Welcome to my blog, Brandy'z Books. Please feel free to look around and make sure to check out the contest list at the botton of the blog for awesome contests at other sites. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

***Contest*** Revisiting Characters Years Later... by Cynthia Vespia

 We all know by now how novels are birthed. An idea is impregnated in my brain that must claw its way out before the host body is threatened. Novel is then nurtured through the initial pages, edited, and sent off into the world to find its place.

But sometimes that novel returns with luggage in hand looking for a place to crash for the night, which inevitably turns into months and then years. I know it sounds like I'm speaking about children, right? Well, in a way, a writer's work is their baby. Sometimes a beautiful blessed child and others a spoiled brat.
I have a fond place in my heart for everything I write even if it never sees the light of day. My new thriller Life, Death, and Back had a strange journey. The novel itself is the story of a man named Bryan Caleb's sudden death and subsequent return to form as a guardian angel of sorts. This was the initial story that stirred awake inside me (during yoga class of all things) almost ten years ago. I finished it, put it away, and went on to something else. I'm a little OCD that way, but aren't we all? Don't deny it.

So in all honesty a year rolled by when I was visited by this story again. It returned to me as I was minding my own business completely unaware. Knee deep in something I'm sure was important, it crept up behind me and bludgeoned me with a fresh continuation of the initial idea: Bryan now dead for so many years is suddenly resurrected. After picking myself up from the floor I took the bait and jumped right in. What wicked fun it is to write about a character fresh from the dead. Even in a contemporary piece there are no real rules!

I married parts I&II together and had myself quite a delectable little tale ready to be unleashed on the world. Then I of course put it aside and moved on with indulging more latent tendencies. It seemed this novel may never really see the world until one day my present publisher Sue Durkin at Weaving Dreams came across it. Sue enjoyed the story and wanted to release it but with one special request: We needed a third and final installment to round everything out.

I was up for the challenge but it quickly became daunting. It had been awhile since I'd seen Bryan and his crazy friends. I'd been knee deep in my other novels like Demon Hunter and the female gladiators in The Crescent. So I had to go back and find out who these people were, what made them tick.
What I found out is that these characters become a part of you. As soon as you breathe life into them they remain with you for all time, ever so subtle but still alive in your memory. It didn't take me long to pick right up where I left off...and let me tell you it was fun!

I've written a series before. But Demon Hunter was done back-to-back with virtually no break in between. For Life, Death, and Back a great deal of time accrued from start to finish. But I really did enjoy revisiting my old friends and putting them through more ordeals and troubles they had to find their way out of. Good times!

So I'd like to invite you to share in the same experience. One lucky winner will walk away with an electronic copy of LIFE DEATH and BACK so you can find out exactly what I've been talking about here. Enjoy a preview below:

