Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Romantic Comedy / Memoir
Date Published: March 29, 2011
If you liked When Harry Met Sally, you'll fall in love with Robb and Gertrude from Strangers on a Bus...
Robb is crushed by a failed relationship with the love of his life and finds himself unexpectedly on a long bus trip from his adopted home in the U.S. back to his native Canada.
At the first stop in NYC, a girl gets on and so begins a contemplation of life, love, and strange events that will bring tears of laughter and heartache streaming down your face.
Is this girl Robb's real true love or just a rebound? How far can they get on a bus ride anyway?
This is a true story.
Things To Do in A Bus Stop Bathroom?
The sun started to come up as we crossed into Canada, and Gertrude told me we wouldn’t be making out once it was daylight. Lip dancing on a brightly lit bus was too “tacky” for her, and besides her lessons were having a not entirely unpleasant side effect on her.
I find it best to try not to understand women at all. But, there is one phenomenon that causes me more confusion than any of the other baffling behavior women indulge in.
When you tell a woman something and she doesn’t believe you, so you tell her the opposite, and she doesn’t believe that either, I like that.
So, you tell her the first thing you said was, indeed, the truth, and she doesn’t want to believe that one either.
So am I. Here is the latest incarnation of this occurrence.
Gertrude: “All this kissing isn’t bothering you? You’ve got more restraint than any guy I’ve ever met. I thought you would have been trying to feel me up hours ago.”
Me: “Would it have worked?”
Gertrude: “Maybe, probably not. I think it’s nice. You’re a gentleman.”
Me: “Not really. Every time we stop I take care of that in the bathroom.”
Gertrude: “You’re such a pig! You washed your hands right! You’re so gross! You didn’t! Did you?”
Me: “I thought I was a gentleman! I lie! I lie! I lie! Of course I didn’t.”
Gertrude: “You’re such a pig! You did! Didn’t you? You’re so gross!”
Me: “Stop laughing at me if I’m so gross! I didn’t! I didn’t!”
Gertrude: “You did so! You’re such a pig!”
Me: “Okay. Fine. I did.”
Gertrude: “No you didn’t! You’re not that big a pig. Close. But no. You didn’t.”
Me: “I tell you I didn’t and you say I did. I tell you I did, and you say I didn’t. You’re such a weirdo.”
And then I kissed her, because the sun was rising quick, and because I couldn’t see another way to end that conversation. It is possible that debate could have gone on indefinitely, and there was no way I could prove conclusively what I had or had not done in a bus stop bathroom.
After what might be our last extended lip dancing lesson Gertrude whispered in my ear, “I was horny and wanted Dicky-bird…that is fun to say, so in the bathroom… I did.”
Robert Manary is an international playboy and man of mystery, with the charm and sophistication of James Bond shaken not stirred with a couple ounces of Cyrano de Bergerac, a dash of Rasputin, and garnished with the rapier wit of Thurston Howell the Third.
That's how he sees himself, anyway.
The truth is Robert Manary is a construct created to protect the dubious reputation of his Clark Kent like mild mannered writer/puppeteer/the man pulling the levers and breathing life into the Great and Powerful Oz (don't look too closely behind the curtain).
Robert Manary's alter ego dropped out of Radio Broadcasting College to pursue a lucrative career bartending at a seedy gentlemen's club, played around stocking shelves at a small grocery store until he screwed up badly enough to be given a promotion, and finally left the glamorous life of fighting with Parmalat representatives over the quantity of soy milk required for a small Northern Ontario town to function adequately, for the bright lights of New York.
Wow that was one long sentence!
Manary is also a master of the run-on sentence, an abuser of commas, and has no idea how to properly use this bit of punctuation: ";"
He also thinks he is much "cleverer" than he probably is.
Manary is an award winning blogger, an erotic romance novel writer, the author of a pretty decent romantic comedy, and for a brief period in the early nineties served as dictator of a small South American country.
Most of that is true.
New York, New York, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. Manary couldn't make it there, and with only a little prompting from law enforcement agents returned to Canada, and chronicled the journey in that pretty decent romantic comedy mentioned in a paragraph above.
Manary is also an experimental artist who has no clue how to write an Author's Bio, and definitely no idea how to end one.
