Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Kiru Taye

?????????????????????????????????????????????An Engagement Challenge by Kiru Taye

Kiru Taye comes to us from the UK today to let us hear from her main character Ijay Amadi about her career as a Brand Strategy Consultant.  Take it away Ijay.

Hello, readers. My name is Ijay Amadi and I’ve been invited by the lovely Lily Munro to tell you a little about my job.

My job title is Brand Strategy Consultant. In a nutshell, I work with my client’s to find innovative ways to enhance the branding for their businesses or products. A lot of what I do involves analysis of research data and using that to plan for future trends. To do this it’s important that I understand the current markets and trends.

I love my job. But my current assignment comes along with more than the usual challenges. On a professional level, this is my first assignment in Africa. My former projects have dealt with businesses in Europe. So now I have to understand the culture of doing business in Nigeria as well as understand my client’s business.

Secondly and perhaps the biggest challenge is that my new client, Paul Arinze, is also a man I had a sizzling one-night stand with a few months previously. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not pining over him. No way. I’ve long moved on and am currently engaged to another man. It’s just that I worry about our working relationship. Will he be thinking about our night together while I’m presenting research reports? Will he be remembering the way our bodies writhed in the age old lovers’ dance?

Phew. Did somebody turn up the temperature in here? Sorry, Lily, I’m going to have to get a glass of water. Thinking about Paul always leaves me needing to cool off. But Kiru spills the beans about what happens between us in her book. So pick up a copy to get the goss.

It’s been nice chatting. Catch you all later.


When savvy PR consultant Ijay Amadi meets successful Industrialist Paul Arinze, the only things on her mind are to forget the pain of her failed relationship and enjoy the delights his branding touch and soul-searing kiss promise. It’s a one-time only event. Perfect.

However, Paul is annoyed to wake up and find her gone the next morning. He isn’t ready to forget the dark-haired beauty or their scorching night together just yet. So he plans to have Ijay right where he wants her—in Abuja, working on his latest business project by day and enjoying the pleasure of his bed by night.

Except when Ijay arrives, she’s wearing another man’s engagement ring. With the explosive desire between them threatening their priorities and loyalties, the stakes get higher by the minute. Who’ll be left standing at the altar when Ijay walks down the aisle?

Click here to read the full Chapter One

eBook Available at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | All Romance eBook | Kobo | Diesel | WHSmith

Paperback Available at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Createspace


Are Café Recommended Read

“Engaging contemporary novel. Paul’s character caught my attention because…his is tortured by his past. No woman has tapped into his hidden side until he meets Ijay. The descriptions (of Nigeria) created a visual backdrop that went far in bringing the story to life.”

 Everybody Needs A Little Romance – 4.5 Flaming Hearts

This book drew me in right from the beginning.  The story was engaging and it was easy to be vested in the characters. Her characters are engaging because they are interesting and complex. I was pleasantly surprised by a few things in the story and loved the ending; it was a fabulous end that tied everything together. My favorite book by this author so far.

 About Kiru Taye

A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket during lights-outs in boarding school. These days, with a young family to take care of, she’s still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book.

During the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual, atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters.

When she’s not writing or reading, she’d hanging out with family and friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and children.

You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest

Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways:

Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website:


To celebrate the summer, I’m giving away 2 $10 gift cards to 2 lucky winners. All you have to do to enter the prize draw is to leave a comment on this blog post and visit my blog to enter the rafflecopter prize draw. This contest is open internationally. Entrants must be 18 years and over. Contest ends 31 August, 2013. Winners are chosen randomly via rafflecopter.


Kiru, thank you for stopping by. That sounds like a spicy hot read for this summer. My book also opens with a one night stand and the couple also ends up working together, so I will have to check it out.

Remember, today, July 26 is the last day to enter the giveaway that I’m hosting for the blogger book fair.

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Kiru would love your comments below. Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Lindsey Gray

Redemption by Lindsey Gray

Lindsey Gray is joining us today to talk about her novel, Redemption, to tell us about her main character, Lily Edwards.

Character: Lily Edwards Lindsey_Gray_Cover003

Education: Several bachelor’s degrees as well as a master’s degree in chemistry.

Current Occupation: Executive with The Manchester Group

The Manchester Group is a global corporation that on the surface looks to be a successful financial conglomerate. Once inside the buildings of glass and steel, the outside interpretations are extinguished. Established in the early 1900’s, The Manchester Group is a collective of fallen angels, reformed demons, and vampires.

Lily Edwards, the only female vampire in existence, has been a high level executive for The Manchester Group since the early 1920’s. On any given day, she would comb the streets of Boston for demons and creatures that were consumed by evil. At least she did, until recently.

After a glimpse of romance with a human, Lily has left Boston for life in Iceland. That decision sent the people who love her on a collision course with evil. Along with Lily, members of The Manchester Group ban together to fight the mysterious man who holds her loved ones lives in his hands. Lily’s existence hangs in the balance as the steps she takes could end it all.

Sound like a place you’d like to work? No? Maybe you can just read about Lily and her journey in Redemption.


Lily is one of only three vampires in known existence. After falling in love with a human, sexy and talented musician Ian, she realizes their love is putting him in mortal danger. She flees from her life in Boston to the solace of her frozen wasteland.

As her past continues to haunt her, Ian seeks out the only family Lily has ever known. Becca introduces Ian to a world he never thought possible as they embark on a search for Lily, starting in the bowels of a mysterious company called The Manchester Group.

Will Ian and Becca find her? Or will the reemergence of a long lost love take a hold of their future?

