Author: M.A. DeOlmos
Genre: New Adult 18+
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
~ Synopsis ~
My name is Livie Marie Acosta. I am a firm believer that childhood memories are supposed to be happy, joyous, and beautiful. I also believe everyone else in life has just that… except for me, of course.
I came close to having that once with
my own family. I had a loving mother that treated me like her little princess. My father was, and still is, the biggest support system in my life, but even his love isn’t enough for me at times. I would have been a proud big sister at the age of seven, but Antonio Jr. was torn away from us before he was even born.
I was destined to be alone and hurt, both emotionally and physically scarred.
The only skeletons that remained of my once happy family was a father I adored, but who lived hundreds of miles away, and a mother whom I had spent most of my own life saving from her demons.
Like many people, they are scarred so deep that when they bleed, it is a reminder that they are still human.
I have a secret. A secret only I know about. I keep my secret well, and keep it hidden from the peeping eyes of the world.
At least I tried… that is until two angels barged into my life, and into my scattered heart. Their presence in my life spun me on my heels, turning my world yet again upside down, and right side up all at the same time.
What I find could either save me, or finally push me over the edge.
Here is my story…
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~ Excerpt ~
“Don’t call me that.” I screamed back as I stormed out of his bedroom towards the living room. As I turned the sharp corner to give him a rather large piece of my mind for calling me by my birth name, I tripped over my feet and collided with a body. Only this body wasn’t Law’s, I felt the distinction instantly. This massive rock hard frame sent chills through my entire body and had my womb vibrating in a way I’ve never experienced before. I’ve pleasured myself but this was a thousand times more intense. “Hey slow down Zena.” The voice spoke to me and I swear I was about to have a massive orgasm any second.
The strangers strong and beautifully built arms came up and he steadied me with his hands on my shoulders. The current that was racing through my body jacked up a million fucking notches. Since my off the shoulder top was hanging dangerously low, the skin-to-skin contact was making me dizzy. I squeezed my knees together to fight for some form of control over my pussy. I looked up at the stranger who was also the same height as Law at about six foot two or maybe three. His tan was perfect defining his sharp jaw and facial features. His eyes were a warm milk chocolate brown that looked like they were rippling with deep sprinkles of green. His lips, oh my god his lips. He had those Tom Hardy lips that a girl just wanted to kiss, bite, suck, nip, and just do dirty things to. The right side of his mouth turned up into a smirk and the leaky faucet between my thighs finally sprung a massive panty-drenching leak. This gorgeous man standing in front of me looked like the best of Stephen Amell, Jon Ryan, Alex Pettyfer, and Tom Hardy all rolled up into one fucking dangerous beast.
His shoulders where wide and broad great for boxing. His torso reminded me of Law’s, long, lean, and well defined. He had on a black fitted T that was stretching to the max over his sculpted muscles and his dark denim Abercrombie jeans where dangerously low showing off the tips of his boxer briefs. “You okay Zena?” The deep voice asked again. Even his voice was too sexy to be legal. It sounded bad enough to be bottled up and sold as an illegal substance. It was deep and rumbled as he rolled the words off of those juicy lips. Shaking my head to clear away the spell I allowed myself to be pulled under I looked up into his eyes.
“The names Livie not Zena, and you are?” I didn’t mean to sound so bitchy but no one in the history of my life had been able to bring out that strong of a reaction out of me and my lady parts. Virgin lady parts at that! “I know I heard you yelling at Law for calling you Livie, is there something I’m missing?” he asked me as he leaned forwarded causing me to take an awkward step back. What the hell, I never back down from anyone! This sexy son of a bitch was pissing me off. “I don’t care what you heard. To you its Livie and to Law its Sunshine! You don’t need to know why and I don’t care to share why. Don’t call me Zena again!”
“I see you two have met.” I heard Law say from the hallway. The frown on his face and the way he was staring down this stranger put me at ease a little. He caught my gaze and winked at me. “Sunshine this here arrogant douche bag is my cousin Ocean Nathanial Hawthorne.”
~ About the Author ~
My name is Melissa DeOlmos, a newbie to the world of indie writing. I live in sunny side Palm Bay, Florida with my two lovely crazies ages five and two, along with my Law Enforcement champ of a husband. I could say that writing novels has been a passion that I’ve always pursued, but I can’t.
Writing for me has always been my own secret escape into a land of wonders, opportunities; loves and so much trouble that I sometimes wonder if I need medication for the stories that pop into my head. I am now deciding to share my mystical mind and stories with the world, so that hopefully others may also find that little something extra they’ve been looking for. Thank you and I hope you enjoy my books.
$10 Amazon Gift Card
Title: Coming Home
Author: Priscilla Glenn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 20, 2014
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Event Organized By: AToMR
~Michelle’s 5-Star Review ~
“Traditions are good. They help keep memories alive.”
Priscilla Glenn falls into a certain category of authors–I will read ANYTHING she writes because I know it will be a fantastic read and perfectly edited! She’s an English teacher for heaven’s sake, and she can write those scenes that make me feel like I’m in the story, and I can feel exactly each and every emotion that I’m reading. (Do you remember the piano playing scene from Emancipating Andie? Holy hotness and sweet emotion! ) Well, Priscilla is now three out of three for me! She knocked this one out of the park with a grand slam. :)
I typically do not read teasers for upcoming novels (as I do like to be surprised) and hadn’t even read the synopsis for Coming Home. So it wasn’t until I was twenty-five percent into the book (and curious) when I finally went back and read the synopsis. (Again, that proves to you that I will read anything she writes.)
At this point in the story Leah was on the phone with Danny and they were asking each other questions. I remember having a wicked grin on my face the entire time. I felt like a teenager again enjoying the “getting to know” you period. I was so vested in Danny and Leah’s story already, and there was no going back. Of course, I was very curious about Danny’s secret and his intentions at this stage of the book. (Did I mention that I literally laid in bed ALL day reading and put everything and everyone on hold?)
Coming Home is written in third-person point of view, which is great because I felt every emotion that Danny and Leah experienced. I laughed, I cried, I smiled, and I mourned throughout Coming Home. Priscilla included quite a bit of humor in this book, which was a welcome change. Leah had a great relationship with her family, and they were constantly teasing one another. Once again, I felt like I was part of the family and my heart was full with that familiar feeling of being loved and having family to count on no matter what.
Leah is so refreshing to read because she is a confident woman, and she doesn’t have too much of a problem telling Danny what she is thinking or what she wants. Oh, can I tell you how much I enjoyed her character? I seriously want to just hang out with her, especially at the Cheesecake Factory or a bar. :)
“I don’t mind a little disappointment now and then. It just means you’ve got high standards. I’d rather shoot high and be disappointed sometimes than just live in the middle with the illusion of being satisfied.”
And when she laid her head back down on his chest, he rested his cheek against her hair and closed his eyes, wondering if there would ever be a man on this planet who was worthy of her.”
“So if something seems too hard, princess, before you throw in the towel, you should always ask yourself, ‘Will the reward be worth the suffering.’”
Danny DeLuca (gosh, I love saying his name) is no doubt going to make the list of top book boyfriends. He is sexy, complex, wishy washy, but he is honorable and has his reasons for the way he acts. Yes, he has a secret. He has a past, and he is his own worst enemy.
The hurt will be temporary, she reminded herself as his lips moved against hers. This is the forever.
In addition to Leah and Danny and their families, Priscilla has included their best friends as well. And once again, their scenes are some of the best, both funny and heartbreaking.
If you are a fan of Colleen Hoover’s writing, I encourage you to pick up Coming Home, especially if you have never read a book written by Priscilla Glenn. There were two scenes in particular that I honestly thought were written by Colleen. Yes, that is one hell of a compliment, which tells you how great this book is. Coming Home will no doubt sit on my shelf of Top 10 Reads for 2014!
“I just…I want you to know that no matter what happens, I know you, Danny,” she said. “I know who you really are.”
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book directly from the author. I was not paid to read or review this book. All opinions are my own, and I was never influenced by anything or anyone.
~Author’s Take on Danny DeLuca ~
By Priscilla Glenn
Danny DeLuca is “the perfect combination of cute, but sexy. Pretty, but rugged. Exuding a gentleness, but at the same time, radiating a raw sex appeal.” He’s described as tall with black hair, and eyes that are “shockingly blue” against the dark tone of his hair. And the cherry on top? A pair of dimples that make Leah feel like her veins are full of helium whenever they appear. When he’s not working underneath a car and cursing like a sailor, he’s taking care of Gram and apologizing for his friend’s crude behavior. He is a walking, talking, delicious dichotomy.
Danny is passionate about everything he does; he works hard, fights harder, and loves with his entire being. He can be moody and unpredictable at times, but he is extremely loyal to those he cares about and will do anything to protect them or make them happy, even if he suffers as a result. There are events in his life he’s still struggling to move on from, but despite his traumatic experiences, he has managed to maintain a level of sensitivity and kindness. (Although, you’d be remiss to mistake his kindness for weakness.)
Unknown fact about Danny: When I first wrote Coming Home, it was done in first-person point of view with Leah as the narrator. It wasn’t until I went back and gave it an overhaul that Danny’s point of view made an appearance, and holy hell, there was so much he wanted me to know about him. I totally fell for him while writing his perspective, which in turn gave me a deeper understanding of Leah.
~About the Author ~
Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has been teaching English at the middle and high school levels for the past twelve years while moonlighting as a writer, mom, coach, student, and professional laundry-doer.If you catch her when she’s feeling sophisticated, she’ll tell you her favorite things are great books and good wine. In the moments in between, she’ll admit her love for anything Ben and Jerry’s, UFC fights, and Robert Pattinson. Glenn is also the author of the contemporary romance novels Back to You, and Emancipating Andie.
The Inspiration for the Spiral of Bliss Series
At the risk of sounding rather nutty, I can say with complete honesty that the inspiration for Liv and Dean’s story came from Liv herself.
One afternoon in July 2011, I sat down at my computer to write a short, erotic story that I was planning to self-publish. I didn’t have much of an idea in mind, except I thought that if I wrote about a woman who was trying to get pregnant, that would certainly leave plenty of room for sex scenes.
But when I started writing, Olivia West walked right into my head and started talking to me. To this day, I have no idea where she came from. I don’t know anyone like her, she’s not based on anyone I know or even any other fictional characters I’m aware of. Instead she just emerged, fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus, with all her hopes, dreams, insecurities, wishes, doubts, and fears.
I initially wrote the book in a diary format, as if Liv was keeping a journal of her thoughts, and the first draft started with her introducing herself as “My name is Olivia West. I’m medium-height, with long dark hair… etc.” (later, I realized she was introducing herself to ME). So Liv is really the one who drove the story from the very beginning. In some ways, I feel like I was just going along for the ride.
As the story progressed, I became both consciously and unconsciously inspired by some of my favorite stories and themes—the idea of journeys and returning home in Alice in Wonderland, The Little House on the Prairie series, the Wizard of Oz, and themes of true love and betrayal in Gone with the Wind.
I also found a great deal of inspiration in classic fairy tales with motifs of defeating evil and finding your way through dark forests, as well as medieval legends about chivalry and the codes of honor that Dean represents.
And of course, the theme that inspired me the most was that of a couple so devoted to each other and so deeply in love that they will fight any battle to stay together.
The beautiful Spiral of Bliss covers were painstakingly designed by Victoria Colotta of VMC Art & Design. When Victoria and I discussed imagery for the new covers, we decided to create something more unique and “outside the box” than the previous covers of sexy couples.
She and I also both wanted the covers to have a progression, with the first cover representing Liv, the second Dean, and the third cover symbolizing them together. One of the reasons I love the covers so much is that they are so tied to the story and characters.
The cover for AROUSE, a flower in a nest, represents Liv on so many levels—her love of gardening, her desire for a home/nest and family of her own, her fragility, and her hope of blossoming into the woman she wants to be.
The cover of ALLURE, books and a butterfly, is equally tied to Dean. The books represent his intelligence and love of scholarship, while the butterfly symbolizes his struggle to let Liv take flight while wanting to protect her. The butterfly is also an allusion to Liv and Dean’s conversation in ALLURE about the monarch butterflies of Pacific Grove who always return home.
The AWAKEN cover of two antique keys and hydrangea flowers represents both Liv and Dean. The keys allude to the conversation in AROUSE about everyone having a “key” to unlocking their secrets. Liv soon realizes that Dean is her key, but together they have to fight through the consequences of unlocked, destructive secrets.
I also discovered that hydrangeas symbolize “heartfelt emotion” and are the “4th anniversary flower.” In AWAKEN, Liv and Dean celebrate their fourth anniversary as a married couple, and they certainly do have a great deal of heartfelt emotion!
Finally, the color progression on the three covers represents Liv and Dean’s unity and reconciliation:
red + blue = purple
Arouse + Allure = Awaken
Liv + Dean = togetherness.
I’m so grateful to Victoria for designing such beautiful and emblematic covers—I could not be more thrilled that Liv and Dean’s story is so perfectly packaged.
The Spiral of Bliss Symbolism
When I started writing the Spiral of Bliss series, I didn’t set out to incorporate themes of home, courage, friendship, and finding your way. Those ideas grew organically as Liv and Dean’s story evolved, though early on I had the sense that Liv was a lot like Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
Once I realized I was writing about a woman who was trying to find her way home after traveling on strange, twisting roads and battling scary creatures, I made the symbolism a more intrinsic part of the story.
In all three books, there are many allusions to characters in Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz. Here are just a few:
- Mirror Lake = reference to “Through the Looking Glass”
- Emerald, Ruby, and Poppy Streets = Emerald City, the ruby slippers, the poppy field
- Avalon Street = mystical island in Arthurian legend and the place where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was forged
- Maggie Hamilton = Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz movie
- Helen Morgan = Morgan le Fay, the sorceress in the Arthurian legend
- Kelsey March = March Hare in Alice in Wonderland
- Allie Lyons = Cowardly Lion in Wizard
- Professor Marvel = the magician/peddler in the B&W part of the Wizard of Oz movie, who is later the Wizard himself
- Crystal Winter = the witch’s crystal ball
- North = The Good Witch of the North
The symbolic themes of the books relate to Liv’s difficult past and her struggles in a strange, frightening world of uncertainty. Although she has found a safe haven with her husband, she still has to try and find her own path and a way “home.”
Along the way, Liv establishes her own friends and support system, and eventually has to figure out exactly what “home” means to her. In the midst of her journey, Dean is like the wizard, fighting to give Liv everything she wants and needs while hiding his own flaws. They both have to discover in different ways that they each have power and strength within themselves.
The Awaken Symbolism
From the beginning, Olivia West is a woman who is trying to find her way, just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Liv wants to believe she’s strong and capable, but her life’s experiences have thwarted her efforts. As she says, “The ground has always shifted beneath my feet. I’ve had a hard time planting myself firmly on it, figuring out in which direction I should or even could grow.”
After making her way through the twisted, confusing path of her childhood, Liv found a safe haven in her husband. For years, Dean has been Liv’s rock, her port in the storm, but she soon realizes that her need to be nurtured and cared for has made her lose sight of who she is and what she wants.
So Awaken is in part about Liv’s journey, like her compatriots Dorothy and Alice, not only to find her way home again, but also to discover her own strength and power. And we learn about her “Good Witch of the North,” a man named North who helps her along the way, and Liv’s need to defeat her own personal version of the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Wizard of Oz and Wonderland themes come to fruition in AWAKEN, as Liv both finds solidarity with her friends and learns to stand on her own. Also, Dean has to figure out his own way through the chivalric code of honor that he has always tried so hard to follow—but navigating the tenets of duty, faith, and sacrifice prove more difficult than he imagined.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances and spicy erotica. Originally from California, she loves traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Nina also spent many years in graduate school studying art history and library sciences.
Although she would go back for another degree if she could because she’s that much of a bookworm, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer. Nina’s novel The Erotic Dark hit #1 on Amazon’s Erotica Bestseller list, and Allure is a USA Today Bestseller.