Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Excerpt: This Tangled Thing Called Love by Marie Astor

Claire Chatfield has everything a girl could possibly wish for: looks, a promising career, and an engagement ring from one of New York's most eligible heir-bachelors! Life should be a dream and yet, it does not feel like one... When an enigmatic new neighbor, Alec Brunell, moves into an apartment above from Claire's, Claire is surprised to find herself wondering whether the choices she has made in her life are worth following through.

In order to secure his place as his father's successor, David Lawson must settle down with a wife befitting the future head of Lawson Enterprises - and who could fit the prerequisite better than lovely Claire Chatfield? There is just one glitch - David Lawson is in love with another woman.

Alec Brunell has never lacked for women's attention, but he finds himself at a loss when faced with his downstairs neighbor, Claire Chatfield. Still, her iciness only adds fuel to his fire, as Alec is determined to change Claire's view of him.

This Tangled Thing Called Love follows the story of four people searching for love - will they have the courage to find it?

Read on for an exciting excerpt from Marie Astor's "This Tangled Thing Called Love":

Claire smiled and lifted the glass to her lips – she loved it when David called her his girl – there was something so old-world about it. “So, how was your day?” she asked him.
“There was only one good thing about it – looking forward to seeing you.” David squeezed her hand and Claire thought she was going to literally melt under his gaze. He had had this effect on her ever since they met, and at times, she wondered if she would ever start taking David for granted - at the moment, it seemed impossible. “And that’s all I care to say about my day at the office on a Saturday.” David grinned. “How was your day, baby?”
“I had the craziest morning.”
“Oh? What happened?”
“I got a new neighbor and he was playing his music really loud...” The image of Alec’s bare torso materialized in Claire’s mind as she remembered him moving to the sensual tango music. Flustered, she halted into silence – here she was, sitting across the most desirable man in all of New York and most likely in the world, having ridiculous thoughts about her impertinent neighbor.
“There you are!” Amber sidled into the seat next to David.
For once, Claire was glad of Amber’s interruption.
“Aren’t you two going to dance?”
As if on cue, a deafening blast of techno filled the room.
Claire glanced at the empty dance floor and shook her head. “Oh, you know us, Amber - David and I don’t dance.”
“That’s right.” David nodded. “I can think of far better things to do with my girl than grinding on the dance floor.”
Even David Lawson had an imperfection - it was his utter lack of rhythm and music timing – an idiosyncrasy that Claire found most endearing when she overheard David singing in the shower. David took care to stay off the dance floor, and Claire adored him all the more for it.


Author Bio:
Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, This Tangled Thing Called Love, romantic suspense novel, To Catch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window. Marie Astor is also the author of young adult fantasy adventure novel, Transadonia: Silverboard Rider.

If you would like to find out more about Marie’s books, please visit Marie at her website: www.marieastor.com.

Books by Marie Astor:

AND...there is more!!

Leave a comment here on Marie's CLP Blog Tour page and be entered to win an Amazon gift card and one of five beautiful pieces of jewelry. You have until August 27th. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: The Way by Kristen Wolf with bonus guest post

Anna is a fiery tomboy living in ancient Palestine whose androgynous appearance provokes ridicule from the people around her and doubt within her own heart. When tragedy strikes her family, and Anna’s father disguising her as a boy sells her to a band of shepherds, she is captured by a mystical and secret society of women hiding in the desert. At first Anna is tempted to escape, but she soon finds that the sisterhood’s teachings and healing abilities, wrapped in an ancient philosophy they call “The Way,” have unleashed an unexpected power within her.
When danger befalls the caves in which the sisters have made their home, Anna embarks on a hazardous mission to preserve the wisdom of her mentors by proclaiming it among ordinary people. Her daring quest and newfound destiny reveal, at last, the full truth of her identity a shocking revelation that will spark as much controversy as it does celebration.
Anna’s story is one of transformation, betrayal, love, loss, deception, and above all, redemption. Readers will cheer for this unforgettable protagonist and for debut novelist Kristen Wolf, whose beautifully written book both provokes and inspires. A compelling mix of history, myth, and fantasy, The Way is a fascinating exploration of the foundations and possibilities of human spirituality.


Kristen Wolf wove a very interesting tale, showing what a creative mind she has in this telling of Anna, from the time she was a young girl struggling to understand why her existence was so conflicted to growing into a strong woman who finds a purpose. At the root of it all is a story that every person knows on some level, the author just creates a version that is different than anything you will have read before and shows the mark of a very vivid imagination.

Kristen also stopped by to discuss overcoming rejection.

HOW TO OVERCOME REJECTION – 3 Lessons from Anna of THE WAY  
By Kristen Wolf           

On a quest to find her place in the world, the spirited young heroine in my novel, THE WAY, comes face-to-face with some monumental obstacles.

First, being a girl at the turn of the first millennia, her community and even her family consider her nearly worthless. Second, she is further shunned and misunderstood because of her unusual appearance.

Eventually, she is cast out.

While you may or may not suffer these difficulties in particular, we can all relate, at one time or another, to being rejected for reasons beyond our control. And it is during these times that we often turn to stories to help us cope.

Feeling yourself condemned by friends, family, work associates, even society at large, is devastating. There is no other word for it. And being exiled—for whatever reason—comes with a terribly high cost.

In fact, a friend recently told me that her vote against further layoffs at work turned so many co-workers against her that she began to question her own value as a person! The same gnawing doubts can arise from a multitude of situations both large and small that pit us—our beliefs, values, actions—against those of the status quo.

What, then, can we do to strengthen ourselves when faced with times of personal rejection and crisis?   

Anna’s story of struggle and eventual triumph provides three insights with which we can empower ourselves: 

1)    Trust your instincts.
It sounds trite, but do you do it? Really? Do you truly believe in your inner voice enough to defend it against the opposing opinions of others? In Anna’s case, she secretly befriended a person she was forbidden to talk to. In her heart, Anna knew the woman was good and not the evil-doer the villagers described. Rather than harming her, their resulting friendship catapulted Anna toward her destiny. Are there places in your life where you’re making choices just to “get along” rather than trusting your gut?
2)    Challenge the status quo—ask the difficult questions.
 So much in our lives depends on the questions we ask—and, perhaps even more, on those we don’t ask. Humanity depends on those who challenge our assumptions. Without them, the world would remain flat, leeches a cure all, and women unable to vote. When her father mourned the loss of his son and felt cursed with a daughter, Anna demanded to know: Why is a dead son worth more than a living daughter? At the time, this was an outrageous question. Today we know better. Are there questions you’re burning to ask but do not for fear of upsetting “the way things are”?

  3)    Spend time with the eternal.  
To practice the first two insights takes enormous inner strength and resolve. One place from which we can all draw limitless inspiration and purpose is the eternal world, the world that exists beyond us. Try spending a little time contemplating something that is part of this world every day. The thing itself doesn’t have to be grand or exotic. What matters is not the object, but the depth of your attention. Anna drew incredible inspiration from a single blade of grass. You might do the same from a houseplant. Maybe a bird outside. Or how about opening your fridge? Any fruit or vegetable will do! Contemplate how its life began. Where it draws its energy from. How it is vulnerable or strong. While the practice may seem odd at first, over time you will feel deeply emboldened by these moments spent communing with what endures.           


Author Bio:

Kristen Wolf, 43, is a mother and writer living in the Rocky Mountains. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing and film from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship.
As a child, Wolf grew up in a heavily forested suburb outside New York City with her parents, a younger brother, and an ever-changing menagerie of pet animals.
Both Wolf’s parents and grandparents passed onto her an avid love and respect for nature which explains the photos of Wolf posing with an ever-widening array of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, quail, two raccoons, chickens, even a squirrel that lived in her bedroom! Needless to say, hers wasn’t the average American family.
Later, Wolf’s family purchased land in upstate New York and on weekends and summers lived like a regular Swiss Family Robinson, clearing the land, building fences, barns and, eventually, raising and tending cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens etc. This led to a very unique life for Wolf and her brother as they lived like farmers on the weekends and students in a suburban public school during the week.
Wolf credits her unique childhood for providing her with keen powers of observation, a passion for living things, unlimited curiosity, and a strong independent streak.
As an adult, Wolf has worked primarily as filmmaker and writer.
THE WAY is her first novel.
  Connect with Kristen!

amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Way-Kristen-Wolf/dp/0307717690
facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/thewaynovel
book trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzwaQgMlJKg

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: Twenty Nine And A Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank

 When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the trial progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it. Or is there? As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons, and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.
I adored the first book in this series and was happy to get a chance to check in on Rose's life and see what new trouble she has stumbled in to.  Hot boyfriend, Joe, is still in the picture even if her sister, Violet, is causing a bit of chaos in the relationship.  Rose's quirky habits are still prevalent,  as obvious when she decides to help an accused murderer prove his innocence.  Oh, and that is without telling said accused murderer she is helping him. We even have a new character make a debut with Rose getting a friend, something she has sorely needed, in the form of county worker Neely Kate.  It is a roller coaster as Rose gets herself into one sticky situation after another and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Denise Grover Swank writes such a fun character with Rose that you spend half of your time just hoping she will go to Little Rock with Joe and the other half of your time hoping she continues to turn her sleepy little town upside down with her presence. The introduction of a handful of new men had me questioning which man should be with Rose, but I'm happy with the direction it is heading. The last time I reviewed a book by Denise Grover Swank, I mentioned her fabulous imagination and I'm so pleased to see it is still as vivid as ever, bringing the world of Rose to life.  All I can say is I need book #3 ASAP.
Author Bio:
Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.
You can find out more about Denise and her other books at www.denisegroverswank.com or email her at denisegroverswank@gmail.com

Connect with Denise! 

Buy the Book!
Barnes & Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-nine-and-a-half-reasons-denise-grover-swank/1111829183?ean=294001464196