The Siblings Blog Tour

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Pitch

College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him. After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adrian’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.

The Banovic Siblings learn that blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving. This is the second book in the Family Portrait novel series.

If you like shows like the original Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 and Nashville, where the guys and girls are hot and the schemes are hotter, you will like The Banovic Siblings.

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Author Details

Biography

Gillian Felix has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She enjoys creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.

Originally from the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Felix moved to the United States in 1998. Since then she has been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years. Her experience ranges from script supervisor to production manager on many independent features. She is trained in the Meisner and Stanislavski technique of acting, which she credits as an asset to her character development and writing.

Miss Felix is also an entrepreneur and advocate for children’s and women’s rights.

Excerpt

L’Wren entered Bacchanal Jake’s with two of her girlfriends. While their intention was to have fun and enjoy the attention of guys, her mission was to see Kevin Banovic again. She knew he worked there and, without alerting her friends to her plan, casually chose Jake’s as the hangout spot for the evening.

She hated the way they’d left things. Why did she care what he thought of her? He was just some guy “some guy who cared enough to stand up for her and got hurt in the process. She carried around immense guilt, and he’d made her feel worst when she tried to apologize. She had no idea what she was going to say to him. She just knew that she had to see him again.

They ordered drinks and found a booth. L’Wren’s eyes combed the room, her breath unsteady, her palms sweaty and her stomach in knots. Maybe he had the night off.

L’Wren’s friends noticed her distraction.

“Hey, what’s going on with you?” one friend asked.

“Nothing.” She smiled nervously.

A couple of guys came over with drinks for the girls. They began chatting them up. L’Wren was not interested. She just smiled and nodded and kept an eye out for Kevin.

Her hopes began to fade after an hour. L’Wren was about ready to leave when she spotted Kevin. She took a deep breath. The air in the room was getting tight again. She watched as he flirted with a woman at the bar. The scene reminded her of Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail, minus the bar theatrics.

She felt a twinge in the pit of her stomach that surprised her. The guy next to her said something, but she didn’t hear him. Her mind was focused on Kevin. Mentally she tried to muster courage and find something to say to him.

Her legs felt heavy as she stood and walked over to the bar. With every step her heart pounded harder and faster. As she got closer, she straightened her spine, lifted her head, and steadied her breath. She walked straight towards the end of the bar where he stood still chatting up the brunette, who looked like she was ready to ravish him. Kevin said something to her, and she smiled, then tossed her long mane, retrieved her cell phone, and touched hers with his.

Kevin stood up and looked at L’Wren. The brunette shot her a menacing look.

“What can I get you?” he asked as if she was a complete stranger.

“I just thought I’d come over and introduce myself,” she heard herself say. New-formed confidence took over. “Hi, I’m L’Wren.” She extended her arm.

The brunette’s eyes switched between them. She eventually walked away without saying a word.

“What are you doing?” Kevin asked.

“Starting over.”

Kevin was unsure where she was going with this but played along. “Kevin, nice to meet you.” He gently shook her hand.

“I’d like a martini, please. Shaken not stirred.” She perched herself on the bar stool.

They looked at each other for a moment, and then started to laugh at the obvious James Bond reference.

It was late when L’Wren’s friends said their goodbyes and left her at the bar.

Kevin served drinks, and then returned his attention to her.

It was last call when Kevin walked her to her car. “You okay to drive, or should I call for a cab?”

“Kevin,” she leaned in close to him, “when you weren’t looking, I ordered diet Sprite from the other bartender.”
“What about the martini?”

“I don’t drink martinis. I sent it to my girlfriend.”

“Oh, I feel so duped, seriously?”

She nodded affirmative.

“Since we’re confessing, I saw you the minute you walked into Jake’s.”

“Liar! You were nowhere around.”

“I was in the back room — I wanted to see if you were waiting for someone.”

“I don’t believe you. You can’t stand to be duped.” She laughed.

Kevin watched her as she got into her white Prius V and drove away.

L’Wren looked at him in the rearview mirror and smiled. That turned out better than she’d expected.

As she pulled into her driveway, she hummed Kokoma, the theme song from Cocktail. The house was dark, and she knew no one was home. Leighann had gone to the game with Zax, and who knew where Savi was. L’Wren smiled as she thought about Zax and Leighann. Those Banovic boys had charm. If Zax was anything like his brother, Leighann was a lucky girl. Just then she heard footsteps and turned around quickly.