The first sojourn from life to death was very much the epitome of birth. Brilliant flashes of light were aglow all around bathing snapshots of memory, minute but hardly trivial.
When the ride stopped and the suspension of disbelief released him, Bryan was curious to find his own corpse stretched out at his feet. It lay on the grassy lawn in front of his office building, twenty feet from where he had initially been walking.
The corpse, his corpse, stared up at him through one wide eye. Sightless now it still echoed the feeling of shock that he had felt the very moment the vehicle had struck him.
Though he wanted to look away from the tragic scene utter terror and confusion gripped him still. Pedestrians and motorists surrounded the accident and sirens wailed in the distance.  He was oblivious to it all.
All Bryan wanted to do was crawl back inside his body, stand up and say, "Hey, look at me, I'm fine. Not a scratch." Then there were strong impulses pulling him into the belief that this was just a nightmare. At any moment he was going to respond with a shudder and a cold sweat but he would wake, frantic at first, until he found himself in bed next to his lovely wife, Holly.
He hadn't bothered to wake her that morning. She was radiantly aglow in her pregnancy as she slept. It was their very first child and they were overjoyed to be experiencing this miracle after only one year of marriage.
Bryan had kissed her on the cheek and gone on his way to the law firm. His place of business was another joyful experience to be able to share with Holly. Bryan was the youngest of his class to seek and sustain a substantial position within a reputable law firm. Of course it helped that his father had owned and maintained the firm since Bryan had been a boy. But now it was his own, inheriting it when his father had passed away just two years after Bryan had graduated from law school.
It was an unusually cloudy day in Stanford, but nevertheless Bryan was in an upbeat mood. Whistling as he crossed the street to his offices he had never even seen the drunk driver's vehicle coming. Perhaps he had not wanted to. As the saying goes he had been looking upon the world with rose-colored glasses up to that point. No harm could befall him, he was indestructible. Throughout life Bryan had truly felt blessed, now it was all gone. In an instant his entire life had been snuffed out. His promising future was no more. All that was left was another casualty in the war of drinking and driving. He was no longer Bryan Adam Caleb outstanding lawyer, loving husband, expectant father, and genuine nice guy. Now he was just another statistic.
But Bryan didn't understand what was happening. If he was dead, why was he still on this Earth? What happened to the other side? So many unanswered questions tore through his mind.
He refused to believe it.
As paramedics encompassed the accident scene Bryan turned and ran. His mind was in frenzy and he just needed to get away, get some space to determine what in the world was going on. 
His pace quickened to the point where he felt as though he had wings and could lift off.  Finally he came to a stop at the end of the block and to his surprise he was not at all fatigued.  His leg muscles did not ache and he was not breathing heavy. In fact, he was not breathing at all.
Still in disbelief he went to check his pulse for some sign that he was still alive. His fingers passed straight through his arm. There was no solidity to his wrist at all. He tried two more times with nothing but the same result.
Bryan looked around frantically for help. With his head on a swivel, something above him caught his eye. Lights gleamed up in the sky like as though a great crystal was wedged between two clouds precariously placed for the sun to shine off it.
He stood awed looking at the magnificent colors waning in every direction. It brought him a smile and a sense of peace. After a moment he even thought he glimpsed his loving father's face high above beckoning him to come forward and join him. 
Bryan began to imagine just how nice it would be to be at his father's side again and to see his mother again in perfect and simple bliss.
The lights shone brighter and began to descend down towards him. Bryan stood stock still as they came closer and closer. The bright glare was such that he had to close his eyes but the pleasant images still remained. He felt his feet lift off the ground and he began to rise up with the jubilation.
Many wondrous memories were encompassing him now. Simple joys he new as a boy, more substantial and rich emotions of love and faith and virtue that he'd experienced as a man.  Those worlds of days long since past were uniting on a grand scale and lifting Bryan up higher and higher into ecstasy the likes of which he had never known before. But with this cataclysm of extraordinary peace came relevance and a fear.
This illuminated structure of memories was a portal allowing him access to the other side.  It was the ever after, bounty and life everlasting would be soon to come. Bryan's time here on Earth had been full but was now over. But he wasn't ready to leave yet.
"No," he stated. His voice was low at first as he still clung to the tranquility of the descending portal and the majesty of what it was. 
He tried hard to shake it off, feeling indifference of a strong nature. Something was wrong. He did not belong here, not now. There was too much left for him to do. He did not want to leave his unborn child fatherless. The Caleb Family Law Practice was on a steady rise; Bryan needed to leave his legacy before he left this Earth.
As his will to stay grew stronger and stronger he shouted "No!" more defiantly than before and this time it broke him away from the suction of the light.  
To find out what happens, order your copy of  Life, Death, and Back right now.
Visit Cynthia at: www.CynthiaVespia.com
See the trailer and find out more about Life, Death, and Back:

 One lucky winner will walk away with an electronic copy of LIFE DEATH and BACK just be sure to leave a comment and an email where your prize can be sent.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Romance and a*Contest* w/ Alison Chambers

Author Spotlight-Alison Chambers

Hello and thanks to Brandy for inviting me to post on her blog!  I’m also giving away a free e-copy of my book “The Secret Sentinel” to one lucky commenter selected at random!

 Here’s a little info about me:  Sandra Koehler, who writes under the pen name of Alison Chambers, was Vice-President of the largest association management company in Wisconsin.  She has traveled extensively and has also written for newspapers.  She first started writing when she was a teenager, sparked by an interest in Nancy Drew books and a desire to tell a good story.  She enjoys keeping her hero and heroine in dangerous and exciting situations against a backdrop of exotic settings, lost treasure and unsolved historical mysteries.  She has written seven novels, and besides writing, enjoys reading, playing piano and Green Bay Packers football.  Go Packers!

