Thursday, 29 September 2016

THE BILLIONAIRE BARITONE

The Billionaire Baritone, blog serial, Linzé Brandon, sweet romance
Amethyst loves music and enjoys hip-hop dancing to spice up her dull and dreary life. But one evening on her way home from dance class, she hears a voice that drew her away from her route.

Caught in the act of eavesdropping, her life is about to change in a way she has never foreseen.

David didn't quite know what to do with the beautiful trespasser, but when he learned that she was injured, taking care of her was the only solution.

Little did he suspect that she was about to take care of his lonely heart in return.


CHAPTER 16

The next few days were busy for both men, but they still found time to visit Amethyst. Her hand was healing, and the bruises on her body, according to Phyllis, were almost gone too.
The better he got to know her, the more David decided that he liked her.
"I should go home," she said one evening as he helped her back upstairs after dinner.
"No."
He could slap himself for being curt, but dammit, he wasn't ready to let her go. Not yet.
She stopped and frowned at him. "Why not?"
He no longer thought of her as someone that needed their help. In fact, all he could think of was the softness of her skin and the way her eyes lit up when she smiled.
She gained some weight under Phyllis' feeding regime, and it only served to make her more beautiful.
Instead of answering her, he asked another question. "Do you ever look the mirror?"
Her frown deepened, and she poked him in the arm with her good hand. "What are you talking about?"
"You're beautiful," the words popped out of his mouth. The delightful blush that coloured her cheeks made him grin with satisfaction.
She rolled her eyes and started walking again. "I am going to ignore you. Goodnight."

It was Thursday, and Jeff had the night off. They decided to spend the evening at home.
Assembled in the music room, Jeff sat at the piano playing all kinds of silly songs and laughed with the rest of them when they got the words wrong.
Phyllis and Amethyst picked the songs and made the men sing them. Since both were focused on classical music, it was highly entertaining to hear their versions of the popular songs.
Able to stand and walk on her own, Amethyst wiped her face of the tears; she was laughing so hard.
“I had not yet heard Lara's Theme with those words,” she giggled.
At the end of the song, they decided to take a break and have coffee.
“I have good news,” David said once they were settled on the couches.
Everyone looked at him in expectation.
“We managed to find a job for every single person in the factory.”
“That's wonderful!”
“Good job!”
“Excellent news, indeed,” Phyllis rounded up the replies. “What about the ones that were arrested? Have the police found the mastermind yet?”
“No, not yet.”
Amethyst touched his arm. “They will.”
He smiled at her optimism, although he wasn't convinced.
Jeff put his empty mug in the tray and slapped his hands together. “Okay. Who is up for some Christmas songs?”
They all groaned but got to their feet anyway.
Assembled around the piano once more, the singing was so much better, since everyone knew the words.
At one point Phyllis winked at Jeff. They were in silent agreement about David and Amethyst.

*  *  *

On Saturday morning, I managed the stairs by myself. It was just over a week since I fell. My foot was fine, and now it was time for me to leave. If I could walk, I could go home and find myself another job. The Morecrofts had been kind, but I couldn't be a parasite any longer.
I also missed my friends. I didn't have a close friend, but the people from my class were the closest I had to a family. They would be wondering what happened to me since I have never missed a class before. It might be a while before I could dance again, but that didn't mean I couldn't hang out with them.
“Good morning,” I greeted my hosts upon entering the breakfast room. It was my favourite room in the house, after the music room. It was small and cozy, and not so intimidating as the formal dining room.
Three somber faces replied. That was not good. I froze in my tracks. “What's wrong?”
Both men got up, and Jeff pulled out a chair for me, also something that reminded me of the chasm between us. In my world, men didn't do things like that without wanting something in return. Jeff never looked at me with anything except friendship.
Then there was David.  I knew the look in his eyes, and yet he didn't act upon it. I had too much self-respect, but sometimes I wished that I could ignore that voice in my head.

David took my hand. “We have some bad news.”
My throat closed up. I just knew this was going to be bad. “About?”
“Your boss was fired yesterday, and his whole department was put on suspension pending an investigation into allegations of theft and fraud.”

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Author Interview: Michelle Kemp

Today I welcome Michelle Kemp to my blog. Michelle's JOURNEY story will resonate with young adult readers, but I am sure there are many adults who would appreciate the story too.

author Michelle Kemp, YA author
JOURNEY Author: Michelle Kemp
1. What made you decide to take part in the JOURNEY project?
I started writing stories when I was 9 years old so writing has always been a part of my life. I am a teacher so my passion has been writing children’s books and I have published seven books to date. However, I felt I was in need of a new challenge. When I heard about the Journey project I was very excited. I was eager to try my hand at writing fiction for someone older than 8 years. The concept of a central theme (as well as a set word count and deadline) really motivated me as I thrive on challenges. I was excited to be able to work with such an amazing, diverse group of authors and have really learned a lot.

2. What is the title of your story? How did you come up with the title?
The title of my story is Lonely. I have always loved writing poetry and as a teen it was a great way to express my emotions. I wrote a poem called Lonely as it was how I felt at the time. When I was writing this story, that poem was really resonating with me and my memories of being a lonely teen.

