Collide + Giveaway!

When their worlds collide, neither will be left unscarred. Suffocated by her small-town life, Maggie Hale runs away to Las Vegas to pursue her dream as a contemporary dancer. But Vegas doesn’t turn out like she imagined. She doesn’t make it into Essence Dance Theater and the only job she can find is working in a greasy diner—again.

Jay Thornton wants to quit enforcing and own his own boxing gym one day. But his loan shark boss saved him from the streets as a kid and he owes the man everything. Cutting ties isn’t so simple.


When Maggie pledges to pay back a friend’s loan, she becomes Jay’s next mark. Sparks fly between them, but choosing each other could mean the end of both their dreams.


COLLIDE by Melanie Burt Standford, is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s NORTH & SOUTH.

Thanks Anne Marie, for having me today! And thank you for the idea to post about my Top 10 Inspirations!

I’m so excited that COLLIDE, my second Romance Revisited novel, is finally out! It’s about Maggie, a small-town girl who runs away to Vegas to pursue her dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer, and Jay, a loan shark’s enforcer who wants to own his own boxing gym one day. Naturally, when they meet sparks fly. It wouldn’t be a romance otherwise, now would it!

So here are my Top 10 Inspirations for COLLIDE:

1. North & South. COLLIDE is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic novel. I wouldn’t call it a retelling because I make quite a few changes, but I wouldn’t have written COLLIDE without Gaskell’s beloved novel. There are so many great things about this book, and while it wasn’t easy putting it into a modern-day setting, I had a fun time trying!

2. Small-town living. In the original, Margaret Hale and her parents move from a small town in the South to a bustling, enterprising city in the North. In COLLIDE, Maggie is from Hillstone, a fictitious small town that’s inspired by where I live right now mixed with a healthy dose of idealising what a small town should be like. Maggie needed to come from somewhere so different from Vegas, and from Jay, that I really amped up Hillstone’s charm.

 3. The BBC movie (or miniseries, or whatever it’s called- there are four parts). I watched this before I ever read the book and it is FANTASTIC. (In fact, I like it better than the book, but don’t tell anyone.) One of my favorite things is how the actors do so well with their facial expressions that words aren’t necessary to know exactly what they’re thinking. It’s a must-watch for period drama fans.

 4. “Jungle” by X Ambassadors. I talk playlist at another blog tour stop, but when I heard this song, it evoked exactly how Maggie feels about Vegas. Before she goes she’s thinking it’s going to be beautiful and exciting, but it doesn’t turn out that way. One lyric especially really sums up Vegas for her: “…ain’t no God on these streets/In the heart of the jungle.”

5. Richard Armitage. His brooding stare, his smolder, the proposal and then his rebuttal. The end scene on the train platform *dies*. And, of course, one of my favorite lines from the movie, “Look back. Look back at me.”

6. Muay Thai. When I decided Jay was going to be an enforcer, I also wanted him to want to be better, do something different with his life. So I gave him a job at a boxing gym—he’s a good fighter after all—and an ambition to own it one day. A lot of the scenes at the gym were inspired by the years my son took Muay Thai classes.

7. Being Erica. So you’ll probably wonder why this short-lived Canadian TV show would have any bearing on my modern N&S romance. Here’s the deal. In the original story, Mr. Thornton is a mill owner. In the movie, Margaret first meets Mr. Thornton at the mill where he’s beating up one of his workers who was smoking near the cotton. Margaret is of course horrified, and Mr. Thornton wants her out of there. This scene stuck with me when I was considering what job to give my character Jay. At the same time as I was planning the novel, I was watching Being Erica. In season three, Erica starts dating Adam, a loan shark’s enforcer… you see where this is going. I guess the job sorta stuck with me.

8. My own upbringing. They say write what you know. Well, my dad has never been a “preacher,” but he held various religious positions in his life. I grew up in a very religious household. That being said, Maggie is not me and her parents are not my parents. But it wasn’t hard to write characters where religion is the backbone of who they are.

 9. So You Think You Can Dance. SYTYCD is one of my favorite reality shows. I’ve watched it faithfully since season one. So when I was considering what Maggie’s “dream” would be, dance was an easy choice. I chose contemporary dance specifically because it’s such a beautiful art form, and often misunderstood or underappreciated. SYTYCD has some of the best contemporary choreography I have ever seen. (Melanie and Neil’s routine to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is my all-time fave.)

