Cryosleep – Guest Post by Diane Burton

Happy Friday, people! I’m so lucky to have Diane Burton on the blog today. She writes sci-fi romance, and she’s here to share a few tips on space sleep. How cool is that? And she’s also giving away a $10 Amazon giftcard to a lucky commenter, so be sure to talk back!

CRYOSLEEP

“Ready to turn into a popsicle, Commander?” from Mission to New Earth.

Have you ever wondered how humans could travel across vast reaches of space? First, we’d have to build spaceships that could travel those distances. Those ships would need fuel. The more fuel, the farther the ship can go. If the ship was empty, it could go even farther. A computer can perform all the necessary functions. In fact, isn’t that what the Kepler, Cassini, and Hubbell spacecraft do?

But what if we want to send people out past our star (the sun) and past many stars until they get to a planet in the Goldilocks zone? In a previous post on Veronica Scott’s blog, I wrote about planets that aren’t too hot, not too cold, where the environment is just right for humans.

The heavier the cargo, the more fuel is used. Humans need essentials like air, food, and water. To preserve their bones, gravity is needed, too. To maintain gravity and haul enough food, water, and appropriate air for several years would take a lot of fuel.

Scientists have been working on that problem for years. Science fiction movies and books already have it worked out. Just put the astronauts into cryosleep.

Interstellar - Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Interstellar – Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Cryosleep is the process of lowering the body’s temperature to induce hibernation. In movies like Avatar, Interstellar, 2001: A Space Odyssey, astronauts are put into suspended animation (sometimes called stasis or torpor) so they can endure long space travels. Not every story or movie has warp or hyperdrive to get from Point A to Point B, thereby reducing travel time.

Photo credit: OldJohn73 at DeviantArt.com

Photo credit: OldJohn73 at DeviantArt.com

When astronauts are put into cryosleep, as mine are in Mission to New Earth, food and water aren’t needed since a sleeper has no need for them plus they don’t breathe. The result is less fuel consumption, which then means the spaceship can go farther than if the astronauts were awake.

Photo credit: Spaceworks Enterprises

Photo credit: Spaceworks Enterprises

There’s another benefit of cryosleep. Relief from boredom. Can you imagine looking at empty space for years? In Mission to New Earth, the trip from Titan (Saturn’s moon and launch platform) to Serenity (a planet in the Goldilocks zone) takes three years. With nothing to do and nothing to observe, the astronauts would need to keep busy. Workouts take energy—not just from the astronaut but from the ship. Gravity, air, food, and water. All demands on fuel consumption.

Photo credit: https://www. www.itsokguys.com

Photo credit: https://www. www.itsokguys.com

As a sci-fi writer, I’m not concerned with the mechanics of cryosleep. I compare it to an automobile. I don’t know (don’t need to know) how it works. I just need to know that when I put the key in the ignition, the car will take me where I want to go.

From what I’d read, seen in movies, and researched, I gathered enough info to make the scene of my astronauts going into cryosleep believable. At least, I hope so. Or that the reader can suspend disbelief. I was more concerned with the emotions experienced by the astronauts. Since Mission to New Earth is told in the first person point of view, the reader only knows/experiences what the main character does.

Sara Grenard, the commander of the mission and the story’s narrator, has a vivid imagination. While preparing for launch, before being put into cryosleep, Sara experiences many emotions. Fear, mainly. What if there’s a problem with the freezing chamber? What if the computer (an AI like Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey) decides to eliminate the humans? What if there’s a malfunction and the computer has to decide whose vitals can be turned off and who will live? What if the cryosleep chamber is vandalized?

Alien 3 – Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Alien 3 – Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

But Sara’s already decided being the first pioneer on a new planet is worth the risk of cryosleep. There is no other way. The elation over going first outweighs the fear. So she and the other five astronauts willingly enter their cryotubes and are put into hibernation for the long trip. She is certain she and the others will wake up—just like Jake in Avatar.

Avatar – Photo credit: Lightstorm Entertainment/20th Century Fox

Avatar – Photo credit: Lightstorm Entertainment/20th Century Fox

In real life is this possible? As written above, scientists are not only working on it for space travel, they see practical applications in the medical realm. We’ve already heard or read in the news about people who’ve plunged into icy cold bodies of water, their bodily functions and temperature have slowed down, yet they survived with almost no ill effects. Medically-induced hibernation is being used in critical patient care, for instance in cases of traumatic brain and spine injuries.

