Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Politics Making You Crazy? Here’s One Solution…

With: Jannine Gallant

Giveaway Alert!

Thanks for having me on your blog today! Wilde Side, the second book in my Born To Be Wilde series, released yesterday, and I’m thrilled to share a little about it with you. I’d have to say, the premise for this book is nothing if not timely. My heroine, Devin Lockhart, is the top aide to a congressman running for president. Don’t moan. I know everyone is fed up with politics. Here’s where it gets good. Someone is trying to kill her boss, and she just might wind up as collateral damage.

I think we can all admit we’ve had a few thoughts about wanting to make the candidates for the highest office in the land go away, if for no other reason than to end the nastiness in our Facebook feed. In Wilde Side, someone has a few creative ways of making this happen. Luckily for Devin, she has Sawyer Wilde on her side. He’s the congressman’s godson, and he will do everything in his power to save them both. But on a publicity rafting trip that turns into a nightmare, the physical peril isn’t nearly as dangerous as the threat to Devin’s heart… Here’s a short excerpt so you can see what Devin and Sawyer have in store for them.

His lips settled over hers, firm and warm. One big hand moved to the back of her neck, fingers burrowing into her hair. When her mouth opened, his tongue slipped inside. The kiss went on…and on…and on. Finally, he pulled away.
Breath coming in bursts, Devin leaned her forehead against his. “Wow. Maybe I was a little hasty in cancelling the revenge sex.”
His whole body shook with laughter. “I’d have to agree, but this new plan is better.”
“It is?” She touched his neck where the pulse beat strong and steady beneath her fingers.
“Yes, because this way we have a shot at making something work between us.”
She nodded as uncertainty wrapped around her. “We can give it a try, at least.”
He pulled back then dropped another quick kiss on her upturned lips. “I hope so. Good night, Devin. Sleep well.”
“You, too.”
“I’ll try.”
She sat very still for several moments after he left the tent. Did I make a mistake? That kiss had seemed…personal. Unlike the quick romp in the sack she’d envisioned. He’d touched something deep inside with his kindness. Healed a bare and bloody piece of her heart with thoughtfulness and compassion.
Eyes wide as she stared into the darkness, she lay back down.
When the river trip was over, walking away from Sawyer might not be as easy as she’d anticipated.

As a reader, do you like to read about timely topics in your fiction, or would you prefer to completely escape from reality? If you’re a writer, do you take on controversial issues…or avoid them like the plague? 

I’m giving away an e-copy of Wilde One, the first book in the Born To Be Wilde series, in your choice of formats through Enthrill to one lucky commenter. Leave a comment for a chance to win, and happy reading!


The Wilde brothers are addicted to the rush of adventure. But one of them is about to discover that it’s sink or swim, when passion and politics collide. . .

Whitewater rafting guide Sawyer Wilde has taken his share of inexperienced adventure seekers through the rapids of Idaho’s Salmon River, so his next group should pose no problems—even if it includes a presidential hopeful and his sexy, outspoken aide. After all, it’s just a campaign photo-op for the congressman. Until a series of minor mishaps takes a sinister turn. . .

Devin Lockhart has one job on the rafting trip: to make her boss look both presidential and relatable. And no matter how distractingly attractive their guide is, she plans to do it well. But as danger stalks them through every bend in the river, Devin must put her life—and the congressman’s—in Sawyer’s capable hands. Because surviving the trip is only the beginning of a deadly ride. . .

About the Author:
Write what you know… I've taken this advice to heart, creating characters from small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors. I grew up in a tiny Northern California town and currently live in beautiful Lake Tahoe with my husband and two daughters. When I'm not busy writing, I hike or snowshoe in the woods around my home. Whether I'm writing contemporary, historical or romantic suspense, I bring the beauty of nature to my stories.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 27th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Survival Mode

Congratulations to "Mary P.", the winner in Anne Marie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

The title of this post might lead you to believe I recently released a novel, a story of survival that I’m hoping to promote today. Not so. Well, not totally so. It does refer to a story of survival—mine. There was no shark attack or act of Mother Nature involved. It was simply life piling stuff on to the point I thought I might break. And me trying to keep my head above water, singing “I Will Survive” in my head for months until I believed it.

We’ve all been there. There are times when the universe just seems to give you more than you think you can take. And the characters from my books? They’ve definitely been in that deep, dark place where digging out seems impossible. Because I’ve put them there.

But what do we do when it really gets tough? What the characters in any good romantic suspense do:

Grow. Change. Adapt. Survive.

What gets me (and my characters) through the tough times is hope, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and learning to trust other people enough to lean on them for help.

Here are some things I do when life gets overwhelming:

Take a Break

Take a step back to reassess things. Where do I find joy in my life, and how can I maximize that while still getting things done? Am I prioritizing the wrong things with my limited time and energy?

Reconnect with Myself

This is part of the reassessment, but more introspective. Do I need to make a change in my personal life? In my attitude? I’ve been trying to “live in gratitude” and take more time to reflect.

Reconnect with Others

Is it time to call in the reinforcements? Time to lean on those who love me, even when I want to do it all? Or stretch my boundaries, maybe, and join a new group. What friends help me recharge and, conversely, which commitments are a drain on my energy?


This has been an important part of my “self care” these past several weeks. Walking daily (as much as possible, anyway) has been therapeutic. Plus, exercise releases endorphins, which boost mood and help reduce stress and fight depression. If nothing else, it helps me feel like I’m being productive in some arena of my life over which I have control.

