ARe 28 Days of Heart – Sylvia Shults

Welcome again! I hope everyone has had a great week so far. I’ve found for myself that I’ve had too much sleepiness and not enough alertness to get everything done that I needed to do. Thank goodness it’s Friday!

I have the pleasure of having another author from the ARe campaign, 28 Days of Heart, to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association. If you haven’t checked these books out yet, hop on over to All Romance eBooks. You’ll be glad you did.

So, without further ado, here is today’s guest:

Hi there! Sylvia Shults here, the author of A Slightly Different Perfect. I’ve always been drawn to humorous romance, the goofier the story, the better. I figured this story would be perfect for a fundraiser celebrating the heart and all its quirks. What better way to nurture the heart than to write a story about the goddess of Love?

      

A Slightly Different Perfect is the story of a mousy fifth grade teacher, Trisha Gillespie, who gets turned into the goddess of love Aphrodite.  In her new incarnation, she learns a valuable lesson about the price and the rewards of true love. Let’s take a peek at Trisha as she explores the perks of her new-found goddesshood…. 


I came through the wide double doors into the Springfield Elementary School gym, which was all decorated for the Spring Carnival. By some divine confluence of events, the Carnival was tonight, the very night I had been asked by Hera to go down to Earth.
    
 Hera’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Here I was, the new goddess of love, smokin’ hot I might add, and I was totally, completely anonymous. Nobody knew me – ha! I could wander the gym all I wanted, eavesdrop on my coworkers (former coworkers!) to my heart’s content – not that I would ever do such a thing, of course, I do have some class – and not one of them would know that the sizzling package of hotness standing next to them was the formerly mousy little Miss Gillespie.
       
Oh my, this was going to be fun.
       
I strolled around the gym, giving little finger-waves to everyone who glanced my way. And let me tell you, there were a lot of glances. It was truly gratifying, and fabulous for the ego. I had to remind myself a couple of times that I was the goddess of love – me! And I deserved all this attention, yes I did.
    
 I had gotten about halfway around the gym when I caught sight of Josie, who was manning the bake sale. A shadow fell over my whole “I’m the goddess of love and I rock” groove. I wished desperately that I could go over there and out myself to her, tell her that I really was the same old Trisha underneath my goddess glamour. But something stopped me.
     
That something, unfortunately, was the sight of Vince Turabian. He had changed out of his gym teacher uniform of t-shirt and shorts just half a size too small. Well, he still had the shorts on, but he had shucked the t-shirt in favor of…oh, I can’t even say it.
       
Okay, fine. Vince was wearing the most colorful, garish, loud Hawaiian shirt I had ever seen. It was a shirt with the volume turned all the way up. It looked like Don Ho’s bad acid trip. Native girls in grass skirts hid coyly behind palm trees, brandishing ukuleles at anyone unsuspecting enough to look at the shirt for more than three seconds. And did I mention the palm trees? Yeesh!
    
 I blinked. My eyes were actually watering from the sight of that shirt. When I worked up the intestinal fortitude to look back at Vince, I realized he was standing across from Josie at the bake sale table. I watched him hand her money, which she managed quite neatly to take without letting him touch her hand – nice going, girl! Then Vince picked up a cupcake from the table. He unwrapped the plastic from the plate, set it down, and brought the cupcake to his grinning mouth. Before either Josie or I could react, Vince stuck out his tongue and licked a wad of frosting suggestively off the top of the cupcake.
    
 Ewwww! My mind reeled at the sight of Vince’s frosting-covered tongue. I could see Josie’s shudder of revulsion from all the way across the room. I wished desperately that I could go right up to Josie, stand side by side with her, and put that horrible Vince in his place. But I couldn’t blow my cover. Outing myself as the former Trisha Gillespie was sure to have divine repercussions. And at the very least, people here would be awfully confused. I settled for a sympathetic shudder of my own. My lip curled in an involuntary wince of disgust.
     
That’s when I heard it, from off to my left.
       
“For the last time, Tyler, no, you cannot have a snow cone! You’ve already had two hotdogs, chips, and a brownie. Are you trying to make yourself sick?”
       
The frustration in the mother’s voice mirrored the irritation on my own mind. Belatedly, I thought, Oh crud. I’ll bet I did that. I was a goddess. Why wouldn’t my moods spill over and affect the mortals around me? It only made sense. I made an effort to calm myself down. Breathe, Trisha, in through the nose, out through the mouth…in with the good air, out with the bad air… In the middle of my calming mantra, I heard the mom say, in a much nicer voice, “Come on, kiddo. Let’s go find your sister, and then we’ll get in line for the rubber duck prize pool, okay?”
     
