Friday, October 24, 2014

There's something brewing in the Big Easy

Available HERE
Good October morning to everyone! This morning is an important one for me. You see, while I sit here drinking my coffee, (milk and three sugars) I am a little speechless quite honestly. I wanted to submit to Decadent Publishing for a long time. I read over the submission calls, checked out the cover art, what the quality of the books were, and if my body of work would fit with the authors currently working with publishing house. After doing that for months, I took the leap. My stomach dropped, not because I was rejected, but because I had finally convinced myself I was just as good as any of the authors at Decadent, and I would fit in. (That pep talk wasn’t pretty, FYI)
So, I asked for a fairytale.
I thought it would be the easiest way to introduce myself to the company. I mean, who can’t take a fairytale, add a little flare, retell it, and make it hot? *Raises hand* Oh, I got cocky. Honestly. I told myself no matter what story they gave me, I was going to own it and transform it into a work of art. It would be spicy and sensual. It would have everything the instructions requested and then some. I wanted to wow everyone. I wanted to throw the MS down on the imaginary desk, and yell BAM! Magically, of course, I would get a contract within two days. (I’m ambitious sometimes. What can I say? I’m also ADHD, so that’s where the whole BAM-thing comes from.)
I had this. I told myself that while I waited for the fairytale choice to hit my inbox. No matter what, I was going to rule this story. And then, The Three Black Princesses arrived in my email with the reminder of, ‘you have six months to complete the task.’ (No pressure.) First of all, I had never read this particular Grimm tale, but I figured it’s the Brothers Grimm, what could possibly go wrong?
The Three Black Princesses is a three-paragraph story about a boy who is kidnapped and sent into slavery. His father is given six-hundred dollars for him and he becomes the fishing village’s mayor. Anyway, the boy escapes and heads to an enchanted castle where he meets the three black princesses. They agree to help him get home, but he must promise to help set them free, so they don’t face eternity locked up in castle. The boy agrees, and he’s sent home. While he’s sitting down to dinner, he tells his parents about the princesses and how he plans to help set them free. His mother tells him you shouldn’t do that. In fact you should pour holy water on their cheeks. The women are ‘tricking him.’ So, the boy heads back to the castle and does as his mom says. The princesses scream and cry and tell him they are cursed to stay in the castle for all eternity and while the castle is crumbling, he jumps out the window and breaks his ankle. The end.
My self-confidence took a nose dive. I read this story three times, trying to pick the story out of it. Trying to find my angle. I wrote three plots. I’d get ten thousand words in and it was like walking through sludge. I had huge plot holes and parts just didn’t connect or make sense. So, I went back to the drawing board. Finally when I read the cliff notes on the story (yes, there are some. LOL) I found the plot.
My story is in threes and wholly symbolic. It’s a ménage. I have three bad guys who are dressed in all black. The Three Princesses is a bar in New Orleans. I have Sabine’s father in it, and there is a bad guy who pays the father money for his daughter. The guys, Kyle and Stuart live by the riverfront as well. It’s pieces of the whole. I wanted a story that would quickly grab your attention and hold it as the book played out.
There are several twists and turns throughout the story and a couple of times I surprised myself. In the end, I was proud of the product I sent in. I don’t think I have ever been so anxious about a submission in a long time. Why? Because, I really wanted to write for Decadent Publishing. I wanted to be counted amongst their talented pool of authors and I was little intimidated—which is perfect for how I work.
I have a little bit of a competitive streak. So seeing how great everyone’s books are, or what they’re coming up with, pushes me to be the best writer I can be. So, without further ado, here is the blurb and excerpt from Saving Their Princess. I hope you enjoy it.
Also, I will be giving away a copy of my Beyond Fairytale, as well to one lucky person!

Available at Decadent Publishing and Amazon Pre-Order!