Revisited (The Redemption Series, Book 2) is also available.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Barnes & Noble:



The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House:

Author Bio:  Lindsey_Gray_Small

Lindsey Gray dreamed of being several different things as a child such as a doctor, an actress, and a chef, but none held her attention like putting pen to paper and creating her own world through words. She has written three full-length novels and one short story for The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House and has taken the self-publishing leap with her novella, “Fireworks”.

A mid-west native, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading almost anything she can get her hands on, and making life interesting at each and every turn.

 Author Links:




Amazon Author Page:

The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House:


Lindsey, thank you for stopping by.

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Lindsey was also visiting us earlier in the week. Check out her post on Lies Inside here.

Lindsey would love your comments below. Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Dawn Chandler

Dark Lady, by Dawn Chandler

Dawn Chandler is joining us today to talk about her novel, Dark Lady, published by Black Opal Books.

Dawn’s book is historical fiction, and we often don’t think about historical novels in those terms. Let’s hear what she has to say.

Q.  Describe your female lead’s career and experience.Chandler_Front Cover

Van is a housewife in 12th century England. It is not a position that she asked for and the change does not sit well with her. She is in charge of running the castle and the grounds, but it is supposed to be more of an honorary title, like most women have in medieval England at that era. She decided to take over the management in a more active capacity than her husband expects and it causes strife within the household.

Q.  Describe your male lead’s career and experience.

Peter is the king’s champion. He is a swordsman and a knight. In his position he is the epitome of manhood. He believes himself in charge of Van and all his surroundings. Van though has other ideas. He also teaches pages and squires to become warriors. These students live in the barracks of Peter’s castle where he runs his school.

Q. Do either of your lead characters desire a career different than the one they want?

Van does not want to be a housewife, she wants to be a knight. Like she has always been. She has excelled in being a dangerous knight, and it is the only life she has ever known.  She is loath to let that part of her life go. As a wife she struggles to become the woman that society, and her new husband, expects her to be. She fights to fit into her new position, but her biggest obstacle is keeping one step ahead of her enemies. If they find out she is truly a woman, than she could lose everything she holds dear to her, including her life.

Q. Would you characterize your story as an office romance? Why or why not?

Yes, I suppose in a way it is an office romance. Though Peter does not know it, Van had been a page in the castle and a squire in Peter’s army. So while the story is happening it is not an office romance, but they did work together in the past.

Q. Did you use any personal experiences when building this career theme? Explain.

I had never thought about it before, but I believe I did. I have never fit into the girly role that I believe society expects me to have as a female. If I had been born in Van’s time period I would have fought as hard as I could for rights. I have never fit into the mold that society wanted, even when I was younger. I read too much, I learned to much and I loved to play football with the boys. I was more of a tomboy than I was anything else and I think to an extent I applied those feelings to this story, though I would never behead someone.

 Excerpt from The Dark Lady – Chapter One

He sucked in a breath and jerked his eyes open as pressure was put onto the wound. The boy looked over his shoulder at Richard. “Go get the doctor. If he does not want to come, and come now, you have my permission to get him here at your enjoyment.” The voice came out in a growl, an order too full of self-assurance to come from a mere page. No, he was a squire, no doubt. The kid had battle under his belt. Instinct and experience told Peter that the trick with the monster of a warrior who had almost killed him was just the beginning of his cunning.

Peter closed his eyes and his breathing became shallow. Numbness was beginning to overtake his mind. His thoughts were getting slower. He could feel it. He tried to concentrate on the boy’s voice above him, but his mind felt heavy and sluggish.

The voice that had been gravelly and deep at first had changed—softened, like a gentle breeze across his heart. He was confused at his thoughts. His mind was hazy. Delirium was obviously setting in. A groan slipped from beneath his numb lips.

The sweet, concerned voice caressed him, washing over him like a warm caress. “Are you with me? Can you focus on my face? Come on, talk to me. Open your eyes. I need to know you are going to be all right.” The gentle voice was like a melody to his war-ravaged ears, a loving voice that brought forth images of that life his father had spoken of. Of children to hold and to love, not just some faceless heir to be his future, but a child to be his life.

He opened his eyes to the young boy’s blurry face. The light from the fire pierced into him, cutting through him like a dagger. He shut his eyes again with a moan.

“Come on, focus. You are going to be all right.” There was fear in that soft voice that told him he was cared for. That he was needed. “Look me in the eye.” The worry that he heard enveloped him in warmth in a way no fire ever could. He could almost picture the mother of those children who would hold him at night when he was cold, as he was now. She would be beautiful, dark, and exotic.

When he opened his eyes once again the boy was gone and in his place was the beautiful, yet blurry, face of a girl. “Are you all right?” she asked sweetly as she leaned close to him.

“I am here with you.” Concern filled him as he spotted the large gash on her cheek, oddly in the same spot as the lad’s injury. He shook his head to clear it. Confusion swirled through his weary mind. Peter lifted his hand and ran his fingers along the uninjured cheekbone as blood dripped onto his injured shoulder. “Your face. You are hurt. You must have it looked at.”

The face swirled in and out of focus and the boy was there once again. Peter closed his eyes tightly and shook his head. “I will. You first, I can wait,” the soft voice told him.

When Peter opened his eyes once again, she was smiling down at him. Her face was still blurred, but he knew it was her from her melodious voice.

“You have such dark eyes, almost black. One could get lost in them.” Peter continued to stroke the smooth cheek above him, sliding trembling fingers down the warm and inviting skin gently cupping the soft and shapely chin before starting again. He squinted in an effort to keep the world focused as he looked deeply into those black eyes and thought of his future. “You are so beautiful.”