And here’s some info about my books: 

The Montezuma Secret  NOW Available on http://www.amazon.com/

Only $2.99 in e-book format for your Kindle, PC, iPhone, Blackberry or iPad

Murder and passion meet head-on in the steamy jungles of Belize...
Hunky Trey Zacco, gritty survivalist and host of the Miami-based Holiday Channel’s hit "Wildman" series and glitz and glamour girl, Erica Kingsley, host of the channel’s "Lap of Luxury" show, are thrown together in the steamy jungles of Belize as a publicity stunt and to search for Montezuma’s lost gold. Zacco cannot hide his resentment at having to share the spotlight with the flighty fashionista Erica, and he locks horns with her every step of the way as both try to ignore the strong physical attraction growing between them. But when Erica’s father's plane goes down in the jungle, Trey and Erica launch a desperate search to find him. And when members of the camera crew are killed and the equipment sabotaged, Trey and Erica find themselves stranded in the middle of the jungle, where no rescue crew can reach them.

The Montezuma Secret Excerpt-


    "Up?" she pointed, unable to believe her ears.
    Trey gave her a hard shove.
    "Get going!"
    "But how?"
    "Grab the vines and pull yourself up!" he shouted over the thundering rain.
    "You must be joking! It’s got to be one hundred feet high!"
    "Good calculation. Now move!"
    She stood her ground. "But why?"
    "A. There’s no other way. B. I’m ordering you to. And you’ll listen if you ever want to get out of here."
    Trey stifled an urge to smack her luscious wet bottom and watched in amusement as she struggled to grab hold of the slick vines, then smirked as she scrambled up a few feet and then landed in the muck with a splat. Her thick mane of black hair, once so splendidly coifed, was heavily matted and caked in mud.
    "Again!" he yelled.
    Raindrops, big as bullets, pelted her mercilessly. "I can’t do it. It’s impossible."   
    "Watch the master," he said, stowing the camera in his backpack.   
    He brushed her aside and grabbed one of the sturdier vines, then pulled himself up arm over arm with the agility of a spider monkey until he reached the top of the cliff where he had a perfect view of the lush jungle canopy and could see for miles.
"Now you know how it’s done. Get your ass up here or I’ll leave you behind."
    "You can’t do that. You wouldn’t."
    "Pull yourself up, Kingsley. If you have to, use the side of the cliff to push off and boost yourself higher. But watch out for the holes. There may be spiders and bats hiding in those nooks and crannies."
    Erica re-tied her sagging ponytail and pinned it to her scalp. Her breath was ragged, her heartbeat erratic.
    From above, she heard the sudden monotonous drone of a plane’s engine cutting through the rain splatter, then listened to the sputter as the motor spit and coughed, struggling to stay aloft. Wings slashed through the jungle over her head five hundred feet from her, both turbo props flaming. The plane wobbled and rolled before hitting the ground with an ear-splitting shriek of steel against steel followed by a blinding explosion of light that knocked her off her feet.
    A sickening sensation shot through her and she suppressed the urge to vomit. The stench of black smoke as dark as blood filled her nostrils. She knew what had happened. She hoped to God she was wrong, but more than ever she wished with all her heart and soul that she was still safely home in Miami Beach and that she had never come.
    From a safe distance, comfortably positioned to witness the entire spectacle, a smiling figure breathed a sigh of relief. It had all gone according to plan. On schedule and on time. They were right where they needed to be. Soon they’d both be dead and no one would be the wiser. Untimely accidents. Marauding terrorists. Ancient Mayan curses. Any excuse would do. Completely believable, considering the dangers of the jungle. They’d just disappear. Perfect. Simply perfect.

The Secret Sentinel-


Three lost keys to untold riches. Three cryptic rhymes. A secret society's deadly plot. When museum curator Savannah Rutledge steals her father's treasure map to impress her boss, she unleashes a Pandora's box of horror. Her father is killed and she is framed for murder. To atone for her father's death, she sets off on a cross-country chase for the treasure that ends with a dangerous showdown in the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix. To get there she and a sexy stranger, Antonio Desada, follow a perplexing trail of clues that lead them to the keys that will unlock the mystery.


