Sunday, 27 November 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 27 November 2016

It has been a tough month, but I finally made it. Never had such a struggle, but I suppose there is always that first time, isn't it? Well, it's done and now I can relax and look forward to some new challenges in December.

Linzé Brandon, NaNoWriMo winner certificate, 2016

Monday, 14 November 2016

Book Feature: GOING ALL IN by Kristine Cayne


Men of Boyzville, Book One

Life has been tough on Harry Cooper. Rejected by his best friend, abandoned by his family, Harry spurns relationships, settling instead for backroom hookups and one-night stands. Out and proud, he scrapes by selling drinks in gold lamé trunks while struggling to make a name for himself as a musician. Desperate for a change, he and his roommate take a trip to Vegas, where Harry finds himself getting more than he’d bet on.
Fragrance chemist Ashton Montgomery is the man behind the Ashton George line of perfumes and colognes. He is also a gay man hiding behind the façade of one of New York City’s most eligible straight bachelors. After a failed paternity suit against him, he sneaks off to Vegas to celebrate his freedom. But is he really free, or is he locked into the future his parents have mapped out for him—CEO to the family business and married to a society woman of their choosing?

A chance meeting at a rock concert in Sin City catapults Harry and Ashton into an adventure where each man comes head to head with what he fears most. Can they learn to trust each other as a couple, or is undeniable lust all they have? When all the cards are on the table, they each must decide whether to fold or go all in.

About the Author
Kristine Cayne's books have won numerous awards and acclaim. Her first book, Deadly Obsession, was an RT Book Reviews Top Pick and won Best Romance in the 2012 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards. Her second book, Deadly Addiction, won two awards at the 2014 eFestival of Words and 1st place in the INDIE Awards, Romantic Suspense Category (a division of Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon Writing Contests).
Her book
Under His Command won Best BDSM Romance at the 2012 Sizzling Awards and was a finalist in the 2013 eFestival of Words and 2013 RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Awards, and her book Everything Bared was a finalist in the Erotic category of the I Heart Indie awards.

Going All In is Kristine’s second gay romance.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 13 November 2016

Tweet bird, NaNoWriMo, week 2 text
I learned something about myself this past week: I hate being behind and needing to catch up.
This year is my fifth year doing NaNoWriMo and it is the first time that I fell behind the daily word count target. By week 2 I had been ahead all the previous times, and laughed at the 'dreaded week 2' warnings that everyone dished out.
Only this year I was a victim of week 2, and I have to say, I did not like it one bit. Of course, the were extenuating circumstances (there always are, true?) but dammit, it is not as if I am a rookie at this. I should have seen it coming!
But I didn't. And that I think is where the true danger lies. We get so lost in the speed of life, that before you have a chance to blink, three days have passed. A few years ago, I set myself a personal target of 100k words in November. I made the target, but I learned something very valuable: taking care of myself, especially my hands. They were really hurting and I promised myself not to do that again. I write everyday, so why should I punish myself by overdoing it one month of the year? Not that 50k is what I normally do in a month, but still. I need to care for my hands. I only have one set, and I do like them just the way they are.
So stuck in the misery of week 2, I had fallen behind far enough that I was wondering how I could possibly catch up, without going through that pain again. And it hit me - voice recognition. So I put on my trusty gaming headset (thanks, Francois) and started dictating my words.
Only until I caught up those numbers that I was behind on, since I still prefer to type my words. I caught myself laughing a few times - at myself. Dictation requires practice and like writing you have to be 'fit' to do it, and I had forgotten that. Some of the words the computer wrote down...really had me going. Thank you, editing. Those words will really need a hard edit before this year ends, otherwise I will never remember what I wanted to write. But that is for after November.

So now I am caught up, a little ahead to be honest, and I can relax. Not completely though, since I still have a few thousand to go. But to my mind I am no longer a potential loser, I am a potential winner. And that makes all the difference, doesn't it?

Friday, 4 November 2016

Book Review: Dream Crusher by Natacha Guyot

I volunteered to read and review this book.