Eat Healthy

I’m a stress eater. When times get tough, I reach for the chocolate or wine or chips and dip. And I still do (because let’s face it, I’m human), but I try to do it in moderation. Awareness is key for me. Since I’m aware that I eat when stressed, then I’m more likely to put on my tennis shoes and go for a walk instead of indulging in an extra snack. Or I’m less likely to buy those snacks while at the grocery store.

Make Time to Relax

Life is short. Recent events have hammered home that concept, and I now consciously make time to enjoy each day, and to appreciate the people in my life. Deciding that the evening hours were for me, for whatever I wanted to do, rather than work or cleaning the house, was a powerful part of my re-fueling strategy. Taking a few minutes to meditate or simply breathe has been invaluable.


It’s often in times of most stress that the to-do list grows exponentially. Taking a look at where I’m spending my time, and picking three things daily that I need to get done rather than tackling the whole list has been a sanity-saver. Though I love making lists—and crossing stuff off—I’m already overwhelmed, and don’t need the pressure of a list weighing on me.

Reward Myself for the Small Things

When everything seems dark, negative, or oppressive, it’s important to focus on the positives. A boost, however small, can really improve my outlook. I have small rewards set up, sometimes simply for “making it through the week.” A new book and an afternoon of reading time. A cup of fancy coffee from my favorite coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be expensive or involve a huge time commitment, which would stress me out even more.

For now, I’m taking it one day, sometimes one hour, at a time. And I’m always open to improving my coping strategies. In fact, I’m hoping you’ll share some of your “tricks and treats” for surviving the tough times.

And, in the spirit of rewarding ourselves, I recently made the first book in my Redemption Club series free. So you can pick that one up right now and treat yourself to an afternoon of romance and suspense, if you’d like. STACKING THE DECK is available at all the usual e-tailers. Or visit my website ( for the links.

As an added treat, answer this question in the comments below in order to be entered in the giveaway for a digital copy of any of my other books (Listed on the books page of my website.)… 

What’s your favorite treat or reward? How do you splurge on yourself when you’ve done well? What tricks do you have for dealing with stress?

Anne Marie has always been fascinated by people—inside and out—which led to degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Counseling.  Her passion for understanding the human race is now satisfied by her roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, and award-winning author of romantic suspense.  
She writes to reclaim her sanity.

Find ways to connect with Anne Marie at There, sign up for her newsletter to receive the latest information regarding books, appearances, and giveaways.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 25th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Deceiving Bella

Giveaway Alert!

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!

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 Inspiration Behind Deceiving Bella:
I must admit that one of my most favorite parts of the writing process is figuring out who my characters are going to be. Typically, I have vague ideas but as I start the storytelling process, my heroes and heroines evolve and grow until I can visualize them as living, breathing people. I always begin with character sketches, giving each central figure in the story a life that starts with their birth and takes them to the present day. It’s vital to know who they are and how they tick (the experiences that make them exactly who they are when my readers meet them). For Deceiving Bella, I thought it would be fun to share an adventure where the hero and heroine have absolutely nothing in common (or so it seems). Despite Reed and Bella’s differences, they make a great team. I hope you enjoy their story.

Read an excerpt from Deceiving Bella:
Should we get started?” Bella gestured to the kitchen.

“After you.”

She walked in front of Reed, hurrying to the table to pull out a chair. “Does this work?”

“Yeah, it’s fine.” He sat down.

She immediately draped him with the black cover, wanting to get to his hair while it was still wet. “So, what are we doing here, exactly?”

“Just a cleanup, especially on my neck.”

“Sure.” She grabbed the sheers and took her place by his side, sliding her fingers though his short hair and stopped. “Oops.”

His shoulders tensed. “What?”

“Just kidding. A little haircutting humor.”

He tilted his head up, meeting her eyes. “A comedian.”

She laughed as he smiled. “I haven’t even started cutting yet.” She gave him a bump. “Try to relax. I promise you’re in good hands.”

“Chop away.”

“Thanks.” She combed her fingers through his hair once more, using small snips to freshen up his look. Silent seconds ticked by as she breathed in the masculine scent that was Reed. He didn’t seem to wear cologne or use any fancy shampoos, but he smelled good just the same. “So, how was your day?”

“Not too shabby.”

She worked her way around his head, finding his cut a breeze to clean up. He easily could have gone another week without any problems. “What did you do?”

“Worked a little. Boxed.”


“I could make up something about stopping a bank robbery in progress or rescuing a cat from a tree.”

She smiled. “The truth is fine, thanks.”

“What about you?”

“It was pretty much a normal day at the office—a second-session tattoo removal, a microdermabrasion, two stretch mark reductions, the usual stuff.”

“What’s the tattoo of? The one you’re taking off?”

“A woman’s name. Genevieve. The relationship didn’t work out.”

He winced. “Ouch.”

“Triple ouch. Tattoo removal is not a pain-free procedure, nor is it cheap—and he went pretty ornate with Genevieve. Hopefully next time he’ll pick a woman with a shorter name or abstain from getting himself tatted up altogether.”

He laughed.

She grinned, loving that sound. Did he have any idea how gorgeous he was when he smiled like that? She picked up the clippers off the table and let her knees rest against his as she leaned in and gently lifted his chin, evening out his sideburns. She swallowed, feeling his breath on her skin and his eyes studying her face. Licking her lips, she met his gaze. “You better hope I get this part right, or you’ll have to tilt your head for the next four days.”

He sent her another one of his pulse-pounding smiles. “You’ll have to help me decide if I should lean more to the left or right.”

Oh, this cutie had the potential to be trouble. Her eyes darted to his mouth mere inches from hers as his five o’clock shadow tormented her sensitized fingers. She took a step back and a steadying breath. It was a good thing they were just friends—currently the only relationship status she was interested in.

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!

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

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.




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