FIVE STARS AND A TOP PICK FROM NIGHT OWL REVIEWS--"The Secret Sentinel is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. Look out Nora Roberts...there's a new author on the horizon."
FOUR STARS FROM THE ROMANCE STUDIO--"The constant action and adventure made this a very enjoyable read. If you loved the movie 'Romancing the Stone' this book will be a treat for you."
RT Book Reviews magazine--"Deception is the watchword in Chambers' thriller. The action is fast moving and the characters intriguing."
NIGHTS AND WEEKEND REVIEWS--"A wild mixture of National Treasure and Indiana Jones."

And a tease from The Virgo Secret:

Three Dead Men.  Three Missing Cornerstones.  One Deadly Terrorist Plot.  Alexis McHenry is kidnapped while searching for her missing father, who was researching  the mysterious Virgo Stone.  She is offered a deal:  find the Virgo Stone in ten days.  If she succeeds, her father will be released.  If she fails, her father will be killed and massive terrorist attacks unleashed on Washington, DC during the President’s Inauguration.  A sexy masked stranger accompanies her as her bodyguard to make sure she doesn’t escape while they follow a trail of cryptic clues hidden in Boston and Washington, DC.  But who is this mysterious man and just what is he hiding?  When his identity becomes suspect, Alexis wonders, is he only her jailer or something more?
Coming in 2011 from Amazon.com!

I’ve also written three political thrillers entitled:  The Time of  the Eleven, A Question of Conspiracy and Sworn to Silence that I’m planning to release on Smashwords.com.

Now tell me a little about you:  Who’s your favorite romantic suspense author and why?  I like Kat Martin.  She always has great characters and sure knows how to write a spicy scene!  One commenter selected at random wins a free e-copy of my book The Secret Sentinel”!

Alison Chambers

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Little About Oliver...

Today we have Sharon Donovan and she is going to tell us about Oliver.  Also for "1" lucky commenter, Sharon is going to give away a Oliver T-Shirt.  I look forward to visiting with all of you....

A little about Oliver!
For those of you who follow my blog
You’ve already met my sexy cyber butler and know that he serves your favorite drink with a wink and a smile. What you may not know is that Oliver serves as my butler to amuse himself on his days off from his real job (as he points out to me on a daily basis) as a secret agent man for the FBI. It’s true, Oliver has put his life on the line countless times to save the women and children, traveling undercover to remote corners of the world as Mozambique, Egypt and Bangladesh.
 I created the character of Oliver shortly after creating my blog. Knowing I wanted to promote fellow authors once a week, Wednesday Spotlight was born. The interviews were fun, and while I tried to ask questions that hadn’t been asked a million times over, I soon realized blog interviews were quickly becoming yesterday’s news. Something fresh needed to be done and it came to me at the bar and grill I go to once a month with my writers group after the meetings.
 The bistro has a warm and friendly atmosphere. This group of talented writers have become some of my best friends, and sharing ideas and challenges over a glass of wine and scrumptious appetizers is very rewarding.
 Our waiter, an outgoing man with the gift of gab and a memory like a steel trap to boot, inspired the character of Oliver. He knew us all by name and impressed us by never forgetting our favorite drink and choice in cuisine. The entire scenario was rather reminiscent of one of my all time favorite television shows of the 80s Cheers—a place where everybody knows your name!
 One night after returning home from a meeting and jaunt to our favorite watering hole, I turned on my computer and began doing my feature for Wednesday Spotlight. That’s when the idea of Oliver Butler for my blog hit me like a bolt of thunder. I got a sexy male model and ran with it. Oliver is a butler, bar tender, gourmet chef, lady killer and secret agent man. This man of many talents knows everybody’s name and will serve favorite drinks with a wink and a smile!
 With the dawning of a new year came the launching of a new endeavor, featuring the man who wears many hats. Every Wednesday, those who have something to rant and rave about are invited to come into Oliver’s bar, order your favorite drink and vent to your heart’s content. Oliver promises to lend an ear and offer up a heaping portion of sound advice. But you know what they say about being forewarned and forearmed. Take  his advice to heart or take it with a grain of salt. But whatever the case, take it in the spirit with which it was given and roll with it.
Dear Oliver can be read every Wednesday on my blog

If you would like to be a guest, contact me at

As if all this isn’t enough to keep Oliver busy, he began bugging me about starring as romantic hero in one of my books.  What can I say.

Charade of Hearts is a romantic suspense set in tropical Hawaii. It is one of the mysteries in the Jewel of the Night series for the crimson line of The Wild Rose Press. This book features Oliver, the sexy cyber butler on my blog as well as on the author roast. Here’s a teaser.