Full lips parted in a sweet tinkling laugh, like water rippling over stones. “I will forgive you that since you have lost so much blood. Your thoughts must be scrambled and your vision faulty.” A wide, beautiful smile took the sting from the words.

A deep trembling breath caused the world to shimmer and the image of the boy was once again before him.

Peter pulled his hand away in confusion. “Quite. I have lost a great amount.” His arm dropped as darkness swallowed him.

Meet Dawn ChandlerDawn_Chandler_Small

Dawn Chandler was born in Coffeyville, Kansas but doesn’t remember much about it. Though she recently had the opportunity to visit there with her husband, and she very much enjoyed the Dalton Museum. She always thought she should have been born in the Wild West. She moved to Idaho when she was 6 and grew up on Murtaugh Lake, where her father was the dam keeper and the ditch rider. She spent her days in the lake, swimming, catching fish and tadpoles, from sunup to sundown most days. Not hard to imagine that her first full length novel was about a mermaid. At nights she would spend her time watching football with her dad or cooking with her mom. In 8th grade she had a teacher, Mrs. Smith, who wanted her to publish one of her short stories.

Looking back on it she says she should have done so. If she had, she would have been an author before now, but she was not ready to be published back then. When she first started writing in class she hated it. She had to write their way and only their way—in the correct process, outline, rough draft, and so on. Chandler has learned in the progressing years that she is a seat-of-the-pants author, but in the beginning she just thought that writing was not for her. She could not, no matter how she tried, get the outline done. She could not sit and sketch out a whole story from beginning to end. She found quickly that if she just sat and wrote, she could get the first draft out without a problem, but the teachers didn’t want her to do it that way. She really began to love writing when she met Mrs. Smith and she told Chandler that she could write it in whichever order she wanted. She understood her as a writer and didn’t push her to be something she wasn’t. She has been writing ever since.

Dawn is grateful to have the support of her husband and children. Together they have 7, Charles, Cynthia, Kara, Mary, Tina, Pam, and Richie. She loves them all dearly and is happy to have them in her life. Now that her kids are all grown up, she likes to spend time on the semi-truck with my husband, Rod, seeing the country. She loves visiting all the small towns and is grateful to all the nice people she has met. She enjoys swimming, camping, four wheeling with her 4 X 4 group, spending time with family and friends, hiking, writing (of course), drawing, painting, reading (a vastly wide list of authors, her favorite though is Stephen King), and she loves taking pictures as she travels the countryside (if she is lucky and they are not in a big hurry and can even stop to take them). Today she is busily writing her novels. The Dark Lady, was released in 2013, through Black Opal Books, The Infamous A.H. to follow shortly (fingers crossed), and about 50 more started in the computer that will be released as time and her muse allows.

Buy Links




Black Opal Books:


Nook book:



KOBO: aehh5S6yNkSYlYVwIqB08g/page1.html?s=IkAM9k39o0u9noIOGbS00w&r=2


Books a Million:


Dawn, thank you for stopping by. Dawn would love your comments below.

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Kathleen Lutter

Wild Point Island, by Kathleen Lutter

Today we welcome Kathleen Lutter, author of Wild Point Island. Kathleen sheds interesting light on how careers impact the characters in her book. Kathleen is also giving away a $25.00 Amazon gift card the week of the Blogger Book Fair. See the directions at the bottom of her post to enter into her drawing.

Wild Point Island is about a girl obsessed with reclaiming a life she lost.

For the first ten years of her life, Ella Pattenson was happy. She and her twin sister were living on an island off the coast of North Carolina. But when her father was imprisoned and she was banished from the island, she vowed to reunite her parents. The vow drove her to become a chemist, drove her to develop a magic elixir which she not only envisioned as a bargaining tool to win her father’s freedom, but which she also knew would enable her revenant father to live off the island.  She does this at great sacrifice to her own personal career path. Her obsession with developing a specific potion causes her to lose her job because she’s inappropriately using the company’s resources.

My father was very much like the character of Ella in Wild Point Island. He wasn’t a chemist; he was an engineer, but he had a laboratory in our basement and would spend hours there working on his inventions. Later he started his own company to market his inventions. He was obsessed and driven to follow his dream.

Ella is no ordinary girl. She is half human and half revenant, a descendant of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, English settlers who landed in North Carolina 400 years ago, believed by the modern world to have perished. But they left Roanoke and resettled on Wild Point Island where, struggling to survive, they ate a native plant, which transformed them physiologically into another life form—a revenant. They now have immortality, but at a cost. They must remain on the island.

Ella is determined to rescue her father from prison and reunite him with her mother who lives on the mainland in North Carolina. She has no choice but to trust a revenant who befriends her—the hero, Simon Viccars, an architect, who is over 400 years old, who can help her gain access to the island. He, however, wants off the island at all costs. He longs to travel and see the great architectural marvels of the world. In the past he’s used his talents and skills to design the houses on the island to be a special refuge against the sun because revenants need to recharge during the day so they can more efficiently assume human form. Now he promises to help Ella fight the island Council and free her father.

But can she trust him? When Ella realizes that her meeting with Simon was a set-up, and when her negotiations with the Island Council begin to fall apart, she wonders–is Simon in love with her or is she merely his one-way ticket off the island?


Wild Point Island  (blurb)

      Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants–immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.

      Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death.  Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council.  Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.

      With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.

Kate Lutter  (biography) Kathleen Lutter Author Pic

Kate wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat.

Contact Information:




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Give-Away during Blogger Book Fair July 22-26, 2013

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Kathleen, thank you for stopping by. What a great take on what happened to the Lost Colony! Make sure and go over to her blog to enter her drawing. I’m sure Kathleen would love your comments below.

