New release coming: Imperfect Harmony—a rock’n’roll romance



Imperfect Harmony Teaser #4House of Archer #1

By Raine Thomas

A few minutes into his wait, there was a knock at the door. Archer stopped his pacing and smiled, anticipating Lily’s arrival. His smile faded when Trey opened the door and carried in a large vase full of red roses. Archer knew that Lily found red roses incredibly clichéd, so he figured they couldn’t be for her.

“What’s that?” Archer asked as Trey placed the roses next to the pink plumeria on the dressing room vanity.

“A delivery for Miss Lily.”

“What?”

Archer didn’t pause for a moment to consider Lily’s privacy. He strode over to the elaborate arrangement and yanked the card off the plastic stick. It read, Here’s to launching your career, Montgomery. I love you and I hope you’ll say yes. XOXO, Wingerson.

By the time Archer read the rather girly XOXO sign-off, his upper lip was curled in disdain. It was all he could do to jam the card back on the stick rather than crumpling it up and tossing it into the trash.

He hadn’t considered the fact that Johnathan might do something romantic for Lily. What was up with using their last names in his message? It had to be some kind of inside joke or pet name. Archer didn’t like how that made him feel…like an outsider on the fringe of Lily’s life.

And what did Johnathan mean about Lily saying yes? Yes to what?

The unanswered question gave his already foul mood another punch to the face. Trey paused before going back out the door. He cleared his throat as if uncertain whether to speak. Archer waved at him to spit it out.

“Mr. Donovan asked when you intend to return to your green room, sir.”

Archer figured Christopher wanted to rehash the performance problems they’d had that evening. Not wanting to deal with it, he gave Trey a shrug. “Let him know I’ll get there once I’ve seen Lily.”

“Yes, sir.”

Trey gave him and the flowers a knowing look before stepping back out of the room. Archer followed his gaze to the roses and felt irrational anger building in his gut. He shook his head at himself and resumed his pacing. Why did the flowers piss him off so much?

You know why, he thought.

He knew it made him selfish, but he wanted Lily’s attention focused on him, damn it. He wasn’t prepared for serious competition for her affection. It hadn’t ever been an issue before. Encountering it now was throwing off his game.

He had to do something to get her attention, and he had to do it now.

The sound of laughter and voices reached him from the other side of the door. His heart started beating faster and he turned towards the door as it swung open. At least ten different greetings ran through his mind as he tried to decide what to say to Lily.

She walked in and her entire face brightened when she spotted him. All of the greetings faded from his thoughts. In their place rose a demanding need he’d never felt before, especially for Lily.

He met her halfway into the room and, as naturally as if they’d done it a hundred times, he pulled her against him and captured her mouth in a passionate kiss.

About Imperfect Harmony

This is a New Adult Novel appropriate for ages 16+.

Imperfect-Harmony_ebooksmA rock band. A reality show. The opportunity of a lifetime.

As the front man for The Void, lead singer Dane Archer has yet to achieve the success he craves. He hopes that will change when he’s approached about filming a reality show called House of Archer. All he and the band have to do is get some juicy footage while on their upcoming tour.

The problem? Archer’s life is a snoozefest. His parents are happily married, he’s never done drugs or gotten arrested, and he doesn’t get into fights with his band mates. He knows the show will fizzle and die before it ever hits the air, taking his dreams of worldwide fame along with it.

Unless…

If Archer can convince his best friend Lily to be on the show, he’s sure they’ll get all the compelling footage they need. Her life is filled with drama. Hell, she’s practically a reality show in her own right.

Archer’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Lily on board, even if it means charming her into being more than just friends. But when he finds himself falling for her, his seemingly simple plan gets complicated. Soon the line between reality and Reality TV begins to blur, leaving him wondering if achieving his dreams is worth all it might cost him.

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK FOR $1.31 BEFORE 1/31: 

About the author

Raine Thomas Headshot (small)Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream.

Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and young adults with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Raine loves to hear from readers! You can connect with her here:

And follow her on Twitter @Raine_Thomas.

Dogs, travel and Kindle Worlds: An interview with author Emily Kimelman



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The newest Kindle World, the Sydney Rye Universe, launched with new titles from seven authors, including me. This week I thought it would be great to give readers more insight into it through the creator of Sydney Rye, Blue, Mulberry and Bobby Maxim: Emily Kimelman.