 10. Las Vegas. In my very first draft, Maggie moves from Hillstone to Milton, the name of the city in Gaskell’s original work. I quickly decided to change that to a real setting. I’ve been to Vegas multiple times. It’s both beautiful and ugly, exciting and boring, dangerous and drab. Most cities are probably like this, but Vegas is over-the-top this. I did consider LA, but I’d already set SWAY there, and New York, but New York felt too big, both in size and as a dream for Maggie. Vegas felt like the perfect place for Maggie to run to, for her parents to object to, and for Jay to have grown up in.

So there you have it. The Top 10 things that inspired my novel COLLIDE. Hope this inspires you to pick up a copy!

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BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Collide-Romance-Revisited-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07786KX2W/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Collide-Romance-Revisited-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07786KX2W/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Collide-Romance-Revisited-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07786KX2W/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/collide-melanie-stanford/1127188380?ean=2940155034551

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/collide-34

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Stanford writes romance and YA of different genres. Her first novel, SWAY, a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, debuted December 2015 from Samhain Publishing and was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Since Samhain’s closure, Melanie decided to republish SWAY herself, along with the rest of her Romance Revisited series: CLASH, a Romance Revisited novella, COLLIDE, and a third novel coming 2018. She also has short stories featured in the Austenesque anthologies THE DARCY MONOLOGUES and THEN COMES WINTER.

Melanie reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow.

Website: http://melaniestanfordbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelMStanford/

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melanie_stanford/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14079511.Melanie_Stanford

GIVEAWAY!!

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Wicked Soul by Nora Ash

Wicked Soul
by Nora Ash
(Ancient Blood, #1)
Publication date: February 10th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

 

Synopsis:

He saved me… And then he blood-bonded me. Now I’m his.

My first meeting with a Chicago vampire went better than expected.

Up until that night, all I knew about vampires was limited to a few common facts: they drink blood, they get a mean sunburn and if you find yourself alone with one, you’re dead.

Except he didn’t kill me.

Sexy, broody Warin clearly had his own reasons for sparing my life and tying me with his blood, but if he’d known how much trouble I’d attract, I bet he wouldn’t have bothered. When he blood-bonded me, secrets even I didn’t know about myself came to light.

Secrets that will pull us both deep into the eternal war between vampires and the witches determined to rid the world of their evil.

We have only one choice now: fight the forces hell-bent on breaking our bond…

Or die.

 

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36388708-wicked-soul

Pre-order:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077FTT891
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wicked-soul/id1294122832
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wicked-soul-nora-ash/1127201561
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/wicked-soul
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=d4s-DwAAQBAJ
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/759069

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Nora Ash writes the sort of books that have your toes curling and your blood pulsing. Her stories are often dark and always thrilling, with lots of sexy bad boys and the women who spur their desires. When not typing away at a story, Nora paints, eats chocolate or go for hikes around the English countryside with her very own bad boy.

Sign up to get updated about new releases at: http://www.nora-ash.com/newsletter/

Author links:

https://twitter.com/NoraAshWrites

http://www.nora-ash.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNoraAsh/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8118312.Nora_Ash

 

October 11th…The Trailer…

I know I didn’t need a book trailer…I absolutely wanted one!

 

This is, by far, my favorite piece of the Monsters & Angels release day fun…but there’s still a party tonight.

Yes, there will be pictures!

Visit

Anne Marie Andrus Facebook

AnneMarieAndrus.com

Before Things Get Too Crazy…

So, Wednesday October 11th is the official launch day for Monsters & Angels. Those of you who have been following my blog know the project is more about heart and spirit than selling books. When I started writing this story, I never imagined I would be publishing it. 

From the bottom of my heart, I’d like all my readers to know how much I appreciate the team that made my dreams come true!

 

Monsters & Angels
Acknowledgments

 

Writing these acknowledgments is scary because I’m sure I’ll miss an essential contributor…but here we go!

First, I want to thank my husband Scott for being my grandest cheerleader and sharing in every bit of blessed craziness it took to finish this project.

Thank you to all the friends, family and fellow writers who made my dream of publishing Monsters & Angels come true:

Jordan Rosenfeld, my first editor without whom this novel would still be an unfinished, messy manuscript; Katie Bartholomew Anderson for your analysis, editing and encouragement; Racquel Kechagias, my critique partner, for your precious insight and love of Raimond; Kat Mancos, for your messages and support; Magali Frechette, my cover designer who saw my vision and hit it out of the park; Ray Laskowitz, for your New Orleanian wisdom; Lynn Cozza, the genuine Dragon Lady; Christina Mercer, Suzanne, Crystal, Brooke, and Marissa, my earliest readers who loved the story enough to carry me past my doubts; Karen Andrus for her French Quarter insider tips: John Andrus, for driving me to Commander’s Palace; Diane Bartholomew, for her legendary quotes; Bruce and Ryan Bartholomew, for asking me questions that made me think; New Orleans, the city, the people, and your collective spirit.

And finally, the cast of Monsters & Angels. You inspired me, grabbed my hand, led me on an extravagant journey, and brought me home richer than when I left.

Merci beacoup!

 

Author Interview with Anne Marie Andrus (Monsters & Angels) — CatMint5’s World

An interview with debut novelist Anne Marie Andrus, author of the Historical Paranormal Romance Monsters & Angels

via Author Interview with Anne Marie Andrus (Monsters & Angels) — CatMint5’s World

The Box Under The Bed

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year!

October 2017 will be one busy month!

Dan Alatorre’s cool idea for a scary story anthology has become…

The Box Under The Bed!

#TheBoxUnderTheBed is a compilation of spooky, eerie and macabre stories from 20 fantastic authors.

I’m so honored to have my story, Cobalt Point, as part of this collection!

For release on October 1st!

Pre-order is live!

AnneMarieAndrus.com

 

 

 

 

 

My SOUL to GIVE

 

When Celina Leviet escapes the brutal home invasion that kills her husband, she’s left with a bullet in her gut and vengeance in her heart. An alluring demon, Mekaisto, offers an irresistible deal—in exchange for her soul, he’ll let her live long enough to get her revenge, but she must hunt and kill the murderers herself.

After sealing the contract, Celina digs into her husband’s past for clues about his murder, and what she uncovers makes her question everything she thought she knew about him.

His company never existed.
His family history was a lie.

And he was involved with The Lumen, a shadowy religious order whose members know too much about demons. As the life she thought she knew crumbles around her, Mekaisto’s charms become harder to resist. Forced to face a horrible truth, Celina struggles against her late husband’s betrayal and the dark seduction of the devil she knows.

Excerpt 1

Her breath came faster, and he could smell what she wanted before she even knew what it was. “Please, Kai—I’m yours. I want more. I want everything you can give me.”

The wave of lust heating his body could have burned a city to the ground. “Well, now,” he whispered in her ear as he stood, lifting her up with him, “I need to oblige such begging with a reward.”

 

Evernight Publishing: http://bit.ly/2t3IZZA

 

Magali Fréchette

I’m passionate about writing, reading, photo manipulation artwork, animals, anime/manga, video games, the fandom world of TV shows and movies, and stuff like that. I’m a proud Ravenclaw: I’ve always been sorted into this house, but the recent Pottermore sorting placed me in Gryffindor―I don’t care since the Sorting Hat couldn’t consider my choice, so I identify with Ravenclaw, and that’s where I’ll remain!

 

I have two main hobbies: writing and creating book covers. I’m also a gamer (Diablo, Zelda, Final Fantasy), enjoy listening to music (and always singing along to Disney), have a passion for Japanese culture, and adore reading. I love anime/manga, Japanese Dramas and consider myself a proud fan of many different TV shows including Buffy, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, Game of Thrones, Outlander, etc.

 

I wrote my first story when I was 12 years old (and we’ll never talk about that story), but started writing three years later. Since then, I always write, and this particular novel is my 19th story. It’s always been a dream to be a published author, and I can happily say I’ve reached that goal―I plan on continuing writing and publishing for the rest of my days.

 

Connect with Magali

Website: http://bit.ly/1G4NELt

Facebook Page: http://bit.ly/2su1ZTS

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2oRUGit

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2sci0uL

 

Excerpt 2

(This story has two points of view )

“I am a demon, Celina, and above all else, demons love the hunt.” He smirked when her eyes widened.

“So, you see having sex with someone as a hunt?”

He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “By your expression, I would say you still do not quite understand.”

“It’s your twisted logic.”

Interesting…

“I take my time, stalk my prey first, count the number of breaths she takes, imagine her screams…”

She arched an eyebrow. “That’s not at all creepy.”

Kai ignored her. “I am a creature of infinite time; the world creeps by, yet an intimate moment is so fleeting, it feels as though it is gone in less than a second.” He stopped, expecting an interruption again, but she stayed silent. “The pleasure is heightened by the danger, and in the throes of passion, I could lose my control and revert to the form least likely to be found pleasurable by my … partner?” He lost himself in the images in his mind, pinning down Celina’s body, taking her in a way she would never be able to recreate with a mere mortal man. “Hunting is simple. There is always one in the crowd that stands out—rarely is it the one searching for the one-night stand—no…” Kai locked his eyes with hers and goose bumps rose on her arms and legs. “No, the one unsure of what society wants her to be, the one who is desperate to be loved and appreciated. She is the one I seek.”

“So, social outcasts are your type?”

His eyes pierced her until he could see through her mind again, to all those curious little fantasies.

He smiled. “It’s about finesse, Celina. I listen to her, and as she speaks more confidently, I brush a hand over her skin”—his hand skimmed Celina’s neck as he brushed her back—“just enough so she shivers with anticipation of what my lips would feel like in the same spot.” He delved into Celina’s mind as his words worked against her disdain for him. “Then I caress her in a way she won’t notice, but her subconscious will let her lean into, let her mind take over and her body will beg for more.”

“She’d notice if…” She followed his gaze to his hand on her knee.

“Are you certain?” He’d worked his own body into a sensual frenzy as he’d drawn her into his web.

She stared at him, her cheeks flushing. “I—”

“Eventually, I suggest a night filled with pleasure.” He couldn’t contain his smile as he moved closer. “I keep touching her in small ways—maintaining physical contact at all times.” His hand inched up her side, until he tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. She sucked in a breath and he cupped her cheek.

He sat close to her and her scent calmed and excited him at the same time.

“Kai?” Her voice wavered.

“Sex is fleeting.” He took her chin and drew her close. “But intimacy is endless, a continuous moment of gentle touches”—his hand dropped back to her knee, and then made its way up her thigh until she let out a small gasp—“personal boundaries broken, and pleasures that go beyond sex.”

She sat as if frozen. “It’s still a one-night stand.”

“Mine last longer—and you reveal not only your body.” His hand moved to the middle of her chest. “When you are intimate with a demon, you reveal your soul. You make yourself vulnerable and open.”

“Considering you’ll have my soul sometime soon, I’m not giving you a free sample.” She drew away from him and stood. “I won’t be your prey tonight.”

Another surge of heat rushed through him, but he pushed it down with a long, deep breath. “You would set me loose on another human?”

She glared at him. “I wasn’t aware I had a choice about what you do outside of our deal. This would be on you, not me.”

“You think you control what I do within our deal?”

She rubbed her arms when he stood. “Not when you say it like that.”

“Celina…” He stopped in front of her and leaned into her personal space, drawing a lungful of a scent he would only ever associate with her.

He wrapped his arms around her, swallowing the shiver that shook her body. “What are you—?”

“Let’s play, Celina. I can assure you, you will not regret a night in my arms.”

I want you… Against all my instincts, I need you close.

Celina pushed him as hard as she could, and he withdrew as disappointment withered his gaze.

“Let me go, Mekaisto.”

You are trembling again, my dove… Is it because you are scared you will give in? How far can I push you until you bend?

“What if I say no?”

She glared at him, but Kai’s smile widened. He could feel, even smell, the pulsing between her legs begging him to take her.

“Isn’t it enough you’re getting my life and my soul? Now you need my body, too?” She pushed against him again, but he only held tighter, unable to let her go. “Why are you doing this? I just lost my husband, found out things that break my heart. I can’t sit and flirt with you.”

“I am offering you the chance to forget.”

“No!” Her hands clenched to fists as she shoved even harder against his chest. “No! You want to take everything I have left.”

He grabbed her wrists, pushed her back on the sofa, and pinned her down, his body hovering over her. “What is your life without your body?” He tilted his head and flicked his tongue across his lips. “You never asked what selling your life and soul meant specifically. Allow me to enlighten you now.” He moved until his face loomed only an inch or so from her face and her breath caught. He let go of her wrists, but his gaze pinned her to the spot.

“What?” Her voice ached just above a whisper.

“I own every inch of you … body and soul.”

Her face flushed and her lips trembled. “I never agreed to that!”

“You agreed to living. The details did not matter to you.”

“I was dying! You told me I didn’t have much time left, so it—”

His smile widened. “Even if you had all the time in the world, it would not have made a difference. Humans never read the fine print.”

 

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