Whether for medical treatment or space travel, cryosleep is real.

Mission to New Earth: a novella

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Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

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Excerpt

We had such hopes for our mission. Scared and hopeful. What a combination. Three years in cryosleep. The scary part.
I forced myself not to think about all that could go wrong. So many people were depending on us. If all went well—that is, if we survived cryosleep—one of the teams would find a planet that could be the answer to Earth’s problems. Or maybe all three would. We could only hope.
I was excited and nervous. In some respects, I wished it was launch day. Just get it over with. Put me in cryosleep, where I can’t think and won’t dream. At least, that’s what the scientists told us. I dreamed all the time. Happy dreams about Marsh, sometimes about my parents and the wonderful life they’d had together. Together was how they left this world. At the time, it was devastating, losing my parents at the same time. As grief eased, I realized how difficult it would have been for either of them to go on alone. Yet, that was how they’d left me. Alone. Until Marsh.
Sometimes my dreams were frightening. Choking to death on the viscous substance that replaced the air in our lungs, my most frequent nightmare. Or our shuttle craft plummeting to the surface and crashing. I often woke up shaking, terrified, until Marsh put his strong arm around my waist and pulled me tight against him.

About the Author 2

diane-burtonDiane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website.

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Diane is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter.

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Piece by Piece – Elisabeth Staab

Heads up to a brand spankin’ new release by Elisabeth Staab, one to add to your TBR list…and there’s a giveaway too. Happy Thursday!

pbpETHAN’S HIT A ROUGH SPOT

So I caught my dad in bed with my ex-girlfriend.

My best friend cancelled our plans to celebrate my birthday.

Decided to drink away the betrayal.

Made out with a cardboard cutout of a celebrity in front of my new roommates.

Got in a bar fight.

Hooked up with that pretty bartender whose sad smile I’ve secretly been painting pictures of since forever, but she shoved me out the door without a word.

Did I mention the tattoo I don’t exactly remember getting?

And that’s only Saturday.

Now I need to pick up the pieces of my messed-up life.

LEEANNE’S HAD A TOUGH LIFE

What do you do when you’ve lived in the same small town your whole life and you feel as if you’ll always be stuck in the same rut, like a piece of busted wagon wheel? Well, maybe you start by hooking up with the first decent guy who walks into your bar.

Maybe once you do, it’s hard to get him out of your head even though you try. And maybe, just maybe, you find out he makes you laugh even more than he makes you want to shout his name.

If you’re me, you don’t even know what to do with a guy like him. A little piece of happiness…that feels downright dangerous.

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(Leeanne’s POV):

So, whatcha thinking? Time to go?” He rises up on his knees. The way he’s poised, he could either move away or get closer just as easily.

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m not dizzy yet.” Not that I honestly want to get dizzy, but we’ve gotten a little too serious. After Ethan brought me here to have fun, I want to lighten the mood.

With his hands deep in the pockets of his leather jacket, Ethan leans in toward me again. “I thought you didn’t want me to make you dizzy.”

I didn’t think so. Yet here we are, hot breath puffing in the cold air between us. My lips tingle as he leans close. It’s impossible to forget the way his hands explored me so carefully before. The way his tongue tasted me like he wanted to keep on tasting me forever.

“You remember that first time you kissed me?”

His cheeks turn a deep merlot. “Damn right I do. I remember thinking it was the best kiss I’d ever had.”

Well now. I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t sitting on something cold and metal, I’d have just melted right into the playground gravel.

“It was the first time I’d kissed someone because I wanted to, and not because I thought I should.” My chest feels strange when I confess this to him. Like it’s full of butterflies or bees. Lighter but nervous. And oh God, my heart is just bouncing every which way.

As his hair brushes my forehead, his dimple deepens and his eyes get darker. “I’m glad you wanted to kiss me, LeeAnne. I’ve been dying to do it again.”

Maybe…maybe I don’t have to lean on him. Maybe I could just lean in again. Meet those wind-chapped lips halfway. That’d be okay, right?

I wrap my arms around my knees and smile. “I think I’ve decided I wouldn’t mind getting a little dizzy.”

His lips brush mine so fast, I’m left breathless when he jumps from the merry-go-round to give it a spin.

“Hang on tight,” he says.

So I do.

GIVEAWAY!!

Elisabeth is giving away a cute makeup kit she made (US only) or an ecopy of Piece by Piece (INT). Follow the Tour!

