Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Investigating THE CASE OF THE FABULOUS FIANCE! Diane Burton's Newest!

Please help me welcome my friend Diane Burton to the blog today with her latest in the Alex O'Hara Series, THE CASE OF THE FABULOUS FIANCE! Before we dig into the read, let's find out a little more about Diane...

First off, thank you for allowing me to interview you. Could you tell us what is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?

How helpful, generous, and supportive other writers are. An example of this is going on right here. On our online group (Authors Helping Authors), we tweet for each other, share on FB, for spots on blogs, and so many respond—like you, MJ.

Believe me, it's my pleasure. And I agree about authors being generous people, Diane. I've actually given that same answer when I've been asked that question. When we're shocked on a regular basis by the evil in the world, it's nice to be surprised by people's goodness. Give us a brief glimpse at your road to publication.

I wrote for ten years before my book was accepted by a small niche publisher. Another ten years passed (life intrusions) before I tried self-publication. In the 5 years since I’ve had one book pubbed by a small press and self-pubbed 7 more. I’m very happy self-pubbing. I hire a freelance editor and a cover artist. Although I’m a DIY girl from way back, those two jobs are best left to the professionals.

Again, I concur. And it's funny how similar our stories are. I had twelve books written before I even started pursuing publication. Now that we know a little about your writing, how about you as a person. Where do you live? Where would you love to live?

I live on the west coast of Michigan, fifteen minutes from Lake Michigan. We moved here two years ago to be closer to our daughter and her family. Best move we’ve made. Love the time with the grandkiddies.

Share with us a little about your family. You mentioned your daughter, any more kids? 

I met my husband of 43 years on a blind date. We have 2 children. Our daughter lives nearby with her husband and 2 children. Our son lives in Phoenix with his wife and 8-month-old girl. We’re looking forward to spending Christmas with them. Now I just have to convince Hubs we need to spend most of the winter in Arizona.

Yes! Brilliant! Now here are a few questions just for fun--

What was one of the best Christmas presents you ever received?

My 2nd best gift was a Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was 10. It led to a lifelong hobby of photography. My absolute best Christmas present was my daughter, who was born 2 weeks before Christmas.

Name your favorite children's story.

My grandmother gave my sister and I a set of books, My Book House. Each volume had stories appropriate to an age group or grade. The 1st book was nursery rhymes, 2nd short stories, 3rd fairy tales, etc. The 1st book was well used, pages are torn and falling out. The 12th book looks brand new. Although I’m the oldest of 7, none of the others read the books. They’re now mine and I share them with my grandkids.

That's cool! How special that you get to share that with them! What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

I can’t think of anything I couldn’t live without. If I had to, I’d adapt. But I think flush toilets would top my list of what I don’t ever want to live without.

Ahh...yes. Good point. Hmm...kind of a bad segue, but...what are your three favorite smells?

A baby, almond flavoring, bacon.

Oh, bacon, yes! Why didn't I think of that? We've had a lot of people on here, but no one has ever said almond flavoring. I love the taste of almonds, but I wouldn't have thought about the scent...but it is good, isn't it? Thanks for joining us today, Diane!

Thanks so much for having me, MJ.
My latest release is a PI mystery, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. Here’s a little bit about it.

Blurb ~

Alex O’Hara wants to take her investigation agency in a new direction—background checks for potential spouses. She hopes this new case will do the trick when a high-powered executive asks for info on her boyfriend. Is the man she met on a cruise her Mr. Right or is he too good to be true? On the same day, Alex gets another case—finding a deadbeat dad. And both women want to double her rates so she’ll give them highest priority. She can’t believe her luck. Her finances are on the upswing. If only Nick Palzetti was around to share her good news. He disappeared on Christmas Eve, and she hasn’t heard from him in almost three months. Then glitchy phones and no internet bring everything to a screeching halt.

Excerpt ~

I picked up the pen before looking at Nora Finley. Even though I was in the middle of a major case, I never turned down a prospective client. At least, not right away. I’d hear her out and then decide.

“What can I do for you?”