“Jeff! You scared me.” She playfully punched him.

“Hey, baby.” He kissed her. “Here let me.” He took the keys and opened the door for her.

They began turning on the lights.

“I didn’t t realize we were supposed to get together tonight,”� she said, feeling uneasy.

“Do I need an appointment to see my girl?”

“No! if I knew you were coming over, I would have gotten here sooner.” She busied herself in the kitchen.

“Where were you?”

“Traffic on the 405 was a bitch.”

“Where did you say you were again?”

“Out with a couple of friends. No place special.”

“You could have called me. I would have gone to no place special with you.”

“Jeff, we talked about this. You can’t have a cow every time I go out with my friends.”

“You never invite me anywhere with your friends. Are you ashamed of me?” Jeff towered over her.

“Don’t be silly. It was just us girls. None of them had their boyfriends with them.”
“Did you have a good time?”

“Yes.” She tried to walk away from him, but she was trapped between the counter and Jeff.

He boxed her in with his arms. “Did guys hit on you?”

“What? No.” She tried to move his arm, but it was firmly planted against the counter. “Why don’t we go in the living room and talk,” she suggested, trying to sound calm.

“Why can’t you look me in the eye and tell me that guys didn’t hit on you?”�

“Jeff, I think you should leave.”

“Is he coming over? Is that why you want me to leave?” Jeff raised his voice.

L’Wren knew what was coming next. She braced herself for him to either punch her in the gut or pull her hair. He wouldn’t slap her face; he didn’t like to leave visual bruises. He couldn’t have his friends know that he beat up on his girlfriend. He was quarterback of the football team and had a reputation to uphold. She gripped the counter as he yanked on her hair, tugging her head back, causing her to bump her head on the overhead cupboard.

“I have absolutely no qualms about putting a bullet through your brain right now,” Savi said calmly.

Jeff turned around to face the business end of Savi’s shiny silver revolver. L’Wren gasped. Something in her eyes told him that she meant it.

“As far as I’m concerned, you broke into my daughter’s house. I came home and found you roughing her up — a plausible story — for the police.”

Jeff held her gaze.

She clicked the gun. “Bounce.”

Jeff did as he was told. Savi walked out behind him and locked the door. L’Wren was still shivering in the kitchen.

“Where do you find those losers?” Savi asked casually. She set the gun down on the counter and poured herself a glass of wine.

L’Wren stared at the gun. She had never seen one up close before. “Why do you have a gun?”

“Target practice.” Savi drank the wine and poured another. This time she also poured a glass for L’Wren, whose hands were shaking so badly that she could barely hold the glass.

“I don’t want to be around it.”

“Then move out.” Savi picked up the offending object and walked out into the living room.

L’Wren followed. “This is my house. You’re a guest.”

Savi placed the gun in her Dior handbag.

“What if Leighann finds it?” L’Wren continued.

“It’s not a dildo, for Christ’s sake.” Savi headed to her room and shut the door.

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Before They Find Us by Michelle A Hansen

Before They Find Us
Cover Designed
by: Cathi Stevenson of Book Cover Express
Book Summary:
I’m going to make you wish you were dead.
Just a text.
Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Hales tries not to worry. Probably a wrong number.
Not really meant for her, and definitely not related to the crime she witnessed
six years ago. Right?
Then two states
away, a bomb goes off in her best friend’s locker. Soon Ryan is labeled a
terrorist and runs to the safest place he knows—Rebecca’s house in small-town
Wyoming. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to show up asking questions. Rebecca
lies, of course, and says she hasn’t seen him.
Now she’s
neck-deep in it with him, whatever “it” is. The only way out is to
return to Vegas, where Ryan is a wanted man. The city of lies and illusion puts
Rebecca’s small-town wits to the test as she struggles to find the person who
framed Ryan and why.

Is Rebecca’s
text linked to the bombing? And what does it have to do with a six year old
murder? Rebecca needs to find out before she loses Ryan—and her own life.

About the Author
I’m a Florida native who currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina with my husband and toy poodle. When I’m not writing, I can be found drinking Earl Grey tea with honey and cream, singing ineptly and butchering the lyrics to my favorite songs, and asking my friends ridiculous, hypothetical scenario-based questions. 


Author Links:
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Excerpt and biography: Michelle Muckley author extraordinaire

20131009-035724.jpgShort Biography.
I was born in the town of Warwick in 1981. It is a small historical town in the heart of England, and I was the fifth child born into a family of boys. I developed a huge interest in the written world from a young age, and with more than a little help from Roald Dahl found quite the taste for anything gross and gory. Home now is Limassol, a city on the southern Mediterranean shores of Cyprus. Winters are spent in the mountains, summers are spent at the beach, and pretty much all hours between are sat at a computer where I am writing the next novel, or reading somebody else’s.

Chapter Seven.

BEN HAD NEVER BEEN TO Seventy Fourth Street before, or the park behind it. He had heard of it because he knew that from this road led another small road, a dead end that led to nowhere. At the far end of the road sat a regal building which had been standing for over two hundred years. Its beauty was celebrated, especially at night when the rows of purple blooming Paulownias were illuminated and romanticised by the delicate light of the ancient street lamps. The building once stood as a palatial home of a local aristocrat, who alongside his own home had built a series of coach houses where his servants lived. These coach houses lined a small road that arose from Seventy Fourth Street and now did nothing more than guild the walkway to the square and hide its beauty away from the rest of the city like a beautiful but veiled face, there but unseen. This place of beauty had been left to its own devices, and much like love, after a period without care, attention, or somebody to nurture it, became less than precious and eventually forgotten until it was past the point of recovery. History would regale how this road was purpose built to carry horse drawn coaches many years before the advent of the car, but which now carried only feet towards a crumbling backdrop of long lost decadence. He didn’t much care for being here, and couldn’t for the life of him think why Ami would arrange to meet him in this place. The thought that this dead end could in fact be a trap rose poisonously in his mind like air pockets escaping from a stagnant quagmire, inserting doubt upon pre-existing doubt, cairns set to lead him in the wrong direction. He acknowledged this brief moment of hesitation, but found himself accepting the fact that he had no other option, and so despite his fears steeled himself for the moments ahead.

He turned from Seventy Fourth Street and into the narrow lane. Above him were rows of poorly constructed coach houses, abandoned and no longer in use. Newspapers dating from over twenty years ago had been pasted to the windows in several layers, the deepest of which were peeling and yellow from the heat of the sun and ground with dust and grime. Before him stood the beautiful regal building, decorated with ornate iron balustrades covering the base of the long oversized windows. Underneath the Paulownias there were a series of benches that sat empty and looked rickety and partly rotten. As he approached, he saw that the park opened out to the left and to the right forming a T shape with the narrow lane that led up to it. On his first look he couldn’t see anybody. He was stood beneath the trees, heavily laden with buds that looked set to burst into bloom as the temperature would surely rise next month, coaxing them out. There was no wind here, and it felt immediately warmer surrounded by the height of the buildings proudly standing tall, unashamed of their atrophy and disrepair. He was suddenly hit by an overwhelming desire to bring Hannah here, and to sit with her on the benches beneath the blossoming trees. In his vision they wouldn’t speak, only sit together, needing nothing more than each other’s company and the sight of Matthew playing at their feet. In his visions Matthew remained an eternal toddler, short of words and rich in love and awe for his father. It was only as he saw Matthew in his mind’s eye today, that he realised his reflections were always from the past, every vision born of a time before Bionics.

He was snatched back into reality as he heard Ami whisper his name. As he turned to the direction of the voice he saw her stood in the corner of the square. She was tucked into the shadow of the great building, and she motioned for him to sit. He sat as instructed onto the bench which was facing away from her, but he turned and gripped the panels of brittle and splintered wood in anticipation of her approach, his eyes never once leaving her face.

Ami waited hesitantly for a moment, seconds ticking by at a pace which felt as if time had become stationary, until she eventually took her first steps towards him. He could see her indecision in her cautious steps and in the way that her eyes darted left and right, occasionally looking back over her shoulder. For a moment Ben was sure that he had seen a man dart back into the shadows of the building behind Ami, but as she approached he soon found himself completely focussed on her presence, remembering why he was here and forgetting anything else. Just before she sat down next to him she took a deep and fortifying breath, and he wondered why it was that she looked so fitful and apprehensive. He followed her with his eyes, and as she sat he turned to face her. His leg and arm muscles were braced and ready to run like a watched gazelle in the African bush, aware he was being watched but still anxiously waiting, fearful that any quick and sudden departure could render him vulnerable and exposed.

Her long casual hair that he had admired on so many occasions was wrapped neatly into a bun behind her head, and she was wearing a long Macintosh that swung freely and draped open as she sat. For the first time that he could remember she was wearing trousers. She appeared different from his memory, beautiful still, but rather than the softly painted vision that he kept close in his mind, it was a harder edged reality in which she appeared sharply focused and dangerous.

“Ben, there isn’t much time. You have to listen to me carefully.”

“Hang on Ami.” This was his first chance to try to find out what the hell was going on, and if there wasn’t much time he sure as hell wasn’t going to hand it straight over to her. “Before you start, I need to ask you something.”

“No Ben. You need to listen.” This woman looked like Ami, but for the first time he could detect a slight accent in her voice. It reminded him of Mr. Saad, the man who was trying to fund his continued research programme. This was the first time she had demanded anything.

“No, no. Ami wait. Listen. I have to ask you some things.”

“There will be a time for your questions but it isn’t now. At the moment your questions will get us both killed.” He didn’t interrupt her again and he sat with his arms obediently dropped into his lap, his muscles limp and helpless, sun melted candles, leaves starved of water. “Ben, everything that has happened to you over the last few hours was not supposed to happen. It should already be over. We are only lucky that it is not.” Ben’s mouth dropped open in shock. Lucky? He didn’t feel too damn lucky. “You should already be dead.”

“I know that. Somebody tried to shoot me at the lab.”

“I’m not referring to the lab. You were never supposed to wake up today. They started it much quicker than I anticipated. If I had known I would have found a way to tell you at the bar.”

“What bar? What did they start? Anyway, who are they” Ami wasn’t making much sense to him. “Is this about Mark?”

“Ben, who do you think you work for?”

“Bionics.”

“You work for the government. Bionics is just the public face of the Office of Scientific Weaponry Development. OSWED.”

“The government?”

“Yes, but not the one you see on the television, or in the newspaper. It’s the same one, but it’s the side of it that nobody knows about.”

“Ami there is only one government.”

“That’s what I just said. There is the government that you see, the one that stands up and leads the country with clean hands, the one that can deny that certain things ever happened because they don’t even know about it. They are public puppets. They are the ones that don’t have to lie. Then there are the rest of us. The people that nobody knows about. The people that do what you might call dirty work.”

“Ami, you’re a scientist.”

“Correct. But I don’t work for you. I work for OSWED. They are supposed to be the people that keep you safe. It’s supposed to be about intelligence and development. They believe it is what makes your Great Country so great.” Ben could hear a certain level of sarcasm coming through in her newly accented voice. “We work outside of standard military intelligence. We don’t exist, at least as far as the rest of the world knows. That counts for the rest of the staff at Bionics.”

“You’re telling me that I work for a secret government agency, and that all of the staff I work with knew nothing about it except for you? What have you done with them? What happened to my research?”

“NO. Start paying attention Ben. You’re the only one that doesn’t know anything about it. Why do you think the lab and all of the staff have disappeared? The mission was complete. Your theory had been proven and NEMREC worked.” She could detect the surprise on his face, the inability to understand as his mouth hung limply open. She wished that she could spare him the details, but she had to be honest. If ever there was a time it was now. “You were already supposed to be dead.”

“What the hell!”

“They knew how good you were. They targeted you. They knew you would succeed so they started to control everything about you. They wanted your brilliance in the palm of their hand, and they did everything they could to get it. Your friends, your wife, your whole life. It’s a set up Ben. It was all about getting NEMREC. You did it. They don’t need you anymore.”

“You’re saying my whole life is a set up? That’s bullshit Ami!” He was up and off the bench now, arms flailing like compliant branches in the wind without any control over their own movement. Who the hell does she think she is? Mark? Hannah? Matthew? She had to be lying.