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About the Author 2

elisabeth-staab-profileElisabeth Staab started hunting mutant hedgehogs back in 1842… Oops, wrong bio… Elisabeth Staab digs coffee, saucy stories, and sexy things that go bump in the night. Once, she ate dinner in a jail and liked it. She lives in the Washington DC area with her incredible family and does her best to juggle life while ignoring the laundry.

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Reblogging Kristen Lamb

THIS POST BY THE FANTABULOUS KRISTEN LAMB JUST DEMANDED TO BE REBLOGGED…

Why the Fashion Industry is Dying—Laughing at Salad & Cleavage Snacks

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Today we are going to talk about something a bit different, but maybe this might inspire your fiction, because if the world changes guarantee you a writer was behind it😉 .

As I was perusing Facebook Friday evening, I came across an article that gave me an odd reaction. It made me want to stand and cheer, yet at the same time, rail at the heavens for the unfairness of it all. Tim Gunn from Project Runway leveled his crosshairs on the fashion industry. OMG I so love him for doing it, too.

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A Plus-Sized Problem

According to Washington State University, there are over 100 million plus-sized women. The average woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18 and yet plus sizes are almost never represented in fashion and if they are, the clothes are…ridiculous.

Most are passive-aggressive jabs at overweight women.

I am no longer a plus size, but I still recall the day I finally had to venture into the plus-sized section at a department store. I remember sinking into a corner and crying. I had always loved clothes but these weren’t clothes.

They were punishment.

In ways I still have this problem. The misogynist attitude of the fashion industry is all around. I am no longer plus size, but I am not a human stick either. I’m a healthy size 8-10-12-14-16.

Women will get that joke😉 .

And I have…oh dear, this is so embarrassing. I actually have…I can’t believe I am admitting this. I have *whispers* …..boobs.

I KNOW! Right? Who would have thought that women actually come equipped with BOOBS?

And sorry, no, even Barbie would be crying these days because her shirts would runch up over her bust every time she moved her arms.

The fashion industry is not interested in Barbie. She still has girl parts…and cleavage snacks.

Even the mannequins can’t keep up.

Help those with no voice!

Uh-oh. Who gave the mannequin boobs?

The fashion industry is failing to appreciate that most of the women who need clothes actually have hit puberty. Many of us have even had children (sort of necessary for the continuing survival of the human race and all) and we have hips.

And I get well-meaning advice that I should ignore what is being elevated at “beautiful”, but the problem is that this distorted sense of what is “beautiful” affects what I am able to buy.

Seriously???

Shoot me.

Um, when did MATCHSTICKS become sexy?

Um, when did MATCHSTICKS become sexy?

When I have a selection of 42 variations of skinny jeans and shirts that ride up over my bust-line? It makes it tough to buy clothes. Of course, then I catch $#!* for living in yoga pants but nothing frigging fits.

It’s yet another passive-aggressive jab at aging women.

Older women just let themselves go.

All my life I have struggled because I wasn’t “thin enough,” and now I am no longer “young enough.”

Oh dear GOD! The horror! Kristen please stop. First you tell us you are female and now you are getting old? We can’t take it!

I know. I am so sorry.

Where are the Women?

Why can’t I be in a fashion magazine too? A real fashion magazine just for ME and my grown-up gal pals?

A magazine that doesn’t have me standing with a frying pan grinning over “Skinny Fried Chicken?” Or laughing at salad. What the hell is so funny about SALAD?

Maybe a forty or fifty-something woman might have amazing legs and love shoes. We still love mascara and buy it. Some of us even look pretty good in it.

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We love hair! Some of us a little too much. We are called Texans😛 .

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Do we all have to be fawning over laundry detergent or adult diapers? Or grinning at yogurt? No wonder women are terrified of getting older. We disappear! Why is it that the only over-60 woman featured on the cover ofVanity Fair in a bustier used to be a man? Why not a sexy cover with Jessica Lange? Why does Lange get a turtleneck (1996) and Jenner get a bustier (2015)?

I see all these magazines geared toward the thirty and younger crowd, but the industry is virtually silent when it comes to the largest population in the country.

The one that is AGING.

In fashion, it’s no challenge to design clothes that flatter a teenage underweight flat-chested giantess. There are no “obstacles” *wink, wink* to work around. No wrinkles or a wider middle from having children.