Her expression completely changed. The high-powered exec disappeared. In its place, caution and . . . vulnerability. “Ellen VanderVeen said I could trust you.”

I smiled. Ellen and I had been friends since college. That girl had more fashion sense in her baby finger than I did in my entire body.

“Yes, I know Ellen.”

“She said you helped her investigate her fiancé.”

I nodded.

She hesitated and appeared to rethink what she was doing in a private investigator’s office. Quickly, she came to a conclusion. “I’d like you to do the same.”

“You want me to vet your fiancé?”

“He’s not my fiancé. Yet.”

She didn’t explain any further, so I asked, “Why? Do you suspect something?”

“No. Oh, goodness, no.” She pursed her lips before continuing. “My father left me a prosperous financial firm plus a sizeable inheritance. I am not saying that to brag but to explain my concerns. In my younger days, I was, uhm, taken advantage of. I need to be sure this man truly loves me—me, not my money.”

Although nobody would ever mistake me for an heiress, I understood her caution.

“I am almost forty years old,” she said. “I want to have children before I’m too old.”

Again, I understood. I’d recently passed a landmark birthday. The big Three-Oh. Rather than worry about kids, though, I devoted myself to my business. After a rocky start, I was on a pretty even keel. Plenty of work. Not enough time. But I did have plenty of time before settling down with kids. And a husband, of course. I’m kind of old-fashioned like that. I’d thought Nick might— Don’t go there.

“Ma’am, if you’d called for an appointment, I could have saved you a trip. I do not have time to devote to your case.”

A crestfallen Nora Finley stared at me, her mouth slightly open. I guess nobody ever turned her down. While hers might be interesting, I didn’t have a good feeling about this case. A client might want the lowdown on a prospective mate—as I’d discovered before—but they often resented the bearer of bad news. Of course, the client could be grateful if the news was good, like my friend Ellen.

“I will double your usual retainer.”

“It isn’t a matter of money—” Although money never hurt. “—I’m in the middle of a large case that is taking up all of my time.”

“How soon will you finish?” No longer disappointed, she looked calculating.

God save me from rich people who think everyone should drop what they’re doing to attend to them.

“Three weeks, minimum.”

“Good. I will be out of the country for the next four weeks. You may finish your present case then check into Clyde Wilson.”

Well, shit. I mean, shoot. I was trying to break my bad habit of swearing. I had misgivings about this woman. Demanding, she was going to be difficult to work with. She exuded the power that came from old money. Power that expected everyone to drop everything and do her bidding.

But then I’d had difficult clients before and managed them. I could probably wrap up the fraud investigation in a couple of weeks. I’d given myself a cushion when I’d told her three.

Were my misgivings about her enough to turn down double my retainer?

I drew the pad closer to me. “Tell me about this man. Clyde Wilson?”

That better not be a smug look on her face.

The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé is available at:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B0195K8F6G

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-case-of-the-fabulous-fiance-an-alex-o-hara-novel

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/case-fabulous-fiance-alex/id1066537800?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/599181

Author Bio ~

Diane 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 Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook: http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Make Your Reservations For A PARTY FOR TWO!

I feel very honored to have romantic comedy author Monique DeVere in the spotlight today! I asked her a few questions so that we could get to know her better.

When did your love for writing start?

From childhood I always loved writing and making up stories, but I would have to say I realized I had a talent worth pursuing at age 15.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?

Hands down the best thing was when I discovered scenes and sequels. It changed everything!

What is something you struggle with when you write?

Trying not to let past rejections and negative criticism get in my head.

Give us a brief glimpse at your road to publication.

After years of single-mindedly targeting Mills & Boon without success, one day my hubby said: why don’t you just try another publisher? To which I replied: I don’t want another publisher! My dream was to be published by Mills & Boon and anything else amounted to failure. So, to prove my wonderful beloved wrong, I submitted a story to The Wild Rose Press and they accepted it without any revisions! I was thrilled. The book was later shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon award. 

Now that we know a little bit more about you the writer, let's find out about you in general.
Where do you live? Where would you love to live?

I live in the UK, but I have a dream to live in California. Who knows, maybe one day.

