Monday, March 31, 2014

Guest Post by Karen-Anne Stewart

Title: Ash To Steele

Author: Karen-Anne Stewart

Release date: February 13th, 2014

Genre: New Adult

Book Description:

Who I am and all I believe is marred with just one glance into angry, steel blue eyes. He seems to control my air, my ability to breathe. He makes me crave everything I know is a sin. Pure becomes tainted and lines are blurred. It's my fault; I'm the one who isn't strong enough. I've been damaged...broken. Breck's words haunt me...'There's a consequence for every choice you make.'

I've had so many women I can't even remember over half of their names, but none of them are mine; I make damn sure of that. I take what I desire and never look back. I don't need or want anyone, ever...not until I met Emma. Those eyes bore into what's left of my soul and her touch sears me, weakens me. I want to hate her for that. She is my sweetest hell.

Disclaimer: Intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.


Guest Post

The five novel characters I would choose to have dinner with…but maybe not all at one time!

1.       Miss Havisham, from Great Expectations, is my absolute number one character I would choose!  From all of the books I have read in my life so far, Miss Havisham is the one that has stuck with me the most.  Dickens created such a layered character with her, and I have always been fascinated with what is inside her eclectic, broken, and even cruel mind.  A woman who has never changed out of her wedding dress since her infamous wedding day intrigues me, mostly because I have this overwhelming desire to throw her disillusioned butt in my car and get her to the nearest psychiatrist available, but also because she didn’t see the harm in her actions (or reactions) until significant damage was done, and that baffles me.  Despite her faults, this character has a soft spot in my heart.

2.      Aslan, from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis is my next choice.  This book holds some of my dearest childhood memories, including being read to in bed by my father until I fell asleep.  Aslan is such a strong, yet gentle, character, and I remember wanting to climb on his back and hold onto his Lion’s mane for a ride as a child.  My daughter now loves this story, so it continues to bring wonderful memories to my family J.

3.      Christian Grey is a man that I would want to meet if I met him as his character in book 2 or 3 in Fifty Shades of Grey…I’m a little nervous of the book 1 Christian with all those punishment threats ;).  Including all of the obvious reasons, I would also love to meet Christian because I feel E.L. James did an amazing job writing his character with quite a few deep, intriguing layers.  I’m such a sucker for a bad boy with a good heart.

4.      Stephanie Plum definitely makes my list !  One For the Money by Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite books.  Stephanie’s character most certainly conjures up the image of a wild night on the town, full of all kinds of fun trouble, and I’d love to be her friend and partner in crime (or partner in trying to stop crime).  That would be a night to remember.

5.      I’m not trying to be tacky here, but I would love to meet Kas; I just can’t find it in me to leave him off this list after writing, eating, breathing, and dreaming of him while writing The Rain Trilogy.  I missed him deeply when I wrote the last words to After the Rain.  Kas is my idea of the perfect man - supportive, kickass, sexy, protective to the point of bossy at times, and willing to go through hell and back to save his girl. 

There are way too many characters to mention that I would be ecstatic to invite to a party and see how the night would end with all of them in the same room; I’m sure no one would ever be the same!

About the Author:

I am a new author and have recently discovered that I am now addicted to writing. My first novel, Saving Rain, was originally going to be a single novel, but it quickly turned into a trilogy. I fell in love with the characters and had to continue with the story. Saving Rain is a new adult contemporary romance meant for readers 18 and older.
I live in the mountains with my family, and I love to read, hike, and travel when I am not writing. I am a sucker for romance, especially a book with a strong alpha male who has a sensitive side. I also enjoy a good mystery and thrillers. My favorite author is James Patterson, he is an amazing writer.
With being a newbie, I am just learning all the ropes, but I'm loving the wild ride. I plan on writing for as long as my fingers have dexterity

Tour Giveaway:

Prize: 5 USD Amazon Gift Card

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review - Mail-Order Groom by Cindy Flores Martinez

Title: Mail-Order Groom by Cindy Flores Martinez
Publication Date: February 7th, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Find it at: Goodreads

Lisa is about to marry the love of her life and have the wedding of her dreams, but her world is shattered when she finds her fiancé, Jeff, in the arms of another woman. When he calls the wedding off and struts around town with his new love, Lisa is heartbroken, and she wants revenge. She gets it by marrying a total stranger at the wedding who she found on Mail-Order-Grooms.Com. He’s from Poland, and he needs to marry an American woman so that he can stay in America. He’s willing to pay her money for it. Lisa thinks he’s the perfect answer. It won’t be a real marriage, and her best friend Daphne insists she won’t even have to live with him. Lisa races to the altar with her stand-in groom and says “I do”, but she soon discovers that revenge isn’t as sweet or as simple as she thought it would be. Will she find love in the end

I have received this book as part of a blog tour in exchange of an honest review.
When Lisa’s fiancé calls of the wedding right before it is schedule to happen and shows up in town with another woman, Lisa is heartbroken.  She wants revenge and she comes up with a plan to get it: marry another man!
I thought Mail-Order Groom was a fun story with good characters. It’s easy to like them, especially Lisa, and I couldn’t help but want things to work out for her.
Plotwise, this is a fun and interesting book. The plot develops nicely and I enjoyed reading about the relationships between the characters.
All in all, Mail-Order Groom is an easy and fast read.
If you are a fan of contemporary romance, I think you might like this book.