3. What inspired your story?
I actually wrote the first paragraph of the story years ago and never really did anything with it. One day I was reading through some of my old work looking for inspiration for Journey and I found this short text. It really struck a chord with me and I just started to write. I soon had a vision of this harsh bleak world; where the loneliness I had felt as a teen didn’t even compare to the loneliness found there. I realised that it is all about perspective. I wanted to share my story as it is a symbol of the journey that many teens experience.

4. Please tell us about the journey of your character(s)
My character is a teenage girl who goes on a journey to overcome her fears of loneliness. She is thrown into a world where she has no choice but to confront the harsh loneliness of life. Through this journey she learns that there are things that are worse than putting yourself out there and embracing life.

5. What other things, besides writing, do you like to do?
I own a school and teach one of the classes so that takes up a lot of my time. I also teach creative writing to primary school children on some afternoons. When I do have spare moments I love to read as much as I can. I live on a smallholding with my parents so I enjoy being out in nature and spending time with my family. I enjoy dancing and swimming to relax but am also partial to drinking hot chocolate on the couch watching an epic movie.

6. What did you learn about yourself or your journey as a writer during this project?
I have learned so much during this project. I think one of the greatest things is that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible. I have spread my wings as a writer and enjoyed every moment of the flight. I realise that my journey is far from over and that there is always a new challenge around the corner if I am just brave enough to take the chance.

7. What do you see as your biggest challenge as a writer?
I think my biggest challenges would be time and editing. I love the writing process and enjoy working on different concepts. As such I work better with a deadline, as it helps me focus and devote time to a project. I prefer to write rather than edit but I am learning to enjoy polishing my work.

Thank you, Michelle, and all the best with your writing!

You can learn more about Michelle online:


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 25 September 2016

I am almost finished with my preparation for the Course based on the book, Negotiating the Maze. While it was my intention to follow the outline of the book, sometimes it is better to just follow your instincts. While the book remains the reference, the textbook if you like, the course will follow its own outline.
course materials, Negotiating the Maze, Linzé Brandon, course about writer's life
Course materials for students of Negotiating the Maze
While writing my notes (I do that by hand) I made some changes to the slides. I have always found that by writing by hand slows down my thinking and solutions, or better alternatives, popped into my head.
The changes are fairly minor, but it allows the storyline of the course content to flow more easily.
The first presentation will be this coming Saturday. I am excited to be presenting the course, but also a touch nervous. It has been years since I last conducted any kind of training course.
When I think about it, the excitement outweighs the nervousness, and that is a good thing in my book.

If had visited my blog during the week you would have seen the interview with JOURNEY author, Melissa Adendorff. This week it is the turn of YA author, Michelle Kemp. Be sure to visit again on Tuesday to meet another remarkable woman with whom I had the pleasure of working in this project called JOURNEY.
I am waiting for the final checks on two stories, then I can finalise the formatting of the ebook version of JOURNEY. If you like ebooks be sure to get order your copy as the pre-order price will be just short of criminal.

Pre-orders of the print book are still open. If you live in Pretoria or surrounding areas, keep your ear to the ground for the launch date and come around to meet all six of us. We love meeting readers (we are readers too!) and there will be prizes and giveaways at the launch for anyone to win. Of course, we would like you to buy a copy of the book, but it will not be a requirement to be eligible to win.

My editing of Waiting for Adrian, has taken a bit of a back seat this past week as I am focusing on finishing my course preparation. This coming week I want to spend some time editing again, but other obligations could limit that.
Obligations such as doing a photo shoot for a matric dance girl. Francois cannot do the shoot, so I am going to don my photographer's hat and make as if I know what I am doing - okay, I do know, but haven't done a solo shoot before. Will tell you next week how that went, maybe post a picture if her parents will allow it.

Until then, my friends, have a lovely week!

💜 Linzé

Thursday, 22 September 2016

THE BILLIONAIRE BARITONE

The Billionaire Baritone, blog serial, Linzé Brandon, sweet romance
Amethyst loves music and enjoys hip-hop dancing to spice up her dull and dreary life. But one evening on her way home from dance class, she hears a voice that drew her away from her route.
Caught in the act of eavesdropping, her life is about to change in a way she has never foreseen.


David didn't quite know what to do with the beautiful trespasser, but when he learned that she was injured, taking care of her was the only solution.
Little did he suspect that she was about to take care of his lonely heart in return.