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Remember, by commenting you can enter into my drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Amy Saunders

aufd_final_smallThe Belinda & Bennett Mysteries,

by Amy Saunders

Amy Saunders, author of The Belinda & Bennett Mysteries, joins us today to talk about how career choices affect her characters.

When my characters make career choices, drama happens. Work is a pretty natural place for life to go right – and wrong. And my series, The Belinda & Bennett Mysteries, is no exception.

Belinda Kittridge, the main character, comes from a wealthy family. She’s never had to be career-centric, but when the series opens, Belinda is putting her money to good use (based on advice from her beloved nana) and getting ready to open tourist-driven Portside’s first-ever cupcake boutique with a twist.

It’s on wheels.

So she’s got a large learning curve ahead of her running a mobile cupcake boutique on top of all the mystery and danger she stumbles into all the time. (Courtesy of me. Sorry, Bels!)

Bennett Tate, on the other hand, leading man of the series, worked his way through school doing odd jobs. After a short-lived experience as a police officer, he started his own event security business. So he’s busy providing security – and lending his expertise to the police sometimes – at private parties and the many and varied events going on in Portside. And Tate Security is the reason Belinda and Bennett meet, so I daresay he thinks highly of his career choice!

I figured out that Bennett owned his own security firm when I first started working on the series concept. But Belinda was another story.

I didn’t know what her focus was. So I started thinking about her background and situation and personality, and it occurred to me that she could use her money to open a business. And I love to bake, and cake is one of my favorite desserts, and I pictured Belinda loving to bake and cook too. I’m also in love with food trucks, so I merged the two ideas and her cupcake boutique sprouted wheels.

It’s tough to balance the focus of each novel (solving a murder) with these subplots. But what happens with the main plot often leaks into their private lives, so their businesses and the murder investigation are not always mutually exclusive. The cupcake truck opened up new misadventures for Belinda and gave her a clear direction. And events in the course of the story affect both of their careers. So in the end, these career choices make the overall story much more interesting, and raise the stakes for everyone.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Auf’d (The Belinda & Bennett Mysteries, Book Two)

Belinda Kittridge hurried toward the waving hand (hurried being a relative term wearing heels on grass) with her red-headed friend coming in and out of view as people passed in front of her. Even in three-inch wedges, Victoria was still far below Belinda’s eye level.

It was May in Portside, Rhode Island, and Belinda inhaled the chilly air off the water, a reminder that the ocean hadn’t quite caught up with the air yet. Excitement and anxiety filled her bones. It was Belinda’s first time helping to organize a fundraiser event—a runway show specifically—and it was getting close to time for the attendees to start showing up.

“Our plan worked!” Victoria hopped up and down then stopped and grabbed her stomach in panic. “Is that bad, you think?”

“Maybe you should just stand there and I’ll hop up and down.” Afraid to actually go airborne in her heels, Belinda bobbed up and down on her knees so her friend, only weeks pregnant, could avoid anything potentially hazardous. “Our plan did work. That was much smoother and less irritating than last time.”

Victoria laughed. “Yeah, when we were both cursing the other’s existence because we didn’t have a planned meeting spot.”

“That’s not entirely true.” Belinda drummed her fingers along her jaw, staring up at the clear sky. “The planned meeting location was ‘whoever gets here first gets a seat and the other one finds her,’ which almost ended our friendship.”

“Thank goodness for Dan.”

“Thank goodness, indeed. If he hadn’t come and found me, I would have left the show and never spoken to you again.” Victoria’s husband saved the day, and then told them they were on their own next time.

“Runway show equals death of lifelong friendship.”

“Tragic.” Belinda kept glancing up and around whenever anyone passed her. She could blame it on her tendency to be distracted, but she knew that wasn’t quite what was wrong with her at that moment.

Victoria grinned. “Have you seen Bennett yet?”

“When they first got here to set up this morning, but we’ve both been too busy to talk. And we haven’t really dealt with each other the past week because of the show.” She’d recommended Bennett’s event security firm, thinking it would mean they could see each other more while the show ate up her life. At best, it just meant Bennett had no more free time than she did.

“Well, I daresay you should get back there then before anyone misses you.” Victoria winked. “I’ll be in these seats with my mom.” She handed Belinda a piece of paper with the row and seat numbers scribbled down. “Meet us there afterward and we’ll go out to eat.”

“Your new favorite thing to do.”

“My baby gots to eat.” She placed both hands on her stomach and laughed.

Across the lawn, a raspy bellow interrupted their joy about their future and coconut cake. Belinda looked over apprehensively, knowing what she was going to see. A man who reminded Belinda of a meatball with legs flailed his arms, his face visibly red from where she stood.

“Uh-oh.” Victoria glanced at her sideways. Belinda’s face drooped as she nodded. “You want me to find Mrs. Sykes?”

“I–I can handle this. I don’t want things to explode.” She smiled tentatively. Victoria squeezed her arm for encouragement and strolled over to the seats flanking the runway, glancing behind her every few seconds.

Belinda wove her way across the lawn away from the stage, which was set up on the mouth of PortsideHarbor so the audience faced the water. It offered a refreshing breeze (maybe too refreshing sometimes) and a view of the bay and bridge. A triple threat location.

The server on the receiving end of the bellowing saw Belinda and glanced at her pleadingly. Belinda straightened her back as much as possible as her heels sunk into the turf. She should’ve worn flats, but she faced more important issues than her balance right then. “Is everything all right?” she cut in, trying to raise her voice without screeching.