Rating:  Worth Your Time (4 Stars)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Guest Post by Cindy Flores Martinez

Title: Mail-Order Groom

Author: Cindy Flores Martinez

Release date: February, 2014

Genre:  Contemporary Romance  

Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

Book Description:

Mail-Order Groom, a debut romantic comedy novel by Cindy Flores Martinez, was inspired by the author’s own Polish ancestry and is based on her screenplay and movie project of the same title, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world.
A story about an American woman who marries a stranger from Poland after her fiancé leaves her right before the wedding.
At 25, Lisa is about to marry her first real love and have the wedding of her dreams, but her world is shattered when she finds her fiancé, Jeff, in the arms of another woman. When he calls the wedding off, Lisa is heartbroken, but her heartache turns to anger when she sees him in town the next day with the other woman.
In a momentary lapse of reason, Lisa decides to marry another man at the wedding. She finds Krzysztof Zielinski from Poland on Mail-Order-Grooms.Com. He needs to marry an American woman so that he can stay in America, and he’s willing to pay money for it, but his reason for needing to stay is what tugs at Lisa’s heart and convinces her to say “I do” to him. Besides, green card marriages are easy, right? They’re short-lived and not real. She won’t even have to live with him. And marrying another man would be the perfect revenge on Jeff.
Lisa races to the altar with her stand-in groom, but she struggles with the guilt of deceiving her parents and facing her confused wedding guests. And then she learns that she does have to live with Krzysztof. She wakes up the next morning hoping it was all just a bad dream.
How will she handle the dilemma she has gotten herself into?

Guest Post:

How Mail-Order Groom Became a Novel
By Cindy Flores Martinez

Before my debut novel Mail-Order Groom was ever a book, it was a screenplay and movie project. My journey to bring this story to life was a long and difficult one, full of twists and turns, which eventually led me to a new career altogether.

The idea for Mail-Order Groom came to me in 2006 when I was looking through a website about Poland, and I came across an interesting discussion about Polish men who marry for green cards. I had been an aspiring screenwriter for some time, and I was always searching for movie ideas. That day, my imagination ran wild. I thought of a story about Lisa, an American woman, who marries Krzysztof, a stranger from Poland for money. Two weeks later, I had written a screenplay.

A friend told me that he could film a movie for me in the small town where he lived with the new camera equipment he had just bought. All I needed was to raise some funds. I thought it was a fantastic opportunity, so I reworked the story to reflect his location, and I sought a Polish actor, Jakub Haczkiewicz from Chicago’s famous Second City, to portray the lead character. But after I showed the screenplay to friends in the movie business, they urged me to aim for a higher budget and set my sights on Hollywood. They said Mail-Order Groom could be a blockbuster hit. Despite my lack of experience, I decided to give it a try. What did I have to lose?

Over the next two years, I lived the life of a part-time aspiring independent movie producer. I wrote business plans, created budgets, reached out to co-producers, directors, and sought funding from all over the world, including Poland. It was all so exciting. Jakub was there through the whole experience. I eventually hired a casting director who found two actors to portray Lisa’s parents. He was nominated for an Academy Award, and she had a major role in a popular Steven Spielberg film.

A second casting director arranged for me to show the screenplay to a famous director. It was a hot summer day in 2008 when I made my way through the dense traffic on a busy street in Los Angeles toward the major talent agency where her business partner worked. I was a nervous wreck as I rode the elevator to the seventh floor and handed my prized possession to the guy at the front desk. The director was going to read my screenplay and decide if she wanted to direct it. Well, time went by, and my casting director and I never heard from them. We finally received an email that said the director had “enjoyed” the script, but there was no definite decision to direct the movie. The whole thing was left sort of hanging.

Despite my continued hard work and tireless efforts, my plans went nowhere. I had learned that you can’t get funding, even the smallest amount, if you’re unknown in the business. I didn’t know what to do, but I still had a story to tell. I didn’t want to let it just fade to black. That’s when I decided to turn Mail-Order Groom into a novel. I soon discovered that screenwriting and fiction writing are two entirely different beasts.
Personally, I find writing novels far more difficult than writing screenplays because there is so much more involved, but it’s also far more liberating. Screenwriting has rules and limits, but your creativity can run wild and free on the blank pages of a book. I fell in love with writing fiction, and I have many more stories brewing in my mind that I want to bring to life.

I learned through my experience that you can never give up on your dreams. Sometimes you think they have died and that nothing can ever repair them, but it might actually be the beginning of something better.

About the Author:
My name is Cindy Flores Martinez. I was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles. I have an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. I have been a screenwriting instructor, screenplay consultant, script reader, and screenplay collaborator.  My debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, which was inspired by my own Polish ancestry, started out as a screenplay and movie project. I spent years shopping it around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world and had two well-known actors, one of them Academy Award nominated, interested in portraying the lead character’s parents. After not finding the success I wanted, I officially canceled my film production company in November of 2009 and embarked on the journey of turning my screenplay into a novel.