Blurb:
Kidnapped 
Sabine Babineaux, daughter of the mayor of New Orleans and waitress at The Three Princesses bar, is snatched from the street after a late night at work and knocked unconscious. Waking in a cage, Sabine is determined to escape and take the other women in the basement lair with her. 
Stuart Renwick and Kyle Novak, detectives with the New Orleans police department, are assigned a kidnapping case with multiple victims. However, when one of the missing women, Sabine Babineaux, arrives at their precinct, injured and terrified, they take the damsel in distress under their wings and into their home. But the gallant detectives find their princess a big temptation. What will she say when they tell her they like to share? 
Can they work fast enough to find out who the kidnapper is and bring them to justice or will they take more victims or come for Sabine again? 
Will Sabine survive long enough to explore her feelings for both detectives? Or will Stuart and Kyle fall at the hands of her kidnapper?

Excerpt:
Pressing her palm to the wound, she got up and started running again. Sabine could hear the footsteps getting closer to her before another shot rang out. Bystanders turned in her direction, craning their necks to see what the commotion was. An excited thrill rolled through her. Surely someone would come to her rescue. But if she thought the pedestrians walking around her were actually going to step into the fray, she had another thing coming. Sabine came to the lip of the alley as people passed in front of her, not even bothered by her predicament. Others threw her dirty looks, giving her a wide berth. 
In front of her, not more than two hundred feet away, sat a cab by the curb. Behind her, the man’s footsteps grew loud, causing her to cringe at the sound. If she was going to get away, she needed to go now, but the pain was excruciating, and she felt woozy as hell. Each step would take all of her concentration and strength. One more step. You can do this. You can’t go back. Her mental pep talk pushed her on until she was only ten feet from the car. Her hand reached out for the handle, and she pulled it open. Sweet relief filled her. 
Freedom. 
“Police. Please.” She wheezed, leaning awkwardly against the seat. “Please go.” Frantic, she looked up at the man in the driver’s seat. “Please hurry before they take me.” 
“She’s going to get away.” She could hear the goon getting closer to the car, and she broke down crying. The man wasn’t going to move. She was going to be taken back to her hellhole. 
“Please, sir. Help me.” She twisted in the seat and saw how close the men were. “They’ve kidnapped me.” Whatever trance the man had been under broke, and his gaze shifted to hers, widening as he noticed she only wore a bra and panties.. “Thank God.” She sighed. “Police, please.” 
The man blinked several times then stammered. “Y-you need a hospital, not the police.” 
“No! They’ll find me in a hospital. Police! Just take me to any station. I don’t care where.” Sabine lay down on the seat and closed her eyes. The sweet air of the city caressed her, wrapping her in a blanket of comfort. She knew she should be scared by the amount of blood she was losing, but she couldn’t muster the care to worry. She was free; that was all that mattered. 
The cab came to a stop some time later, and she sat up. The world spun on its axis. The sound of bees buzzing filled her ears as she broke out in a cold sweat, and she began to shake violently. Sabine tried in vain to make her body cooperate with her, but it was a no go. Her brain was muddled, and nothing made sense anymore. Not even her body would oblige her and move. 
“Where am I?” Sabine whispered, licking her lips. 
“The lady is right here,” the cabbie said, opening the door. “She’s bleeding and wearing next to nothing.” 
A thread of embarrassment slid through her, but as quickly as it was there, it was gone. “Help me,” she croaked. The world around her was slowly floating away. No matter how much she tried to keep her eyes open, she couldn’t gather the strength needed to do so. 
“I…can’t…go…back.” Unconsciousness, blissful yet scary, drifted around her, cradling her in a void of nothingness. 
“No, you don’t, sweetheart.” A gruff voice called to her, drawing her out of the darkness. “Come back to us.” 
Sabine’s eyes fluttered open then shut again. She didn’t want to open her eyes. The darkness was safe. It was comfortable there. There was no pain. No cages. Freedom lurked in the darkness.