While scuba diving off the coast of Diamond Head with her diving partner on a quest to find a family heirloom, underwater photographer Dominique St. John witnesses his brutal murder and photographs it, ensnaring her in a deadly jewel ring. And when the investigating officer turns out to be her partner’s identical twin, a man she knew nothing about, her life becomes a Charade of Hearts.

Welcome to the world of greed, intrigue, deception and murder. And at its core is a blue diamond worth millions.

As honest as his twin was corrupt, Honolulu Homicide Detective Oliver Carvalho must convince Dominique that her diving partner and best friend was a crook. In a race against time, Oliver must rescue Dominique from a ruthless killer. But his biggest challenge proves to be mending a broken heart torn by betrayal that can only be redeemed by love.

Steamy excerpt...

With an abrupt bang, the line went dead. Dominique sat staring at the phone cord dangling in mid air, polarized. She felt the tremor from deep in her gut, rising high in her chest and through her throat. Her mouth was wide open but nothing came out. But when she heard a sharp wrap at the door, she erupted like a quaking volcano and let loose with a piercing wail that rattled the chandelier.
“Dominique, open up. It’s the police, Detective Oliver Carvalho. Let me in.”
Racing to the door, hands trembling as her fingers fumbled to undo the dead bolt, she flung the door open and thrust herself in the detective’s arms. Her voice came out in jumbled fragments. “He…the attacker…” she jabbed her forefinger over her shoulder toward the bedroom phone where the receiver dangled. “Said he’d call back…twenty four hours. Wants them, diamond and camera. Feed me to the sharks if I call the cops.” Her voice broke, tears streaming down her face and onto Oliver’s shirt collar. “He knows my name…saw me take pictures…he’s…”
“Easy,” Oliver’s muscular arms draped around her waist. Then he walked her backward to the bedroom, giving her a gentle shove onto the bed. Then he snatched up the receiver from the rug, clapped it to his ear. Lips puckered, he slammed it back into the cradle and stared at her.
His fiery gaze was scorching hot. A slow heat burned in her belly as his eyes rake her long, slender neck, stopping to linger on her exposed cleavage. Then lower still to her bare legs where the cherry red silk robe rode high on her upper thighs. Then that penetrating gaze seared into hers. His words came out, laced with enough heat to have her quaking at full throttle.
“Tell me what he said, word for word.”
Dominique licked her lips, reached for her cocktail. The ice cubes had melted and beads of moisture had seeped onto the teakwood night stand. She took a sip. “He told me he knew I had the diamond and he knew I took pictures. He said I had twenty-four hours to hand them over, that he’d be in touch. He said no cops…or…” her voice broke off, lips quivering. “He threatened to feed me to the sharks, said they were hungry. He said Roberto, he called him lover boy, just wet their appetite for dessert.”
The detective nodded, prodding her to go on. “What else?”
“Nothing, the line went dead. Then you knocked at the door. I thought it was him, the caller. I thought he came to…”
Detective Carvalho waved off what she was about to say. “I went to the Honolulu Clinic this morning because I had more questions. They informed me you’d been discharged and had been transported by taxi to this hotel.”
Dominique stared at the detective, mute. His eyes were identical to Roberto’s. It was disarming. How could she possibly accept the fact this man standing less than a foot away from her with desire burning in his eyes wasn’t Roberto? She couldn’t. Her mind refused to accept it. She had to send the signal to her brain because her heart sure wasn’t getting the message. But when his scorching gaze raked her body, evoking feelings in her Roberto never had, her breath caught in her throat. She wanted to reach for him, coil herself in his strong embrace, feel his heart beat with hers. And she wanted him to rip off her sexy lingerie and devour every inch of her body. She bit her lip, mortified. How could she be thinking about sex at a time like this? And why was Roberto’s twin brother stirring her blood to liquid heat with his burning gaze? Not once had Roberto evoked such feelings in her. She reached for her drink with such swiftness, she felt her silky lingerie slither past her shoulder and down her arm. And then

Charade of HeartsOliver’s story!

