Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Blitz: Matronly Duties by Melissa Kendall @mkendallauthor @BridgGapPR

 Matronly Duties
Melissa Kendall

Genre:  FICTION / Romance / General / Science Fiction
EBook available from: Amazon and ITunes

Hundreds of years after an asteroid slammed into Earth and sent it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race lives on in underground sanctuaries. Now, as the bicentennial anniversary of the impact approaches, a
new leader prepares to take her place at the head of the government. At least, thats what she thinks.

Bethanie Greenes life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, shes spent the last twelve years training to become the next Matron of the underground nation of Oceania. But when Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking office, her world is turned upside down by the handsome stranger who rescues her.
Howard Jameslife has been the polar opposite of Bethanies. Struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didnt exist, he harbors a deep-seated resentment of the government and all its representatives. Together with his unconventional family, he shows Bethanie a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time, opening her eyes to the injustices of the government she is meant to lead.
But can she trust a stranger? And can a few days change everything she believes and desires? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if her heart and her duties can coexist.


My body shakes at the thought of what could have happened to me yet again. Ive heard stories about the slums, and I have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself.

I was silly running away, I get it. I just couldnt stay in your home any longer.
Howard sighs. “Just because my parents raised us with traditionalist values doesnt mean we are anything like the Trads. You accused us of being a drain on society, but you dont even know us.
“Youre right, I dont. But you dont know me either. If you did, you would understand why its hard for me to understand your way of life. It goes against every law, moral, and convention Ive been taught. So I cant be sorry for what I said, even if Im sorry I ran out of the house.
Howard takes a deep breath, then exhales long and slow. The expression on his face looks a bit like pity but with a dash of guilt mixed in. Look, maybe Ive judged you unfairly based on preconceived notions, but—”
A loud bang echoes outside. Howard glances at me with a panicked look on his face, and then pulls me off the crate onto the floor behind. I sit up, and turn to yell at him, but male voices outside keep my mouth closed. I instead huddle closer to Howard as he puts his hand around my shoulders. He pulls me in until Im tucked against him.
Did you see where she went?” a mans voice asks.
Nah, she just vanished.The voice of this one sounds young.
Damn, the boss isnt going to be pleased about this.
The crunch of shoes against pavement indicates they are on the move again. The sounds trail off until theyre no longer audible. I sigh in relief, all the tension fleeing my body.
“Are you okay?Howard asks, rubbing my shoulder.
I glance up, only then noticing how little space is between us. His blue eyes have flecks of grey in them, and theres a smattering of freckles covering his nose and cheeks. His warm breath tickles my cheek almost like a caress, and his jaw has the barest hint of a five oclock shadow. He really is captivating.
“Im fine,I eventually say, the words a mere whisper.
The butterflies in my stomach return with a vengeance. Howard licks his lips as they turn up ever so slightly in a smile.
I cant stop the sigh that slips past my own lips. Howard leans forward a little, then moves closer still until his mouth is pressed against mine. I dont dare move. A zing of something, Im not sure whether its pleasure or fear, shoots through me. His lips are soft and wet, and the sensation is unlike anything Ive felt before. I cant even decide if I want him to continue or stop. When he pulls away though, a feeling of disappointment bubbles up inside me.
My first kiss.
Goosebumps cover me from head to toe, and unbidden, my fingers move to my lips. Glancing at Howard, he stares at me for a minute, then moves to sit further away.
“Im sorry. I shouldnt have done that.
I shrug. “Its okay.”
Howard frowns and then looks across the room.
Part of Matron training is learning not to form close relationships. It doesnt mean it never happens. Ive heard the odd story here and there from the other women, and I realise thats probably what Gail was trying to tell me at breakfast the other day. But in all honesty, I cant remember the last time I had real physical contact with anyone, above all with a man.
We sit in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes. Tension rolls off Howard in waves.
Whats wrong?
Nothing. Come on,Howard whispers. We need to get to the house before those guys come back.


