Writer Wednesday – Meet Author Icy Snow Blackstone

Been slammed editing and trying to get this book done, so it’s been a while since I’ve hosted any writers on Writer Wednesday. Today I’m featuring Icy Snow Blackstone, talking about her new book Tuesday’s Child.


 

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What would you do if, after twenty years, your father suddenly declared he wasn’t your father and wanted you to stop using his name?

That’s the problem facing Grace McAllister in Tuesday’s Child.  Grace hasn’t seen her father since the night she and her mother left Temple, Georgia when she was five-years-old. Now, with his death, Benjamin Troup McAllister performs his final act of cruelty by denying his paternity.

Grace’s first thought is to return to her California home and put it all behind her, but Mayfield Donovan, a childhood bully suddenly turned ardent suitor, convinces her to try to discover her real father’s identity. When Grace agrees, she doesn’t realize their search will put another friend in deadly danger and also open up a very unpleasant can of worms for both her and May.

Back in the 1990’s, I wrote a novel titled Jericho Road which was set in the Vietnam era.  In Tuesday’s Child, I return to he same town, for another look after forty years.  One of the characters from Jericho Road is still around and he makes a small but very important appearance in this story also.

What May and Grace discover in their investigations will come as a shock and it’s going to take some determination and extreme soul-searching on each’s part for them as they face the truth of what they’ve found…

Let’s take a look at the trailer…

 

BLURB:

Grace McAllister has neither seen nor heard from her father since her mother left him twenty years before.  Now, Benjamin Troup McAllister is dead and Grace is invited to return to Temple, Georgia, for the reading of his will.  She’s in for more than the culture shock of a small Southern town, however, for not only does she inherit nothing, but her father’s will also denies his paternity. Enlisting childhood friend Mayfield Donovan, Grace attempts to find her real father.  As they sift through the facts of her mother’s life and the men who loved her, they uncover a tale of revenge, deception, and murder, and discover a truth neither wants to believe or accept…

 

EXCERPT:

“Since everyone’s present,” Jefferson Simmons smiled at us as if we were at a church picnic instead of a will reading.  “We may as well get started.”

There was a loud sigh from somewhere.  I couldn’t tell which of the eager heirs it came from…Ben…Sammi…Abigail?  I’d been introduced to each but it was a brief and tentative thing.  We’d all gone straight to the library to wait the lawyer’s arrival and sat there, not speaking.

He’d been punctual, coming through the door just as the clock in the foyer began striking nine.  There were shakings of hands with Ben, a gentle pat on Abigail’s shoulder, a hug for Sammi, and another for me.  Then he sat at the huge mahogany desk dominating the room, made his announcement and pulled a manila envelope out of his valise.  While he made a big show of placing it on the desk and breaking the seals, holding it up and saying, “Please verify that this hasn’t been opened as per Benjamin Troup’s instructions.” I leaned my chin against my hand and let my gaze rove idly around the room.

This was a genuine library, just like they showed in the movies…books on four walls, the only break in the monotony of the shelves being the door entering from the foyer, and two large windows on the outer walls.  There was a large, ornate light fixture overhead that missed being called a chandelier by just a fraction, and little tables with reading lamps placed strategically.  Most the chairs had been drawn up to the desk.  They were big and comfy and it made for a crowded arrangement.  I tried to imagine myself as a child curling up with a storybook in one of those chairs.  It didn’t work.  The volumes on the shelves were too thick.  None of them looked as if they’d hold any interest for a kindergartner.

A large fireplace intruded on one inner wall, and above it was a portrait.  Sammi had whispered to me, “That’s Daddy,” when we came in, and all I could think that if any man looked less like one wanting to be called Daddy, it was the subject of that painting.  She’d also said it was done a couple of years after Mama and I left, so perhaps that was why there was such an aura of anger and pent-up emotion in the painted face.  Benjamin Troup McAllister was handsome—don’t get me wrong about that—but he looked belligerent…forceful…a man who wanted things his way, and perhaps was cruel when he didn’t get them.  Maybe that’s why he looked as he did, because something had happened that he couldn’t prevent…his wife had walked out, never to return.  And the artist had captured what he thought he’d kept well-hidden.  The painting was a three-quarter, showing him sitting in a chair, possibly the high-backed one behind the desk.  It looked like a throne and he was the king occupying it…tall, blue-eyed, dark-haired, and furious that his queen had abandoned him.