He has only been in love once, and that didn't work out so well, but he dreams and dreams of that girl he's loved all along. Can a taste of love be so wrong?
P.S. He is also a shameless plunderer of pop culture.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Sacrifices - PROMO Blitz
(A Jeff Woods Mystery); Sequel to Attachment Strings
By Chris T. Kat
Date Published: 4/28/2014
When he was outed on the local news, Jeff Woods gave up his dream job as a detective to become an on-air radio personality. The sacrifice was worth it to keep Alex and Sean in his life, but Alex lost his job, too. Jeff can tell Alex worries he’s pressuring Jeff too much, first with Sean and now the lack of money, but he has no idea what that will lead Alex to do. Desperate times bring out the stupidity in some people, and when Jeff discovers Alex is in over his head in a situation he can’t handle, he needs all his self-control to stay calm.
Life is not easy with the Church of Virtue still spouting venom wherever they go, homophobes at the police department, a gangster who wants Alex in the worst possible way, and a bed that barely holds one grown man, much less two (and a child), but Jeff is there to stay for good, and he’ll do what it takes to make Alex believe him.
After wishing Sean a good day at school, which he answered with a sullen look, I made my way over to Alex. He got up from his chair and threw himself into my open arms.
I held him tight, felt him tremble slightly. He whispered, “I don’t want him to make a fuss when the school bus arrives. I can’t handle this shit anymore.”
He was almost sobbing the last sentence. Sean had given him hell since school had started. We both understood Sean’s refusal, but St. Christopherus School was the only one available for him.
Sean never wanted to get on his school bus, which he showed everyone in no uncertain terms. He screamed and cried and thrashed around in his wheelchair so violently that he’d managed to flip the wheelchair onto its side on several occasions.
His new bus driver, an elderly woman named Patricia Cornell, was an incredibly patient person. Somehow she always convinced Sean she’d take care of him and got him on the bus. By the time the bus left, Alex was either crying or close to tears. I’d witnessed all of this several times in the past weeks and generally sat with Alex afterward while he tried to compose himself.
Today he’d be on his own.
Tightening my grip, I whispered back, “He’ll get over it eventually. His therapist said as much.”
Alex snorted. “Yeah, Burnes also said he’d get over his nightmares eventually. Do you see that happening? Because I damn well don’t.”
His trembles increased and fast puffs of breath tickled my throat. Not a good sign. Helplessly, I murmured his name.
Sean whistled sharply, obviously not happy about being excluded from the conversation. Alex jumped in my arms and tried to push away from me. I held on, keeping him crushed to my chest.
“Jeff, I need—”
“No, you don’t,” I cut him off. “Sean will survive not being the center of your attention for a moment. Relax.”
“Relax?” Alex snapped, again struggling to get free from me.
Lifting him off his feet, I carried him over to his chair, plonked down on it, and settled him on my lap, all the while ignoring his protests. “Hush now, I’m in charge here.”
“No, you’re not.”
“But yes, of course I am. Who else could be in charge here other than me?”
Sean laughed from the other side of the table. I winked at him. Alex finally stopped struggling and leaned against me instead.
“How about me?” he asked.
“You?” I countered, doing my best to sound sufficiently horrified.
Alex bumped a fist against my chest, smiling a bit. “Yes.”
“Well, for one, I like to be in charge and you don’t.”
“That’s not true!”
“Don’t interrupt me,” I said. The corners of my mouth curved upward, even though I tried to keep a straight face. “I’m having a really good daydream right now.”
“Really? What’s it about?”
“Oh, just that you’re acknowledging my awesomeness and—”
“All right, all right, you’re awesome and in charge and I was short of having a meltdown. Yet again.” He sighed.
“Hah! I knew someday you’d say it!”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t let it go to your head. We don’t want you to be distracted while you’re on your way to work,” Alex muttered.
And that was the real problem, or at least part of it. Alex feared something could happen to me—on my way to work, at work, on my way back, anywhere.
I couldn’t blame him. Resting my cheek on top of his head, I pulled him closer to me. Alex shuddered, then trailed a finger over my shirt, tracing the large scar hidden under it.
Chris T. Kat
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks, or does cross stitch.