Melissa Kendall is an almost forty-year-old mother of two from Perth, Western Australia, the second-most isolated capital city in the world. Predominantly a stay-at-home mum, she works a few hours a week as a software support consultant. She has always loved to read and write, and spent most of her teens writing poetry and short stories. Over the years, daily life got in the way and she lost the passion for it, but after the birth of her first child, Melissa discovered e-books and her interest in writing rekindled. She is now the author of two published short stories. Matronly Duties is her first full-length novel.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Heroine Character Interview from Beached by Brenda Beem

Please welcome Toni for a tell-all :)

How did you first meet your writer?
My writer initially thought I would look and act like her daughter, but as time went on, I proved I was my own character. Nothing against the daughter, but I am just not her.

Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
I love being in a book. I can speak to the world. Sometimes it annoys me when my author tells everyone what I’m thinking, however.

What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
 I love all the action in my book. The shark attack scene was pretty cool, except while we were fighting off sharks, I had to watch my boyfriend take off with another girl. I admit I got a little jealous.

Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
My author isn’t a big fan of guns. But one of our shipmates smuggled one on the boat, and it has turned out to be pretty handy to have, even though the adults we meet aren’t thrilled to have a boatload of kids with a gun living on their island.

Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
Ha! All the time. She wakes up thinking about me. But I also love to speak to her when she’s driving. It’s funny when she ends up missing her freeway exits because she’s listening to me.

What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
 I love to just hang out with Takumi, my boyfriend. Alone time is hard to find when we are on the boat, so we will sit up on the bow of the boat, and snuggle. On the island we sneak away.

Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
 Are you kidding? No! My world has turned upside down. I should be a normal happy highschool student, waiting to be asked to the Homecoming Dance. Instead I live on a sailboat with a lot of other kids while the world around us falls apart. We’re crowded, there are no hospitals or cities left. We depend on each other, but we also annoy each other. I’m angry my writer put me here and things just seem to keep getting worse.

If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
 I would make one of the characters we meet on the island, Kat, not so pretty. In one scene, Kat and my boyfriend Takumi go off kayaking. Takumi gets stung by a stingray and almost drowns. When I find them, Kat is holding him in the water. She is in her underwear. That was bad enough, but did she really have to be wearing a pink bra? Really?

Do you like the way the book ended?
 I’m very happy with the ending of Book Two. We still have lots to do, but the author gave us some time off. Very cool.

Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
 Yes. I have to find my parents, the others have to find their families, and I’m dying to know if Zoe, my brothers annoying girlfriend, really is pregnant.

What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
 I think I already mentioned this, but I get jealous really easy. I’m not proud of it.

Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
 Yes. I want to go back to Seattle someday. I know it’s frozen over now, but I hope someday it will thaw, and I can go back.

What is your greatest fear?
 My greatest fear is I won’t find my parents. And I couldn’t stand to lose any more of the crew. I fell apart when my brother died in the first book.

What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Lots and lots of layers. Being chased by an ice age makes one cold.

What is your most prized possession?
 My parent’s sailboat is by far my most prized possession. In a world gone crazy, being able to travel with the wind, and having a home, is beyond valuable.

Who was your first boyfriend and what do you like most about them?
Takumi is my first boyfriend. He is handsome, (of course) and he knows so much stuff. But the best thing about him is he is calm. All the time. He’s my rock.

What do you think your greatest weakness is?
Well, this is hard. I’ve been growing. At first I was terrified to leave Seattle on our sailboat without my parents. I let my brothers make all the decisions. But now, I’m co-captain of the boat and very little scares me. I’m mostly afraid I’ll make a wrong decision and one of the crew will be hurt.

What do you think is your strongest attribute?
 I’m pretty good at listening and finding ways to get things done. And I diffuse conflicts pretty well.

What are you proudest of?
I’m proud that we are all still alive! I think we handle ourselves pretty well. Nature has thrown everything at us. And it seems the adults we meet want to steal our boat, take our guns away, or criticize how we’re caring for the little girl on our boat. It gets exhausting.

What embarrasses you?
 It is hard to be with Takumi with my brother around, but I’m getting used to it.

