappear from the bottom here, too. The white of the paper grows, eating away at the words. Frantic, I flip back to the page I was just reading. Completely blank. “Oh God.”
“What is wrong?” Christopher tries to sit up.
I flip ahead a few pages. Two paragraphs are left. I quickly read, “Henry’s forces had been gathering throughout the area for some time and the land was heavily for—” The rest of that word is gone, as is the rest of the writing on that page.
“Why did you stop?” Christopher says and peers at the book. He draws in his breath as the words I’d just read vanish like a fabric unwound by a pulled thread.
Every novel with a fantasy element must have its own set of rules. In Drawn, messing with destiny can be killer, literally. The history book with its unraveling writing sends up a warning to Michelle, but she disturbs destiny anyway, and winds up putting Christopher’s fate in horrific danger… Okay, I can’t say anything more about that without spilling too much about the story.
But I can say one other thing about writing magic: If you put a very real moment right up against a magical one, the contrasts can create a seriously strong scene. In this scene from Drawn, Michelle is in her own time being attacked by a bunch of thugs from “the wrong side of Castle Road”:
As rough hands drag me off the sidewalk, I shriek “Christopher!”
They laugh. “Calling your posh boyfriend?” Bobby says. “Guess he can have you when we’re through.”
I close my eyes and hear a scream. It’s not me.
My eyes fly open. Bobby cradles his arm. Blood seeps through his fingers. “Who did that?” He looks around wildly.
I back away and another guy tries to grab at me. He shrieks as his thumb is sliced off, seemingly by nothing. It lands bloody beside me. I catch a glimpse of a rusty truck in the street before I close my eyes and curl up in a ball. Tears streak my face.
There’s more terrified screaming, then I hear them run away.
“Michelle. Michelle?” someone says and touches me. I whimper. “It is okay. I came. They will not hurt you now.” I feel the hand rub my arm and he says, “Shh now. Shh.”
I dare to open my eyes and there is Christopher kneeling beside me, a blood-smeared sword in his right hand. He drops the sword and gathers me into his arms.
For some reason, this scene always gives me the shivers. I guess I’ve always been a sucker for a brave hero in tall boots. Now that’s magic!
Marie Lamba (marielamba.com) is author of acclaimed young adult novels including What I Meant… (Random House), Over My Head, and Drawn. When she isn’t writing or doing magic tricks, she’s working as an Associate Literary Agent at The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency in NYC.
Teen artist Michelle De Freccio moves to England in search of a normal life…instead she finds a hot medieval ghost with a sketchy past.
It all begins when a strange guy appears in Michelle’s drawings. When she actually meets him at the town’s castle, she’s unmistakably drawn to him. But something is definitely not right. For starters, he wears medieval garb, talks of ancient murders and tends to disappear each time they kiss.
Could he possibly be a ghost? Could Michelle be losing her mind? Or has she simply uncovered a love so timeless it’s spanned the centuries…
Praise for Drawn
“A lushly romantic ghost story…captivating and haunting. I didn’t want it to end.” –Cyn Balog, author of paranormal YA novels Fairy Tale, Sleepless, and Starstruck
“…a wonderfully spooky tale of romance and discovery. It’s a magical exploration of the unconquerable power of love. Highly recommended!” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay
“In DRAWN, Marie Lamba deftly entwines romance and mystery, past and present, into a page-turning adventure. Buy it today and I promise you’ll be finished reading far too quickly!” —Joy Nash, USA Today bestselling paranormal romance author of The Immortals series, The Grail King and The Unforgiven