Sharon Donovan lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her family. Prior to the loss of her vision, she was a legal secretary for the Court of Common Pleas where she prepared cases for judges in Domestic Relations. Painting was her passion. When she could no longer paint, she began attending creative writing classes and memoir workshops. After a long and winding road, a new dream arose. Today, instead of painting her pictures on canvas, Sharon paints her pictures with words.
Sharon writes stories of inspiration and suspense. She has certificates in business and medical transcription. Echo of a Raven, a narrative non-fiction about her struggles with diabetic retinopathy, received a CTRR award for outstanding writing, and The Claddagh Ring is a 2009 CAPA nominee for best inspirational of the year. Other books by Sharon Donovan are Mask of the Betrayer, Touched by an Angel, Lasting Love and Her Biggest Fan. Charade of Hearts is coming soon from The Wild Rose Press.

You can visit Sharon at

or write to her at:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kathryne Kennedy has a new book coming out!!!

Coming August 2011
A darkly delicious new fantasy world
of sizzling romance amid the pageantry
of Georgian England.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

With or Without You by Wendi Zwarduk

With or Without You
It’s me again. I thought I’d talk about my latest release, a paranormal entitled, Careless Whisper.  All of my books are near and dear to my heart, each with its own special reasons. The reasons I love Careless Whisper are the characters and the premise. What is the premise you might ask? Ah...come closer. Let me tell you all about it.
Imagine you can see ghosts. The dead are indeed dead, but you can’t really tell. They appear real enough to you. And what if a guy that’s totally out of your league proceeds to tell you, you can not only see ghosts, but you can help them move on? If you’re like me or in this case, Samara, you’d probably not believe him. Now imagine, too, that the hunk in question, is the star of a reality show where he hunts ghosts and proves the paranormal. Buying into it yet?
That’s why I love Samara, Ryan and the premise for the book. She’s not at all what he expects to be attracted to, and yet he is. She can’t begin to fathom the stories he’s telling her, and yet, somehow, somewhere, it makes sense.
But there’s a third element to the story and the ‘with or without you’ portion. One of the spirits in need of moving on is none other than Ryan’s deceased wife, Felicity. Of all my antagonists, she’s a favorite. Why? She’s got pluck. She had Ryan and walked away. Now that she can’t have him at all, she wants him madly.
It’s rather sadly funny. We want what we can’t have and when we have it, we don’t want it. People can relate to that concept. I know I can. People can also relate to wanting to see those we can’t anymore. I’d love to have conversations with my great grandparents. Unfortunately, they both passed before I really had a chance to show I was old enough to understand what was going on. Sure, I was 19 when Great Grandpa passed, but I wasn’t the most mature 19 year old.
If I had my way, I’d go back and have conversations with my biological grandmother. I never really got to know her, through no choice of my own, and I think I missed out on a real character. I think it would explain some quirks in my personality as well.
But I’m without both people. So I can see Ryan’s point of view. He’d love to have what he had back, but, the future’s not so shady either.
Is there anyone you’d like to go back and talk to? Anyone you wished you’d made amends with? We can all relate.

Want the blurb for Careless Whisper? Here you go:
He’s her kinkiest desire, if she’s willing to open her heart and believe in him.
 The dead don’t always rest in peace. Some stick around to make the lives of the living hell on Earth. Ryan Black knows the frustration of dealing with the dead. He’s a Ghost Explorer. He’s conquered houses filled with apparitions, abandoned school buildings that house angry vermin, and managed to woo the female population of Snake Falls, Ohio. But he’s about to face his toughest challenge, convincing sceptical Samara Jacobs she not only shares his gift, but holds his heart.
Women fall at Ryan Black’s feet and Samara’s determined not to be one of the many—that is until she’s forced to work with him. He’s certain ghosts exist and willing to prove it. The more she gets to know the man behind the television persona, she decides the handsome klutz who chases things that go bump in the night isn’t so silly after all. But is he worthy of her love?
*This book contains anal sex and a little harmless domination.*
I want to thank Brandy for having me. I’ve had a blast and I’m always open to questions. Thanks!!!