Friday, April 25, 2014
To Catch a Spinster - PROMO Blitz
By Megan Bryce
Date Published: June 2012
Come back to a time when manners are everything and rules are made to never be broken. Come back to a time when men are in charge and women do what they are told...
Yeah, that never happened.
Welcome to Megan Bryce's Regencyland, where ladies with backbone get what they want. Where a woman can thumb her nose at rules and care little for convention, and yet somehow, unexpectedly and most reluctantly, find love.
To Catch A Spinster
Olivia Blakesley, self-proclaimed spinster extraordinaire, is quite happy with her life. She has her studies and her duties, what need does she have of a husband? With five sisters married she knows the reality does not live up to the promise, and does not need to personally experiment with the state to know she would be ill-suited to it. However, she finds herself envious of at least one aspect of marriage. But to experience the physical side of marriage, one doesn't need a husband, all one needs is the right man...
Nathaniel Jenkins knows his duty. Marry a young girl from a respectable family and father an heir, no matter how cold the endless parade of suitable girls leaves him. But a shocking proposal from a scholarly spinster leaves him wondering if unsuitable is just what he's looking for. Can he convince his spinster that marriage is the greatest experiment of all?
Miss Olivia Blakesley watched as her youngest sister was married and thought, “That does it, old girl. You are officially on the shelf.”
Truthfully, she wasn’t quite yet. But at the ripe old age of seven and twenty, with two older sisters and three younger sisters all married, she was close enough. What man would want the sister who had been left behind? More importantly, why would she want the man who would want her?
She wouldn’t. So it was a good thing she had her studies and responsibilities. She was fairly certain she would have gone stark raving mad these last eight years waiting for a suitor who would never come if she hadn’t started studying the stars or helping her father with the accounts. Not exactly respectable activities for a gentle young woman, but she enjoyed them.
Her mother blamed those activities for her current matrimonial-less state. What woman would rather sneak outside to paint stars than flirt with a beau? What woman who was at least pretending she wanted to get married would wear those high-necked, front-buttoned, somber-colored old maid rags?
Olivia handed her mother, who sat sniffling in the pew beside her, a clean handkerchief.
“Thank you, Olivia. I can always count on your handkerchief to be dry at weddings, can’t I? I don’t understand how you can be so emotionless.”
“I’m not emotionless, and you should be grateful as you now have two handkerchiefs to drench.”
Olivia’s father winked at her as he patted his wife’s hand. “It’s not as if this wedding was a surprise, my dear.”
No, Eugenia had been promising that she would be snatched up the quickest since Prudence had taken nearly two years in the marriage mart. Eugenia had lasted a mere two months. The Blakesley sisters were nothing if not goal-oriented.
Olivia had her own goals and, unfortunately for her mother, they did not include catching a husband. Even so, she did not want to die inexperienced in love, estranged from her sisters because they knew something she didn’t.
She did not want to die a virgin spinster aunt, caring for her aging parents.
It would be much better if she could die an experienced spinster aunt, caring for her aging parents.
She glanced at the cross hanging above the vicar’s head. Dear Lord, what was she considering? Was she really thinking of. . .
No. It was a sin. And she was in a church, for heaven’s sake.
But as her father was wont to say: In the course of life, some commandments must be broken. For emergencies. For science.
Thou shalt not kill. Definitely one to be broken in an emergency.
Thou shalt not worship any graven images. A few might say that Olivia worshiped her Dutch-made telescope. For science, of course.
Honor thy father and mother. She had never been any good at that one.
Thou shalt not commit adultery. . .
Well, she just wouldn’t choose a married man. This was, after all, a scientific emergency.
She was not going to die an old maid.
Olivia looked back at the altar. Her beautiful sister in her lace-trimmed ivory satin wedding gown beamed at her new husband, who looked down at her with obvious love and a little bit of panic. Olivia would never have that. She would never fall in love. Never have someone to depend on– only herself.
She nodded. So be it. If she could not have everything, she would have something. If she could not have love, she would have lust. She would find someone to teach her desire.
About the Author:
Megan Bryce sits in front of a computer all day making up stories for a living. Which means she is not nearly as interesting (as well as tall, svelte, and/or dressed) as her characters. She gets bored quickly and just can't be bothered with anyone in her head who doesn't make her laugh-- which translates into fun books, outrageous situations, and witty characters who will leave you laughing and gasping for more.
Get your copy for FREE During the Blitz!
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Summoned - Week Blitz
By Rainy Kaye
Date Published: 3/28/2014
Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.
Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can't tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn't the type to tolerate secrets.
Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl's ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.
Summoned is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
I dislike having to murder someone. Kidnapping is worse. At least when I setup a kill, I know what's coming. No connections, no honesty, no surprises. Everything I say and do are just steps to luring in my victim. Once the victim falls right into the trap, the next move is swift: crushed windpipe, fatal concussion, or a good ol' fashioned headshot.
Kidnapping, on the other hand, is a little trickier. First, the victim has an opportunity to respond. I don't like this. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they manage to alert the authorities. And sometimes they escape, usually by inflicting bodily harm on me.
Dead people don't retaliate. Kidnapped ones, well, they're a little more . . . lively.
The second major difference between killing and kidnapping is my conscience. I get in and out with a kill. We have no chance to bond.
Abductees require a little more one-on-one. As much as I try to keep the switch turned off, I can't help but listen to their pleas and demands. And I usually realize I'm a jerk.
That's exactly where I find myself one late afternoon in June. I prefer doing this at night, but moreover, I would prefer not doing this at all.
Instead, I have a belligerent nine year old girl sitting in the passenger seat of my Honda Accord, shackles on her wrists and ankles and a small stuffed bunny on her lap. She's eying me in a way that makes me self-conscious. Like I'm the bad guy.
Probably because I am the bad guy.
Rainy Kaye Links
2 $50 Amazon gift cards.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Submerged - Week Blitz
By Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Psychological Paranormal Thriller
Date Published: 2/26/2013
From the international bestselling author that brought you CHILDREN OF THE FOG comes a terrifying new thriller that will leave you breathless…
"SUBMERGED reads like an approaching storm, full of darkness, dread and electricity. Prepare for your skin to crawl." —Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds
Two strangers submerged in guilt, brought together by fate…
After a tragic car accident claims the lives of his wife, Jane, and son, Ryan, Marcus Taylor is immersed in grief. But his family isn't the only thing he has lost. An addiction to painkillers has taken away his career as a paramedic. Working as a 911 operator is now the closest he gets to redemption—until he gets a call from a woman trapped in a car.
Rebecca Kingston yearns for a quiet weekend getaway, so she can think about her impending divorce from her abusive husband. When a mysterious truck runs her off the road, she is pinned behind the steering wheel, unable to help her two children in the back seat. Her only lifeline is a cell phone with a quickly depleting battery and a stranger's calm voice on the other end telling her everything will be all right.
"From the first page, you know you are in the hands of a seasoned and expert storyteller who is going to keep you up at night turning the pages. Tardif knows her stuff. There's a reason she sells like wildfire—her words burn up the pages. A wonderful, scary, heart-pumping writer." —M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of Seduction
"Tardif once again delivers a suspenseful supernatural masterpiece." —Scott Nicholson, international bestselling author of The Home
"From the first page, Cheryl Kaye Tardif takes you hostage with SUBMERGED—a compelling tale of anguish and redemption." —Rick Mofina, bestselling author of Into the Dark
"Cheryl Kaye Tardif's latest novel SUBMERGED will leave you as haunted as its characters." —Joshua Corin, bestselling author of Before Cain Strikes
"SUBMERGED will leave you breathless—an edge of your seat, supernatural thrill ride." —Jeff Bennington, bestselling author of Twisted Vengeance
Near Cadomin, AB – Saturday, June 15, 2013 – 12:36 AM
You never grow accustomed to the stench of death. Marcus Taylor knew that smell intimately. He had inhaled burnt flesh, decayed flesh…diseased flesh. It lingered on him long after he was separated from the body.
The image of his wife and son's gray faces and blue lips assaulted him.
Mercifully, there were no bodies tonight. The only scent he recognized now was wet prairie and the dank residue left over from a rainstorm and the river.
"So what happened, Marcus?"
The question came from Detective John Zur, a cop Marcus knew from the old days. Back before he traded in his steady income and respected career for something that had poisoned him physically and mentally.
"Come on," Zur prodded. "Start talking. And tell me the truth."
Marcus was an expert at hiding things. Always had been. But there was no way in hell he could hide why he was soaked to the skin and standing at the edge of a river in the middle of nowhere.
He squinted at the river, trying to discern where the car had sunk. He only saw faint ripples on the surface. "You can see what happened, John."
"You left your desk. Not a very rational decision to make, considering your past."
Marcus shook his head, the taste of river water still in his throat. "Just because I do something unexpected doesn't mean I'm back to old habits."
Zur studied him but said nothing.
"I had to do something, John. I had to try to save them."
"That's what EMS is for. You're not a paramedic anymore."
Marcus let his gaze drift to the river. "I know. But you guys were all over the place and someone had to look for them. They were running out of time."
Overhead, lightning forked and thunder reverberated.
"Dammit, Marcus, you went rogue!" Zur said. "You know how dangerous that is. We could've had four bodies."
Marcus scowled. "Instead of merely three, you mean?"
"You know how this works. We work in teams for a reason. We all need backup. Even you."
"All the rescue teams were otherwise engaged. I didn't have a choice."
Zur sighed. "We go back a long way. I know you did what you thought was right. But it could've cost them all their lives. And it'll probably cost you your job. Why would you risk that for a complete stranger?"
"She wasn't a stranger."
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Marcus realized how true that statement seemed. He knew more about Rebecca Kingston than he did about any other woman. Besides Jane.
"You know her?" Zur asked, frowning.
"She told me things and I told her things. So, yeah, I know her."
"I still do not get why you didn't stay at the center and let us do our job."
"She called me." Marcus looked into his friend's eyes. "Me. Not you."
"I understand, but that's your job. To listen and relay information."
"You don't understand a thing. Rebecca was terrified. For herself and her children. No one knew where they were for sure, and she was running out of time. If I didn't at least try, what kind of person would I be, John?" He gritted his teeth. "I couldn't live with that. Not again."
Zur exhaled. "Sometimes we're simply too late. It happens."
"Well, I didn't want it to happen this time." Marcus thought of the vision he'd seen of Jane standing in the middle of the road. "I had a…hunch I was close. Then when Rebecca mentioned Colton had seen flying pigs, I remembered this place. Jane and I used to buy ribs and chops from the owner, before it closed down about seven years ago."
"And that led you here to the farm." Zur's voice softened. "Good thing your hunch paid off. This time. Next time, you might not be so lucky."
"There won't be a next time, John."
A smirk tugged at the corner of Zur's mouth. "Uh-huh."
Zur shrugged and headed for the ambulance.
Under a chaotic sky, Marcus stood at the edge of the river as tears cascaded from his eyes. The night's events hit him hard, like a sucker punch to the gut. He was submerged in a wave of memories. The first call, Rebecca's frantic voice, Colton crying in the background. He knew that kind of fear. He'd felt it before. But last time, it was a different road, different woman, different child.
He shook his head. He couldn't think of Jane right now. Or Ryan. He couldn't reflect on all he'd lost. He needed to focus on what he'd found, what he'd discovered in a faceless voice that had comforted him and expressed that it was okay to let go.
He glanced at his watch. It was after midnight. 12:39, to be exact. He couldn't believe how his life had changed in not much more than two days.
Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls "a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel."
She is now working on her next thriller.
Cheryl also enjoys writing short stories inspired mainly by her author idol Stephen King, and this has resulted in Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories (collection of shorts) and Remote Control (novelette eBook).
In 2010 Cheryl detoured into the romance genre with her contemporary romantic suspense debut, Lancelot's Lady, written under the pen name of Cherish D'Angelo.
Booklist raves, "Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border."
GIVEAWAYa Rafflecopter giveaway
KINDLE FIRE + REsQMe Emergency Tool (featured in the novel and was donated by the company)
*The Kindle Fire HD or Kobo Arc 7 will be awarded IF I make New York Times or USA Today bestsellers lists, so the more people share my event, the better chance I’ll be giving one away. The other prizes will be awarded no matter what happens.
This Blitz is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours