Friday, November 9, 2018

#GiveAway ~ HIS TEMPTING LOVE By Anya Summers ~ @GoddessFish @anyabsummers

Anya Summers will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

Cora Roberts has a plan: move to a new town and make a better life for herself and her son. As a single mom, she’s not looking for a relationship of any kind. But then she never expected to have the sexy Garrett offer her a night of uninhibited pleasure with no strings attached.

Garrett Brooks never expected Cora’s surrender to his touch to be so sweet – or tempt him to want more than just a single night with her. But as he pursues a deeper relationship with Cora, a threat from his past emerges.

Will Garrett be able to tempt Cora with his love, or will outside forces tear them apart?

Read an Excerpt:

The Cuff & Spurs Night Club was just your everyday, average, ordinary club—with kinky hot sex tossed in.

The members’ only club was decorated with a cowboy motif, pretty much like almost every other establishment in Jackson Hole. Not that Cora Roberts was complaining; she found the flair for Western-themed décor was part of this town’s charm.

Cuffs & Spurs was the only business she was aware of in town that was located and operated below ground. Then again, it was a private establishment and the general population was not permitted to enter. For all she knew the stores along the main drive could all have secret basements with operating businesses in them.

Up the stairs on the first floor was the Teton Cowboy Bar & Grill. The popular restaurant for tourists and locals alike helped to finance this nightclub. Both places were owned by Spencer Collins, her cousin on her mother’s side and the reason she had lucked into this job.

Spencer had done a lot for Cora upon her moving back to their old stomping ground.

The bar along the far-right wall was a lake of glossy golden wood with brass trim and fixtures. Overhead there were chandeliers crafted like wagon wheels, hung horizontally with glass cylinders on top that resembled the old-style kerosene lanterns. Even the bulbs inside were shaped like flames.

Hard rock music—there was some old-school Rod Stewart currently playing—pumped from hidden speakers in the paneled wooden walls.

The barstools were the most unique feature of the bar; they were saddles, as in going for a trail ride horse saddle. And on each stool there were silver loops in various positions for a Dom to restrain their submissive. Scene areas were cordoned off along the wall opposite the bar with black velvet rope.

There was a seating area with umber brown leather couches the color of dark tree bark and Western style décor tables in complementary colored golden woods. It reminded her of a gentleman’s study, all masculine in design with a splice of Western flair. The constant hum of conversation was overshadowed by the slap of flesh and moans.

Cora didn’t mind the bump and grind action taking place in the scene areas, the small alcoves partitioned off with thick black velvet rope. Inside the separated areas was dungeon sex style furniture designed with the kinkster in mind, which attendees used to live out their sexual fantasies. And not just any kind of sex, this was the ‘tie me up, tie me down’ style of action. The fact that this club catered to those in the BDSM lifestyle was a minor trifling issue in the scheme of it all. Whips, chains, copious amounts of flesh on display, and dungeon sex furniture didn’t make Cora blush or embarrassed. Nor did witnessing the myriad number of blow jobs and all manner of raunchy sex, not when her tips waiting tables were more than she would make anywhere else in this town. A job was a job. And she needed the cash. Who cared if she had to address the guys as Sir? For the money she was making, she’d call them whatever the hell they wanted her to.

Then there was the added bonus of the sheer amount of masculine eye candy on display. For Cora, it was as if she had stepped into a fantasy. Like the rugged outdoors of Jackson Hole, Wyoming had imbued the male club members with an extra dollop of testosterone the size of one of the nearby mountains. They were men who exuded control, masters of the world around them, including the women who were lucky enough to catch their eye. If the blissed-out expressions on the submissives’ faces were any indication, a woman could do worse than hooking up with the tough-as-nails manly men at the club.

About the Author: 
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit her website here:

Visit her on social media here:
Amazon Author Page:

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers!