“I, Benjamin Troup McAllister, Junior…”  Mr. Simmons’ words broke into my thoughts.  Funny, I’d never thought of my father as being named after someone.  Perhaps that’s why everyone used his full name, to differentiate from his own father.  “…being of sound mind, do this day set forth in this last will and testament, the distribution of my monies and properties and also certain admonitions to be put into effect after my death…”

God, that sounds ominous!  I hoped he hadn’t put in some weird stipulation like I had to live at McAllister Place for a year and a day to get what he’d left me.

“…to my beloved wife, Abigail Marsh McAllister, I give permission to continue to live in the domicile called McAllister Place…”

Now that’s generous.  Would she be kicked out with just the clothes on her back if he hadn’t written that?  I glanced at Abigail.  She was a small woman, and slender, face what another era would’ve described as piquant with a slightly tip-tilted nose.  Blonde, blue-eyed, slender…with a shock, I realized she reminded me of my own mother.  So, dear ol’ Dad was a repeat offender, marrying a second woman who reminded him of the one who got away?  I hoped he hadn’t made her pay for what Mama did.

Clearing his throat, Mr. Simmons look back at the papers in his hand.  “To my son, Benjamin Troup, III…”

Ben perked up as he heard his name.  He’d been sitting there fidgeting, obviously not wanting to be here, and just as obviously wanting to leave.  Perhaps that was the reason for his haste and rudeness before.  I wouldn’t be surprised if as soon as his portion was finished, he jumped up and ran out.  Abigail reached over and placed a hand over his, patting it.  That made him look at her, return the pat, and the impatient movements subside.  For about two seconds.

“…I leave an allowance of $20,000 a year, and the admonition that he spend it wisely, for there are to be no advances.  The estate will also continue to pay the insurance on the Corvette he now drives, though the title is to stay in my wife’s name with the stipulation that use of it be taken away permanently if he get any citation for a traffic violation more serious than a parking ticket…”

“… I also am providing enough funds to pay his tuition to Mercer University and the Walter F. George School of Law, including matriculation fees, books, dormitory charges, and meals, plus he is to pledge to Kappa Alpha fraternity…”

Ben’s face darkened at that, lips saddening compressing.  So Ben Three wasn’t really wild about an extended university stay?  Becoming an attorney?  Or the frat?

“…providing he maintains at least an A- average in all subjects.  At the end of any quarter in which he has any grade lower than that, funds will be terminated immediately.”

Ben stiffened.  He started to get up.  Abigail’s hand on his kept him in his chair.  He sat there in frustrated silence, pinned by that deceptively small grip on his fingers while he was further told that he was being given 24 per cent of the remaining shares in all companies.

That did it.  He was on his feet, wrenching his hand from Abigail’s before Simmons could finish.

“That’s bullshit!  Twenty-four per cent?  Does that mean Sammi gets more than I do?  What the fuck, Jeff!  Hell, I’m his only son.  I should be the one getting the larger share!”

“Benjie…”  Abigail reached up, catching at his arm.  He shook her off.

“No, Mom.  I’m sick of this.  He ran my life while he was alive and now he’s trying to run it from the grave!  I don’t want to go to Mercer, I don’t want to be a KA, and I damn sure don’t want to be a lawyer!”  He was around the chair, pausing at the door to look back.  “I’m contesting it, Mr. Simmons.  I’m getting my own attorney and fighting that damned thing!’

Then he was gone.  Footsteps clattered, doors slammed, a car engine roared into life and wheels screamed.  Then silence prevailed, shocking and embarrassed.  Abigail said, quietly, “He’s upset.  Can anyone blame him?  Please, Jefferson, hurry on and let’s get the rest over with.”

Sammi was next on the list.  Samantha.  A sweet kid, from the brief conversation I’d had with her.  Sixteen, a feminine version of her brother. “To my daughter, Samantha…”  She sat up straighter as the lawyer spoke her name, biting her lip and looking anxious.

I looked around.  No one left except moi.  Oh Lord, after seeing how he treated the two children who’d lived with him, what was in that document for me?

