Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#YesAllWomenwonder “If I had been born a boy”

Available HERE
“If I had been born a boy, I would have followed in my father’s footsteps and become a tradesman. Because I was a girl, he sold me instead.” –Taliasman

When my mother came of age, she had three options for a career: nurse, teacher, or secretary. She became a teacher and hated it. She told me, “If I’d been a boy, I could have become an accountant, engineer, or physicist. Because I was a girl, I didn’t have choices.”
A generation later, I grew up with my own version of “If I had been born a boy.” As the girl in the family, I was expected to perform household chores, cross my ankles while wearing skirts, baby-sit, and remain sweetly polite at all times. My mother, who had grown up feeling unwanted as a girl, unwittingly carried on the tradition of limiting her own girl-child. “Boys are so much easier, “ she told me when I failed to meet her standards. “He’s a boy,” she explained when I asked why my brother could lounge on the couch watching football while I washed dishes after holiday meals. “It’s different for boys,” she said when privileges and freedom did not cross gender lines.
I fumed. And when I wrote Taliasman, the fairy tale realm offered depths to portray Talia, a young woman ravaged by the society and family that should have nurtured her. Instead of prosaic dish-washing, the daughter of a poor construction worker receives her own messages about gender-based worth. For her, however, the struggle is literal. Sold for not being a boy and stripped of self-worth, she despairs of finding meaning in her life.
Enter Queen Vina, a heavenly ruler who descends to Earth after receiving a talisman from the mysterious storyteller, Nicodemus. She searches for months before finding Talia’s cottage. When she offers a sack full of gold, however, she wins Talia’s body but not her heart. Furious, miserable, and betrayed, Talia locks Vina into a stalemate night after night. Vina offers love, but Talia understands only scorn.
When human trafficking and gender crimes still threaten women and young girls, the story of Talia becomes all the more relevant to our lives today. When wearing a mini-skirt deems women culpable for “illegitimate” rape, we must teach our daughters to value themselves.
If Taliasman makes you cry, I am pleased you care for Vina and Talia. If Taliasman makes you reflect on your own life and embrace the wonderful goodness of being a woman, I have done my job. Thank you for allowing these two women into your life.

Taliasman Buy Links:



Anastasia Vitsky will give a wooden spoon to one random commenter on this post. If you live outside of the United States, she will offer a comparable gift certificate instead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Making of Storms in a Shot Glass

Available HERE
A little bump is about to cause a lot of ripples
The story behind Storms in a Shot Glass came to me during a chat with one of my friends. I was complaining about my kids, and my friend said kids really knew how to brew a tempest in a teacup. That was still not appropriate in my opinion, and I replied, “More like they can stir up a storm in a shot glass!”
The words stayed with me for many days. I kept thinking, “This would make a great book title...” From this point on, I was like, “What story could I tag with this?”
The answer seemed obvious – the story needed a child in it. Now, stories with children have been done and overdone. I had myself penned down stories where children were strongly featured (Light My World & Calling Home). It got me further into thinking, and then the light bulb moment came – what’s the one thing that involves a child but has the biggest impact on a woman? Pregnancy. So there I had it - the story would be about a pregnancy.
Entered the brainstorming and characterization stage. Pregnancy and maximum impact = unplanned, accidental, unexpected. The more unexpected, the better! Now who would be more affected by such news? Obvious – a woman whose life resembled the inside of a shot glass since there is no room to move in there. It would be nice to brew a storm in such closed confines. Pitch her against a hero who would stir up even more havoc, and I had my game plan.
Jane Smithers came to life this way. A quiet, self-effacing girl whose life was akin to a shot glass. Simply no room for anything. Who’d be the man who would tip the scales, then? Enter Michael Rinaldi.
There’s something about the name Michael that has most women swooning. Don’t ask me what it is, I have no idea; yet, I know it’s a fact. Rinaldi is a name I always wanted to use, so there he got paired with that name. Had to give him an Italian lineage, too, and I did. I now needed a twist – and the question that popped up: “Who is Michael?” The baby’s father? Or is he someone Jane has never met before?
The second option sounded more tempting, and I went with it. How does she meet him, then? Bridging the gap, that’s when Michael’s Italian ancestry came into play – his father will be Jane’s boss. But, a big ‘but’ here, the father and son are estranged!
I’m sure you can now see how much a game of “Let’s make things more complicated for these two!” the drafting of this story turned out to be! Originally, the story started strictly through Jane’s POV, in a twist on the chick-lit. But Michael was too strong a hero (yes, an overbearing, charismatic, and utterly-charming-when-he-wants-to Italian!). He, too, wanted his say, and the hero has no say in the chick-lit, right? Swift turn, and the story became a contemporary romance where both protagonists would get the equal spotlight.
I started actively writing then, and I think this book will remain as one of the stories I had most fun with. The need to complicate matters runs throughout the plot, and it was a joyride all the way!
But it wasn’t simply about fun – it was also about stronger, deeper issues. What’s a woman to do when faced with an unexpected pregnancy? How does she come to grips with the need to become a single parent? What impact will this unborn child have on her life?
This also brought forth the notion that more and more women nowadays prefer to bring up their child alone. What’s the role of the father in there? What even defines a father nowadays? Can a man love another man’s child as his own? How does this whole situation affect him?
Jane and Michael face those issues in the story, and against a barrage of complications that Fate keeps sending their way, how will they find their footing in the shifting sands of their changing reality? When you are resolutely modern and are going about your life in cosmopolitan London, how do you adjust to unexpected changes that will completely annihilate the life you’ve known till now?
Find out when you grab a copy of Storms in a Shot Glass and join this merry, eventful ride with Jane, Michael, and their crazy entourage of quirky friends and families.

From Mauritius with love, 

Zee

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meet Gavin from Imperfect Mate


Gavin Stone is a sophomore at Harmony University. He’s also human and a little geeky. Since his long term high school girlfriend broke his heart the last thing he was looking for was another commitment. He buried himself into his studies and avoided the dating scene until he meet Samira at a dorm welcome party. The passion between them was too many to deny.
Stats:
Name: Gavin Stone
Hair color: brown
Eye color: brown
Height: 6’2”
Degree working for: He’s majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in chemistry
Story told in:  Imperfect Mate

I’m so thrilled to be part of this new Decadent line, ROAR, and excited about the release of Imperfect Mate. I can’t wait to get started on the next book in the series.


Imperfect Mate
Harmony Springs, book 1
Decadent Publishing ROAR line
By Lia Davis
Blurb:
For tiger-shifter, Samira Anderson, leaving home for the first time to attend Harmony University should unnerve her. She’s never submitted to the fear of a challenge and doesn’t plan to start now. Meeting her dorm mates and touring the campus excites her and her cat. Although when she meets Gavin Stone, she’s not only nervous around him but fears she might lose the tight control she has over her tiger.
After a bad break up with his high school sweetheart, Gavin has no intentions of repeating past mistakes. Or so he thought until he sees the beautiful, smart, Samira at the dorm welcome party. Drawn to her like no other, he can’t stay away or shake the feeling Sam isn’t telling him everything.
When he discovers her secrets, a whole new world opens to him, filled with danger, unknown possibilities, and a passion so intense it could last many lifetimes.

About the Author
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very active imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing is stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy Book Birthday!

Available HERE
Yesterday my 1st romantic suspense with paranormal elements arrived on the virtual bookshelves. I’m both a little excited and nervous. I’m excited because it’s the beginning of a new series for me. And I finally get to share a story that’s been wavering in my head for over a decade. Plus, of course, I love sharing my stories with readers.
I’m a little nervous, too, though for a very different reason. I’ve had connected stories before, but they didn’t have to be read in order. Plus, the only things they had in common were the people and places. Wake Me is my 1st venture into a connected series where the stories need to be read in order in order to “get it” all. In the Hidden Destiny series, each book will have a character with a special ability and they will be interacting with others like them within the community introduced in Wake Me . There are some other connected details about the series, but I’m not telling!
I look forward to the challenges the new series will bring me and I’m excited to see what the characters and I can create. I hope you enjoy Wake Me and I hope you’ll be excited to read the rest of the series when they come out!

Blurb:
Her psychic dreams come true.
Sarah McKinley’s attempts to take her foreknowledge of crimes to the Seattle Police Department marked her as a troublemaker and were never taken seriously. Starting over in Austin, she plans never to reveal her gift, but shortly after she arrives, the dreams begin again, and the local police want to know why she has knowledge only the killer could possess.
Detective Jesse Cordell watched his mother con people with her “psychic ability” all through his childhood. He hones in on Sarah, who has means, motive, and opportunity to have murdered the victim in his current investigation. Instinct tells him she didn’t commit the crime, but she definitely knows more than she’s letting on.
Can he put aside his doubts and join forces with her, against everything he believes in, to find the real killer? Or will he do his job and put her behind bars? After all, there’s no such thing as the “psychic ability.” Or is there? 

Bio:
Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.
When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website, www.alexabourne.com.

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