Author Bio:
TL Reeve was born out of a love of family and a bond that became unbreakable. Living in the south, TL misses Los Angeles and will one day return to the beaches of Southern California to ride the waves at Huntington Beach. When not writing something hot and sexy, TL can be found curled up with a good book or working on homework with a cute little pixie. 

Blog: www.tlreevesplace.blogspot.com
Email: authortlreeve@hotmail.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tl_reeve
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ tl.reeve2014 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#YesAllWomenwonder “If I had been born a boy”

Available HERE
“If I had been born a boy, I would have followed in my father’s footsteps and become a tradesman. Because I was a girl, he sold me instead.” –Taliasman

When my mother came of age, she had three options for a career: nurse, teacher, or secretary. She became a teacher and hated it. She told me, “If I’d been a boy, I could have become an accountant, engineer, or physicist. Because I was a girl, I didn’t have choices.”
A generation later, I grew up with my own version of “If I had been born a boy.” As the girl in the family, I was expected to perform household chores, cross my ankles while wearing skirts, baby-sit, and remain sweetly polite at all times. My mother, who had grown up feeling unwanted as a girl, unwittingly carried on the tradition of limiting her own girl-child. “Boys are so much easier, “ she told me when I failed to meet her standards. “He’s a boy,” she explained when I asked why my brother could lounge on the couch watching football while I washed dishes after holiday meals. “It’s different for boys,” she said when privileges and freedom did not cross gender lines.
I fumed. And when I wrote Taliasman, the fairy tale realm offered depths to portray Talia, a young woman ravaged by the society and family that should have nurtured her. Instead of prosaic dish-washing, the daughter of a poor construction worker receives her own messages about gender-based worth. For her, however, the struggle is literal. Sold for not being a boy and stripped of self-worth, she despairs of finding meaning in her life.
Enter Queen Vina, a heavenly ruler who descends to Earth after receiving a talisman from the mysterious storyteller, Nicodemus. She searches for months before finding Talia’s cottage. When she offers a sack full of gold, however, she wins Talia’s body but not her heart. Furious, miserable, and betrayed, Talia locks Vina into a stalemate night after night. Vina offers love, but Talia understands only scorn.
When human trafficking and gender crimes still threaten women and young girls, the story of Talia becomes all the more relevant to our lives today. When wearing a mini-skirt deems women culpable for “illegitimate” rape, we must teach our daughters to value themselves.
If Taliasman makes you cry, I am pleased you care for Vina and Talia. If Taliasman makes you reflect on your own life and embrace the wonderful goodness of being a woman, I have done my job. Thank you for allowing these two women into your life.

Taliasman Buy Links:



Anastasia Vitsky will give a wooden spoon to one random commenter on this post. If you live outside of the United States, she will offer a comparable gift certificate instead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Making of Storms in a Shot Glass

