Sunday, May 22, 2022

Oddballs and Outcasts as Heroes and Heroines – #Outcasts #Romance #History @JArleneCuliner

A Room in Blake's Folly cover

By J. Arlene Culiner (Guest Blogger)

I love writing about people who are different. Some are forced to adapt to new circumstances in order to survive, others are originals, folks who have never really managed to fit into mainstream society. But no one is humdrum, and all have dreams.

I want to write—and read—about people who challenge the status quo. They are often opinionated, sometimes obnoxiously so, but they are also entertaining, and stimulating, and they do make us question our own values.

I also want to know that, once the first zing of romance is over, that heroes and heroines won’t end up sitting in front of the television, bored, eating fast food and being…well…dull. So here are my cranks and misfits, all gathered together in A Room in Blake’s Folly.

What do an embittered mail-order bride, an adventurer, a brothel madam, a silver baron/artist, a war refugee, a pacifist, a playboy veterinarian, and a woman who protects spiders all have in common? They get another chance to find love. And what better setting for romance than a semi-ghost town in Nevada?

A Room in Blake’s Folly begins in 1889 with the romance between Sookie Lacey, former prostitute now saloon dance girl, and Westley Cranston, adventurer. But love rarely follows a straight path. Times change, life goes on, new relationships form.

By 2022, Blake’s Folly, once notorious for its saloons, brothels, speak easies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town of abandoned shacks and weedy dirt roads. But the old stories are still very present, and they have the power to influence the 53 remaining inhabitants.

A Room in Blake’s Folly

If only the walls could speak…

In one hundred and fifty years, Blake's Folly, a silver boom town notorious for its brothels,
scarlet ladies, silver barons, speakeasies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town.
Although the old Mizpah Saloon is still in business, its upper floor is sheathed in dust. But in a 
room at a long corridor's end, an adventurer, a beautiful dance girl, and a rejected wife were once caught in a love triangle, and their secret has touched three generations.

Excerpt

You a widow?”

No.” She could hear the tightness in her voice and feel the tension in her shoulders.

His eyes glinted. “A runaway wife.”

Not that either.” Did she have to say more? She didn’t. But since people were bound to be asking that same question over and over, she might as well get used to it, even though the answer was only partially true. Even though it could never express what her life had been like up until now. “I left of my own accord, but with my husband’s full agreement. He’ll be looking into getting a divorce.”

And your children?”

Ah, there it was. The big question, the one thing everyone would be curious about. “No children. I’ve never had any.”

He said nothing. Had he heard the note of anger in her voice? She’d done her best to sound neutral, but neutrality wasn’t an easy note to hit. How vividly she remembered the first time she’d caught sight of her future husband, Sam Graham, waiting with a little knot of men by a shanty train station in the middle of nowhere. He and the others had been eager to grab a sight of their brides-to-be, women lured west by the promise of marriage, land, and a home. How had the other women fared? Had they been as discouraged as she at the sight of the vast lonely wasteland, the emptiness, the bleached-out colors, and the coarse men who would be their lifetime partners? Men honed by the elements, a hard life. And rough alcohol.

Westley Cranston stood, walked in her direction—no, walk wasn’t the word she could use. He sauntered, a slow, elegant saunter. A man sure of himself, of his power to seduce. Yes, that was why she’d felt so wary yesterday. He stopped when he was standing beside her. Smiled. No, there was nothing seductive in his smile. She’d been wrong. What had she been imagining? That she was still the young attractive woman she’d been years ago? What a fool she was.

He touched the top of the piano with a gesture that was almost a caress. “Don’t worry. You’ll do well. The boys you’ll be playing with are good musicians, nice guys, too. They play at all the dances in town, and they’ll teach you the sort of pieces folks out here are used to hearing.”

Thank you.”

His eyebrows rose. “For what?”

For being so kind.”