“And last, but not least, there is the matter of Grace Stephanie McAllister…”

The matter of…?  I tensed, turning my attention to the man behind the desk.  He had stopped, was rapidly scanning the rest of the document and scowling.  He looked up, met my eyes, and looked away.  “I…  Grace… I’m not certain I should read this aloud.  Perhaps you could stop by my office?  And we can—”

“Nothing doing,” I said, realizing I sounded like Ben.  “Do it here and now, Mr. Simmons, and let’s get it over with.”

“Very well.”  He didn’t look too happy about that.  “But first, let me say I had no idea what this will contained.”  With that he cleared his throat once again, more out of nervousness this time,  “…the matter of Grace Stephanie McAllister…” hesitated an instant, then continued.  “If you are present at this reading, as I imagine you will be, out of curiosity, if nothing else…”

You got that pegged right, Daddy.

“…I leave you… Nothing.”

What? I visibly jerked.  Nothing?  I came all this way for nothing?  Abigail’s head came up.  She looked shocked.  Sammi was staring from the lawyer to me.

“Though my name is on your birth certificate, you are not my daughter…” Mr. Simmons plowed on, not looking anywhere except at the will now.  “This fact was confessed to me by my first wife, Miriam Baker McAllister the night she left my home forever.  Your mother was pregnant when I married her, though I was unaware of that fact at the time.  I was led to believe your birth was a premature one.  From the moment I learned this until now, I have paid not one cent toward your upbringing and don’t intend for you to ever get a penny of my estate.  Let this document be my official acknowledgement of Miriam’s duplicity and her daughter’s illegitimacy.  I also wish you, Grace McAllister, to no longer use my name.  Funds have been set aside for you to legally have it changed to your mother’s maiden name.  I suggest you do this immediately.”  There was a slight pause, then he read the last words in a hasty mumble.  “So signed and sealed this day and in the presence of these witnesses, Benjamin Troup McAllister, Junior, August 2, 2011.”

The silence after that last word trailed away was, to use a familiar cliché, thunderous.  My ears seemed to ring.  I could feel my face getting hot, then cold, and my vision clouding.  I wondered if I was about to faint.  I didn’t feel as if I could move.  All I could do was sit there, thoughts whirling around and colliding against each other in my head.  He wasn’t my father…but she said I looked like him…she admitted it…pregnant before they married…Did that mean my mother slept around?  Or had it been one of those accidents and my real father wouldn’t marry her and Benjamin Troup was there and handy and wanted to…  I…oh God…  And now everyone knows

 

Tuesday’s Child is available from Class Act Books.

Link: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/romance/tuesday-s-child-pdf-detail?Itemid=0

 

Icy Snow Blackstone is the pseudonym of Toni V. Sweeney. She is also the author of Jericho Road, Bargain with Lucifer, Brother Devil, and Gypsy Charm, romances all set in the South. Her paranormal romance The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover will also be released by Class Act Books later this year.

 


I love Toni/Icy Snow’s voice, and I can’t wait to check this one out.

I’m still working towards giving away that Starbucks giftcard to one lucky subscriber to my monthly newsletter.  No more than one email a month, and for every ten subscribers, I’m having a drawing for a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. Make sure you subscribe today. Click here

 

Free Flick Friday – Sons of Dragons by Andrea R. Cooper

I had someoCooper-SonsofDragonsne cancel who was supposed to appear today, so I’m moving Andrea up from next week to continue my video posts.  Welcome, Andrea!

Andrea R. Cooper grew-up creating characters and never stopped. She lives in Texas, and when not writing stories, she likes to dance when no one is watching. 

Here’s a little teaser about Andrea’s book, Sons of Dragons:

Mirhana has given up on love, but then it comes to her in the form a prince. Will she acquiesce?

 

I hope you enjoyed this trailer. Now rush out and give Sons of Dragons a chance…

You can connect with Andrea here…
Author Website:www.AndreaRCooper.com

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

Tomorrow I have a special treat for you — we’ll be celebrating the book anniversary of No Strings Attached by showing off the cover for the sequel.  I also have a special prize. Details to come tomorrow!

Free Flick Friday – Free Falling by Raven St. Pierre

Continuing my Friday showcase of video book trailers, today we have Raven St. Pierre. She’s a newly published Interracial Romance author, best known for her Free Falling series, a New Adult saga featuring an African-American female lead and Japanese-American hero.  Raven has a host of stories published and awaiting release that she intends to share with readers who thrive on high-drama, messy love triangles, and emotionally jarring plotlines.  When Raven isn’t weaving her next tangled web of love, lust, and lies, her husband and three children keep her plenty busy….when she isn’t gaming, that is.

Now, here’s Raven’s video:

 

Cover_Free Falling_Book 3_ExposedFree Falling is the third book in the series

They’re back. They’re grown. It’s on… Five years have passed since the tragedy that changed Samantha Kelley’s life forever,
causing her to make the difficult decision to walk away from the man she once thought to be her soul mate. Looking back, there were a few regrets, but she still believes in her heart that fleeing to New York was the right move….or does she? For the most part, she’s settled and content, but there’s a question still brewing in the back of her mind – Will her current relationship ever measure up to the passion that she experienced with AJ?

When Sam walked away, AJ found himself spiraling uncontrollably through every emotion possible – grief, anger, and depression, to name a few. It took almost two years for him to fully get over the idea of her leaving him behind without so much as an address where she could be reached. But he didn’t get through the darkest time of his life without a little help from someone who seemed to just appear out of nowhere – a woman who now has dibs on his heart. It was simple for the pair to pretend like old feelings had faded into the abyss while they were hundreds of miles apart, but what will happen when Sam and AJ meet up again for the first time in years? Will resentment forever keep ‘what could’ve been’ just at arm’s length? Will it be love at first sight like they experienced in the past? Or will they fight against the insatiable pull that they have always had toward one another, choosing to keep their current relationships intact instead?

I hope you enjoyed this little journey into the world of Raven’s characters. The release date for Free Falling is June 1st.  Until then, you can find Raven at http://youaresowrite.wordpress.com/

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

Free Flick Friday – Passion’s Sacred Dance by Juli D. Revezzo

Continuing my Friday showcase of video book trailers, today we have Juli D. Revezzo visiting. Juli is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She is author of The Antique Magic series, the recently released her debut paranormal romance novel, Passion’s Sacred Dance, and is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Without further adieu, here is her video:

 

 

PassionsSacredDance_w6021_300

And now, a little bit about Passion’s Sacred Dance:

Unless Stacy Macken can stave off her creditors, she may lose her historic art gallery–a loss she can’t afford for, she suspects, more reason than one. Then Aaron Fielding appears, claiming to be a Tuatha dé Danaan warrior dedicated to protecting humanity from demonic monsters and that her land is their sacred battlefield. Confirming everything she feared. Stacy and Aaron must work together to ensure mankind survives, but their mutual attraction only complicates things.

 

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Passions-Sacred-Dance-Harshad-Wars-ebook/dp/B00E4WOBWI

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-passion039ssacreddance-1351775-143.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/passions-sacred-dance-juli-d-revezzo/1117518183?ean=2940148871422

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/passions-sacred-dance

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/passions-sacred-dance/id733605817?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/passion-s-sacred-dance

And my web links:

Homepage: http://julidrevezzo.com

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

Twitter: @julidrevezzo

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

Free Flick Friday – Scents and Sensuality by Joan Reeves

Despite my best efforts, I didn’t get another blog done this week, but here I am for the second week in a row with Free Flick Friday. I’m hoping to continue to share book trailer love, so here is another. Welcome Joan Reeves and her book Scents and Sensuality.

SCENTS and SENSUALITY

 Amanda Whitfield is desperate for a man. She’ll do anything — well, almost anything — to get a date for her snooty cousin’s wedding. When a matchmaking mama proposes her son for the wedding date, Amanda agrees. After all, what choice does she have? Men aren’t exactly falling at her feet and beseeching her for the pleasure of her company.

Harrison Kincaid has had it with his mom’s matchmaking. Desperate to put an end to her meddling, he decides to teach her a lesson as well as get out of the date she’s “guilted” him into accepting.

Two desperate people, each determined to achieve their goals. Desperation makes for interesting bedfellows. Lies, seduction, and hot passion. Is it Love or just Lust? Will the truth set them free or rip them apart?

Amazon Link: www.amzn.com/B00BTIDUHW/

Now, without further adieu, here’s the promised trailer:

I love it!  It really shows the potential conflict between these two characters.  Sexy!!

Since Joan has a wealth of experience with videos, she took some time out of her busy day to give us some tips. Take it away Joan:

 

5 Quick Video Tips

Thanks, Lily, for having me here today. Here are 5 Quick Video Tips that will make it easier to create a video whether that’s one of your vacation or a business video or a book trailer.

1. Select your theme, or premise, or message you want the video to put across. Write it down so you keep your focus on the message you’re trying to convey. For a book, this might be a logline or a couple of sentences that sum up what the book is about. For a vacation, this might be the scope of the vacation–start to finish or the 1 week spent at a resort.

2. Select your art work. If you’re working with photographs, lay them out before you scan them. If art is in your computer, sketch a storyboard with squares to represent the art work and tag each rectangle, i.e., Bryan building sand castle or first kiss scene. Use a square for each photo you want to include so you can estimate the size of the video.

3. Match text, i.e., a caption, for each photo or a text block inserted between photographs. (You’ll see what I mean if you watch my videos.)

4. Music sets the tone. Hollywood has sound editors, and so do videos–you. Select the music you want playing in the background. If it’s a book trailer for a dark vampire romance, then you want moody, dramatic music. If it’s a romantic comedy, you want something lighthearted that invites the listener to smile. If it’s urban young adult, then you want something that makes one think of urban young adult, not a twangy country music soundtrack.

5. Time is crucially important. In a video for commercial purposes, like a book trailer or a product showcase, short is not better, but best. Try to make your video between 30-60 seconds long. If the video is personal, then time isn’t really a problem. It can be as long as you want IF it’s entertaining and holds the audience’s attention.

Let me know if these tips help you. I can be found online at my blog: http://SlingWords.blogspot.com / my website: http://www.JoanReeves.com / Twitter @JoanReeves / and my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/JoanReevesAuthor. Watch my other videos http://preview.tinyurl.com/Joan-Reeves-Video. I’ll be publishing new videos every month, including writing instruction and humor pieces aimed at authors, so SUBSCRIBE so you won’t miss any of them.

Leave a comment with your email on my post here and tell me which of my videos you like best, and you’ll be entered to win a 60 second video created and produced by Joan Reeves Productions! Contest open until May 8. Winner will be emailed directly and announced here in the comments on my blog post.


 

Wow, Joan is being really generous. So that your email isn’t spammed like crazy by those Internet bots we all hate, you don’t have to put your email in the actual comment, but include it when you submit the comment and I will be able to see it in the background and forward it to Joan. Good luck!  Also go check out Joan’s website and blog. She has some great tips.

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here.

Free Flick Friday – Book Trailer for Depth of Desire by Jill Blair

Depth of DesireI’m featuring book trailers on my blog on Fridays, and up first is Jill Blair, with her book trailer for Depth of Desire.

Sarah Templeton finds adventure and romance when she visits her brother’s best friend’s dive resort on the tropical island of Cozumel.

Gentle warning: I love this video, but it’s got some spice to it. It may be a bit heavier than PG-13 if you know what I mean.

Check it out here: bit.ly/15oklOS

Like what you see? Then give it a thumbs up on YouTube and leave a comment. Share the love!!!

View the book on Bookstrand: http://bit.ly/1597pNp

View the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/18gSFSZ

 

Other books by Jill Blair:

The Thirty Day Gamble, BookStrand Publishing, December 2012
The Depth of Desire, BookStrand Publishing, August 2013
Early Surrender, BookStrand Publishing, September 2013
Find and follow Jill Blair at:

Twitter @BlairRomance
www.Facebook.com/BlairRomance
www.Amazon.com/Author/JillBlair

Thanks for stopping by. Show us some comment love in the comments.

Share on Twitter: Visit @BlairRomance and her #booktrailer at bit.ly/15oklOS #steamyromance #romance via @BishopLily

___________________

In the mood to watch book trailers? Check mine out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDZjY5l_Ym8.

If you are interested in being featured on Free Flick Friday, use the Contact Lily information above and send me a line. Happy writing!!!

What to Watch Wednesday – Book Trailers

I’m marking the release of my new book trailer today. This trailer is the work of DeLayne Roberts, a writer friend of mine.

You can find my trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDZjY5l_Ym8

I’m not sure what impact book trailers have, but it can’t hurt to have another method of promotion at my disposal.

Here’s an opportunity for cross promotion:  Post a link to your video in the comments and promote this post. Let’s see how many likes we can get!!