Emily Kimelman was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of a correspondent for the Philadelphia Enquirer. Her family moved to Texas within weeks of her birth, and then two years later to Moscow, from which come her earliest memories. She studied the history of forensic science at New York University. She published her first mystery novel featuring Sydney Rye and Blue, Unleashed in 2011. The seventh novel in the series is Shadow Harvest, and it came out in August 2015.

Late that year, Amazon contacted Emily about launching a Sydney Rye Kindle World, a project that allows writers to contribute works to established series. I was honoured when Emily asked me if I would be one of the first to write for the Sydney Rye Universe, and I jumped at the chance to write my second novella featuring Van Freeman and Earl LeBrun from Jet: Stealth. It’s called The Wife Line, and you can read a sample on this blog and another on Emily’s.

Emily corresponded to me for this interview from upstate New York, where she lives with her family and her dog, Kinsey.

When did you first get the idea for Sydney Rye and Blue? Why did you decide on a human-canine team of crime-fighters?

I was working as a dog walker on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and it was the weirdest job because I had access to all these people’s apartments but we’d never met. As a voracious mystery reader, I recognized this as a great set-up for an amateur detective. Since I love dogs (it’s hard to be a professional walker if you’re not super into them :)) I figured I needed a dog side kick for my detective. At the time I had a giant wolf-dog named Nova who had one brown eye and one blue. He became the model for Blue.

Is the Joy Humboldt character based on you or someone else you know?

Joy Humbolt is a lot like me when I was younger. She is braver and tougher but we are a lot alike. My mother leaves me messages when reading my books like: “Don’t you go down in that tunnel. What are you crazy!”

Do you have a dog? What kind?

I have a Spanish Water Dog named Kinsey, after Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone. She is adorable and bad to the bone as any good dog should be.

Where do your characters come from? Do you base them on specific people you know? Or are they created fresh in your mind?

It’s a mix. Sometimes characters pop into my mind fully formed and start running around messing stuff up. Other times I’ll meet someone who has a way about them that feels exciting or entertaining. My husband always warns people that they might end up in one of my books.

Some characters seem as if you created their personalities to fit critical roles to drive the plots forward, like Dan and Merle. Do you know any people like that?

Merl is based off a guy who was a regular at a bar I worked at in New York. The regular looks like Merl, talks like him, dresses like him and even had three Doberman Pinschers. However, their back stories are totally different. As far as I know, that guy wasn’t into vigilantism at all, never took heroin, nor spent time in the army. He just liked Dobermans and dressing like he was in training. When I started writing Death in the
Dark
 I didn’t have an outline and when Merl showed up, I was like, “Oh, that makes sense.”

I don’t know anyone like Dan. I don’t do outlines so I was just writing along when he showed up and from the first moment I met him I knew he was going to be very important. I liked him and he kind of felt like home to me, even though I didn’t base him off anyone. Writing is funny that way.

We know that Sydney hates Bobby Maxim, but as the books progress, he gets more and more complex. How do you feel about him?

I’m as surprised by the growth in their relationship as anyone. I didn’t see it coming. Bobby Maxim is slippery — I can’t ever seem to get a bead on him. I respect the hell out of him but I don’t trust him, not fully. However, I don’t think he’d do anything to hurt Sydney. I think he really loves her. I think she’s the only woman who has ever told him no. And he likes it.

You travel a lot, and so does Sydney. Do you enjoy writing about your own travels through Sydney’s eyes?

Yes, I love it. I love hearing her take on the places that we go.

When did you first get involved with Kindle Worlds?

When Toby Neal was offered a Kindle World for her Lei Crime Series, she asked me to be a launch author. I had heard of the KW program but never taken the time to look into it. I loved writing in her world … and not just because I took it as an excuse to fly to Maui, though that was a huge bonus. But writing in another author’s world is freeing somehow. I also loved how communal the process was. Working with a group of authors in the same world is really fun.

Your second Kindle World was, I believe, Russell Blake’s Jet. Tell me about your decision to incorporate Sydney Rye and Blue into Jet’s universe.

Toby told me she was writing for Jet and I was intrigued. Then Sean Fitzgerald, the acquisition editor for KW, called me up and asked me to write in it, explaining that I could use Sydney without loosing any rights. I had the seventh Sydney Rye novel coming out a week after the world launched, so I thought it would be a fun way to get my fans excited for Shadow Harvest.

Your own Kindle World, the Sydney Rye Universe, has just launched with seven titles from seven different authors. You invited specific authors to join. How did you select them?

I made a huge list of every author I knew and liked. Then I picked out the ones I most wanted in the launch. I based it on how professional I thought they were in terms of deadlines, if I’d read their work and liked it, and if I thought my fans would be into their other work. I wanted to keep the launch small enough that my readers could buy them all without becoming overwhelmed. I have lots more authors I want to invite to write in my world and I’m hoping by spacing out the launches it will give fans time to read them all!

The different books span quite a range. Most incorporate the authors’ previously-created characters. Mine, The Wife Line, includes Van and LeBrun from my Jet Kindle World novella. How do you feel about that? 

I wanted lots of different styles. That’s part of the fun for me as the world creator. I can never write a Sydney Rye story where she interacts with a ghost, or Van and LeBrun, or Lei (Toby’s character). It’s SO MUCH fun to read these other takes on my characters.SRKWbadge3

Will you write any more in other Kindle Worlds, such as Toby Neal’s Lei Crime world, or the Jet world?

I’m planning on another story for Toby’s world this year. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do something with Jet, but I’m thinking about it.

When will the next Sydney Rye and Blue novel by Emily Kimelman come out?

I’m working on Sydney Rye #8 now. I’m hoping to have it out by early summer but am not making any promises at this moment. I have a six-month-old daughter who likes a lot of attention, and I like giving it to her 🙂 So I’m enjoying her babyhood because I know it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Whereas Blue and Sydney will be with me forever.

Thank you so much, Emily.

Emily Kimelman is the author of seven Sydney Rye novels, six KISS stories, a Jet Kindle World novella and a Lei Crime Kindle World novella. She is also a member of BestSelling Reads.

Visit her:

And follow her on Twitter @ejkimelman.

Book launch: Under the Nazi Heel



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It’s book launch day for the follow-up to Army of Worn Soles: Under the Nazi Heel tells the true story of Maurice Bury, the Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army in 1941, as he joins the struggle for Ukrainian independence.

The book has a terrific cover designed by David C. Cassidy and was edited by the matchless Gary Henry and proofread by the Typo Detective, Joy Lorton. Thanks for all the help!

What’s it about?

Under the Nazi Heel

Walking Out of War, Book 2

For Ukrainians in 1942, the occupying Germans were not the only enemy.

Maurice Bury was drafted into the Red Army just in time to be thrown against the invading Germans in 1941. Captured and starved in a POW camp, he escaped and made his way home to western Ukraine, where the Nazi occupiers pursued a policy of starving the locals to make more “living space” for Germans.

To protect his family, Maurice joins the secret resistance. He soon finds Ukraine faces multiple threats. Maurice and his men are up against Soviet spies, the Polish Home Army and enemies even closer to home.

Experience this seldom seen phase of World War 2 through the eyes of a man who fought and survived Under the Nazi Heel.

It’s available on Amazon for just $2.99. And if you buy it by March 5, send me an email and I’ll send you a bonus e-book, Jet: Stealth.

Get previews

Want to read a few preview? Some very gracious book bloggers are hosting excerpts.

New book preview: The Wife Line – A Sydney Rye Kindle World novella



Sydney Rye Kindle World

Along with 11 other authors, I released a novella in the brand-new Sydney Rye Kindle World on March 17. That’s right, St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s a book preview.

Download this sample as a PDF for reading on your device

Chapter 1: A simple assignment

Provence, France, May 2010

Mulberry had promised this would be a simple assignment.

“Just follow this logistics guy and find out whether he’s misusing his employer’s — our client’s — resources. They think he’s smuggling. Find out what.”

It had sounded reasonable, even easy. But now, with the sweet scent of lavender filling her nostrils, the deep darkness of Provence pressing in from all sides, it did not seem all that simple. There was another aroma beside, or maybe underneath the scent of flowers. Musky, deep, dark. It was making her edgy, excited — horny?

Sydney Rye looked down at her dog, Blue. He looked back up with an expression that seemed to say “If you can’t identify scents this easy, I can’t help you.” She couldn’t see that one of his eyes was brown, the other blue, but her mind filled in those details.

Blue was the size of a Great Dane with the long, thick fur of a wolf, the markings of a Husky and the elegant muzzle of a collie. A thin whine escaped his mouth and his bushy tail went from brushing Sydney’s leg to shaking the fronds beside him.

Sydney and Blue both looked up when they heard a rustle in the branches above. Sydney thought she could see something moving along the vines above her, but the dark made it impossible to be certain. Blue whined again, his tail accelerating to beat a tattoo against Sydney’s leg.

Sydney raised her gun, sliding the safety off with a click. Her mouth felt dry. Her pulse throbbed in her neck. Sweat loosened her grip on her weapon. That scent again, under the floral odor. Why was she thinking about sex at a time like this?

Blue growled so softly that only Sydney, standing in the shadows right beside him, could hear it. Above, the shadows no longer moved.

Probably just a squirrel, or whatever animal moves around the trees at night get in southern France. If it was a threat, Blue would have warned me, not wagged his tail.

She crouched down and crept closer to the country mansion beyond the trees. The subject was inside, obviously to meet someone — but who? And why?

“Stay here, boy,” she told Blue. She put the safety back on and tucked the weapon firmly into its holster, then reached up and jumped. She pulled herself into the tree and climbed high enough to look over the old stone wall in front of her.

A shadow rustled ahead, seeming to recede through the branches toward the country mansion behind the stone wall.

The mansion seemed to Sydney the epitome of France: originally constructed of light grey stone probably hundreds of years ago, it had new, modern windows that showed polished wood floors, bright lamps and modern furniture inside. The light spilling out the windows added to that from modern fixtures that lit up the manicured gardens inside the wall.

ProvenceMansion2

Photo copyright by Scott Bury

While she couldn’t see them from her vantage point in the tree, Sydney was certain there was also state-of-the-art security and surveillance technology that kept a better eye on the grounds than she had.

The front door had a brightly polished brass handle and kick-plate, and a brass banister ran down the stone steps to a curved driveway. Two cars sat on the gravel, a black Peugeot and a bright red Lamborghini that somehow screamed “Russian mob” to Sydney.

Okay, so Willem is meeting with someone from the Russian mob. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a movie star.

But why? And why sneak here to do it?

Sydney Rye is the creation of bestseller Emily Kimelman. Sydney and her faithful giant dog, Blue, work for a detective agency out of London, UK, and mostly gets involved in cases where women and/or children are abused, victimized and exploited. The story arc of the series takes Sydney and Blue around the world and into the dark, deadly back corridors of power.

In a Kindle World, other writers add their stories to the arc, with tales featuring secondary characters from the series, or exploring periods not covered by the original authors’ stories. The Wife Line will be the third Kindle World for me. It features Van Freeman, the young man with an attitude who just gets things done. He teams up with a reluctant Sydney Rye and an always enthusiastic Blue to take on a human trafficking chain. Here’s a sample.

The Wife Line will be available exclusively from Amazon on March 17. Come back to Written Words over the next month to find some great promos and giveaways.

Valentine sweet treat: 9 free BestSelling books



ValentinesTreatCover-smallerFor Valentine’s Day this year, BestSelling Reads is giving away 9 romance novels — for FREE.

That’s right: you can download a file with 9 great romances. All you have to do is subscribe to their email newsletter. And you can unsubscribe again at any time.

It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, or to give to your Valentine.  Here’s what’s inside:

Get it now at BestSellingReads.com.

A Snake in Paradise: A woman finds her inner strength — Independent novel review



Snake-new-mediumBy Eden Baylee

I loved Eden Baylee’s stories since I read her Fall into Winter collection. So when I saw that she had written a Lei Crime Kindle World novella, I had to read A Snake in Paradise.

Essentially, the story is one of a woman discovering her inner strength and learning to trust herself. My favorite aspect is how the author uses the snake as a symbol of strength and power, as opposed to the usual sneaky, evil associations.

The story

Madelaine Lee is a recently divorced woman who decides to turn her life around. She starts to call herself “Lainey,” rather than Madelaine. After decades of her overbearing husband preventing her from getting a tattoo, after her divorce, Lainey has a friend give her a colorful tattoo of a snake the length of her back. Then she treats herself to a solo vacation on the Big Island, Hawaii.

At the opening of the story, she’s clearly still in recovery mode: nervous, anxious to please. But she is making the effort to transform herself. She dresses so as to show off her tattoo. She books adventurous excursions.

At her hotel, she is victimized by a handsome man, who seduces her, then robs her and leaves her naked and bound hand and foot.

Drawing on her new-found inner strength, symbolized by the snake tattoo, she is determined not to let her experience ruin her vacation, and to help the police find the man who robbed and humiliated her.

Her self-confidence grows daily. She makes new friends and begins to like herself more and more. By the end of the story, she’s no longer the same Madelaine Lee, ex-wife. She’s self-actualized Lainey Lee. Like a snake, she has gone through a painful struggle and is now renewed.

This is an excellent book that follows a credible, sympathetic character’s development, who finds in trauma her own inner strength. From that, she changes her situation, her life and herself.

5*.

Kindle World

A Snake in Paradise is one of the titles in the Lei Crimes Series Kindle World. Bestselling author Toby Neal created the Lei Crime series, which now has nine books featuring Hawaiian Detective (and sometimes FBI Agent) Leilani Texeira, as well as a companion novel about a secondary character.

EdenBaylee

Eden Baylee, author of A Snake in Paradise

Kindle Worlds is an initiative of Amazon, where the company takes a successful series and invites other people to write shorter works that fit within the original author’s world. Toby invited a number of proven, professional writers to contribute to her Lei Crime world, and Eden Baylee joined with A Snake in Paradise.

In total, 11 authors have published Lei Crime Kindle World books of varying length, and I’m looking forward to reviewing more, including Christine Nolfi’s The Shell Keeper and Emily Kimelman’s Warrior Dog.

It Takes Two – A Jet Kindle World novella: independent review



By Emily Kimelman

ItTakesTwoI have read a number of the Jet Kindle World series, and Emily Kimelman’s It Takes Two, which combines her Sydney Rye series with Russell Blake’s Jet series, is one of the best.

Kindle Worlds is an Amazon initiative that allows writers to publish new stories within another author’s established, best-selling series, similar to fan fiction, except that there are some minimum standards when it comes to quality, and the original series author also gets royalties on the sales of all the related books in the Kindle World.

The program gives readers more books to read about the characters and situations they love, and it helps new authors get discovered, as well.

Not that Emily Kimelman is an undiscovered author. She’s a bestseller in her own right. Her Sydney Rye series now contains eight books, plus this entry in the Jet series.

It took two

With two protagonists, the plot of It Takes Two takes some surprising turns. Kimelman sets the two up in opposition: Sydney Rye and her dog, Blue are assigned to protect a rich man and his family on an adventure/wilderness vacation. Jet, meanwhile, has been assigned to kill him. Sydney manages to save the target, at least temporarily. In the encounter, both Jet and Sydney have each other in their gunsights, but for some reason they cannot define, decline to pull the trigger.

Back in civilization, they recognize each other as kindred spirits and team up to take down a particularly noxious villain, an American businessman and politician.

What’s good

EJ Kimelman, author of the Sydney Rye series and the Jet Kindle World novella, It Takes Two

I like Kimelman’s writing style. It’s clear, simple, straightforward and just descriptive enough to bring me right into the story. And she knows how to write a page-turner.

Fitting the genre, there’s lots of action. Of course, this being a Jet story, it requires a certain suspension of disbelief. Jet is a woman who never makes a mistake, and Sydney Rye, with the help of her gigantic dog, is unstoppable. It’s essentially an unbelievable concept — two unbeatable women assassins who take on groups of opponents without breaking a sweat. But we readers suspend our disbelief because Kimelman knows how to write a story that pulls you along.

Kimelman has created a fascinating and believable cast of characters in Sydney Rye and her boss, Mulberry. What’s more, she has not only captured and accurately portrayed Russel Blake’s Jet character, but added more depth to her in a way that is completely consistent with Blake’s series.

It’s well-named: It Takes Two features two strong, yet vulnerable women (plus an awesome dog) who know how to defeat anyone who makes the fatal mistake of threatening them.

5*

Find it on Amazon (available in the US only)

Visit Emily Kimelman’s website and blog, and follow her on Twitter @EJKimelman.