Kind?” He guffawed. “It’s not kindness. I’m fighting for survival. High time we got a good piano player in this place. Bob, before he let that stray bullet hit him, knew how to slap at the keys, all right, but he didn’t know the first thing about keeping time. I’ll bet pretty well all the customers were happy to see him taken out of the running.” Grinning, he moved away in that casual easy way of his, headed toward the front door. Then stopped, looked back, his eyes twinkling. “But they couldn’t do that, not legally, anyway. One of the rules here in town forbids shooting pistols in a barroom.”

She grinned back at him. “Sounds like a pretty good rule to me. And what are the other rules, if you don’t mind me asking. If there are any others, that is…”

Sure there are. Need plenty of rules in boom towns, especially after payday. The other ones are, you can’t insult a woman, you can’t ride a pony or horse on the wooden sidewalks, and you can’t ride them inside this establishment or any other business in town.” He was chuckling again when he turned the lock, stepped out into the street, and disappeared.

Hattie remained seated at the piano. Her anguish had totally vanished. Amazing, how he had put her at ease. He hadn’t judged her, hadn’t looked at her with disgust when she’d told him some of her story, hadn’t condemned her for feeling unsure about her piano playing. She wondered why she’d felt so mistrustful. He had behaved like a perfect gentleman—and a friend.

Then another thought struck her. What had he been doing here in the Mizpah so early in the morning? Had he slept here? Obviously he had. Hadn’t he just let himself out? And that meant he had probably spent the night with one of the ladies upstairs. That he was a client.

Disappointment washed over her. She couldn’t condemn him—men had needs, desires. Why was she so saddened by the thought?

Review of A Room in Blake’s Folly

Rich detail and scintillating dialogue transport the reader through the decades between 1889 and 2022 of this surprising saga. With flowing descriptive phrases (“… the walls had a yellowish hue that only time could bring,”) Culiner effectively intertwines the characters and descendants of Blake’s Folly. And although overhunting and pollution mean environmental change, the charm of this old world community remains intact. Cheers for this book!

~ Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite

Purchase Links

https://books2read.com/BlakesFollyRomance

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt3VkYUTVNk


About the Author


Writer, storyteller, photographer, and social critical artist, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.

Author Links

Author Website: http://www.j-arleneculiner.com

Blog: http://j-arleneculiner.over-blog.com

Storytelling Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-arlene-culiner

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JArleneCuliner/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jarlene.culiner/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7158064.J_Arlene_Culiner

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jarleneculiner

Amazon Author Page : https://www.amazon.com/author/jarleneculiner-quirky-romances

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Sizzling Sunday: Sneak Peak! #CoverReveal #TabooRomance #SizzlingSunday

Sizzling Sunday banner

Happy Sunday!

It’s certainly happy for me... I’m off this morning for a week’s much-needed vacation!

However, I’ll continue to entertain you if I can. A week from Monday, the 30th of May, I’ll be releasing a new edition of my taboo erotic romance Incognito. I am too excited to wait until then, however, to share the cover. So I thought I’d do a cover reveal along with a Sizzling Sunday post, picking one of the many, many erotic scenes in the novel.

Actually, it’s difficult to choose what scene to share. There’s a lot going on in this book...and most of it sizzles!

Blurb

Shy and serious by day—insatiable by night.

During the day, Miranda Cahill works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she has sex with strangers.

Public coupling, multiple partners, age play, spankings, bondage, lesbian lust—each salacious adventure exposes new dimensions of her depravity. Her secret life explodes when she realizes her masked partner at a kink club and the charismatic colleague courting her are in fact the same man.

Dickens scholar Mark Anderson seems like an affable, uncomplicated Midwesterner, but he has hidden depths, myriad talents, and an unlimited appetite for erotic variety. With Mark as her guide, Miranda comes to accept the intricacy of her own desires, as well as to trust her heart.

Reader Advisory: This novel is an erotic romance featuring a committed relationship and culminating in a wedding. Nevertheless, the main characters participate in a wide range of taboo sexual activities, both together and separately.


Exclusive Excerpt

The disco music blared. She shook her head, sending her long hair flying, trying to rid herself of the painful memories. She didn’t want to think about it anymore. But her heart was pounding again, and her sex was swollen with remembered passion.