The meatball with legs, aka Mr. Sykes, shifted his beady eyes to her, his toucan nose bright red. Anger or sunburn? “No, Ms. Kittridge, everything is not alright. I want to know who authorized an outrageous payment to these imbecile caterers.” He glared at the server, waving an invoice in the man’s face.

Belinda looked apologetically at the server. “He didn’t mean that.” Mr. Sykes opened his mouth to protest, but Belinda cut him off. “Please return to whatever you were doing. Excuse us.” With nothing but sheer willpower, Belinda forced Mr. Sykes away and the server offered a short bow of thanks to her and ran for cover.

“What are you doing?” Mr. Sykes said. “This is none of your concern.”

“It is in every way my concern, sir,” she said firmly but with as much respect as she could muster. “You know I’m half of this fundraiser, and my family name is on this, too.”

“Did you know then that most of this event is coming out of my pocket!”

Belinda took a deep breath. She’d always been a tad afraid of Mr. Sykes. She’d never spent that much time with them, though one of their sons was in her grade at school. All she knew was he was a far cry from her own easygoing papa and she never cared for him. But Belinda had a show to put on, and this was no time for this conversation.

“No, I didn’t,” Belinda said calmly. “And I’m happy to discuss reimbursing you, but–”


Belinda’s eyes fluttered. She’d hoped to calm Mr. Sykes down and usher him away before his wife—soon-to-be ex-wife—found him on the premises. But Belinda had just failed and felt her entire gut drop to her feet.

“Stop acting like a horse’s rear end,” Mrs. Sykes said in a harsh whisper. She organized the annual runway show/fundraiser, which benefited a different charitable organization each time. This year’s winner was autism awareness.

Mrs. Sykes had the fashion connections, and she brought Belinda on as her lieutenant this time to do basically everything else (including hiring the catering company, who would probably blacklist her now) as she came to realize too late. If only she’d talked to her mother before she accepted the position! Not to mention, the Sykes’ divorce had been more intrusive than she anticipated.

“This is little Bels Kittridge.” Mrs. Sykes placed a proverbial mama bear arm around Belinda. No one had called her little Bels Kittridge since she was like five. “She went to school with Aidan, for heaven’s sake.”

Mr. Sykes sighed and gave Belinda a shrug. She supposed that was his idea of an apology.

Mrs. Sykes, on the other hand, offered a verbal one, looking mortified. “Please go, Belinda. I’ll handle this.” She emphasized this like it was a mess to clean up and not her husband.

Belinda backed away, worried that the runway show might be preempted by the divorce apocalypse. But she couldn’t very well say that aloud, so she listened to them argue about when they should argue about the money until they were out of earshot.

Buy links:

Author Amy Saunders

Author Amy Saunders

You can buy the ebook edition of Cliffhanger, book one in the series, at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords (all of my books are on sale there throughout July!). It’s also available in paperback at Amazon.

Auf’d, book two, is out now at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Visit my blog at for more info about my books!


Amy, thank you for stopping by. This sounds like a great series. I’m sure Amy would love your comments below.

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Reese Ryan

Making the First Move, by Reese Ryan

Reese Ryan has provided us with a guest post talking about her characters and their careers.  Take it away, Reese!

Revealing Character Identity Through Career ChoiceReese_Ryan Cover Small

In my contemporary romance, Making the First Move, Melanie Gordon’s and Raine Mason’s careers have become inextricably tied to their identities. Melanie is climbing the ladder at Jasper & Graevel Personnel Services—a top headhunting and personnel firm. Raine founded and runs his own charitable organization and has a passion for rescuing young men on the road to disaster. In a way, both of them are using their careers to make amends for the past.

As an undergraduate Mel majored in Art History and dreamed of living abroad and working at the Louvre. She spent countless hours wandering the galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art. However, her father persuaded her to pursue a more “sensible” career. He was the president of a major firm by his mid-thirties and later started a personnel firm with a friend. His ultimate goal was to start a family firm that would be his namesake. He groomed Melanie to continue what would be his legacy. His death prevented him from achieving his goal. After the loss of her father—whom Mel was extremely close to—and a devastating break-up, Mel opts to hide out from life and throw herself into her career. She pushes herself to achieve her late father’s career plan for her. Only somewhere along the way she’s forgotten that it was never her dream.

Raine wasn’t encouraged to pursue a career in philanthropy. In fact, his parents had much bigger plans for him than running a lowly non-profit. He’s driven to champion the cause of an underserved population. In order to achieve his vision of starting a charitable foundation that would help young, at-risk males he obtained the required education and worked within organizations doing similar work for several years before starting Focused for Life.

Their work not only plays a crucial role in their identities, but it is also what brings Melanie and Raine together initially. Melanie’s firm donates generously to Raine’s organization and she frequently refers job candidates who don’t meet Jasper & Graevel’s needs to him for training and other support services. While their careers play a major role in the story, Making the First Move isn’t an office romance since the fact that their organizations work closely together is what has prevented Raine from acting upon his feelings for Mel. It is her sudden promotion and impending relocation that prompts him to make the first move.

Characters don’t exist inside a vacuum. They have jobs, families, friends, and neighbors.  Revealing those elements helps readers (and the writer) to better understand a character’s identity and motivations. What a character does for a living is one of the many building-blocks of that character’s identity. That’s why my characters’ work often plays an essential role in a story. I enjoyed integrating Melanie and Raine’s careers into Making the First Move. Especially since I have a background in both talent acquisition and non-profit.