Available HERE
A little bump is about to cause a lot of ripples
The story behind Storms in a Shot Glass came to me during a chat with one of my friends. I was complaining about my kids, and my friend said kids really knew how to brew a tempest in a teacup. That was still not appropriate in my opinion, and I replied, “More like they can stir up a storm in a shot glass!”
The words stayed with me for many days. I kept thinking, “This would make a great book title...” From this point on, I was like, “What story could I tag with this?”
The answer seemed obvious – the story needed a child in it. Now, stories with children have been done and overdone. I had myself penned down stories where children were strongly featured (Light My World & Calling Home). It got me further into thinking, and then the light bulb moment came – what’s the one thing that involves a child but has the biggest impact on a woman? Pregnancy. So there I had it - the story would be about a pregnancy.
Entered the brainstorming and characterization stage. Pregnancy and maximum impact = unplanned, accidental, unexpected. The more unexpected, the better! Now who would be more affected by such news? Obvious – a woman whose life resembled the inside of a shot glass since there is no room to move in there. It would be nice to brew a storm in such closed confines. Pitch her against a hero who would stir up even more havoc, and I had my game plan.
Jane Smithers came to life this way. A quiet, self-effacing girl whose life was akin to a shot glass. Simply no room for anything. Who’d be the man who would tip the scales, then? Enter Michael Rinaldi.
There’s something about the name Michael that has most women swooning. Don’t ask me what it is, I have no idea; yet, I know it’s a fact. Rinaldi is a name I always wanted to use, so there he got paired with that name. Had to give him an Italian lineage, too, and I did. I now needed a twist – and the question that popped up: “Who is Michael?” The baby’s father? Or is he someone Jane has never met before?
The second option sounded more tempting, and I went with it. How does she meet him, then? Bridging the gap, that’s when Michael’s Italian ancestry came into play – his father will be Jane’s boss. But, a big ‘but’ here, the father and son are estranged!
I’m sure you can now see how much a game of “Let’s make things more complicated for these two!” the drafting of this story turned out to be! Originally, the story started strictly through Jane’s POV, in a twist on the chick-lit. But Michael was too strong a hero (yes, an overbearing, charismatic, and utterly-charming-when-he-wants-to Italian!). He, too, wanted his say, and the hero has no say in the chick-lit, right? Swift turn, and the story became a contemporary romance where both protagonists would get the equal spotlight.
I started actively writing then, and I think this book will remain as one of the stories I had most fun with. The need to complicate matters runs throughout the plot, and it was a joyride all the way!
But it wasn’t simply about fun – it was also about stronger, deeper issues. What’s a woman to do when faced with an unexpected pregnancy? How does she come to grips with the need to become a single parent? What impact will this unborn child have on her life?
This also brought forth the notion that more and more women nowadays prefer to bring up their child alone. What’s the role of the father in there? What even defines a father nowadays? Can a man love another man’s child as his own? How does this whole situation affect him?
Jane and Michael face those issues in the story, and against a barrage of complications that Fate keeps sending their way, how will they find their footing in the shifting sands of their changing reality? When you are resolutely modern and are going about your life in cosmopolitan London, how do you adjust to unexpected changes that will completely annihilate the life you’ve known till now?
Find out when you grab a copy of Storms in a Shot Glass and join this merry, eventful ride with Jane, Michael, and their crazy entourage of quirky friends and families.

From Mauritius with love, 

Zee

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meet Gavin from Imperfect Mate


Gavin Stone is a sophomore at Harmony University. He’s also human and a little geeky. Since his long term high school girlfriend broke his heart the last thing he was looking for was another commitment. He buried himself into his studies and avoided the dating scene until he meet Samira at a dorm welcome party. The passion between them was too many to deny.
Stats:
Name: Gavin Stone
Hair color: brown
Eye color: brown
Height: 6’2”
Degree working for: He’s majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in chemistry
Story told in:  Imperfect Mate

I’m so thrilled to be part of this new Decadent line, ROAR, and excited about the release of Imperfect Mate. I can’t wait to get started on the next book in the series.


Imperfect Mate
Harmony Springs, book 1
Decadent Publishing ROAR line
By Lia Davis
Blurb:
For tiger-shifter, Samira Anderson, leaving home for the first time to attend Harmony University should unnerve her. She’s never submitted to the fear of a challenge and doesn’t plan to start now. Meeting her dorm mates and touring the campus excites her and her cat. Although when she meets Gavin Stone, she’s not only nervous around him but fears she might lose the tight control she has over her tiger.
After a bad break up with his high school sweetheart, Gavin has no intentions of repeating past mistakes. Or so he thought until he sees the beautiful, smart, Samira at the dorm welcome party. Drawn to her like no other, he can’t stay away or shake the feeling Sam isn’t telling him everything.
When he discovers her secrets, a whole new world opens to him, filled with danger, unknown possibilities, and a passion so intense it could last many lifetimes.

About the Author
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very active imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing is stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.

Social media links: