Teardrops Know My Name

Monday, March 30, 2015

Today, I'm happy to be hosting Dalia Florea who has a new book, Teardrops Know My Name. Please see a sample from the novel below.


She regarded him silently for a moment, gazing into his dark brown eyes and watching a smile curve his lips. “I think that it would be. You don’t know me very well. I’ve had too many heartbreaks, and I’m in a vulnerable state right now where I may be incapable of making good choices. I don’t ever want to end up where I am right now—in this same place—again. For God’s sake, my last boyfriend was married, and I had absolutely no idea. How could I not have known? Other people were able to see the red flags, but I didn’t see a thing.”

“I hear what you’re saying, and I understand, but you can’t live the rest of your life that way. You can’t shield yourself from getting to know someone and never open yourself up to love again because of your past relationships.” He sipped water from the glass in front of him. His eyes were fixed on hers.

He stood and came around to her side of the booth, sat next to her, and reached for her hand, taking it into his and intertwining their fingers. He slowly lifted her hand to his mouth and gently pressed his lips to the back of it. Feeling his warm breath against the skin of her hand made her tremble. “I promise you that if you give me a chance, you won’t need to worry about anything. You will see no red flags when it comes to me. I have no secrets and no hidden agenda,” he said softly, lips brushing against her hand again. He lifted his eyes, looking her straight in the face.

Damn. He’s making this difficult. She couldn’t think clearly. Her senses had been heightened by his sensual touch, his silky smooth dark skin, and his masculine musk mixed with the spicy cologne he wore. She had to stop herself from being drawn in by this magnetic force that threatened to take her over mentally and physically.

He tipped her head up with his finger and lowered his mouth onto hers, brushing his lips against hers, teasing her, barely touching them at first. Then he whispered against her lips, “Please give me”— soft kiss—“a chance.”

Linda had to admit that she wanted Sean. There was something about him that stirred her soul. But was she willing to throw caution to the wind as she had done in the past? When she thought about it, she had always jumped from one relationship to another without giving herself a break in between. Maybe that was the problem. Was she codependent? Did she need to be in a relationship in order to feel whole? She needed some distance from Sean to find out more about who she was and what she wanted for herself in life.
It took every bit of her self-control and willpower to pull away from his kiss. She breathed in deeply. She knew she needed to say what she didn’t want to say. She mentally prepared herself to resist what she knew would be another attempt from him to pursue the idea of them being in a relationship. She slid a few inches away from him in an effort to prevent any further temptation, and she watched his shoulders droop.

Dalia grew up in Queens, New York and now makes her home in Northern Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.  Her debut Mirrored reached the Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Women’s Detective Fiction.  She is a voracious reader who enjoys writing fiction stories with a mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance.  When she isn’t crafting suspense romance, she enjoys reading, attending live music concerts, and visiting wineries. 

For you A-Zers, remember the Challenge starts this Wednesday. If you haven't signed up yet, go here. Also the IWSG post day is this Wednesday!

Fixation on Sample Sunday

Sunday, March 29, 2015

By nature, I wasn't exactly a ray of sunshine, which was probably why I found Kelleigh so attractive. She brought lightness to my boring and sober life, which made me question what I had to offer other than my head space and what I was doing to help her.

Gary would have plenty of things to say if he knew I was even thinking this way. He was the best friend a guy could have and had more self-confidence than he should have considering that he hadn't had as good a start in life as I had. 

Right now, my parents were off somewhere in Alaska on a cruise and no doubt they were living it up. Some time down the road, I wanted what they had. A relationship that wasn't perfect but had been tested and tried and was still going strong.

"True that," I said coming back to our conversation. "Are you sure that's not why you went out with me. Feeling grateful and all?"

She jabbed me in the side. "You know that's not why."

I shrugged. "Since you won't tell me, all a guy can do is guess."

"Which may lead you to some wrong answers," she said.

"So go ahead and tell me why you said yes."

"I'm not sure I know."

"I think you're just shot my ego dead with a single bullet."

"Come on, I know you don’t believe that. A guy like you? You're not only brilliant, but run your own business? In your position, my ego would be out-of-this-world large."

Tapping my chest, I said, "This is the same guy you referred to as nerd-boy, remember?"

"I know you couldn't have taken that seriously."

I only raised one eyebrow in response, but she touched a finger to her lip. "You did, didn't you?"

"You have to know I didn't mean anything by it."

I shot her a look that made her burst out laughing. "Okay, I'm sorry, but you did say some nasty things to me."

"I already apologized for those."

"So why do I feel I'm saying sorry twice for committing the same offense,"

"Dunno. Could be because you're always doing something to get in trouble."

"You see now, this is why you shouldn't tell black people your business. They take it and throw it in your face."

That cracked us up for a few minutes, before her phone rang. She ignored it and touched my hand. "I really enjoyed being out with you tonight and I guess I'll see you on Monday."

"I enjoyed it too."

I stared into her eyes, knowing she wanted me to kiss her. We both edged forward and our lips met in a gentle hello. I pressed my lips to hers in a series of gentle kisses, until her eyelashes closed. My tongue teased her lips in a gentle, but persuasive move and when she opened to me, I used the advantage to invade her mouth. With lazy strokes, my tongue played with hers and I held her in place with a hand to the back of her head.

Her hand came up to grip my shoulder and when she made a sound in her throat, I gradually withdrew, letting her catch her breath before leaning away from her.

"I … uh … goodnight," she whispered.

I didn't trust myself to say anything, so I opened the locks and got out of the car, to help her inside. Ten minutes must have passed before I drove away from her gate. I was definitely taking a chance getting back into her orbit again, but I prayed this time she'd be sensible enough to stop chasing after a guy who meant her no good and give me a chance to show her how I felt about her.

Price Break on Contraband!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Welcome to the weekend! Today is #BookFrenzyFriday! Starting this month, each week—on a Friday—I'm doing something special with one of my books, whether a giveaway or price break, so stay tuned.

This week's special is in the Romantic Suspense department. You know that's my specialty right? For those of you who read and enjoyed Grudge, you might want to meet the hero in Contraband. The hero from both books is a set of twins and wonderful guys to have around. 

Contraband has been reduced to 0.99, so get yours on this #BookFrenzyFriday!

Have a great weekend and for those who haven't yet signed up for the Challenge, there's lots of room available, so add your blog here. Got some great news today, so come back on Monday!

A-Z Theme Reveal!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Challenge is drawing ever closer and today is the theme reveal! For several years now, I've done themes around writing - The A-Z of Characters (2011), Blog Tours from A-Z (2013),  Scenarios from A-Z (2014) and this year, I'll be focusing on The A-Z Guide to Starting And Sustaining A Writing Career.

Apart from practical information and advice, there will be tidbits of encouragement, and we all need some of that right? So stay tuned for this journey in which I share the do and don'ts I've learned over the years.

I'm rolling another little something around in my head that will help A-Z participants, but not 100% sure I'll be able to do both. We'll see.
In the event that you want to help with visiting blogs during the Challenge, hit me up because the Brigade still has a few spots open!
See you on the A-Z trail! Check out the others in the theme reveal here.

Still haven't signed up for the Challenge yet? Go here

I'm off and running, so if I don't respond to your comments here, expect to see me at your corner of Blogville. Have your posts planned out yet? Selected a theme? Looking forward to April?

A Spring Affair With Té Russ

Friday, March 20, 2015

Today, I'm happy to be hosting Té Russ, who has a new release! Dive in and see what Té has to offer.

Though they've yet to meet face to face, Maya has had a secret crush on Xavier, the man who owns a wine café that the winery she works for distributes to. But being that Xavier is involved, she'd never reveal her feelings.

Xavier's previous relationship has left him wrung out emotionally. Needing to get away for awhile, he decides to drive to Napa and visit the winery that produces one of the best selling wines at his café. And finally get the opportunity to meet the woman with the sweet little voice.

One email and four little words stands to flip their love lives on its head and when Maya and Xavier meet for the first time, both are blindsided by the attraction they feel for one another.

Springtime and wine make a beautiful backdrop for two people on a romantic journey to love...

Maya stood there in the wine cave staring at Xavier.
"'We'," she said. "As in...you and me?"
She watched at the corner of his mouth quirked up slightly, before he released a deep chuckle.
"Yeah," he said. "That's the idea, unless there is some rule that says you can't drink right now?"
"My boss doesn't mind if we taste the wines along with our tourist, as long as we use the spittoon. But it is after hours and everyone has left for the day."
"So what do you say?" he asked with a smile. "All these years we've talked on the phone and emailed each other, it would be nice to sit down and finally get to know more about you."
She wanted to get to know him better as well.
Then why are you hesitating? her mind screamed.
She looked over her shoulder at the exit, then back at the table.
"I'm sorry," he said when she still didn't answer. He looked at his watch. "I suppose now I'm being presumptuous. Here I am asking you to sit down and share this wine and food with me and technically you're suppose to be off the clock already. I didn't think that maybe you already had plans with your husband."
Maya grinned at Xavier's inquisitive tone.
It was more than a little obvious that he was fishing for her relationship status. Grinning, she held up her hand to reveal her bare ring finger. "I'm not married."
"Boyfriend?" he corrected.
She shook her head, and she felt her grin widen. "I'm single."
"Then I'm not stealing you from anyone important."
"It doesn't appear that way." Finally Maya smiled and said, "Sure I would love to sit with you."
They moved over to the table and Xavier held a chair out for Maya. As he pushed her chair in after she sat, she felt his finger inadvertently brush against her shoulder. It amazed her that even the lightest touch from this man made her body come alive.
She expected him to go around and sit on the other side of the table, but was surprised when he pulled out the chair right next to hers and sat down.
"So, what do we have here?" Xavier asked, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.
Trying to ignore their knees touching under the table, Maya pointed to a white wine.
"This is a chardonnay, much like the one you tasted from the barrel. Of course this one is ready for consumption," she said with a smile.
They both reached for the bottle at the same time and she stopped as Xavier's large hand grabbed it first.
"Do you mind?" he asked.
"By all means." She held up her glass so he could pour some, then he filled his own glass.
"I assume we're pairing this with the brie cheese over there?" he guessed as he sat the bottle back down.
"You're absolutely right. It's actually from a local cheesemonger not too far from here." She cut them both a small slice of cheese. "You know your pairings."
"I would hope so, otherwise business would be terrible at my café."
"What made you decide to open a wine café?" Maya asked. She had always been curious. "Why not just open a wine shop?"
"Because there is a wine shop every few blocks. Not to mention you can get wine from just about any store. With the wine café, people can also experience the joy of learning about wines as well as different foods that pair well with them."
 She loved his answer. And it was obvious that he was a true wine lover. As they went through their flight of wines, tasting several varieties, she watched as he described each one in great detail, as well as how each item of food was enhanced by the wines.
As they finished up their tasting, Xavier wiped his mouth and sat his napkin down on the plate in front of him.
"That was amazing. I can't thank you enough again for doing all of this."
"Even though it was meant for you and someone else?" she asked sheepishly.
Xavier turned and looked Maya directly in the eyes. "If it was meant for me to be here with someone else, I would have been here with someone else," he said with a self-assured tone.
There was something in his voice and the look in his eyes that made Maya's heart race.
She broke their eye contact and stood, gathering up the dishes. "I still feel terrible. Setting up this whole romantic scene must have brought up some strange feelings considering–"
"Maya." Xavier stood, gently grabbing her arm, to stop her from her task of cleaning. "The only thing I've felt tonight is joy at spending time with you. In fact..." he removed his hand from her arm and hooked his thumbs into the loops of his jeans. "...I was wondering since the winery is closed tomorrow, do you have any plans tomorrow?"
"Uh, no. I don't have any plans tomorrow. You're not going to visit anymore wineries?"
"I visited all of the ones on my list yesterday and today. This was the final stop for me. I wanted to save the best for last," he said, and she felt like he was referring to more than just the winery.
"I know this may seem fast, and forward. And I'm kind of out of practice with all of this, but...I've enjoyed our time together today and I want to see you again. So I was wondering if you would have lunch with me tomorrow, before I have to head back to Sacramento."
Oh. My. God.
After years of fantasizing about this man she'd never before met, he was better than anything she could have imagined. And for all of those years, there was a road block in her dreams by the name of Darby. Now Darby was out of the picture and Xavier was showing interest in her. It was the stuff romance novels were made of.
She remembered what her sister had said about jumping at the opportunity if it presented itself with Xavier. Well...she'd been a little more cruder, but still...her overall advice was on point. And Maya wasn't going to let a chance she'd secretly been wishing for, for several years now, pass her by.
"Lunch with you tomorrow would be great."

Té Russ, Author
 Growing up an introvert, Té Russ found solace in literary arts at an early age. She found reading to be a vehicle to broader horizons and writing a form of self-expression. She began writing love stories in her adolescent years as a way to expel her youthful thoughts of love into words. Since then she has gone from writing stories and thoughts of love in journals to attending college for journalism and falling in love, which has allowed those youthful words of love to blossom into a series of stories in her romance novels.

Though she has an immense appreciation for the sheer smell that books collectively exert, she also has found balance to her introverted nature with adrenaline inducing activities. So if she does not have her nose pressed deeply into a book or her pen ticking through a pad, you may also find this mother of three baking some tasty treats, jumping out of airplanes, cheering her husband on at the top of her lungs at MMA fights, buzzing down the interstate on the back of motorcycles, or kayaking.
Contact  Té Russ
Books available on Amazon