She felt damp and disheveled. She made her way through the dark corridor that led to the ladies room. There, the light was bright enough to make her blink. A bevy of young women sparkled around her in tight dresses and spike heels, preening and perfecting their beauty like exotic and colorful birds. Miranda gazed at herself in the mirror. A stranger gazed back, long limbs and ripe curves, creamy skin flushed with excitement.

I should go home, Miranda thought, as she reapplied her lipstick and adjusted her clinging garments. Enough is enough.

She stepped into the shadowed hallway, seeing nothing but the flash of the strobe at the opposite end. All at once, from behind her, she felt a hand firmly grasp her wrist. “What…?” she began, then there was a finger at her lips, urging her to silence. She was pulled backward, against someone’s body, a man’s body—the evidence bulged against her, pushing into the small of her back. The finger at her lips brushed her cheek then flicked at her right nipple.

I should scream. The thought was fleeting, abstract. Meanwhile there were hands in the dark, silent and skillful. There was no force here, only invitation, temptation. She did not resist as her unknown companion guided her through some curtains, into a place of deeper darkness where the beat of the rock and roll was muffled and distant. There was a metallic sound of coat hangers disturbed by their entrance.

He did not speak, but Miranda heard his rough breathing as he cradled her breasts in his palms. Was it her partner from the dance floor? she wondered. She sniffed for his cologne but caught only the scent of male sweat and her own arousal.

A wave of lust washed over her. Miranda groped behind her, seeking that hard ridge of flesh she knew she’d find there. Blind, she brushed against it. Then one of her breasts was released and she heard a zipper tearing open. Now his cock was naked in her hand, pulsing hot, steel encased in velvet. It was strange and thrilling to have him slide back and forth in her palm, to sense his excitement in the hardening, swelling bulk she fondled.

The hand on her breast tugged, pulling her top down to her waist. Then it resumed its bold caresses, tightening thumb and forefinger on her nipple until she almost cried out. Heat flowed through her. She felt herself melting from the inside out, dampening, softening, opening like some tropical flower.

The stranger used both hands to raise her skirt. She rested her palms against a wall and arched her back, presenting her bottom. He stroked and fondled her buttocks. Each touch made her hungrier, more greedy for the sensation of his huge, unseen cock inside her.

A soft moan escaped her as he reached between her legs to cup her pubis. “Shh,” he whispered. She did not recognize the voice. Impatient, unbearably eager for him, Miranda grabbed her brief bikini panties and pulled them down to her knees. They were soaked, she discovered, as she struggled to remove them entirely.

Unseen hands took hold of the garment. There was the sound of rending fabric as he tore them off her. Yes! thought Miranda, crazed with desire. Please... She spread her legs wide and rubbed her hind cheeks against the hardness springing from his groin.

She felt his fingers groping in the dark, seeking the entrance among the folds. They slipped into her. She pushed, trying to force them deeper. Now the head of his cock prodded her pussy, while his fingers still played there, opening, stretching, guiding. At last, the whole wonderful length of him slid into her.

She bit her lip, struggling to maintain their tacit vow of silence. He worked her, plunging deep and hard, sensing her needs without words. The shrouded beat of the music, the beat of her heart, the synchronized rhythm of their breathing—it was another dance, and Miranda poured herself into it.

The darkness was total. Still, Miranda, driven by instinct, closed her eyes. Other senses took over. The cloakroom was heavy with the animal smell of sex. Sound was muffled, subtle, no voices, nothing but the quickening rasp of air through open mouths. Wanting taste, Miranda burrowed her face into the crook of her arm, to find salt and a hint of musk. Touch, though, was the reigning sense, the glide of his cock in and out of her slick folds, the little twinge when he caught the edge of her womb. His coarse pubic hair like burlap against her thighs when he buried himself to the hilt. The sharp bite of his fingernails as he pried her cheeks apart, seeking deeper access, more complete possession.

Available for pre-order now! Release date is 30 May 2022.

Buy Links

Kinky Literature: https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/362-incognito-secret-lives-forbidden-loves

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1N7CTMQ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B1N7CTMQ

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940165857058

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1147874

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/incognito-secret-lives-forbidden-loves

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

He wanted the dancing to never end – #EroticRomance #HistoricalRomance #MFRWHooks #Giveaway

Power and Persuasion cover

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of Marketing for Romance Authors Book Hooks – your weekly opportunity to find your next romantic read.

Today I’m highlighting my Gilded Age BDSM erotic romance Power and Persuasion. This is an emotional bit I’ve never posted before. Hope you like it.

If you do, leave me a comment. I’m giving away a free copy of the book to one person who does!

Blurb

She’s his natural enemy – and the only woman who can satisfy his perverse sexual needs.

Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with the daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart's desire: a submissive partner to share his life.

Labor activist Olivia Alcott is dedicated to helping the exploited factory workers responsible for Andrew’s wealth. The strike she organizes triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another: his need to command and hers to surrender.


 

The Hook

Olivia, did you not agree to be my consort this weekend?”

Yes—yes, sir…”

And to obey me without question?”

And have I not done so?” Her eyes sparkled in her flushed face and he knew she was reviewing the same glorious recollections that had him half hard in his tailored tuxedo trousers.

Yes, yes, you’ve satisfied me in every way, my lovely slut. Tonight, though, I need you more than ever, here by my side. I must make it clear to my mother and to society at large that I am not in the market for a wife.”

So I’m to play the role of your mistress, then?” The sharpness in her voice surprised him. He brushed his lips across her ripe ones, savoring her sweet breath.

What do you care what those hypocrites think of you? You’ll never see them again.”

Olivia did not answer. She peered down the stairs, into the brightly lit hall—the lion’s den. “You’re right,” she answered at last, her voice low and resigned. “It doesn’t matter at all. Let us go.”

Andrew guided her down the carpeted steps, his hand upon her elbow. He’d planned to make an unobtrusive entrance. However, when they appeared in the arched entry, every single person in the room turned to survey the new arrivals.

Couples stood frozen on the dance floor. Wine glasses paused halfway to their owners’ lips. The orchestra continued to play, but the occupants of the room were as motionless as machinery without power.

His mother, in a cluster of gaily clad ladies near the windows, shot a pointed stare in his direction. He executed a gracious bow in her direction. As the musicians brought the current song to an end, he addressed the assembly as a whole.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to welcome you all to Wavecrest. Please enjoy yourselves—and if I can do anything to make your evening more pleasant, do not hesitate to ask.”

He nodded to the orchestra leader, who struck up a new waltz. As though waking from a dream, the guests resumed their drinking, dancing and conversation.

Miss Alcott, may I have the pleasure?” He held out his hand to his companion. In the brilliant light of the massive electric chandeliers, Olivia looked more enchanting than ever.

It would be an honor, sir.”

She was light as a breeze, sure-footed and graceful, following his lead without the slightest misstep. His hand settled on her waist, where he could feel her warm flesh shifting under the silk. Her fingers enlaced with his, she focused on his face as he swept her around the floor. In her eyes he read desire, need and a raw devotion that humbled even him. They were silent as they danced, but their eyes and their bodies spoke volumes.

The waltz ended. Another began, then another. Olivia’s lush form moved in perfect synchrony with his own, dipping and twirling, responding to his slightest cues. Andrew fell into a sort of lustful dream. He wanted the dancing to never end. He’d keep Olivia in his arms forever.

 

Buy Links

Kinky Literature https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/1488-power-and-persuasion/

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HSS7C6T

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09HSS7C6T

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1108116

Barnes and Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-and-persuasion-lisabet-sarai/1140290642?ean=2940165040306

Kobohttps://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/power-and-persuasion-a-gilded-age-bdsm-romance

Apple Books - https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1588921937

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59240690-power-and-persuasion

Be sure to visit the other authors joining today’s Hop. And please do leave a comment to enter my giveaway!