Purchase Careless Whisper  
Wendi's website
Wendi on Twitter
Wendi on Facebook

I would like to thank Wendi for spending the last few days with us.  Your books sound amazing and I have expanded my TBR list again :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One Way or Another with Wendi Zwaduk

One Way or Another
Imagine there’s a person you just can’t live without. Now imagine that person is with someone else. What would you do? Chase them? Walk away?  That’s the situation Mindy, Arran and Sav find themselves in, in the book, Tangled Up.
This was another story I had a hard time writing. Not because the story didn’t flow or because I didn’t like the characters. Not at all. I loved all three and wanted them to have a happily ever after. I wanted to tell their story with grace and eloquence.
So why was it hard? There’s a lot of emotion in the three characters.
Mindy had Arran and lost him. She loved her husband through thick and thin, knew he was bisexual and still gave him space. The friendship-slash-salvation turned into love on her part. She carries the pain of watching him walk away and move on with another person. The love hasn’t faded, it’s just been packed away.
Sav has Arran and is afraid he’ll lose him. He didn’t set out to take Arran away from Mindy. In fact, they were all friends. Sav wanted the best for Arran—including hot, sweaty lovemaking. He’s got nothing against Mindy, but it’s never crossed his mind to make her anything more than a friend. He loves Arran and isn’t sure she can’t tear Arran away.
And then there’s Arran. He’s the selfish one—he wants both. The marriage to Mindy started out as a way to make his family happy. They weren’t thrilled their only son was gay. But, as much as he loved the friendship with Mindy, he also fell in love with her. She understood his mood swings, his needs, and still loved him. But then he met Sav. The guy is sex on legs. Who wouldn’t want to be with him? Sav’s got heart to match the passion blazing between them. What’s a guy to do? The only thing he can live with—needing them both.
How do you adequately tell their story? How do you show the heartbreak? That was my struggle.
At one point, I had all three characters saying, one way or another, I want this to work out.  there were moments when I wanted to cry, to scream, and to thump each of them over the head. There’s a few twists in their story that, as I wrote, I didn’t see coming. I’m glad they did. Then again, tehre’s a whole heap of hot loving. Yeah, three bodies, tangled together is darned hot.

Want to read more? Learn their story? Well, here’s the blurb for Tangled Up:
What if the person you want for the rest of your life isn’t one... but two?
Mindy Mayes knew her husband was bisexual from the moment they met. She loved Arran with her whole heart until the day he asked for a separation to be with his partner, Sav. Through the ups and downs of life after the marriage, she, Arran and Sav remained close.
Things are about to change.
Though he walked away, Arran’s never given up on a life with Mindy. He’s in love with Sav and totally committed. But it’s his wedding anniversary. What if they took the threesome created out of friendship and made it into something more?
Maybe the perfect number is three after all.

To purchase "Tangled Up" by Total.E.Bound Publishing go to

Wendi's website
Wendi on Twitter
Wendi on Facebook

Sunday, April 3, 2011

If You Leave with author Wendi Zwaduk

If You Leave  – Cade and Melanie from You’ll Think of Me

I wanted to thank Brandy'z for having me and I wanted to say hi to everyone!! I’m so glad to be here and can’t wait to share my books with you. I’m Wendi Zwaduk and I write contemporary and paranormal romance that’s not for the faint of heart.
For today’s post, I thought I’d let some of my characters talk a bit. In the book, You’ll Think of Me, you meet Cade Nicholson and Melanie Roberts. There’s a boat load of strife before the book starts and when I talked with the characters, they wanted to discuss things that happened prior to the story. Melanie came up with the title of the post, so I’ll let her go last.
Thanks, Wendi. Hi. I’m Cade. I don’t like to talk or discuss my feelings, but there’s some stuff that’s happened, I thought, yanno, I might as well get it cleared up. Mel and I dated and got pretty hot. But I kinda screwed up. Kinda. My best friend, Rhett is a hound dog. He won’t admit it, but he is. He had this chick. She really wasn’t in to him, but she had a thing for me. The both of them pulled a fast one. But, I fell for it. Mel saw me in the room with Rhett and the chick. I can’t say I blame her, but she dumped me that night. It sucked. I told her, if you leave, don’t come back. She didn’t. Not right away. Then I begged. She came back, but things changed. I hated it. I’m determined to get her back into my life for something more than just sex. Think it’s possible?
Not his best move, but guys make mistakes. Sorry Cade. And now it’s Melanie’s turn. She’s sat next to me seething for the last ten minutes.
I did come up with the title for this post. And you guessed it—came right from what he said. It hurt. Seeing him with that woman. Sorry, I can’t say her name. It hurts a lot. But looking back, I’m just as guilty as he is. I mean, duh. I should’ve asked and talked it through with him. I let my emotions get the best of me. Things changed between us after that. We fooled around for the sake of fooling around. Nothing more. I hated it. I wanted to offer my heart, but once a cheater, isn’t he always a cheater? Ok, so it would’ve helped had I had actual proof. I never said I was perfect. But then there was the moment I was damned near certain I’d lost him. It wasn’t to a woman. Nope. It was to the war. He’d gone to Iraq. I got word he’d been hurt. Sources weren’t even  sure if he’d made it out alive. I felt so guilty. When he left, we had an argument. Silly, since we weren’t a couple, but we did. I said, look, if you leave, come back. Just come home. I also told him, I hoped he’d think about me. I’d always think about him. Now he’s home. He’s distant, but he’s back.  I’m not going to let him walk away this time without a fight.
Interested in their story? I am. Their story was hard to write. Cade’s came back a broken man. He’s not the most expressive guy and his injuries combined with his experiences have closed him off more. Melanie’s not one to back down, but she’s also smart enough to know when to give space. Will they make it? Guess you’ll have to read the book and find out.
Here’s the blurb for "You’ll Think of Me"...
The man of her dreams finally came home from the war, but is he still the man she remembers or have his demons changed him forever?
  Melanie Roberts has loved her best friend more than she could ever imagine, and for longer than she wants to admit. Though once lovers, she's resigned herself to being no more than his best friend and roommate. On the eve of his return from deployment in Iraq, in order to keep her heart from breaking, she's moving on -- after one last sexy night.
Cade Nicholson has come to a decision. As he comes home damaged in both body and soul from his latest deployment, all he wants is to find comfort in Melanie's arms. Unsure, and unsteady in expressing his love to the only woman to hold his heart, he has to find a way to convince her of his true feelings.
Can two best friends overcome their demons to prove their love for one another before past decisions come back to haunt them and it’s too late?
I hope you enjoy the book. Ever been in a situation like Cade and Melanie’s? I’d love to know about it.

You'll Think of Me is published by Total.E.Bound PublishingTo purchase You'll Think of Me follow this link

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Help Me Welcome Wendi Zwaduk

Hello Everyone,
Over the next few days we will be talking about and with author Wendi Zwaduk .  Here is alittle bit about our guest...
I always dreamed of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I tend to write books with titles taken from songs because music is one of my many muses.
I earned a BA in education at Kent State university and as well as a Masters in Education from Nova Southeastern University. I've tried my hand at teaching, waitressing, and retail sales, but writing holds my heart.
I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I have six books under contract and more than my brain can handle percolating. I can't wait to share them with you!

Wendi Zwaduk

Friday, April 1, 2011

Turning Passive Writing into Active Writing w/ Janice Seagraves

Turning Passive Writing into Active Writing
By Janice Seagraves

Since I've been seeing a lot of passive writing in the critiques I've been doing here lately, I thought I'd do an article on turning passive writing into active writing.

What do I mean by passive writing?

Writing that tells but doesn't show.

Passive example: Rose was mad.

What's wrong with the above sentence? Not much really. It does what it’s supposed to do, tell us Rose is mad. But it doesn't show us that Rose is mad.

Active writing example: Rose slammed the door closed then stomped through the room. “That jerk!” Picking up a flower filled vase, she hurled it against the wall.

Not a real great example but you get the idea. Notice I used the words: Stomped and Hurled. These are active verbs. I wanted to show action and anger even in my word choice.

Passive writing is that, passive. It doesn’t show the reader anything.

Have you noticed while watching a movie that when an actor portraying a character that is mad, he doesn’t just frown. He stomps, shouts and will nearly always breaks something. He’s showing us he’s mad. And in writing we need to show it too.

When not writing, Janice can be found gardening, taking photos, or working on a pen and ink sketch. Her current book, Windswept Shores, is a contemporary erotic romance published through Pink Petal books. Available at Amazon for the Kindle and at Pink Petal Books.

Windswept Shores Blurb:
The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love?

Janice Seagraves’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice Seagraves’s blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/

Sorry everyone... :(

Hello everyone.  

I wanted to tell you all how sorry I am that I haven't been able to keep up with all the comments and posts, these last few weeks.  I am normally a very together person but this surgery is taking longer to recoup from than I expected.  So if I miss you PLEASE don't hold it against me and give me a second chance to prove myself to you.  Please email me at brandyzbooks@yahoo.com if you would like to scold me or just to chat.

Thank you all again.