Dungeon Fantasy Club Series
Her Highland Master, Book 1
To Master and Defend, Book 2
Two Doms for Kara, Book 3
His Driven Domme, Book 4
Her Country Master, Book 5
Love Me, Master Me, Book 6
Submit To Me, Book 7
Her Wired Dom, Book 8

Pleasure Island Series
Her Master & Commander, Book 1
Her Music Masters, Book 2
Their Shy Submissive, Book 3
Her Lawful Master, Book 4
Her Rockstar Dom, Book 5
Duets & Dominance, Book 6
Her Undercover Dom, Book 7
Ménage In Paradise, Book 8
Her Rodeo Masters, Book 9

Cuffs & Spurs Series
His Scandalous Love
His Unexpected Love
His Wicked Love
His Untamed Love
His Tempting Love
His Seductive Love releasing November 2018
His Secret Love releasing January 2019
His Cherished Love releasing March 2019

The Alcyran Chronicles
Taken by the Beast
Claimed by the Beast releasing Fall 2018
Loved by the Beast releasing Winter 2019

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#GiveAway ~ SOFT CLAY by Megan Slayer ~ @MeganSlayer

 Megan Slayer will be awarding a Prize Pack featuring a Necklace made by the author and signed swag to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chance of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

About the Book:
Two souls trapped—can they find freedom in each other’s arms?

Nike, the goddess of speed can’t move. She’s the goddess of strength and she can’t shatter her curse. The goddess of victory has lost her weapons—her shield and spear. She put her faith in a human, only to be cursed. Can another human be the key to her salvation and freedom from the clay?

Charlie needs someone who can understand him. A person to cherish him. Male or female, he doesn’t care. He’s intrigued by Nike’s statue. Call him infatuated. But she’s a statue and they don’t come to life from true love’s kiss, do they?

Read an Excerpt:
©Megan Slayer, 2018, All Rights Reserved

“Try it.” Zelus nodded. “It’s not hard stuff. Just wine from Olympus.”

Oh Jesus. He’d heard this line of bullshit before. His friends wanted to sell their story about Olympus, but he wasn’t buying. He refused to drink. “If I down that, I might believe you and there’s no way that’s happening.”

Kay shrugged. “It’ll make you feel better.”

“To know you’re lying or to get drunk?” Charlie asked. “Olympus, Gods, statues … it’s not right to dick with people.”

Bia took a swig. “I get it.” She stayed beside him. “You think things are one way, then they go sideways. We keep trying to convince you to believe us, but we don’t show you what’s real.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “You’re right to be concerned.”

“Yeah.” He didn’t understand, but she seemed to care. He took the flask. Maybe drinking would help. He’d forget his problems for a while. Sure, the issues would still be there, but he’d have a respite. He tipped his head back and the sweet liquid slid down his throat. The drink reminded him of apples, but with spice. Not cider, though. His mouth chilled, but the liquid warmed his soul. His head swam. “I should stop.” He downed another swig. “Really.” But he wanted more.

“Then stop.” Kay took the flask. “Feel better?”

“Not really.” He leaned back against the foot of the statue. If he wasn’t mistaken, her foot felt warm. Real. Not possible. This had to be a figment of his imagination or a result of the drink. His mind was playing tricks on him. But why was he so horny all the sudden? Booze never made him want to hump everything in sight.

“Let’s get you home.” Zelus offered his arm. “Come on.”

“No.” He shook his head and blinked. “Did you drug me?”

“It’s the nectar of the gods.” Camden laughed. “Not drugs. Good, though, isn’t it?”

“It’s wine.” Andy helped Zelus hoist Charlie to his feet. “The wine amplifies your heart’s desire. You’re not drunk, I promise.”

He allowed them to help him to stand, but he shook his head. Life seemed to slow down. He blinked again. The horniness increased. He wriggled free from the guys. Neither could help him with his suddenly overactive libido. All six individuals were taken and none of them turned him on. “I don’t get it. There’s something wrong with me. I can’t find anyone to love me.” Why was he telling them this? He whooped, then faced the statue. “I bet I can’t even turn this statue on.” He hopped onto the base of the sculpture, standing nose to nose with the woman. “See?” He kissed her. “Think you can love me, baby? I’ll fuck you senseless, but I want to wear your clothes and have you fuck me, too. Isn’t that messed up?” He kissed the statue again. “See?” He glanced back at his friends. “She isn’t interested. No one is.” Oh well. Love, even with a statue wasn’t in his future. Such was life…

About the Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

#SpotLight ~ INNOCENT TEARS by Iris Blobel ~ @_iris_b

by Iris Blobel

 I'm excited to tell you all about the re-release of INNOCENT TEARS,
The book has enjoyed a rewrite and an awesome new cover.
I hope you'll give Flynn and Emma's story a chance.

♥♦♥ ~Blurb ~ ♥♦♥

Becoming a parent can be daunting at the best of times, but for Flynn McCormack, a business lawyer in Melbourne, it pulls the feet right out from underneath him. He’s become a father to six-year-old Nadine literally overnight. He didn’t know about her existence, and the news throws him into chaos, even more so when he is asked to take over custody.

With the help of Emma, an employee at the hotel where Nadine and her grandparents are staying, Flynn tries to do the right thing. Yet, the right thing in his eyes differs from his parents’ ideas, and Emma is voicing her opinion, too, leaving Nadine right in the middle of it all, still grieving the loss of her mother. There’s no doubt she’s afraid about where and with whom she will settle.

Will a letter Flynn receives help him decide what to do?

♥♦♥ ~OUT NOW ~ ♥♦♥

FREE for KU Subscribers
♥♦♥ ~Social Media Links~ ♥♦♥

Thursday, November 1, 2018

#GiveAway ~ A LORD FOR CHRISTMAS by Ella Quinn, Lauren Smith, Collette Cameron, Jenna Jaxon ~ @GoddessFish

by Ella Quinn, Lauren Smith, Collette Cameron, Jenna Jaxon  

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

About A Lord for Christmas:
A Lord for Christmas: Heart-warming Regency Yuletide Tales is a collection of novellas with both holiday themes as well as those of love, passion, intrigue, and romance running throughout. With each story, you’ll long for your own Lord for Christmas.

Marriage by Twelfth Night by Ella Quinn – Lady Euphrosyne Trevor knows exactly what she wants in a marriage when she meets the Marquis of Markville. But when her father, the Duke of Somerset, refuses the suit out of hand and betroths Euphrosyne to another man, they must find a way to defy the duke and save the only chance they have for love.

The Rogue's Seduction by Lauren Smith - Perdita, London's favorite lady is desperate to avoid a fortune hunter and enlists the help of London's most wicked Rogue to fake an engagement, but her rogue has every intention of claiming Perdita as his wife.

A December with a Duke by Collette Cameron – After a horrific marriage, Everleigh vows to never marry again, but the enigmatic Duke of Sheffield is determined to woo the beautiful widow and make her his own.

A Match Made at Christmas by Jenna Jaxon — Sophia must allow her grandmother to arrange a match for her, the name of the groom to be announced at a Christmas house party. So when Sophia finds the true love of her life, she has no idea if he is her grandmother’s choice or not.

BUY LINKS: - on sale for only $0.99

Read an Excerpt from The Rogue’s Seduction by Lauren Smith

She marched up the steps and rapped the metal knocker mounted on the stout oak door. Suddenly doubt assailed her. This was a terrible idea. Her mind screamed at her to flee as she stood upon the threshold to the underworld.

Perhaps she could beg her parents to let her go to the continent for a few years and avoid the fate that had driven her to this door at such an hour. Yet that would only spare her, not her family, of the consequences of running away from the blackmail she was facing.

The door creaked, the old oak protesting as the hinges grudgingly gave in. A middle-aged butler stood there, his beady eyes peering down at her over his long, thin nose and pointed chin. His professional demeanor lacked the politeness expected of a servant in a decent household. His shoulders were broad, and he seemed far too muscular for a refined position of a butler. But this wasn’t a decent household. This was the devil’s own home.

“Er…” He blinked at her, apparently startled by her appearance. It was a risk to be seen standing on this particular doorstep after midnight, a fact of which she was all too aware.

“I must see Lord Darlington at once,” she told the man, praying he would let her inside. She could not take the risk of being seen and starting a scandal. Or rather, a different scandal than the one she was meticulously planning already.

The man hesitated, his body barring her entrance through the still partially closed door. “This is late, even for my master.”

Perdita didn’t back down. “I am aware of the hour, but he will want to see me.” She raised her chin and announced this with such regal bearing that he would not dare question her. He sighed and stepped away from the doorway. Her mother’s lessons, it seemed, hadn’t been wasted on her after all.

“This way, madam.” He waved a hand for her to step inside. She entered the townhouse, her body relaxing, but only just. She may have been out of view of the street, but she was still in very dangerous territory.

Two dim lamps illuminated the hall and staircase. She was surprised they were still lit. Was the master of the house still awake? She had assumed he would be, but the house was hushed and ghostly quiet. She took a moment to study her surroundings with open curiosity. The foyer was bare of any decorations, paintings, or even end tables. The starkness of it surprised her.

So this is where the Devil of London resides.

About the Authors:

USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She's currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.




Blog: http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom/

USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, and a Semi-Finalist award for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. She is a 2018 RITA ® Finalist in the Romance Writers of America Contest. To connect with Lauren, visit her at





USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author, Collette Cameron pens Scottish and Regency historicals, featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them.

Blessed with fantastic fans as well as a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she lives in Oregon with her mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time.

You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances®.




Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical romance in all time periods because, she says, “passion is timeless.” She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Gloucester, Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats and one silent one.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as an active member of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has four series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France, and The Widows’ Club series, also set in Regency England and available from Kensington Publishing in both print and digital.

She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.




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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#Review ~ Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan ~ @SoVerySophie


Beautiful Sinner: A Devil's Rock Novel by [Jordan, Sophie]
I think this may be the first book I have had the chance to read by Sophie Jordan. I was impressed and I will certainly be on the lookout for more books by this talented author. 

I quickly bonded with Gabriella Rossi because honestly she kind of reminds me to me. She's sweet, loving, strong-willed when needed, courageous even if she doesn't necessarily think she is, will do anything to help those she loves, and loyal. Her life has not been easy and she is still dealing with some of the rotten folks from her high school that made her high school experience anything but enjoyable. 

Cruz Walsh, wow where do I start with this guy. He loves his family so much and would do ANYTHING for them. He was convicted of a crime he sure didn't commit and even after being proved innocent and released from prison, the mean folks of town are still trying to tear him down. This guy has such a big heart, he's strong, determined, loyal, and just one really awesome guy that got a bad deal. 

I loved watching Cruz and Gabby get to know each other as adults. There are so darn many things that keep jumping into their path to keep them apart but the attraction is there, the feelings are strong, and even some of the family is approving. It's going to be a bumpy ride to get their relationship to a point of even possibly finding a happily ever after. They truly do make a great couple. With everything they have been through they sure do both deserve to find that happily ever after that's for sure.

I really enjoyed this book. I found Ms. Jordan to have a very nice writing style that quickly captured my attention from the first page and held on all the way to the end. The characters are charismatic, charming, and give you that feeling of you just found a new friend. The storyline was interesting and filled with plenty of drama and mystery to keep my fingers flipping those pages just as quickly as I could while sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what in the world could possibly happen next. 

This is the last book in the Devil's Rock series. Ms. Jordan has done a fabulous job of making it a stand alone. I didn't feel like I was missing any important details that would distract from my enjoyment of the book. However, after reading this book I know I sure wouldn't mind reading more of her work. 

I was given the opportunity to read this incredible book and it is my pleasure to share my thoughts with you. 

Amazon Buy Link:

About Beautiful Sinner:

Beautiful Sinner: A Devil's Rock Novel by [Jordan, Sophie]Locked in with the town bad boy . . .
Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

#GiveAway ~ BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA by Sherry Ellis ~ @513sherrye @DancingLemurPre @MCBookTours.

It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Sherry Ellis’ BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA Blog Tour through MC Book Tours today.

This tour-wide giveaway is for five (5) autographed copies of BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA. The giveaway is open internationally.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.


Squirt doesn't believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi'an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors.

It gets worse when the ghost of the first emperor of China appears. He tells them they can't go home until they find his missing pi. The kids don't know where to begin until they meet a girl and her grandmother who promise to help find the pendant.

Soon they realize they are being followed. And they are no closer to finding the missing pi. Will Bubba and Squirt ever make it back home?

Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
Print & eBooks
Paperback: 94 pages
Grades 3-5



Swirling wisps of black smoke rose from the ground. A wind sound filled the cave. I shivered. The wisps gathered and formed a column. It grew until it reached the top of the cave. Then it dissolved. I gasped when I saw what was left: a man. A ghost man. He wore a long white robe, like Mama’s bathrobe, only fancier. And he had a wispy, black mustache and beard. And his eyes–boy, those things really creeped me out! They were like black slits painted on his face. I gulped and tried real hard not to scream.
I looked at Squirt. Her face was as white as the ghost’s, and her eyes were as big as traffic lights when they turn green. I looked back at the ghost. Nobody said a word. If this was a magic trick, it sure was a good one. I had no idea how he could appear out of thin air like that.
I shifted on my feet, wishing somebody would talk. When nobody did, I swallowed and took a deep breath. I stepped forward. “Hi, Mister Chinese man. I’m Bubba and this is Squirt, and we want to go home.” I took another breath and waited for the ghost to say something. But he didn’t. He did nothing but stare at me with those slit eyeballs.
Squirt stepped up behind me and whispered in my ear. “I don’t think he understands English. Try saying, ‘ni hao.’ It means ‘hello’ in Chinese.”
I didn’t know how Miss Smarty Pants knew that information, but I thought I’d give it a try. I cleared my throat. “Ni hao.”
The ghost stared at me, his face expressionless. I thought maybe he was a hologram. But then he spoke. His voice was high and raspy. “I am Emperor Ch’in. You have invaded my burial chambers.”
Whoa! We were in a tomb? I had no idea. There were no bones or anything that made it look like one. I raised my eyebrows. “You speak English?” I didn’t think Chinese ghost guys could do that.
“I am a spirit. I speak and understand all languages. Now, why are you here?”

I told him about the magic shovel, the hole, and the clay soldiers. He listened quietly. When I was finished, he didn’t say a thing. He just kept staring.

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano.

When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Sherry, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia. 

For more on Sherry and her writing, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, her blog, her website and her Amazon Author Page.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Sherry on her month-long tour HERE. You never know what you might find out.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

#GiveAway ~ THE EXENE CHRONICLES by Camille A. Collins ~ @GoddessFish

by Camille A. Collins

Camille will be awarding a lovely pen and notebook to a randomly drawn winner. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.  (

Camille A. Collins's lyrical debut novel speaks to the passionate engagement of adolescent girls—with music, with injustice, with love, with life. This is a courageous coming-of-age story, one that poet Nikki Giovanni recommends "sharing with our teenage sons and daughters."

Collins's 1980s southern California set novel is a literary debut that tackles social inequality with poetic riffs and heart-pounding angst.

GENRE: Vintage Young Adult / Multi-culture


Cobblestones, crisscrossed by scarlet rills…

Away from the clean, wide streets of Coronado, downtown San Diego, with its vagrant hotels, Salvation Army treasures, and errant trash tumbling along the gutters, provided Ryan and Lia some undefined relief. The grit egged on their teething pathos, their emerging view of life through some inverted prism, where on the one hand, they believed that in some far-off distance they would attain a sort of middle-class contentment, but for the present, nothing besides a noncommittal flirtation with the dark, baneful, and untoward, procured in the pedestrian way of most fourteen-year- olds (through books, music, and imaginative musings), could create for them a sense of satisfaction.

In order to feed their insatiable quest for all things bleak on a diet more substantial than what Danielle Steel had to offer, the girls’ eighth grade English teacher introduced them to Baudelaire. Whether or not they had really understood The Fountain of Blood was hard to say.

“Romeo and Juliet isn’t so melodramatic,” Ryan murmured reflectively.

“I mean, who wouldn’t die for love? I would…if it came to that.”

“You’re nuts.”

“It’s just…I think that Prince song is right: the party’s over in the year 2000. Do you realize we’ll be, like, thirty years old, if we even live to see 2000?”

“Wait. What’s that got to do with anything?” Lia frowned.

“I dunno, it’s just … I’d rather die young for love instead of living without it, not knowing what might happen. Have you ever seen those warships down at the end of Palm Avenue? I hate them.”

Lia paused to consider Ryan’s words.

“You’re right. I never thought about it that way … but you’re absolutely right. I guess I’d prefer it that way too.”

Apparently, what Mrs. Buchanan had offered as a cautionary tale had suffered gross misinterpretation.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Camille A. Collins has an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been the recipient of the Short Fiction Prize from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in The African-American National Biography, published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press; in The Twisted Vine, a literary journal of Western New Mexico University, and other places.