Amazon buy link

I love science fiction, but this book turned out to be a fantasy story rather than science fiction. Mentioning space travel does not science fiction make. There are no other science based elements, soft or hard core, in the story.
Crystals and mystics and alien races with supernatural powers are the realm of fantasy and I would rather classify it as such.
The story is rather thin on the ground in the action scenes. Very little details on what happens and the reader is left with a feeling of dissatisfaction. Whether the battles are won or lost, it wasn't possible to get into the action when it was underway. Only the mystics' reactions to the crystals were explored.
I liked Vahika. The priestess was no pushover, and the subtle undercurrent of attraction between her and Morden felt realistic in the scenes where they interacted with each other.
I also liked the way Sorred, one of Morden's team members, was portrayed. He had a temper. It made him real.
The character that impressed me the least was Morden himself. It was a surprise that his characterisation as the main character was not as one would expect of the leader of a group of soldiers. It took a few chapters to realise that Morden had no flaws. He had issues, but he was portrayed as a perfect character.
He was the hero. He liked children; they liked him. He was considerate towards his team members - rather foregoing sleep than bother theirs by snoring. He didn't even swear or get angry. Explicit text is not required to understand a character's internal dialogue.
It was difficult to relate to him. He was just too likable, too nice, and nothing made me root for him. He had no inner conflicts to resolve, and the battles themselves were too vague to really grip my attention.
When one of the group was killed during a battle, there were no emotional reactions from any of the main characters. Even experienced soldiers would have had some reaction to the event, whether they liked the victim or not.
Internal and external tension was lacking throughout the entire book.
Their so-called rogue mission didn't create too many sparks either. It was listed as the primary conflict in the synopsis and yet there was little to draw the reader's emotions. Their boss accepted their decision, and the anticipated fall out didn't realise with the expected level of conflict.

The story was easy to read, but I find it difficult to recommend it, even to readers of YA fantasy books.

Linzé's rating

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Book Feature: DECEIVING BELLA by Cate Beauman

Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Deceiving Bella – book eleven in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. County series.

With over 7700 reviews and a 4.4 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.

Buy It Now!

New to the series? No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary. Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters. Don’t hesitate to jump right in!

Deceiving Bella by Cate Beaumont, book cover
Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.
Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.
Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.

The Unofficial Deceiving Bella Soundtrack

I love music! I can’t imagine a world without catchy tunes playing, especially when I’m writing. Music is inspiration. Melodies, beats, and the mood of each song help me portray emotions and feelings as I tell a story. It’s a rare day when I don’t have my headphones in place, bopping my head, while my fingers race across the keyboard. You can listen to the “soundtrack” for each book on my website

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Deceiving Bella:
  • Favorite Song by Ben Rector
  • Lay It All On Me by Rudimental w/Ed Sheeran
  • Into You by Ariana Grande
  • Cake by the Ocean by DNCE
  • Truth by Steve Moakler
  • Any Other Name by Thomas Newman
  • Rock Bottom by Hailee Steinfeld
  • All I Want by Kodaline
  • Crash by Usher
  • Stand By You by Rachel Platten

Cate Beauman “Fun Facts!”
  1. Most of my story ideas come from watching hours of crime television/documentaries.
  2. Music is a major part of my writing process. Great songs are very motivating—kind of like when you find an amazing jam to exercise to.
  3. I like to try recipes I think my characters would want to eat.
  4. I often dream that my finger is stuck on the delete key or that I’m rewriting scenes that are perfectly fine.
  5. When I’m writing the first draft of a new book, I hardly sleep.
  6. My husband reads every word I write and critiques my stories.
  7. When I get writer’s block I take a shower. For some reason it seems to get ideas flowing again!
  8. I usually fill an entire spiral notebook with additional ideas for a story by the time I’ve completed a novel.
  9. At some point during each novel, I’m certain I don’t want to be a writer any more. Then I finish the book and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
  10. I keep notebooks in my car, purse, etc. because I never know when an idea will come to me.
Read an excerpt from Deceiving Bella:

They kept a slow pace, strolling in silence as the breeze plastered their clothes to their bodies and the constant sound of waves hypnotized, lulling Reed into relaxing by degrees.
“Thanks for coming with me tonight. It’s nice having company.”
He looked at Bella, staring at the fading light playing off her eyes. “The water smells better than a bunch of sweaty guys.”
“Your gym.” Her brow creased ever so slightly as she held his gaze. “What do you do for fun?”
“Work and box.”
“Sounds…like a good time.”
“I like it.”
“Do you smile?”
He frowned. “Huh?”
“I was wondering if you ever smile—or laugh. I haven’t seen you do either since we met.”
He sent her an exaggerated grin.
She laughed.
He smiled for real this time, finding her laughter infectious.
“You do smile. I wasn’t sure if you had some sort of facial paralysis we hadn’t discussed yet.”
He grinned.
“You should do that more often.” She hooked her arm through his.
He almost missed a step as the warmth of her skin met his, surprised by her casual gesture. He wasn’t used to people being so touchy-feely. “I do it plenty.”
“I’ll have to take your word for it.”
How was it possible she smelled even better now that they stood so close? It had to be her hair. “I don’t know what to say to that.”
She stopped abruptly. “Are you seeing anyone?”
He studied her, not sure that he liked where this was going. “No. You interested?”
She shook her head. “You’re not really my type.”
He tried to ignore the direct hit to his ego. “You’re not mine either.”
Another smile warmed her face. “I think we could be great friends, and I like projects—love them, actually.”
His frown returned. “And that means…”
“It means I like you. And I love that you don’t seem to have any interest in getting into my pants.”
Years of concealing any and all facial expressions kept his eyes from popping wide. “Wow.” He ran his hand through his hair, speechless once again. “Okay.”
She laughed. “I’m a big fan of honesty—putting it right out there.”
He chuckled as he settled his sunglasses on top of his head. “Clearly.”
They started walking again.
“There’s something about you that feels…safe.”
He raised his brow, taken aback. He’d been called many things, but this was a first. “Safe?”
She nodded. “Safe. It’s a good thing, but you’re pretty serious. We need to lighten you up. You need to play more.”
“I play plenty. I box.”
She scoffed, “Beating someone’s face in can’t lead you down the road to happiness.”
Her side brushed his with every step. He imagined he should ease away, break their connection, but he liked the way she felt, that she trusted him. “There’s more to boxing than beating someone’s face in.”
She looked at him as if she wasn’t so sure.
“I’ll have to show you—” He glanced over his shoulder when he realized they hadn’t seen Lucy for a while and laughed as the dog lay on her back in the sand with her front paws in the air. “What is she doing?”
He laughed again, shaking his head. “I’ve never seen anything like that.” His eyes met Bella’s as she stared at him. “What?”
“You have a great laugh.”
To his surprise, he was having a great time. It shocked him further that he liked Bella as much as she seemed to like him. Being here with her was exactly what he’d needed. “How long do you want to stay?”
“The sun sets soon. It’s the best part.”
The sand wasn’t bothering him much, and he couldn’t remember the last time his shoulders felt so loose. “I don’t have a blanket.”
“We can sit on our shoes.” She tossed hers down. “We can plunk ourselves right here.”
Lucy rolled to her side, stood, and ran their way.
He shrugged, dropping his flip-flops to the ground. “I guess this is as good a place as any.”
“It’ll be spectacular.” She took his hand, pulling him down next to her. “You won’t regret it.”
“We’ll have to remember a blanket next time.”
She smiled. “You want to come back?”
He stared ahead, petting Lucy when she curled up next to him, breathing in Bella with each inhalation. “I could see myself doing this again.”
She gave his shoulder a bump. “Good. You can be my beach buddy.”
He nodded, liking the idea. “Yeah, sure.”
“Great.” He crossed his ankles in the sand, his foot brushing Bella’s as they settled in to enjoy the show. It had been too damn long since he watched a sunset.

Did you enjoy the excerpt? You can read the first chapter on my website,, or you can finish the whole book with the links below!

About the author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full-length romantic suspense novel.



For a limited time: new subscribers will receive a free copy of Morgan’s Hunter and Falling For Sarah, books one and two in the Bodyguards of L.A. County Series!

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