Identity and family are two primary themes in the story, but it also deals with secrets. The revelation of long-held secrets can either be destructive or freeing. As the story progresses, we unearth secrets from Raine’s and Melanie’s past that threaten to destroy their prospects for a happy future.

Making the First Move on Goodreads:


Melanie Gordon has spent the past five years obsessing over her career to dull the pain of a devastating breakup and the loss of her father. Her effort pays off when she receives the promotion that could be her big break. Only it means returning to her hometown to face her past while leaving behind the man who could be her future.

Selfless (and insanely sexy) philanthropist, Raine Mason, is committed to his cause. But his passion for rescuing high-risk young males from the road to disaster is fueled by his own dark and tragic past.

When Raine is ready to take his casual friendship with Melanie to sizzling new heights, her one-way ticket to Cleveland is already booked. But a steamy night of passion leaves them both wanting more, even if Melanie is afraid to admit it. She reluctantly agrees to a long-distance relationship with no promises and no commitments.

Melanie may finally be ready to give Raine her heart…but then she discovers startling news that causes her to question everything she knows about him. Worse, he’s harboring a dark secret from his past that threatens to shatter any hope of a future for them unless he can convince her that their love is worth the risk.


Thirty minutes later, Raine is standing in my doorway in a camel-colored cashmere sweater and a pair of Levi’s. A white, button-down shirt peeks underneath the collar. Chin-length, caramel-colored locs are pulled back at the crown of his head, with the remaining hair hanging free. He is, in a word, gorgeous.

My eyes trace the curve of his biceps. I lick my lips, cheeks flushed, and hope he hasn’t noticed I’ve spent the past five seconds checking him out from head to toe. Twice.

“I see you’re ready to go.” He nods toward the wrap draped over my arm and my clutch tucked underneath it.

“I am.”

“Then shall we?” Raine extends his hand in the direction of the narrow stairwell leading down to the first floor.

“Let’s.” I offer a nervous smile.

He slips his hand to the small of my back. I try not to notice the heat emanating from his hand. But it’s nearly impossible to ignore the jolt of electricity, which travels through his long, elegant fingers and enters the base of my spine.

I’m sure his hand has been on that exact spot when he’s guided me through a crowd or we’ve danced together at charity functions. His touch seemed incidental then. Tonight, there’s something about the placement and pressure of his hand that feels deliberate, significant. Or maybe I’m transferring my own well-guarded desire to an innocent gesture.

Raine guides me down the stairs, out the front door and into his car, his hand still on my back.

“Thanks for doing this,” I say. “I know it’s short notice.”

“I couldn’t leave you standing there dressed, with no place to go.” He tries to hide a smirk as he turns the ignition.

“How’d you know I was already dressed when I called?”

“You’ve never been ready when I came to pick you up. There’s not a chance in hell you threw this together in thirty minutes. You look…amazing.”

“Very clever,” I say. “And thank you, I think.”

“It’s too bad, actually.”

“What’s too bad?”

“That you were ready. I was hoping to catch you in a towel, just out of the shower,” he says, his eyes straight ahead.

My cheeks grow warm. I’m not offended, just surprised. Our social conversations have been mildly flirtatious, but never anything so easily decipherable. We prefer our flirtation so well-coded that only a world-class hacker has a chance in hell of sorting it all out.

I stifle a giggle. “Sorry to disappoint you.”

He smiles.

We ride in silence for a while. He pays strict attention to the road. I pretend to be fascinated by the houses and apartments that fly by my window. The same ones I’ve seen nearly every day for the past five years.


Buy links:

B&N =


Bio: ReeseRyan_AutPicSmall

Reese Ryan writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully-sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after.

Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides in Central North Carolina with her family who tolerate her propensity to sing and dance badly. A self-proclaimed Bohemian Southern Belle, she treads the line carefully between being a Northerner and a damned Yankee–despite her insistence on calling soda pop. Reese gauges her progress by the number of “bless your lil’ hearts” she gets each week. She is currently down to two.

Visit Reese online at Follow her on Twitter @ReeseRyanWrites. Connect with her on Facebook.

Author Links:






Reese, thank you for stopping by. You couldn’t have said it better. Characters can’t exist in a vacuum. Reese would loveyour comments below.


Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Olivia Linden

Jaded Hearts, by Olivia Linden

Today we are welcoming Olivia Linden, author of Jaded Hearts (The Jaded Hearts Club

First, here is the book blurb:Jaded Hearts

At 24 years old, Jade Spencer’s life has hit a brick wall. Haunted by the mysterious abandonment of her mother, she found it was easier to live in the shadows of someone elses expectations.  From the strict authority of her  grandmother, the unwillingly guardian to Jade and her brother, to a controlling fiance who she can’t seem to please, denying her feelings has been a necessary coping mechanism. Reality has suddenly come crashing in under the strain of denying her own dreams for so long, and for once, Jade is ready to live life by her own rules.

It’s time for a fresh start. Turning away from the disappointment of her past, Jade ditches her shady fiance and packs her bags for New York City. With help from her aunt, she looks forward to her new future, her fabulous apartment in the city, a new job, and new experiences. Two fated encounters complicate her world when they both lead to unexpected and powerful emotions. She struggles with her desire to embrace these new feelings, and her habit of denying what she truly wants. In this not so classic love triangle, with a hint of mystery, Jade learns the hard way that sometimes intentions can mean everything and nothing at all, and no matter how far you run from the past, it’s never too far behind.

Will she find love or will she leave a trail of jaded hearts? Love, secrets, and lies are all on the menu.

I gave authors several options, and Olivia chose the question and answer format.

Q: Olivia, tell us about your characters and their careers.