Is it because us older gals might actually pose a challenge? We might make them think creatively, beyond sticking a bird cage in an up-do or a lampshade on our a$$?

Same with the articles. Seems to me it is far simpler to advise a twenty-something who’s never been married about sex and dating, than a forty-five-year-old who is out-earning her male counterparts and has grandchildren and an elderly parent to take care of.

Dare we talk about the fifty-something woman who likes sexting her…husband?

Oh no, Kristen. You have just gone too far.

Yes, I Want to Be Like Barbie

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Untouched photo. I’m almost 43…and love shiny things.

The world is obsessed with giving young girls role models, which is awesome. They need dolls that aren’t all about fashion, that are astronauts and police officers and doctors. GREAT! They need different body types. TheNew York Times was all gaga over Mattel creating dolls of different shapes and sizes and heights and ethnicities.

Okay, fashion industry. Could you take a hint from a DOLL company? Yes, I want to be like Barbie. She is finally allowed to be short, tall, fluffy, skinny, busty, or even have glasses. Maybe one day she will even be allowed to grow old (Hey, I can dream, right?).

We don’t grow out of needing role models.

Would women be Botoxing and cutting on themselves until they resembled a missing cast member of The Muppets if they had a healthy selection of women who were aging well to model after?

Most of us have no frigging clue how we are supposed to look for our age. We are surrounded by teenagers or models Photoshopped to resemble wrinkle-free teenagers. We are sold anti-aging serums by models who aren’t old enough to be using the product.

Hollywood will keep casting Jason Statham as an action hero until they have to use CGI to conceal his walker and orthopedic shoes, but what about Lucy Lawless? Why do we have Rocky XVI but no remake of Xena?

You want to see BEAUTIFUL women of all ages? Check out my Pinterest board Old Women Dressing and Behaving Badly.

MORE is Less

Want a good laugh? Peruse the magazines that are supposed to be speaking to mature women. Initially I was excited about MOREMagazine, because it was supposed to fill that gap and give women over 30 their own fashion magazine.

Unfortunately, when I picked up a print copy (among their first), I was crushed to realize it was just a Good Housekeeping retread. Lots of pictures of gardens and decorating and food and the only articles with actual older models revolved around how we could look younger and thinner.

I’m not kidding. And it hasn’t changed.

Check out the on-line Beauty Section. All kinds of articles about how to braid hair! Aaaand it’s just a bunch of twenty-year-olds with braids. ALL the articles have young models…unless you count the article about how to reverse aging naturally.

Bite me, More Magazine. Just bite me. Because anyone old enough to buy a house no longer wears braids.

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And O Magazine offers more of the same. Articles about all the best plastic surgery or how to dress around my “problem” of being too short or too busty.

Why is it MY problem and not the fashion industry’s problem?

Industry in Crisis

But then magazines complain, “No one is buying magazines anymore and the Internet and Pinterest and whine whine whine” Retailers complain and are closing stores at a record pace (I.e. Macy’s).

Is it the economy? Or are department stores and malls now ghost towns because retailers have nothing to offer us. They are all clamoring for the attention of the group with the lowest disposable income who are on Instagram instead of at the mall?

Tim Gunn is baffled at why designers are ignoring plus-sized women, and a potential 20+ BILLION dollar industry, but I am even more perplexed why they are ignoring women over 40.

And for those of us over 40 who are plus-sized? We…are…doomed.

We older women (all sizes) need more than the three currently available looks: Tragic Pole Dancer, DMV Employee and Woman at Church Who Brings Casseroles.

But it IS Changing

Part of why I wrote this blog is I saw THIS over the weekend and I am now madly, deeply in love with H&M. I want to be HER when I grow up.

OMG! YES!

OMG! YES!

H&M is also featuring a 60 year old swimsuit model!!!! Because apparently someone has figured out that women over 30 still wear SWIMSUITS! I am hoping this marks a meaningful shift because aging is a gift denied to many. If we take care of ourselves, we will spend DECADES being considered “old” unless we change things.

I want to be in love with my older face and older body. I want to embrace the curves I earned with bringing a son into the world. Pregnancy didn’t “wreck my figure,” it evolved it.

I want to enjoy my laugh lines not be attacking them with needles and lasers. I want to be able to look up to more women like Gillean McLeod who show me I will one day still be beautiful, just a different kind of beautiful.