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Can love conquer all in a town steeped in it? @jkentauthor #RomCom #EnemiesToLovers #SmallTownRomance

Love You Right banner

About the Book

A missed opportunity five years ago makes for an unexpected encounter now between two people meant for each other – but who square off in a very public battle of wills in the small town of Love You, Maine, where every day is Valentine's Day. Can love conquer all in a town steeped in it?

Kell Luview refuses to be a sucker at love again. Five years ago, he left D.C. with his tail between his legs and his heart broken. Fiercely protective of his small town in rural Maine, he's determined to save the family tree business and avoid his feelings at all costs, no matter how much he longs to solve the mystery of what happened in D.C.

L.A. native Rachel Hart hates being underestimated almost as much as she hates this small town. She has two goals on this trip: get out of the cheesy tourist trap of Love You, Maine with a completed business deal, and avoid running into Kell, her old friend from D.C. who never became an old flame because of a huge misunderstanding.

One that still aches.

When her rental car breaks down on a logging road and Kell comes to her rescue, it's clear he's a changed man – and not for the good. Grumpy and reserved, he pushes all her buttons, still stubbornly convinced she betrayed him all those years ago. He's never forgiven her, and she's never forgiven herself for carrying a torch for him.

An embarrassing incident gets the town gossip mill going when residents wrongly assume Kell and Rachel are the newest couple to find love in the most romantic place on Earth. But the townsfolk aren't wrong for long...

As Rachel breaks through his defenses and charms the town, he faces his biggest fear: all those pesky feelings he's been avoiding.

Because they're all about Rachel now.

And maybe they always were.

Can Kell and Rachel fight their growing attraction in the one place in the world where you can't avoid love?

If you're looking for a fun read about enemies to lovers, forced proximity, heroines who get their comeuppance and sworn bachelors felled by unexpected true love, featuring a hot bearded lumberjack impervious to poison ivy, and a city-slicker, jaded career woman with a penchant for great coffee, set in a small town in New England - then this is your book.

Grab a cup of (properly good) coffee, a can of hot cocoa mix, a jar of Fluff and maybe some calamine lotion (just in case), and get your happymeter ready as you read the very first book in New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Julia Kent's Love You, Maine series - where love isn't just a feeling - it's a way of life.

Standalone

Enemies to Lovers

Small town romance

Lumberjack and city slicker outsider

... and a cat named Calamine


Buy Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09R15LTCH

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09R15LTCH/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09R15LTCH/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09R15LTCH/

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/love-you-right/id1606788218

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-you-right

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-you-right-julia-kent/1140922643?ean=2940160825670

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Julia_Kent_Love_You_Right?id=s4xaEAAAQBAJ&hl=en_US&gl=US

Print: https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic/dp/163880060X/

Website: https://jkentauthor.com/books/love-you-maine/love-you-right

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-you-right-small-town-enemies-to-lovers-romantic-comedy-love-you-maine-book-1-by-julia-kent

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59694646-love-you-right

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-You-Right-Audiobook/B09Y9GVNV8

Amazon Audio: https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Right-Maine-Book/dp/B09Y9K3QR6/

iTunes: COMING SOON

Snippets

My beard,” he murmured between kisses. “Sorry.”

What beard? You shaved it off.”

I meant this.” He rubbed his scruff. “It’s going to chafe.”

She laughed. “Of all the reasons for chafe marks, this one is the best. My face can handle it.”

I wasn’t talking about your face.”

.

I should have done this a long time ago.”

Slept with me?”

No,” he whispered, kissing her finger. “Believed in you.”

.

In the five years since Kell Luview left D.C., he’d done a lot of thinking.

More than a lot.

That thinking–and a heaping dose of emotion–came roaring back when he found himself stuck with Rachel Hart.

Literally.

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 21 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, with more titles releasing in the future.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at julia@jkentauthor.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor, on Facebook at @jkentauthor, and on Instagram @jkentauthor. Visit her at http://jkentauthor.com

Social Media Links

Website: http://jkentauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jkentauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jkentauthor

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2PIBi9n

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jkentauthor/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julia-kent

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3238619.Julia_Kent

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Kent/e/B00A99V268/





Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.


Friday, May 13, 2022

Searing MM paranormal romance … now available in audio! #AudioBook #LGBTQ #Paranormal


At the Margins of Madness Audio Cover
 

Great news! My paranormal novel At the Margins of Madness is now available as an audio book, narrated by the talented Mala Zelaniye.

If you’d rather listen to your books – or if audio books are how you manage to fit reading into your busy life – get yourself a copy of this dark, intense MM romance.

Both power and love can lead to madness. 

Nineteen-year-old Kyle sees visions of disasters, visions that tear his world apart. Everyone assumes that he is schizophrenic, but Rob, the cop who picks him up off the street, knows better. 

Rob's own experience has taught him that psychic powers are real, and potentially devastating. Since his telepathic sister's brutal murder, Rob wants nothing to do with "gifted" individuals like Kyle. Yet he can't deny his attraction to the beautiful, tortured young man, an attraction that appears to be mutual.

When a brilliant, sadistic practitioner of the black arts lures Kyle into his clutches, Rob faces the possibility that once again he may lose the person he loves most to the forces of darkness.


It’s available at both Amazon and Audible:

https://www.amazon.com/At-Margins-Madness-Tale-Power/dp/B09ZZTXJ3M/

https://www.audible.com/pd/At-the-Margins-of-Madness-Audiobook/B0B113TQNW

You can listen to a sample at either of these links.

And of course if you’re not an audio book fan, you can get the novel as an ebook at any of your favorite online bookstores. See https://www.lisabetsarai.com/marginsofmadnessbook.html for links and an excerpt.


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

When Life Takes a Turn and Burns You – #Burns #Suspense #Romance @cbeckerauthor

Saving Euphoria cover
 

By C. Becker (Guest Author)

Three years ago, I planned a trip to Hawaii. A month before the flight, I was boiling water to cook lasagna and as I added in the noodles, water splashed out of the pot onto my foot. The pain was horrible and I remember swearing, which I rarely do. My kids took notice and came to help me as I peeled off my sock and ran for an icepack. A layer of skin had already peeled off, and I spent the next hour researching how to treat burns while I soaked my foot in cold water. I was too embarrassed to go to the urgent care, and besides, I still needed to make dinner. The nights that followed were difficult. Pain lingered. The wound area worsened. Antibiotic cream with pain medicine became my best friend. My main concern was getting the foot to heal so I could put shoes on again and walk onto a plane. I must have looked ridiculous wearing flipflops in February in the cold WV weather!

Ironically, this was also the time I was writing a story for one of my characters, Mark, who was burned in a fire. Once I burned my foot, my eyes opened. I wanted to bring awareness to people suffering from burns. I began researching the pain that burn victims endure. I gained an understanding for the type of pain management that is required to keep burn patients comfortable. I also had a new respect for what patients undergo during their path to recovery and the medical professionals who care for them. In my opinion, they are all unsung heroes.

I’ve never personally known anyone severely burned, but from reports of the American Burn Association, 450,000 burns require treatment each year in the U.S. In my case, I finally went to my family doctor three weeks later when I was desperate to have the wound heal. The doctor gave me a salve for my foot, but the wound only needed time to heal. I ending up going to Hawaii, but I wasn’t able to dip my foot into the Pacific Ocean. Considering how lucky I was that the burn wasn’t worse, I’m okay with that disappointment. So many more people have undergone more severe burns.

Researching burns has opened my eyes to the trials that burn patients experience. I’ve tried to incorporate the treatments for burn injuries into my character’s story. In Saving Euphoria Mark Langley gives up his own happiness to save his family after he is caught in a burning building. Mark survives, but he’s afraid to ask for help, and as he rebuilds his strength, he learns his wife is moving on with her life. Mark refuses to give up and continues his rehab while researching the new men in his wife’s life. He spends long days working with a physical therapist and occupational therapist, talking to a counselor, meeting his doctor, but he feels alone. Burn victims not only need support of family and friends, they also need to feel some kind of normalcy. As I finished writing this book, I started searching for available treatments to heal burns. I was pleased to learn that there is research going on to find ways to heal skin and regrow skin. In my Euphoria trilogy, the Euphoria shrub, aka Bixa aparra, will extend its medicinal powers to skin regeneration in the next book. A fictitious plant, the Euphoria shrub is native to the Amazon rainforest. Maybe there is a real plant out there to heal burns or regenerate skin. Unfortunately, with plants in the Amazon disappearing through deforestation, the world may never know the impact of these medicines.

Blurb

Hailey Langley and her children struggle to cope with the shocking and mysterious death of her husband Mark. Her teenaged son is rebelling, and Hailey is dealing with physical and mental challenges as well.

Tom Parker, Hailey's former partner from the Special Crimes Agency, comes back into her life. He warns her to trust no one even as he tries to rekindle the flame that connects them.

Everyone has secrets, even Parker, and some of those from the past threaten to destroy the present. Hailey fights to move forward after losing Mark, but she needs to figure out if she can trust Parker and risk taking another chance on love.

Excerpt

Mark scowled. “Oh, give me a break. I never intended this.”

What did you expect after we faked your death? That Hailey and the kids would live happily ever after tripping through a field of daisies? They’re in pain, Mark. They hurt from losing you.” David’s eyes closed. “The boy lost his father. He’s suffering, and he won’t or can’t share his pain. Anna avoids the house, and Hailey’s at wits’ end trying to keep the family together.”

Mark clenched his jaw, his frustration mounting to a new level.

David tugged his sleeve. “Do you want to tell Owen the plan’s over?”

He met David’s stare. “And then what? Expect Hailey to run to me with open arms?” He pointed at the clear mask on his face used to minimize scarring. He still couldn’t bring himself to look at his reflection in the mirror. “Look at me. I’m a freak. And a cripple. Even if I could walk, she couldn’t see past these grotesque scars.”

You don’t give her enough credit.”

Mark spit. “And you’re living in a dream world. I’m repulsive.”

Hailey would be thrilled to learn you’re alive.”

For how long? Until she stops feeling sorry for me?”

She loves you.”

And I love her.” Mark’s voice cracked. “That’s why I can’t do this to her.”

You’re making excuses.” David’s lips tightened. “I hate being in this position. I get Owen didn’t want Hailey to know you survived, but I don’t like it.”

It’s the best way to bring Mendoza to the States and arrest him.”

If word gets out Owen and I made everyone believe you’re dead so we could track down Mendoza, a lot of heads are going to roll.”

Bullshit! This is the DTA and CIA we’re talking about. The government does questionable things every day, and it never goes anywhere. The end justifies the means. Isn’t that the motto?”

I’m just saying we can all lose our jobs and most likely go to jail.”

We won’t go to jail if we catch Mendoza. He’s wanted by every agency in the country, not to mention in fifty other countries around the world.”

David got up and paced. “There’s a lot at risk. All our asses are on the line.”


Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09SVMXYZT

The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/bookauthor/c-becker

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-euphoria-c-becker/1141022852

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/saving-euphoria/id1612065577

About the Author


Becker is the author of Finding Euphoria and Saving Euphoria. She is currently working on the third book to the Euphoria trilogy. As a medical technologist in a former career, Becker has never outgrown the attraction of using science in everyday life.

Becker enjoys hanging out with her family and Jack Russell, playing the piano, reading, and gardening.


Contact Info

https://cbeckerauthor.wixsite.com/cbeckerauthor

And here is how to reach C.Becker or get more information about her books:

Website https://cbeckerauthor.wixsite.com/cbeckerauthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/cbeckerauthor

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CBeckerauthor/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/beckercee/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60471332-saving-euphoria

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/books/saving-euphoria-by-c-becker

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/C.-Becker/e/B07NRWPWX3

Get to know C. Becker better by signing up for an email newsletter https://mailchi.mp/7a51fa024f7a/cbeckerauthor