Monday, April 21, 2014

Sizzling PR Presents An Affair in Athens

Title: Affair in Athens
Author: Matina Nicholas
Genre: Literary Fiction
Release Date: April 1, 2013

Fulfilling her mother’s dying wish to discover her roots, Athena Vallas journeys to Greece and finds more than history as she reunites with a part of her family she didn’t know existed. While documenting her grandfather’s heroic role as a Greek Orthodox priest in Plaka, sheltering Jews during the Resistancein WWII, Athena meets Luke, a dangerously charismatic man who sees her as the ideal wife. Drawn into an extravagant lifestyle, her attraction to Luke is intense until she discovers that he plays a high stakes game of illegal pursuits. When she attempts to distance herself, Luke refuses to relinquish his plans. Ruthlessly, he keeps his eye on the prize—Athena—who won’t compromise love for wealth or fidelity for lifestyle. Affair in Athens includes a set of authentic Greek recipes at the back of the book, passed down through Matina’s family. Read, eat, and enjoy!

The old priest’s Byzantine chant, the heady smokiness of burning incense, the power of icons hundreds of years old staring down on her intoxicated her senses. She looked about the ancient Greek Orthodox church tucked under the Parthenon with a deep sense of awe and respect. This was where her grandfather had been priest for fifty years, where her mother had been christened and prayed and left behind so long ago. There were no pews, no chairs in this church. After all, “orthodox” meant upright. Dozens of candles in ornate brass candelabras flickered and cast mysterious shadows.

Athena’s eyes brimmed with tears. The altar swam before her. She was overwhelmed with a sense of coming home, of belonging. She knelt, covering her face with her hands, remembering her mother’s last days. Filled with love for her daughter, Amalia grieved that she would not live to see Athena married or have children. How could any daughter deny her mother’s last wish? Athena had promised to visit the tiny church in Plaka, learn of her Greek roots and her grandfather’s role in sheltering Jews during the Resistance.

Tears slipped through her fingers and dropped to the stone floor, the same stones where her grandparents had stood when they married, baptized their children, where their coffins had rested before they were buried. This was where her grandfather and his parishioners heroically stood when the Nazis trained their machine guns on them—Father Peter, in his black robes, face and arms raised in prayer, radiating strength and courage to his parishioners as they stood facing him. They had done God’s will by hiding and smuggling the Salonika Jews out of Athens into the remote countryside.  “Pater Ev-lo-i-son Emas. Father bless us,” they chanted, their voices abruptly silenced by the sharp, staccato bursts of the machine guns.

“My daughter.” Athena felt strong hands on her shoulders. She raised her tear-stained face to see an old priest in the customary black robes, looking down at her. His bright blue eyes peered over his wire spectacles, his face creased in concern. “I am Father Nicholas. My child, how can I help you?” His English was quite good.

Buy It:

Authors Bio:
With a background in English and Education, and a dedication to transmit her love of writing to her students, Matina Nicholas taught writing and literature at university and high school levels. She has been published in educational texts, professional periodicals, and journals. Currently, she writes for the Condo News under the name Tina Chippas. Her writing pieces can be read at under Commentary and Essays.

A confirmed dog-lover, Matina is involved with her two dogs, Chelsea, a geriatric-but-far-from-over-the-hill toy red poodle and Lukie, a spunky, stubby Miniature Pinscher. Their eagerness for adventure and fine canine dining is the source for some of her essays for the Condo News.

This is her first novel.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Entangled Ignite present Her Desert Treasure and Risk of A Lifetime!

                       Risk your heart with these new titles from Entangled Ignite…

Her Desert Treasure
By Larie Brannick

Tagline: Can their love save her life?

Synopsis: Inheriting her grandfather’s ranch is the perfect opportunity for Meg Reynolds to begin again. The land is her only chance to hold on to the last bit of family she had. But Jake Matthews has other plans. Despite the heat blazing between them, he’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. When someone threatens Meg and seems willing to kill her for her land, Meg doesn’t know who she can trust. And when she’s kidnapped, Jake wonders if he’ll ever be able to let her know he cares more for her than the land that stands between them…

Author Bio: Larie is a Colorado girl, born and bred. She and her husband live in a small mountain town where they are settling into life as empty-nesters. When she isn’t writing, reading or thinking about romance, she works for two busy orthopaedic surgeons.

Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble Entangled

Entangled Ignite:
Twitter: @EntangledSus  Steals and Deals

Risk of a Lifetime
by: Claudia Shelton

Tagline: Can she survive his past?
Synopsis: Three years ago, Marcy Bradley let the man she loved go so he could follow his career dream of being an FBI agent. She sent divorce papers. He signed. She never filed them.

With a killer after them, Marcy and JB run for their lives, escaping to a lakeside cabin. Their love is rekindled, and JB realizes they’re still married, but will there be time for their passion amidst the explosions and gunshots?

Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble Entangled

Author Bio: Award-winning author Claudia Shelton thought she wrote mainstream when she began writing, but before long, someone told her she sounded more like romance. Then those pesky alpha heroes and the women strong enough to love them, started running through her mind insisting she write their own happily-ever-after. Since then, she's focused on HEA with a splash of suspense or intrigue, becoming a two-time finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) awards for excellence in mystery and suspense. During her downtime from writing, you'll find her sipping a cup of cocoa in winter's chill or enjoying a drink by the water in summer's heat--either way, she's always enjoying life. Her novel RISK OF A LIFETIME releases April 2014.

Giveaway Info: $25 Amazon GC from Claudia Shelton
$25 Giftcard from Larie Brannick

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How one writer manages life, writing, and EPILEPSY

Article – The Epileptic Author.

I have been pondering this for a few days now, how and where to start. I guess the best place would be that without the Epilepsy I probably wouldn’t have perused becoming an author. I most likely would have got a nine to five and stayed there so in a way it has its advantages. I tried doing nine to fives but would become rapidly ill so it became clear that I couldn’t do ‘normal’ work; whatever that is. But I wasn’t built to do nothing.... So I decided rather than let myself go stir crazy and become depressed with the ‘nothingness’ I would use the time I was ok to work on my writing then one day the book was nearly done so I contacted a publisher who took me on. Sadly my condition managed to take hold of that but didn’t stop me; I knew I couldn’t fulfil my contract and it was unfair on them and me to keep trying so we decided I would go independent. Now I take it day by day and it seems to be working... I can’t say it is easy but nothing in life worth going for is.

I am lucky to have an incredible support network of friends and family some of whom are in the industry. It takes the edge off the bad days when I’ve had a handful of seizures but still have another four hours of work to do or I’m working from bed because I’ve had a really bad turn. I learnt a while ago that life doesn’t wait for you so you can’t feel sorry for yourself. Yes I have a condition and yes at times it can be pretty nasty but because of that I am building towards a career that some only dream about, I have a wonderful family and really I am fortunate. My health was a tough break but you have to run with the cards you are dealt.

I don’t publicise this a lot as I would rather people appreciate my work but I am not ashamed of it; it’s been a part of my for as long as I can remember and it will be for as long as I am alive. In fact the cause is a cyst on my brain which is right where the ‘logical thinking’ should be; the event which caused the damage happened before I was born which means my body was still growing so I use a different part of my brain. I have a theory, I am awful at spelling, still learning maths (which when you do your own accounting can be a hiccup) but I can sit a write for hours; hum a new song in minutes. My theory is I would not be the author I am today without the condition. So like anything else it has its bad sides but it has its rewards.

Let me leave you with my favourite quote;
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass... It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Being a self-employed single mum is hard enough; so what do you do when you are chosen to be the contestant in a blood sport for the entertainment of a group of alien races you didn’t know existed?
For Dr Danni Cromwell it was as if she was living in a world she had created; sci-fi author and single mum Danni must join forces with a man she does not know to fight a villain she could not make up; and all with her five year old son and a temper-tantrum prone alien in tow. Can they win? 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Did That Kid Say?


In the years I worked for the school district (that shall remained unnamed) I often times subbed for different areas.  One of these was the dreaded ISD room.  In School Detention.  I would cover occasionally when the ISD gal wanted to go to lunch, etc.

We had a little kindergarten boy (I will call him Johnny) that was a holy terror.  Well he landed in ISD for some infraction during his lunch hour.  I won’t lie – he actually lived in ISD during his lunch hours.  ANYWAY….I was looking at a paper he was working on and I suggested he redo a few of his math problems.

ME – “Johnny, I think you should recheck some of your answers.”  Innocent eyes looked up at me.

JOHNNY – “Are you a math teacher?”

ME – “No”

JOHNNY – “Well you have been out of school a long time.  I think I know what I’m doing.”

I WAS ONLY IN MY LATE 30s!!!!  I never got a swelled head in this job!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Fever brings Sun, Outdoors, and a WHOLE LOT OF ROMANCE

Spring and Romance Have Finally Sprung!!!

What does Spring mean to you?  Warmer weather?  Getting those white legs tanned?  Looking forward to Summer? 

All good stuff! 

To me it means planting some flowers and hope they stay alive.  

Easter and egg hunts with my grandkiddies!

Planning the summer vacation 

PLUS, my fruit tress start to blossom.  Barbeques!  Spending more time outside.  Quad rides!

As a writer, it means I can take my pad of paper and pencil and go sit outside and write, write, write.  I've always been a horizontal writer and the sunshine and cool breeze always gets my mojo going!

Here's another great thing about spring.  Marketing For Romance Writers is holding a Spring Fever Blog Hop.  So many wonderful writers are involved with some great giveaways.  If romance is your thing...this is where you want to be!

I have three romances I have written.  The Unwanted Christmas Guest, Her Cracked Heart, and Revenge, The Cowboy Way.  I am excited to give away one of my stories to one drawn commenter.  Their choice!  Please be sure and leave a comment along with your email address and hit the Spring Fever button above and visit so many other authors, and of course, their giveaways!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WHAT DID THAT KID SAY? Warning - X rated


No matter how long I had worked at the school, some of the things that came out of kids' mouths (no matter what the age) left me with my mouth hanging open.

I hadn't been working there long and I was coming off of bus duty, hurrying back to the office as the first bell was going to ring, when a second grader came running up.  "Teacher, teacher,"  (I was called teacher many times, even though I was the secretary) "That boy called me the "E" word."

Now words are running through my mind that could be offensive that started with e....I came up with nothing!  "What "E" word?"  Keep in mind, the hallway was filled with kids, teachers, and a few parents.


It was as if the whole world was moving in slow motion.  I watched as heads from every person around practically breaking their necks to get a glimpse at me and the little darling that was staring up at me with innocent eyes.  Except for the "gasps" that e word seemed to bounce off the walls in the deafening silence.

"Hey!" was all I could come up with at the time.  Another mistake.

"I'm not kidding.  He called me a..."

"I got it!"  I told him, taking him over to a place where we could talk.  Now do I correct him and say, "Fucker is not an "E" word" or "That is inappropriate" or "Just ignore it".

I think I came up with......"Tell your teacher!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

J. H. McCarthy shows off his new book, Detective for the Innocent

A former New York detective and a loving father is gunned down and killed by the Speed Killers Gang. While in the emergency room, the detective asks his son Jeff to finds who ever shot him and bring him to justice. In spite of his young age Jeff promises his father. Twenty three years later Jeff is now a detective, following in his father’s footsteps, and ready to avenge the unsolved murder of his father and bring the killer to justice.

Going against every police procedure, I went to the seventeenth street address alone. I left David with instructions to call the chief if I didn’t come back by morning. I had to go solo. What if there was an informant in the force? I couldn’t take the risk with Kerry’s life. Maybe Xavier would actually let her go. I parked my car a block from the old factory and walked through the dark alleyways. If the chief knew I was doing this, he would have a heart attack. Right now, it seemed like the best course of action. I adjusted my gun in the holster strapped on over my bullet proof vest and checked my supply of ammunition. I slipped a bit closer, using the shadows as concealment. I scanned the darkness searching for a lookout or a concealed sniper. I was betting on the fact Xavier thought I would bring the police force in with guns blazing to this location.

It took some time, but I snuck into the building through a side entrance. Surprisingly, there was still electricity in the building, but the hallways and many rooms were still dark. Footsteps and voices echoed from somewhere so I stayed in the shadows and listened. Cautiously, I peeked around the corner. Three men wearing ski-masks and carrying assault rifles were gathered in the shadows.

“When are the pigs showing up?” asked one of them.

Another guy replied, “Who knows...when they do, they’re in for a surprise!”

My suspicions of an ambush were confirmed beyond a doubt. The Speed Killers were just psychotic enough to take on the NYPD and the FBI. I had to find Kerry—my gut said she was here. I kept low to the ground and maneuvered through the halls avoiding the enemy. Along the way, I eluded more men, armed with semi-automatic weapons, grenades, and other explosive items. They were ready for a war.

I made my way up some back stairs and into the back office areas. Hiding behind some boxes, I peeked through a broken window in one of the abandoned offices. Kerry was tied with rope to an old office chair and her mouth duct taped. There was one man guarding her, but he was texting on his cell phone. Relief washed over me at the sight of her. I had to act quickly while I still had the element of surprise on my side.

“Freeze, asshole!” I stepped into the office door with my gun leveled at him. The man immediately dropped the cell phone and held his hands high. I ordered him to get on the ground, and he complied. I searched him, retrieved his gun, and handcuffed the guy. I took the roll of duct tape from the desk and secured his mouth. No points in letting the scum alert his friends. So far, so good.

There was a knife on the table near Kerry and I used it to cut her free. I gently pulled the tape off her mouth; though I was sure it still hurt her. Once she was free, she hugged me.

“It’s a trap.”

“I know. It's why I came alone. They were planning on the police force.”

“No, it was also a trap for you.”

Several explosions shook the building, making my ears ring painfully. Smoke filled the hallway and offices as more explosions detonated. With every explosion, pieces fell from the ceiling and walls collapsed. The old building would crumble under the assault if it continued. I needed to get Kerry out of there.

I gave the spare gun to Kerry.

“We can’t leave this guy here,” she said.

She was right. We couldn’t stoop to the level of the Speed Killers by leaving the man to die. I grabbed him, hauled him to his feet, and shoved him into the hallway.

The corridor was filled with smoke, and both ends were blocked with flames. More explosions ripped through the building and large chunks of the ceiling crashed downward. We retreated to the dubious safety of the office. I looked out the main window. More explosions rumbled in other parts of the building. The floor shook under my feet and bits of it fell away. Smoke curled into the office making it very hard to see. I coughed and my eyes burned. Using my gun, I shot out the main window. I yelled for Kerry to watch the floor and find a beam to stand on. A quick glance outside showed me an emergency ladder we could use. We needed to get out in a hurry as flames were licking at the wood of the door.

“Kerry, you go first,” I ordered and unlocked the cuffs from the criminal. “You go next, and if you want to live, no funny stuff!” I knew it was a big risk, but I had no choice.

No sooner had I freed the man than he bolted into the hallway.

“Death is better!” he shouted as he jumped through a hole in the floor.

He plummeted into the raging fire. I was shocked, but with the building collapsing, I had no time to spare for him. Kerry crawled over the window sill and climbed down the ladder. I followed her. The ladder shook violently, and I feared it would disconnect from the building at any moment.

I looked down, and saw that Kerry was already on the ground. “Jeff! Hurry! The building will collapse any moment!”

I moved as fast as I dared. Part of the roof caved in and another explosion at the other end of the factory sent flames skyward. It was getting harder to stay on the swaying ladder as it shook violently. I figured there was still seventeen feet before I reached the ground, so I just jumped.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I worked at an elementary school for twenty-one years!  I heard a LOT of things from kids from all ages and stories from teachers and other employees.  There are many that made me laugh!  I am going to use Wednesdays to post these funnies.  I hope you'll check in and you just may get a chuckle.