First there is Jade. A year after graduating from college with a Communications degree, Jade finds herself between jobs. She wasn’t happy with the cutthroat atmosphere of the magazine she was writing for and quit. This doesn’t sit too well with her fiance, and she winds up taking an offer from her aunt to work as an image consultant for a PR company in New York.

Not knowing what to expect, she finds that her client list is eclectic ranging from very successful businessmen to  musicians who are just starting out. She is pleasantly surprised by the level of freedom she has over her business affairs, since her company is client focused. Her office is great; her assistant is awesome; and her paycheck is substantial.

Then comes John. John is a young successful lawyer, who is very focused on moving his career forward. He isn’t one to pass up an opportunity and or above working after hours and on weekends.

Last but not least, Julian enters the picture. Julian is a young business owner with two popular nightclubs and various other ventures. His father is a well known businessman with questionable connections who relocated to Cuba years prior to the start of Julian’s career. Even though he has only used help from his mother, everyone assumes that it’s his father’s connections that got him to where he is now.

One of his ventures is helping to manage his mother’s boutique with Jade’s cousin Jackie. Even though Jade is new to the New York scene, her aunt and Julian’s mother have a history that she will soon learn has affected her life in a huge way.

Q: Are your characters settled in their careers, or still restless?

Both of the men are doing exactly what they love. Jade is still trying to find her way.

Q: Is this an office romance? Why or why not?

Sort of. Well this story is sort of a love triangle, but Jade meets John, who is a lawyer for one of her more successful clients. They meet during an introduction to one of her international clients, Hector Delgado. He is trying to expand his brand by selling tequila, and Jade is helping to create his image in the US. They also develop a working friendship and partner up on a few more clients together. Eventually they become more than friends.

Jade is working with Julian to help promote the boutique that his mother own’s and her cousin runs. They are introduced during a launch party for the boutique at one of Julian’s nightclubs. Their chemistry is explosive and hard to deny. Even though this scares Jade, she finds that she can’t stay away. When Julian has to leave the country without an explanation, Jade takes it hard. This makes it difficult for her to focus on her work until she is confronted by Edward, Julian’s uncle.

Q: What was the most difficult part about incorporating a career theme in this novel?

Trying to make it seem realistic. With most of the character’s under the age of thirt

Author Olivia Linden

Author Olivia Linden

y, I had to find vocations that I could intertwine, and that would also have a certain level of success. No one is rich, but no one is struggling to get by. I wanted a balance between work and personal success.

Q: Did you use any personal experiences when building this career theme?

Not at all! I have never really mixed business and pleasure and made sure to write about subjects that had nothing to do with my own experiences!


My nerves surged as I sat poring over my client’s background to make sure I would be well informed on his business, and my aunt walked in with the two men.

Hector Delgado was tall, with a head full of salt and pepper hair that framed his face. His dark serious eyes assessed me and the tight reserve of his jaw loosened up.  I was glad I decided on a taupe colored dress suit that had a short bolero styled jacket. He uttered a phrase in Spanish to the man my aunt introduced as his lawyer. John Benson was an equally tall gentleman at about 6’2 with short brown hair highlighted with golden flecks; a nice tan gave him a golden beige complexion and warm hazel eyes that looked like I was staring into my own.   He reminded me of a mix between David Beckham and Clark Kent. I smiled expectantly waiting for him to translate for his client who was now also smiling at me.

 “Mr. Delgado is thankful that you are easy on the eyes Ms. Spencer.” He said.

 I blushed as everyone laughed at his observation.

The meeting which should have been relatively brief lasted almost two hours. It seemed as if my client wanted to ensure that I fully understood his vision for expanding his empire, and the translation lag did help to extend our encounter. I was impressed not only with Mr. Benson’s fluent Spanish, but also his patience with all of his client’s questions and mine as well. I wanted to be certain of my responsibilities and the expectations of my customer.  John had a laid back demeanor that made me feel at ease.  After we wrapped up our session John handed me his card.

“It was a pleasure meeting you Miss Spencer. I have a few clients who have expressed interest in your company. I would like to set up a meeting to discuss the prospects. Also it never hurts to have a lawyer on hand when you are new in town.” I took his card and we shook hands.

“Please, call me Jade. I would never turn down a prospective client so I will have Donna set something up with your office,” I said.

He shot me an all American smile. Very Nice.

“OK, Jade. I look forward to it,” he beamed.

I exchanged universal goodbyes with Mr. Delgado as they walked out. My aunt turned back to me with a look of sheer pride and a high-five.

“I knew you would be perfect for this. I also told you that handsome available men come a dime a dozen,” she bragged.

I met her cliché with a confused glare.

“OK….price of tea in China, please?” I joked.

Both she and Donna laughed out loud.

“Just keep your eyes and your options open Jade,” was her reply.

Buy Links and Contact Information:


Barnes & Noble:

Olivia Linden on Facebook

Follow me on twitter: @mslissa2u


Olivia, thank you for stopping by. What a love triangle! Both guys sound like great catches. I’m sure Olivia would love your comments below.

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Kerri Cuevas

Deadly Kisses, by Kerri Cuevas

Let’s welcome Kerri Cuevas, author of Deadly Kisses.  Kerri is letting her characters do the talking, so we will hear from her main character, Aiden Grant. The grim reaper is calling!

Deadly Kisses Cover

Aiden Grant, here. I was invited by the awesome Lily Bishop, to tell you about my day job as a Grim Reaper. I have to admit that being a Grim Reaper is not all that it’s cracked up to be, but someone has to safely transport souls and get them to their destination. I often think about what would happen if I ascended to Heaven, but it won’t happen because I hold too much regret. And, hey, I became really good at quickly helping souls cross over!