What is something no one knows about you?  Why do you keep it a secret?  And what would happen if everyone found out about it?
When I was riding my bike to the sailboat the morning we learned about the disaster coming, I passed by a black dog that was tied to a post. I should have stopped and brought it with me. It could have run alongside my bike. I was too scared I’d be left behind I didn’t stop. I keep it a secret because it’s painful, but also because I know the rest of the crew probably had similar decisions they made and probably regret.

What do you find most appealing in men?
 I like men that are strong enough to be gentle. Does that make sense? Takumi is big and strong, wise, and lets me be me.

What do you find most unappealing in men?
I hate me, me, me, people. My brother’s girlfriend is a me, me, person. Everything revolves around her. I don’t’ know why my brother even likes her.

What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
I remember building sand castles on Alki Beach one sunny day in Seattle. My mom, dad, and brothers Cole and Dylan were there and we ate fish and chips from a take-out place. Just a simple summer day. It’s hard to think that the beach is gone and the city is covered in ice.

What word makes you the happiest? Family
What is your least favorite word? Not sure here. Tsunami? Dystopian?
What turns you on? Being warm and well fed.
What turns you off? Cold, saltwater showers.
What sound or noise do you love? The sound of gentle ways splashing the shore.
What sound or noise do you hate? The voice of my brother’s girlfriend.
What would you not like to do? I am anxious to find my family, but I don’t think I can go back to being the little girl, the daughter again. I probably won’t live with them. Sounds harsh, I know.

Do you believe in ghosts/evil spirits/mysticism? Would you spend the night in a remote haunted house?
This is easy. Yes. I’d give anything to spend the night in a house. Any house. Haunted or otherwise. There’s nothing a ghost or evil spirit could do to us that would be worse than what nature has done.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
We don’t even notice time anymore. When we are sailing, we sleep when we can. Someone has to be on deck all the time. On the island, we kept up the schedule. You can’t let your guard down.
Would you ever use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone? No.

What is your most favorite memory?
It’s strange. Although it has only been a month, memories of my life before the tsunami are fading. But I still love recalling how my brother Cole kissed the top of my head, and the look on Takumi’s face when he tried to get us all to eat seaweed the first time was so funny.

If you knew a zombie apocalypse was coming in one week, what would you do?
Exactly what I just did. Take off in a sailboat.

How do you react when people sing “Happy Birthday” to you in a restaurant? 
A restaurant? If I could go to a restaurant again, people could sing or shout anything they wanted at me. What I’d give for a burger and fries. And smoothies. I loved smoothies. Don’t get me started on food.

Have you ever gone alone to either dinner or a movie? What about a vacation?
Going anywhere alone isn’t safe anymore, but someday. And it would feel amazing.

What’s your favorite animal?
 We rescued a little wiener dog. He’s cute and has turned out to be a pretty good watch dog, although he also barks at every dolphin and seagulls that passes by.

Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo, what would it be and where? If not, what if you had to?
Humm. Not on my list right now, but maybe someday I will get a tattoo. If there are still tattoo artists. I think I’d have an anchor. I’d like to find a home for not only me, but our boat. Yes. I’d like an anchor, but also Takumi’s name. We are going to be together forever. Do you hear me, writer!

Thanks again for visiting with us today !!!!

*   *   *   *   *

(Knockdown, book 2)
by  Brenda Beem
Released: October 30, 2015
YA Contemporary Suspense

Toni and the young crew of the sailboat, Whistler, have just found a safe harbor. Or so they thought...

They may have survived a tsunami, but they’re racing ahead of an ice age as they continue the frantic search for their families.

The island they’ve anchored near is anything but safe. Dangerous men lurk nearby—along with snakes, stingrays, and sharks. An island girl threatens to destroy Toni and her boyfriend’s relationship, the youngest member of the crew gets lost in a narrow dark cave, and ZoĆ« is more annoying than ever.

Will Toni and her crew survive the island and its treacherous waters? 

14+ due to sexuality and adult situations 

The first book in the series, KNOCKDOWN, won first place at the Houston Writers Guild.