Share with us a little about your family. Married? Kids? Pets?

I’ve been married to my beloved for 25years—we just celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary this month. We have four children (two girls, two boys), three are grown and the last entered her teens this year. And we have three beautiful granddaughters. After years of vowing we’d never own a dog, hubby and I found ourselves taking over ownership of #1 son’s Akita Shepherd. She’s a beautiful dog—nuts!— but beautiful.

Now, just for fun- If you could be any animal, what animal would you choose, and why?

I’d be a bird…oh, the freedom! I’m naturally impulsive…and flighty. Two personality traits I spend a lot of time curtailing. Being a bird would be right up my street :D 

What is your concept of a fruitful day?

To me, a fruitful day is when I get everything on my daily To Do list done and also get 3K words written. Usually it’s one or the other, but I live in hope of one day morphing into superwoman—wife—mother—author—me. I’ll let you know if I ever manage it J.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who see my name written down then promptly call me Monica or Dominique. Really?? Is Monique such a difficult name to remember or spell? This is definitely my biggest pet peeve. 

What are your three favorite smells?

The scent of babies, my husband, and the scent of the sea on a hot summer’s day.

Interesting. I don't think we've had that combination before. But then, there are so many great smells. 

Well, thank you for letting us get to know you a little better, Monique. Now let's find out about your latest release...


Her sexy weekend fling.

Ex-lawyer turned pregnancy model Danielle Hampton has one simple rule; never date an attorney, even if he’s so deliciously hot she’s nicknamed him His Hotness Esquire. When her father asks her to strap on her silicone bump and pretend to be Casey Lowe’s pregnant fiancée in order to pull her family’s law firm out of trouble, her first answer is a resounding no! But she owes Casey for wrecking his pool.

Civil Rights Attorney Casey Lowe lives by a code of practice: never date his boss’s daughter, but he’ll do just about anything to make partner at the top law firm—even if it means violating his personal code. He hasn’t bargained on the fierce desire that burns hotter than the Mojave Desert and combusts every time he gets his boss’s daughter alone. She may drive him to distraction and melt in his arms, but will this party girl hang around long enough for him to convince her that all the best parties… are for two?


“Answer the question, Lowe. Did you or did you not say—”

It should have wiped the smile off his face but if anything it brightened his grin. “Yes, I said it, but—”

“Just the facts, Lowe.”

He chuckled. “Why the hell did you ever give up law?” His mouth landed on hers and she hadn’t even seen it coming.

Dani refused to let her eyes drift shut. Refused to let the sweet sensation of Casey’s lips on hers seduce her. She should pull back. Push him away. She got as far as planting her palms on his chest—his hard chest with the solid muscles that flexed beneath her fingers. Then, as if they operated independently of her brain, her hands bunched in his shirt front, tugged him closer. Her lids became too heavy and fluttered closed. The tip of his tongue caressed the seam of her lips. They softened, parted of their own accord. He accepted the invitation, slid his tongue in slow bewitching strokes inside her mouth. A shudder skittered through her, coaxing a sigh from her.

She was going to push him away… in a minute… any minute now… just one more second…

He made a half growl kind of sound deep in his throat then broke the kiss. “How’s that for a fact?”

Dani blinked. She couldn’t think. Every muscle in her body had jellified. She’d never been kissed stupid before. 


Monique DeVere is a full-time author of Sweet 'n' Spicy Romantic Comedy and Contemporary Romance. She also writes Christian Supernatural Suspense movie scripts. She was born on the beautiful island of Barbados, where she grew up on a large plantation with enough wide-open space to let the imagination run free. She moved to the UK as a teen and shortly after met and fell instantly, and irrevocably, in love with her very own strong-silent-type hero. When Monique isn’t writing or spending quality time with her family, she likes to armchair travel to distant and exciting parts of the world and considers herself to have the best job on earth.

You can visit her at moniquedevere.com where she invites you to join her exclusive Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Readers Club packed full of goodies for her members. Monique loves to hear from her readers, do contact her at monique@moniquedevere.com.

You can find Monique at:

Website: http://moniquedevere.com/

Blog: http://moniquedevere.blogspot.co.uk/

Mailing List: http://moniquedevere.us1.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=b5781e716daf2603188836a1e&id=dd6328f52c

Amazon Author Page: http://hyperurl.co/moniquedevereamazon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoniqueDeVere


Facebook Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/moniquedevere

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/monique-devere-4b996a18

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/MoniqueDeVere

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

You can buy PARTY FOR TWO at:

Thanks for stopping in, Monique. It's been great having you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

~ What's It Like to be HUNTED? Find Out in Marissa Garner's Latest! ~

In the spotlight today--HUNTED, by Marissa Garner!


Hot agents on explosive cases in the FBI Heat series: For San Diego’s elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city’s most dangerous criminals—but falling in love is the greatest risk of all. 

Catching bad guys in San Diego’s underworld isn’t just FBI Special Agent Ben Alfren’s job, it’s his life. He doesn’t have time for a serious relationship, doesn’t want one either. So when he meets his sexy new neighbor, Amber Jollett, he has nothing more in mind than unwinding with a glass of wine, a romantic walk on the beach…and maybe a hot fling.

But Amber is more than he bargained for. Hunted by an obsessed ex-boyfriend, the fiercely independent nurse chooses fight over flight for the chance at a future with her hot, blue-eyed neighbor. When she gets caught up in Ben’s plans to rescue five kidnapped women, their lives get entangled and their attraction flares into passion. But they’ll learn that in this dangerous game of cat and mouse, real love can save—or doom—them . . .


The man in the gray hoodie was watching her. Amber Jollett couldn’t see his face, but he was the right height and build. Even from the opposite street corner, the intensity of his stare bored into her. She shivered despite the sunny morning.

Her focus never wavered as she slid behind two people. The man’s head turned with her movement.

The traffic light changed, and the crowd surged forward. Amber’s hand dug into her purse until it gripped reassuring metal. Weaving between bodies, she moved to the outside edge to put as much distance as possible between her and the man before the other pedestrians passed on the street. With each step, her heart beat faster.

Halfway across, the man reached up, pulled back the hood…and smiled. Straight black hair. Almond-shaped eyes. Asian features.

Not him.

Amber’s knees went weak with relief.

Not him. Not this time.

A car horn blared. She jumped and spun around to find a taxi idling a few feet away, its driver gesturing impatiently for her to get out of the way. Waving an apology, she scurried across the street. She found a spot out of the pedestrian flow next to the corner of a building. She needed a moment to quiet her nerves.

She braced her hands on the knees of her pastel pink nurse’s scrubs, inhaled deep breaths, and released them slowly. Fear began to fade as calm returned.

Damn you, Jeremy Nelson. I want my life back.
Amber grimaced and closed her eyes. It was starting all over again. Two years had passed since she’d broken up with her obsessed boyfriend, but he continued to stalk her. Restraining orders and calls to law enforcement had proved useless. Now she alone was responsible for her safety. She’d lived in Coronado, across the bay from San Diego, for only two months. But two or three months was the amount of time it normally took for Jeremy to find her. From now on, she would have to be on constant alert. The worst part was imagining him wearing every hoodie, hiding in every shadow, or following in every vehicle. Usually, she didn’t wait for an actual sighting—that would be too late. No, she couldn’t hesitate. Once her instincts told her he was closing in, she had to move on. She cringed. How much longer will I be hunted?


Marissa Garner is a wife, writer, chocoholic, and animal lover, not necessarily in that order. As a little girl, she cut pictures of people out of her mother’s magazines and turned them into characters in her simple stories. Now she writes edgy romantic thrillers, steamy contemporary romance, and sexy paranormal romantic suspense. Her stories will titillate your mind as well as your libido. She lives in sunny Southern California with her husband, but enjoys traveling from Athens to Anchorage to Acapulco and many locations in between.

You can find Marissa at:

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1NTfT19

Website: www.marissagarner.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/M_Garner_Author

You can buy HUNTED at:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PjQLGK

B&N: http://bit.ly/1OnacNA

iTunes: http://apple.co/1SpIDSJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/21m7Zao 


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