Above everything, I want little girls to grow up and one day have permission to bewomen & to love being WOMEN.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel invisible? Are you excited about what H&M is doing? Would you love a Xena remake with Lucy? Would you love more fashion models who were mature women? Do you struggle with cleavage snacks? Are they considered calorie-free?

Can you think of some stories or characters who give us grown-up women heroes? I miss Golden Girls, personally. Hey, erotica authors. Y’all could give new meaning to “Hot Flash”😀 .

And I know they do this crap to the men, too just differently. But if it makes the guys feel better, check out this Japanese runway model who is ALMOST EIGHTY! Hubby was ecstatic.

 

ISN’T KRISTEN AWESOME AND SO FREAKIN’ RIGHT? Visit her blog HERE.

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King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

King ZoneFrom the Power of the Matchmaker series:

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem.

The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?

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Review

King of the Friend Zone is the first book I’ve read by this author, and it was such a fun, quick read. I finished in two nights! So…Esme and Hunter have been best friends for all their lives, growing up together, hanging together, teasing each other, a BFF relationship with zero romance along the way, a deep connection that not everyone understands. One such person who misunderstands is Esme’s new fiance, Jon. Then again, maybe he understands what Esme refuses to see, that Hunter is head over heels for Esme.

Hunter is awesome – such a guy’s guy! He’s a fireman who works out all the time, hangs with the boys, calls ’em like he sees ’em, and has no problem catching every woman’s eye…with the exception of Esme, the one woman he wants. But what’s so great about Hunter is he’s willing to step back and keep his heart ziplocked if it means Esme’s happiness. Aw. But it was also frustrating because dude, that’s a big secret to keep forever without ever exploring the possibilities. Still, I understood why he did it. It’s TOUGH going from friends to lovers and then back to friends, and he’d prefer to keep his friend rather than risk loving her and losing her.

Until Jon puts the kibosh on Esme’s and Hunter’s lifelong friendship. What a douchebag. All the characters kept saying how nice Jon was, but he seriously wasn’t, and the fact that Esme allowed him to affect her friendship with Hunter is what took the book down from a five star for me. She comes across as strong and sassy in every other area of her life, then lets her fiance/boyfriend of six months damage her relationship with Hunter, her best friend from day one. It just didn’t ring true for me. I could see that it would cause some tension, but to just diminish such a deep friendship for a guy you’ve known for six months? I don’t think so.

But besides that little quibble, it was a great read for me. I chuckled out loud a few times, and there’s a matchmaker cookie lady! She was awesome, and it looks like she makes appearances in the rest of the books, which I love. All the secondary characters were great and made me want to read their stories too.  If you’re looking for a cute, quick read with sweet romance and cookies with special love ingredients, check out King of the Friend Zone!

 

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About the Author 2

Sheralyn was born at an early age, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. She is proud to report that she currently retains all 20 digits. Described by one reviewer as “the bomb dot com” (url already claimed… bummer), Sheralyn has been a karate instructor, musical theater performer, a beach bum, freelance writer, nomadic traveler, and, yes, a private investigator. At the moment she enjoys working with and training her dog to give the poor thing breaks from sitting and Sheralyn’s feet with the unbearable task of watching someone write a book.

Really, and you thought your job was bad!

Sheralyn currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, although as people who know her can attest to, that is subject to change at any time 😉

Email me here.
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Okay for a Monday

It’s another Monday…but since it’s also Labor Day…Monday OK

Today is the last day of the Beautifully Burned blog tour, and thanks to everyone who followed along, dropped by to say hi, and entered the giveaway. Here are the places I am today.

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Fanatical Paranormal Romantical

Also, there’s an exclusive giveaway going on at Pure Jonel – Confessions of a Bibliophile. I’m giving away a $10 Amazon giftcard and ebooks of both Wonderfully Wicked and Beautifully Burned. Because it’s Monday, and since I have the day off, I’m feeling generous. Stop by and say hey!
She was an angel

 

 

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TGIF

I don’t know about you, but I’m freakin’ glad it’s Friday! There’s still a couple more days of the Beautifully Burned blog tour, and if you haven’t entered the giveaway…what are you waiting for? I had a ton of fun arranging the prize packs. And if you want to swing by and say hi, I’m at Urban Fantasy Investigations talking about my Phantom of the Opera love and cats. Of course.
My cat, Frank.

 

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King of the Friend Zone – Sheralyn Pratt

Hey, people! I’m still on the Beautifully Burned blog tour, and today I’m at Ramblings of a Book Nerd and T’s Stuff. Feel free to tag along…but I’m also so thrilled to share a new release by Sheralyn Pratt. It sounds so fun, and not only is there an excerpt for you, but there’s a great giveaway too. I’m definitely reading this one!

King of the Friend Zone

The King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem.

The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?

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Excerpt

While everyone around Hunter ate and drank, Hunter swirled the liquid in his glass and watched his friends and family interact with Jon.

The man was suave when he wanted to be; Hunter would give him that. He wore the right suits, said the right words, and charmed the right people.

What a hero.

He was also several inches shorter than Hunter, which meant Esme fit neatly against his shoulder as they stood and spoke with all their guests. Esme looked so content as she reclined against Jon, and Hunter wasn’t the only one who had noticed. The last person who had commented on Jon and Esme within Hunter’s earshot had called them “two peas in a pod” as if there were awards to be won in the category.

Well, there weren’t.

In that moment, Hunter was very glad he hadn’t been drinking that night, because otherwise he might have gone so far as announcing that fact to everyone. There are no awards for being two peas in a pod, everyone. Oh, and by the way, you should meet this guy when he isn’t trying to impress you. He’s a bit of a prick.

But, of course, no one wanted to hear that. No one wanted to hear anything from Hunter tonight except for a glowing toast endorsing the golden couple.

He still hadn’t written anything, although he had googled a generic speech and printed it out. It was in his pocket now, but he hadn’t practiced it and reading the prepackaged speech was pretty much out of the question now, thanks to his dyslexia. Reading on the best of days usually didn’t go that well for Hunter, but when he was seething mad?

Yeah, that wasn’t happening.

So he sat and swirled and watched and tried to imagine what in the world he could say that wouldn’t earn him more frowns than his jeans had already earned him.

Then it hit him: Why try? Why not be honest?

There wasn’t a face at this party that he hadn’t known for the better part of twenty years—well, except Jon. His smug mug was as new as it was unwelcome in Hunter’s book. But everyone knew Hunter and they’d know if he vomited some fake, glowing speech their direction.

So why should he?

Why not be honest?

The idea grew on Hunter as the night went on and the praise for Jon became more and more abundant. The clincher was when Jon’s best man stood up and gave a speech that proved he’d probably met Esme all of once, and everyone in attendance nodded and beamed as the guy praised Esme in the most generic of terms.

According to whatever the best man’s name was, Esme was kind and compassionate and a joy to all those who met her.

Seriously? The guy had clearly never been within earshot of Esme when an ice cream truck passed in July playing Christmas music. That would redefine the guy’s definition of “joy to all those around her.” Yet everyone ooohed and ahhhhed and clapped until the guy sat and Jon gave his bestie an appreciative slap on the back with a look that said, Well done.

Then everyone in the future wedding party looked at Hunter expectantly. It was his turn.

In that moment, Hunter had a choice to make. He could either repeat the same lame puffery the best man had, or he could give the speech that had been building up in him like a sneeze all night.

Be nice now and freak out later, or let it all hang out? That was the question. And one quick glance at Jon’s arrogant face gave Hunter his answer.

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SheralynAuthor Sheralyn Pratt

Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who’s been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn’t far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There’s a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another’s shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn:
* She’s a wanderer (geographically)
* She can write a novel, but doesn’t have the attention span for one page in a journal
* She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King’s stance that authors should not watch TV
* She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight

 

amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 9/23/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Happy Hump Day!

Today I’m at Fang-tastic Books and The Book Junkie Reads. Want to know how I roll in my writing routine or join my musical pity party? Swing by and say hey!

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Day Deux – Beautifully Burned Blog Tour

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Happy Tuesday! Here are all the places I am today…leave your stapler behind and say hi. It will be okay, I promise.

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Day 1 Blog Tour – Beautifully Burned

Happy Monday, people! Well, as happy as a Monday can be…

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Today is the kickoff to the week-long blog tour for Beautifully Burned through the fabulous Bewitching Book Tours, and of course I’m giving stuff away. Not only is there a $50 Amazon gift card going out, but there are two prize packs too. In line with my dreamcaster theme, one prize pack includes things to help you sleep (fuzzy sheep slippers, anyone?), and the other is to keep you awake (I needed an excuse to give away chocolate covered coffee beans).

Today, I’m at:

Books,Dreams,Life
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang!
Stop by and say hi!
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-What were you reading--
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