Ha! It worked! I really was an all-powerful goddess with the mojo to screw with – I mean influence people’s emotions. Yay me! I spent the next half an hour or so finding out exactly what my goddess powers could do. Filling my mind with sunny, happy thoughts, I wandered over to the Bozo Buckets. A young couple was at the front of the line, helping their kindergartener with what was probably her first game of Bozo Buckets ever. The parents were positively glowing with encouragement for their little one.
     
“Come on, Chrissie, you can do it!” the dad coached, while Mom stood by, smiling a bit anxiously. She crossed the fingers on both hands and held them up for her little girl to see. Chrissie, who was a tiny little thing even for kindergarten, leaned over and gently tossed the beanbag. It hit the rim of the fifth bucket with a soft plop, and toppled in.
       
Both parents just went nuts over this. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed myself. I don’t ever remember getting past Bucket #3. I grinned, and Dad knelt to give Chrissie a big hug. As she turned away to collect her prize, he stood up again, took his wife in his arms, and kissed her deeply.
       
Whoa! I thought. Betcha I did that too. Goddess juju rocks! After that, it got to be sort of a game. I walked around the gym, trying to guess how hard I would have to “push” a couple to nudge them into a full-blown PDA. It was a total blast, and I was really grooving on my newfound powers. It was like…hmm…it was like wishing for something really hard right before blowing out the candles on your birthday cake. Or like being filled with that warm, yearning feeling you get when you’re wishing on the first evening star in a darkening sky. But your wish comes true right in front of your eyes. It’s totally an instant gratification thing. I was having gobs of fun playing my little kissing games. I was so full of warm fuzzies – I felt like I was the middle scoop of ice cream in a banana split, with butterscotch and hot fudge sauce just oozing all around me.
       
So I guess what happened next was really my fault, for not taking things more seriously.
     
I had wandered back over to the bake sale. A couple was standing there, along with a kid. I recognized him as one of my students from a couple of years ago. Brett was looking nowhere in particular, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. He had a look on his face that told the world he was about to pass out and die of sheer embarrassment. His parents stood nearby, feeding each other bites of an oversized chocolate chip cookie and cooing to each other. But that wasn’t what had drawn my attention.
       
Vince was back on my radar, and I wasn’t happy about it. He was still at the bake sale table. I had to wonder if he’d been here the whole time, just hanging out annoying Josie. As I watched, though, he turned his back on her and headed my way, a predatory grin on his face. Behind the table, Josie was watching him walk away. The look on her face was a complicated mixture of relief and – wait, was that disappointment? Really? Or was I delusional and just imagining things?
       
Oh, of course it was. It had to be. It wasn’t that I wanted Vince to keep macking on Josie. I wouldn’t wish Vince on my worst enemy, let alone my best friend. But Josie didn’t deserve to be ignored, either, even by a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger like Vince. It was kind of a “nobody puts Baby in a corner” moment for me.
       
What can I say? My best friend was getting the brush-off (boo hiss) from a skanky guy (umm – yay her?). I was confused. I was conflicted. That’s my only excuse for what happened next.
       
Okay. I want you to imagine something. I want you to imagine the righteous indignation you feel when something truly horribly unfair happens, something really outrageous, when you open your mouth and the very first thing that flies out is “Oh no he DIDN’T!” Like, “Oh, Simon did not just tell that poor girl she had a face made for radio!” Or, “Oh no, you did not just spill your chocolate-cherry martini down the front of my favorite white wool scoop-neck sweater!” Feel that incredulous shock, that stunned disbelief that morphs almost immediately into downright pissyness.
       
Now, turn it up to eleven. Ramp it up to goddess-size, baby. Go go go, full-tilt boogie, bring it ON!
     
I fixed Vince with my most withering stare, drew myself up to my full height, embraced my divinity, and prepared to let him have it. “Vince Turabian, you are such a SNAKE!
     
I really need to think sometimes before I open my mouth.


       
I hope you enjoy A Slightly Different Perfect, and I do appreciate your support of the American Heart Association. See, my mom’s got heart disease – she had a heart attack a couple of years ago and had to have a stent put in – so this really is a cause that I support for personal reasons. Enjoy the story, support the AHA, and Goddess bless. 

You can find Sylvia on her facebook fan page, Sparkleheart. Become a fan.

Thank you, Sylvia for being here.

~lissa

All Romance eBooks 28 Days of Heart – Jackie Kessler

I have the pleasure of having the lovely Jackie Kessler guesting on my blog today with her entry into the 28 Days of Heart campaign to benefit the American Heart Association.

I have asked her why she wanted to participate and submit a book. This what she had to say:

Hi! I’m Jackie Kessler, and I like to write about demons and angels, among other things. When I heard about the 28 Days of Heart, and that all proceeds would be going to the American Heart Association, I knew I wanted to write a Hell story for it, one that was about connection, and possibly even redemption.

The angel called Angel first appears in my second book, THE ROAD TO HELL, but you don’t need to read it to understand why Angel is alone outside the gates of Paradise…or why she feels so horribly alone. And you don’t need to read the first book, HELL’S BELLES, to know who the archangel is that she meets. (But of course, I hope you **will** read the books!)

“Hell’s Angel” is somewhat of a departure from the Hell on Earth series in that it’s not humorous, it’s not written in first person, and it’s not about the former succubus Jezebel. Whether you’re new to Hell on Earth or if you’ve read all the books and novellas, I think you’ll enjoy the story.

Blurb: Where can an angel find comfort? A lonely banished angel sits outside the gates of Paradise, lamenting the joy she has lost. When she is joined by a fallen archangel, she learns that one doesn’t need to be in Heaven to experience bliss.

Books and stories by Jackie Kessler:

Hell on Earth series:
Hell’s Belles
The Road to Hell
“A Hell of a Time,” Eternal Lover
Hotter than Hell (mass-market reissue coming September 2010)
“When Hell Comes Calling,” Lilith Unbound
“Hell Is Where the Heart Is,” A Red Hot Valentine’s Day
“Hell’s Angel,” 28 Days of Heart
“Hell Bound,” Those Who Fight Monsters (coming fall 2010)
Hell to Pay (date TBA)
“Hell’s Fury,” Mammoth Book of Hot Romance (date TBA)

The Icarus Project series (with Caitlin Kittredge):
Black and White
Shades of Gray (coming June 2010)

Young Adult novels (by Jackie Morse Kessler):
Hunger (coming October 2010)
Rage (coming spring 2011)

Jackie Kessler on the Internet:
http://www.jackiekessler.com
http://www.jackiemorsekessler.com
Deadline Dames: http://www.deadlinedames.com
League of Reluctant Adults: http://reluctantadults.blogspot.com
Twitter: @JackieKessler, @JackieMorseKess
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jackie.kessler

Y’all can’t imagine how very thrilled I was when Jackie said she’d talk up her book a bit. So, thank you, Jackie!

I hope all of you are picking up a copy of each of these books that have been featured so far…and there are many more to come!

~lissa

Tales on Thursday

This past weekend, All Romance eBooks had a huge sale and they never have sales. I am not one to pass up a good sale on something I love and since I love to read and had purchased any books for a while, I thought to take advantage of their 50% off sale.

Here’s a list of what I purchased:

Family Unit by Z.A. Maxfield
Reckelss Passion by Amanda Young
Wicked Sexy by R.G. Alexander
Doll by Juniper Bell
Pleasure and Purpose by Megan Hart
Bound to Please by Lilli Feisty
The Seeking Kiss by Eden Bradley
Make Mine Midnight by Anne Marie McKenna
Hawkeye Two: Bend Me Over by Sierra Cartwright
In For a Penny by Carol Lynne
Something More by Amanda Young

In that list we have Loose Id, Samhain Publishing, and Resplendence Publishing. I also visited Cobblestone Press Sunday night for the first book in the new Madison Layle/Anna Leigh Keaton series: Once Upon a Time… Midnight Hour. 

Tonight I went shopping again. This time I stayed at My Bookstore and More and purchased:

Little Red and the Wolf by Alison Paige
Winter Solstice by Eden Bradley
and
Seeing You by Dakota Flint

I have a some male/male, bdsm, paranormal, contemporary, cowboy, and menage. I am so certain to find something I can’t put down. Some of these I’ve been wanting and waiting to read for a while, some were impulse buys, for instance my purchasing of Little Red and the Wolf was totally impulse because I saw the cover tweeted by Moira Rogers and was completely amazed.

I hadn’t bought any books in a really really really long time and just couldn’t pass up the sale at ARe and well, I figured I’d add on a few more. I’ll let you know how the reading goes!

~lissa