The worst part of my job is that my next assignment is to reap Bee, the girl I’ve been head-over-heels for since I was a scraggly-looking kid. Seeing her again is best thing that has happened to me since I died, but my heart breaks that she will be snuffed out from the world. I almost forgot what a head-strong, smart, and hot girl she is. Just look at the cover of my book if you don’t believe the hot part.

Hey, did you hear that voice? I sometimes hear it when the pages of my story are opened. She calls herself Kerri Cuevas and she’s the author. Right now she’s mumbling how my story isn’t an office romance, but it might become one in book two, Deadly Darkness (WiDo Publishing, 2014). Are you intrigued? I know I am! Thanks for taking an interest in my job, but for your sake, I hope we won’t meet for a good long while.

About the Author:

Kerry Cuevas AuthorKerri Cuevas was born and raised in Rhode Island. She moved to New Hampshire with her husband, three kids, cats and a rabbit named Hercules in 2005. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing chickens on her small farm or searching for the ultimate mac-a-cheese recipe.

Kerri went to college for Early Childhood Education but now writes books for young adults full-time. Her storytelling stems from watching too many horror flicks as a teen, but she no longer needs to sleep with the lights on.

Links to her books:

As a special treat, Kerri is offering Deadly Kisses free on Amazon during the week of the blogger book fair. Her buy links are below:

Link to Amazon: (free)

Link to Barnes and Noble:

Celery Tree

Kerri’s Contact Information:

Kerri’s Blog

Kerri’s Website


Book Trailer

Twitter @ KerriCuev



Kerri, thank you for stopping by.  Aiden sounds like a great take on the Grim Reaper. I’m sure Kerri would love your comments below.

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Blogger Book Fair Characters and their Careers: Sara Jay

Hard as a Rock, by Sara Jay

Let’s welcome Sara Jay. Sara’s book, Hard as a Rock, is available from Changeling Press.

Here is the blurb from Amazon:

Canna is caught between a rock and a hard place. And she loves it!

Canna, an impish, flirty fairy, loves to service just about any client who enters the Pleasure Club, a futuristic sex club. But although the clientele is satisfied, Canna aches for the impossible. A sexy, larger-than-life gargoyle statue that happens to be a simple decor item… or is it?

Basalt has spent centuries wanting Canna all to himself. Though her nightly visits train her to be his perfect lover, will she still want him when she finds out who he really is?

SJ_HardAsRock_smallSara, tell us about your characters’ careers.

Being a faery makes your job outlook pretty wide open. Canna’s experience ranges from giving an extra set of hands to a gentleman in need to adding her assets to a group as needed. She’s always coming and going, helping male patrons rise to the occasion and female guests become regular customers. The owner of the establishment is a jerk, but Canna pretty much works for herself. He’d love to make her work for him and has all kinds of schemes to trap her into it, but she just won’t have it.

Basalt, on the other hand, doesn’t say much while he’s on sentry duty. Even though he doesn’t do much at the moment, it’s far from boring with Canna around. His stoic, stony form is akin to a member of the Queen’s Guard, which is fitting since his experience is serving people in power. The last employer he had gave him a pretty bad recommendation. After all, he did refuse to do his job after thousands of years of doing it, so now he’s pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place. Or perhaps he is both the rock and the hard place. You never know with gargoyles.

While Canna quite enjoys her job, her life just isn’t complete without a partner—and Basalt could certainly use a career change. Although this office is no traditional cubicle setting, these two definitely met on the job—or, at least, one of their jobs. Canna just doesn’t remember it.

A brief excerpt:

Her obsidian god stared back at her.

She shrank back down to human size and sighed.

The creature wasn’t real, of course. In fact, its purpose was mainly aesthetic. Few people climbed onto the fierce gargoyle guarding the doorway into the rest of the club. Canna certainly didn’t mind; it made him all the more her property.

Seven feet of black volcanic rock loomed over patrons’ heads. His mouth pulled back in a menacing growl, only partly open. Long black hair draped down his back as shiny and lifelike as any centaur’s. His half-extended wings nearly touched the floor. They flanked a trunk bulging with muscle and strength, scarred with streaks that must have been from being moved around over the years. Had he been a real gargoyle, the sculpture would undoubtedly lead his pride as an alpha.

She called him Goliath, like the giant brought down by a rock as solid as he was.

Hard As a Rock is available from Changeling Press.

Sara Jay’s Blog:

Sara’s Amazon Page:


Sara, thank you for stopping by and telling us about these unusual careers. This definitely isn’t your typical romance, but I have a feeling this magical world will draw readers in.

Sara Jay would love your comments below. Remember, by commenting you can enter into the drawing for one Amazon $10 gift card that I will give away at the end of the week. Maximum of one entry per day per reader. If you don’t want to comment on this entry, you can also can submit the feedback form asking you how you find books to purchase. The link to the feedback form is:

Follow our other career posts in this series: Here is the schedule.

Blogger Book Fair Amazon Giveaway: July 22-26, 2013

Remember, to support the Blogger Book Fair July 22-26, 2013, I am giving away a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card to one person who completes the feedback form below or engages with the authors by leaving a comment on the blog this week. A valid email address is required to enter. If the email address that you enter bounces back as invalid, you will be disqualified and I will draw again. Readers can enter a maximum of one time per day, regardless of the number of comments. Email addresses will not be used for any other purpose and will not subscribe you to this blog. I will notify the winner by August 1, 2013. I must hear back from you to claim the prize by August 15, 2013.