CHAPTER 15

Hearing her cry out, did David pushed open the door and rushed forward when he saw her falling backward arms flailing.
Visions of her hitting her head gave him extra speed, and he grabbed her shirt. Right between her breasts.
He reached out to take her healthy hand and pulled her back into position.
It was hard to ignore the soft mounds rubbing his hand through the soft fabric, but he forced himself to let go.
“What are you doing?”
Her eyes were huge as they looked at him. “You saved me.”
His lips quirked a little. “It would seem that way. Are you okay? What are you doing in here?”
He stopped and looked at the toilet when he felt heat creep up his neck. Idiot.
She put her hand on his arm. “I wanted to take some of the painkillers the doctors prescribed, and I couldn't figure out which ones in the dark, so I came in here.”
“Grab the bag,” he said suddenly and lifted her up into his arms.
“Wait, the pills...”
They both looked at two green discs lying at the bottom of the bathtub, dissolving in a patch of water.
“You can take out two more.”
With her back in the bed, he reached out to switch on the bedside lamp. She took out two more tablets while he poured water into the glass.
“Why didn't you ask for help?”
She glanced at the chair he had been sleeping in. “You were tired, and I didn't want to bother you.”
He watched her swallow the tablets before helping her get comfortable again. “Next time just wake me, okay?”
She bit her lip and nodded.
“Good. Now lie back and close your eyes and let the medication do their job.”
She smiled at his commanding tone. “Will you sing for me?” she whispered. “You have a beautiful voice. Couldn't resist...the other night...had to come closer to listen.”
Stunned he sat there. Had he been the reason she had been trespassing?
She hummed a romantic ballad that was a popular version adapted from an operatic piece. Softly he sang with her. He didn't know the exact words of the English song, but he invented a few words around the ones did remember.

*  *  *

It was how Jeff and Phyllis found them.
Mother and son entered the house as quiet as they could. It was dark except for the light on the stairs to help them find their way.
They looked at each other when they reached Amethyst's room.
“Their voices are beautiful together,” Jeff whispered.
Phyllis nodded with her hand pressed to her mouth.
She pulled Jeff away with her. In her wing of the house, they both strained their ears until the last notes faded away.
“I don't think my brother has ever in his whole life sang anything with another person.”
“Except with you when you were still boys.”
“True, but even when he continued with his voice lessons, and I focused on the piano, he refused to sing any duets.”
Phyllis smiled as she put her feet up. It had been a long day, but the concert was worth every minute. She also enjoyed the party the orchestra had afterward. Jeff was a visiting pianist and popular with the people he performed with.
Jeff sat forward and linked his hands together between his knees. “Do you think I could convince them to sing at the Christmas charity benefit?”
Phyllis smiled wider. “That is an excellent idea!”
He grimaced. “Ha, now to figure out how to convince him to come out of the proverbial closet.”
“Hmmm,” she replied. “Now that is where I come in, my son.”

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Book Review: THE STRANGER by Anna del Mar

When a mysterious stranger is your only hope...
The scars of the past have left their mark, both physical and emotional, on former military pilot Seth Erickson. Off-grid in the far reaches of the bitter Alaskan wilderness, he wants only to be left alone with his ghosts. But he can’t ignore a woman in need—beautiful, stranded and nearly frozen with fear.
Summer Silva never imagined that the search for her missing sister would leave her abandoned on a wintry back road, barely escaping with her life from a cold-blooded killer for hire. Now, hiding out in the isolated cabin of the secretive wounded warrior who saved her, Summer knows she must do what she fears most. Putting her trust in a stranger is all she has left.
All defenses are down
After a fiery first night together, Seth and Summer are bound by a need as powerful as a Bering Sea superstorm—and vulnerable to enemies just as fierce. For Seth, reawakened by desire, there is no sacrifice too great, no memory too dark, to keep Summer safe. But murder and treason lurk everywhere and Summer may not survive Alaska’s ruthless winter.

A Wounded Warrior Novel. This book is approximately 110,000 words

Buy Links
Amazon           Carina Press            Barnes and Noble         Kobo Books        Google Play

Linzé's Review
Meet Summer and Seth - polar opposites just looking for a fight to happen. The story starts with animosity, distrust, and opposing goals when they meet.
But the reader soon learns why these feelings are there and why both the main characters are reacting like that and you want to root for them to get some common ground.
Seth is a likeable character and even from the start you cannot help but warm up to him, grouchiness notwithstanding. Burdened with the responsibility of his company and the threat of a take-over, he still comes across as a man of honour, and integrity. And being hot and sexy does help even if a pang of sympathy will creep into the fray. The character shows more depth as the story develops and make for a believable and very likeable hero.
Summer appears to be a flighty empty head, walking around in the Alaskan winter with high heels and a power suit does give that impression. Yet, you soon realise that there is much more to this caring woman who would literally go to the ends of the earth for her family. She lives with a difficult disorder that leaves her vulnerable to certain situations. But she doesn't let her weaknesses determine her life. A strong character that takes the challenges thrown her way and deals with them the best she can, always following her heart.
Thrown together the difficulties of their respective families and friends create a storyline that moves at a fast pace, yet slows down when their relationship intensifies. Trust takes time to build and the author explored this initial rift between them with sensitivity and guts at the same time.
It is a book laden with action, suspense, hot and steamy romance, yet touching on the base human fragility of having to survive against the odds. Trust, compassion, even forgiveness and understanding is portrayed in this very likeable story. It is more than a romance novel, it is a rollercoaster ride that will play with your emotions and yet leave you with a satisfied sigh at the end.

Linzé gives The Stranger: