Book Monday: Guest Author Donna Cummings and I Do… Or Die

Today I’m super excited to bring you Donna Cummings whom I’ve gotten to know via various online methods, and whose sense of humor and advice has helped me through several writerly journey bumps. She’s also a valued Beta reader. Writers talk about the need to have other writer friends to go to when they’re feeling out of sorts (or panicked) and Donna’s become one of those for me. Thank you, Donna!

Today, for Book Monday, not only is she going to give us an excerpt from her new release, but she’s also going to confess a habit she has regarding books. Take it away, Donna!

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I’m always curious to see what people are reading. My neck can stretch giraffe-like just to get a peek at the title of a book they’re carrying. If someone is engrossed in a book while at Starbucks, all of a sudden I need to walk past them on my way to get a refill. Of napkins.

When I’m visiting someone’s home, the first thing I seek out is their bookshelves. I’ve learned to hide my glee when I see rows upon rows of books displayed for my viewing pleasure. And I never, ever say out loud (well, not anymore), “Oooh, wonder what they have that I need to take home with me!”

Seeing books lined up on shelves, or piled on tables, or teetering in a big stack on the floor, it’s easy to determine which ones have been read more than once, and which are just for show. This is trickier to accomplish when e-readers are involved, although if someone is on Goodreads, we can poke through their virtual shelves to see which books they’ve read, or want to read–and way too many of those end up in my own lists as a result of my rigorous “research”.

The heroine in my current release, I Do. . .or Die, tries to figure out the hero from viewing various items in his home, including the bookshelves. Shelby has been shot at, twice — the first time at her friend Alexa’s wedding. Shelby has to spend the night at Detective Ryan Nichols’ house for her protection, and this is her first time checking out the inside of Ryan’s home:

It was a place designed for a man’s comfort, not to impress female guests. A honey colored leather couch took up a large portion of the room, flanked by a couple of matching club chairs that were obviously well-used, probably whenever his policeman buddies dropped by. A large—no, make that a really large—flat-screen TV covered most of one wall.

Alexa and I had just been discussing the correlation between the size of a man’s flatscreen TV and his—

Detective Nichols was a very tidy person, with not even a single random burst of clutter. That was distressing. People who had everything in its place kind of freaked me out. For one thing, how did they find time to keep everything in its place? And for another thing, why would they want to spend all their time doing that?

He leaned against the closed door, his arms folded across his chest, watching me stroll around his sparse living room.

I trailed a finger over the police league softball trophies covering the fireplace mantel. Another flaw. He probably liked to work out all the time, while I—well, I did try to lift my martini glass with alternating hands, so I could evenly develop my bicep muscles. But I couldn’t do that every day. My liver was too delicate for that kind of exercise regime.

Detective Nichols cleared his throat. “Think this will do for the night?”

I nodded, a little sad, yet relieved, that I’d uncovered these deal breakers. Not that it really mattered, since I’d only planned on getting in bed, not getting involved, with him. Still, a girl needs to have standards, even with flings.

“Are you letting me get accustomed to my surroundings?” I asked. “Like a new puppy or something?”

His lips turned up in that way I found too sexy, and my stomach did all kinds of silly flip-floppy things. “As long as I don’t have to swat you with a rolled-up newspaper, I think we’ll be fine.”

“Beats the hell out of bullets.”

I halted, peering at him as the words sank in. It always came back to that. No matter what else happened, I still had to deal with the shock of being shot at. Twice. In one day.

At a wedding. And then in a police car.

“You know, Shelby, you’ve got a pretty good sense of humor about all of this.”

“Oh, that’s only because I’m in that numb phase right now. Wait till I get a good night’s sleep and realize how incredibly insane all of this is.”

I wandered over to a bookcase, something he’d probably gotten from the Ikea catalog and put together himself. I loved to see which books people had, and which ones were never going to be read, based on my assessment of their personality.

This man loved mysteries. Thankfully for me, it looked like he’d actually read a lot of them, so he would know how to solve the one I was embroiled in. Or give advice to the detective he’d be handing me off to in the morning.

Do you like to investigate other people’s reading materials? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Official Blurb:

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is Shelby Atwood’s personal credo. She’s managed to avoid commitment all her life – no pets, no plants, not even a long-term lease. Heck, she’s had colds last longer than her romantic relationships. How could she be any other way when she has a gigolo for a father?

But then gunfire erupts at the latest wedding she’s agreed to be in, and it ends up being the best thing to happen to Shelby’s love life. Detective Ryan Nichols is assigned to the case, and when the shootings don’t stop, he becomes her 24-hour bodyguard. Shelby wouldn’t mind except Ryan is too appealing, too sexy, and too happy to remind her of the raucous bachelorette party when she mistook him for a stripper.

Shelby’s plan is simple: find the shooter, have a fling with Ryan, and return to her non-committal life. Unfortunately, the shooter is very elusive. Shelby’s feelings for Ryan are way more than adrenaline-fueled lust. And returning to her normal life is now impossible since, despite her lifelong resistance, she’s managed to put her heart smack dab in the line of fire.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe | BookStrand

About Donna:

6a011168847f76970c0147e0d1c81c970b-200wiI have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

In addition to I Do. . .or Die, my available books are Summer Lovin’, a free romantic comedy novella, and Lord Midnight, a Regency romance. My contemporary novella, Back on Track, part of the Strangers on a Train collection, will release from Samhain on April 2, 2013.

How to stalk her:

Website/blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Six Sentence Sunday – 1/27/13

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Welcome to #SixSunday! I can’t believe this is the last official SixSunday! I want to say how much I’ve enjoyed it, and I really, truly know that I would not be the same writer without having participated with you guys. You gave me confidence when I needed it, some of you have become Beta partners I couldn’t do without, and more have become auto-buys for me, thus enriching my life. I’ve learned much. Thank you.

I did my first post on November 20, 2011 with a snippet from MUST LOVE BREECHES, my time travel romance, and have come to treasure Sundays and my time with you ever since!

I will continue to post these on my own every Sunday, and will keep an eye out on Twitter for others using the same hashtag… UPDATE: Karysa Faire has started a Six Sentence Sunday FB Group!

Today’s Six Sunday I’m continuing with my new release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  ARe, and Bookstrand!!

This is in the heroine’s POV and they’ve now moved up to her hotel suite. He came back from getting bottles of beer and hovered behind her, and she leaned against him. Their beer bottles came into play. Picking up exactly where we left off last week when she leaps onto him, they thud into the French doors, and they stumble inside:

She fumbled with the buttons on his shirt, jerked the shirttails out of his khakis, and pushed his shirt off his shoulders.

Wow, was he ripped! His arm muscles bunched from holding her. Hoo boy, there might even be an ab or two peeking out. She slid her hands up his smooth chest as he backed her to the king-size bed. He tumbled with her onto the fluffy comforter, and they both laughed.

Official blurb:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Amazon | B&N | ARe | Bookstrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

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To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! 

Six Sentence Sunday – 1/20/13

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Welcome to #SixSunday! I can’t believe this is the second to last official SSS :(

Today’s Six Sunday I’m continuing with my new release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  ARe, and Bookstrand!!

This is in the heroine’s POV and they’ve now moved up to her hotel suite. He came back from getting bottles of beer and hovered behind her, and she leaned against him. Their beer bottles came into play. Picking up exactly where we left off last week when she leaps onto him and they thud into the French doors:

He tore his mouth from hers. “Could you?”

“Huh?” She freed herself from the lust fog. His head tilted to the door handle. She pushed down with her heel, and he bumped it open with his back, stumbling inside backward.

Latest review:

Short stories and novellas can make me leery of wanting to give them a try because not everyone who writes one understands just how to achieve a good balance of plot, pacing and character development to fit into the page count they have.  Fortunately, this author did a great job so I ended up with an enjoyable reading experience that had me reading with a smile on my face and an ‘ah’ of satisfaction coming from my lips by the end…So, I can heartily recommend this one to those who enjoy a quirky magical contemporary Happy For Now with promise of the future romance with not a lot of time to read. –Sophia Rose at DelightedReader.com

Official blurb:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Amazon | B&N | ARe | Bookstrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

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To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! 

Six Sentence Sunday – 1/13/13

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Welcome to #SixSunday!

Today’s Six Sunday I’m continuing with my new release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  ARe, and Bookstrand!!

This is in the heroine’s POV and they’ve now moved up to her hotel suite. We’re picking up several sentences from where we left off last week. He came back from getting bottles of beer and hovered behind her, and she leaned against him. Their beer bottles came into play. Skipping a paragraph from where we left off last week when Riley has just said he wants her so bad he can’t stand it. What we’re skipping is her boldly replying ‘what are we waiting for’ and then him spinning her around. She sees his vulnerable look in his eyes and reacts:

She vaulted into his arms and twined her legs around his waist. He stumbled back and gripped her butt, pressing her tight against his erection. She moved her hips. Yes, right…there. He captured her mouth in a searing kiss, his tongue skillfully stroking hers, mimicking the rhythm she couldn’t wait to do with him soon.

He backed up until they hit the French doors with a thud.

Also, I’m competing in the preditors & editors poll in the romance short story category, so if you don’t already have a favorite, I’d love your vote! Or some tags on Amazon, especially the ‘romantic comedy’ tag :) Thanks! Mwah!

I got a great review on Penelope’s Romance Reviews this past week! She actually did a beer pairing to sip while reading the story!!

Official blurb:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Amazon | B&N | ARe | Bookstrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

goodreads-badge-add-plus-8aed1006260a5092a7ebb2a64fe3968c

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! 

Six Sentence Sunday – 1/6/13

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Welcome to #SixSunday!

Today’s Six Sunday I’m continuing with my new release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  ARe, and Bookstrand!!

This is in the heroine’s POV and they’ve now moved up to her hotel suite. We’re picking up several sentences from where we left off last week. He came back from getting bottles of beer and hovered behind her, and she leaned against him. Their beer bottles came into play. Picking up exactly where we left off last week:

Obviously running with her response, he grabbed the other bottle, trailed it along her neck and slowly down to her breast, circling. Impossibly, her nipples tightened more.

“Riley.” Was that her voice? It came out all sultry.

“God, Mirjam, I want you so bad I can’t stand it.”

I’m also available for guest posts, so if any of you have slots available on your blog for hosting me, I’d love to be a guest :) Just shoot me an email at angela [at] angelaquarles [dot] com

Also, I’m competing in the preditors & editors poll in the romance short story category, so if you don’t already have a favorite, I’d love your vote!

Official blurb:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Amazon | B&N | ARe | Bookstrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

goodreads-badge-add-plus-8aed1006260a5092a7ebb2a64fe3968c

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week!