BEACHED  Buy Links:   Evernight Teen    Amazon


Makala struggled in Jeremy’s arms and whimpered.
A young couple standing at the edge of camp stepped forward. “We came here to make sure the gun didn’t fall into the wrong hands.” The young woman stared at Jeremy. “You’re the wrong hands. Put the gun down before someone gets hurt.”
“Enough!” Jeremy turned in a slow circle, the pistol still pointed at Makala. “Listen up! I’m going down to the beach and tell the kids on that boat that if they want their friends back, they’ll have to give us the sailboat. Anyone who helps me can come with us. If you try and stop me, the girl gets hurt.”
The young couple shook their heads and backed away.
“Help us!” I pleaded.
A man with a beer belly shook his finger at me. “This is your fault. You brought the gun to our island.”
My mouth dropped open. “The convicts brought a gun here. If we hadn’t shown up, they would have made your lives miserable.”
A young man with a beard stepped toward Jeremy. “Come on, bro. Hand over the gun.”
Jeremy aimed at the sand in front of the young man and pulled the trigger.
I held my hands over my ears.
Makala and Sophia screamed.
Jeremy turned the gun on the young man. “If you aren’t with me, you should leave.”  
The young man raised his hands in the air. Most of the group gathered on the beach followed his example. After a few minutes, one by one they left.
Kat, her father, and six of the younger guys stayed. The young guys shifted from one foot to another. I wanted to scream. We’d saved these people from the convicts. We’d risked our lives for them.
Jeremy signaled for us to start moving. “Head to the beach. I’ll follow with Makala… Anyone makes a wrong move, the girl gets a bullet.” Kat and her father started down the path. Four island guys followed after them. Two held tightly onto Nick’s arms. Angelina stayed close to Jeremy and Makala.
Sophia clung to her father’s leg.
“You!” Jeremy pointed the gun at me. “Take my daughter’s hand and make sure she doesn’t fall.”
I reached for Sophia. She screamed, “Mommy!” and darted off into the woods before I could grab her.
“Stop her!” Jeremy yelled at me.
“No!” Sophia’s mother arrived back in the clearing. “I heard the gunshot. I’ll find her. We’ll meet you on the beach.”
Jeremy stared at his wife. “If you don’t show up, I’ll come looking for you. Don’t let that happen.”
She took off after her daughter. “Sophia, it’s Mommy. Where are you?” Her cries grew faint as she moved farther and farther away.
While we hiked down the steep path, we peeked through openings in the trees and brush, and watched Whistler’s progress. I kept shaking my head. How had my plan failed so badly?
When we got to the beach, I couldn’t take my eyes off Whistler. It was sailing too fast. It should have lowered its sails and needed to drop anchor.
I limped faster. “Kat, they aren’t slowing down. Something’s wrong.” Kat and I began to run. The others followed close behind.
“Slow down!” Jeremy yelled. I didn’t know if he was talking to me or to the boat. I ignored him and moved as fast as my ankle would allow. When we got to the shore, I stared in horror. The sails were still up. The boat was headed straight for the beach.
Without thinking, I limped into the water and headed to the spot where Whistler would crash. Kat and her dad pulled me back. “You can’t stop the boat!”
“It’s going to hit the beach! We have to do something.” I screamed. “Dylan! Takumi! Drop the sails!”
No one answered. I could see people on deck, but it was so dark, I couldn’t tell who.
Whistler was only a few yards off the beach.
A shot rang out from the boat.
Loud voices began arguing.
Dylan yelled, “Grab the day anchor!”
Whistler kept coming.
The sails were still up.
The hull of the boat hit the rocky shore.
There was a terrible crunching sound. The bow was held fast.
Whistler was beached.

Author bio:

Brenda has always lived in the shadow of Mt. Rainer, a rumbling volcano, and the many waters of the Pacific Northwest.  
Her idea of heaven is a book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.  
She now lives on Lake Washington, close to Seattle, with her husband. She loves to kayak and watch the resident eagles soar. Her sailboat, Whistler, is in a marina a short ways away. Summers are spent sailing the inland seas of Washington and Canada.

Giveaway:   $25 Amazon Gift Card

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