“It’s not bullshit. It’s the truth. It’s the first truthful thing you have heard in years. You discovered how to change people’s DNA Ben. You know what they can do with that kind of knowledge.” She was up on her feet now too, trying to make contact with him and reaching out for his arms as he span around, propelled by the inertia of disbelief.

“I’m trying to cure disease, Ami not make weapons for your government.”

“Your government, Ben. You might not be trying to make weapons but OSWED are. They want the ability to change DNA to build a stronger army. An elite force. They don’t want to manufacture pharmaceuticals to cure Huntington’s disease like you do. They want to make a stronger army and build weapons. They want people to be their weapons, and you have given them everything they need.”

“And you?” He was stood still staring straight at her. “Why are you helping me if you work for them?” She sat down onto the bench, her head bowed. For a moment he thought he could see tears forming in her dark almond eyes.

“I want what you want, Ben.” She turned her head up to look at him, and her eyes looked swollen and set to burst. “My father is dying. So am I. I want a chance to live to grow old.” The pain in her face, in her blurry eyes and crumpled brow was a feeling that he recognised. He understood the feelings that she described, and he felt them every day in every one of his mutated cells. Her words could have been his own, his own feelings, his own hopes, his own aspirations. Any fears he had, any caution for the woman before him had passed. He saw his own reflection in her glassy eyes as he contemplated her sadness and regret. It softened him and he sensed the need for truth and trust, believing in the freedom and strength that it offered.

“Ami, why am I not dead already?”

“I don’t know. You should be. What she gave you should have been enough to kill you?”

“What who gave me?” He saw that same sense of pity on her face, as she wiped away a tear from her cheek. He traced his thoughts back to when he passed out on his settee, how he assumed he had merely been drunk, and how he had been dragged up the stairs, and how he had slept for thirty six hours, and how he had been sick, and how it was still there the next morning, and the next morning, and how Hannah hadn’t been home. Suddenly he had visions of her as a spy carrying a gun and speaking in Russian on a foreign mission and seducing people to steal data chips, right before he reminded himself that the explanation that he had conjured up seemed utterly ridiculous. Yet still he said it. “You think Hannah tried to kill me?”

“No Ben. I know she tried to kill you. She poured you champagne, it was drugged. That’s why you feel so awful now.” She sat down on the bench, steadying herself, and attempting also to steady Ben, hoping that their current connection was enough to pull him towards her. Skin on skin, a real connection. She knew they had felt it before, and she hoped he felt it now.

“I threw up.” He thought back to the pile of sick on the floor and couldn’t remember ever being so pleased that he had been ill. He tried again to remind himself of the absurdity of her accusations, but found that the more time that passed and the more he listened to himself, the dismissal of her theory didn’t seem quite so easy.

“Then that’s why you’re still here.”

“Ami. What do they want from me?”

“They want you dead, Ben. It’s their only aim. To them,” she paused apologetically before she finished her sentence, “you already are. There is no record of your life anymore. It’s not like you died, it’s like you never existed.”

“Ami, will you help me?” She nodded reassuringly. After everything that had happened this morning he had only one other question. “Ami, where have they taken my son?”

Book Review:- Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn.

If the measure of a novel is how well you might remember it, say, five years from now … Then Gone Girl will earn high stars from me for that reason alone.

The tale of true love trailing off into nothingness under the strain of real life and serial disappointment, is eloquently told by Gillian Flynn. This is not your average thriller and the first person voice used to allow the reader into the strange world the protagonists make for themselves is a very effective story telling tool. Nick and Amy are utterly believable, they embark on romance with determination, creating for the audience a magic world so intriguing that it becomes increasingly difficult, with the flick of each page, to put the book down. I was riveted from the start.

When the mystery begins, it is a suspenseful thing with a mind of its own, and you the reader, will want to get inside that mind. The whodunit aspect is smartly handled and I doubt that there are many who will guess in advance, not that, that is the premise for the book. Indeed, we are allowed into the secret well before the story has run its course. This is a work about a twisted personality, a one off, an unfathomable lunatic. That said, the controversial elements inherent in the plot that have riled the feathers of many good feminists, are not, in my humble opinion, worthy of ballooning–this is a tale about a special type of crazy, rather than gender-stereotype-crazy. I do not want to spoil the story for the reader, so I’ll leave this aspect there. The plot is very sharp; the author has woven ‘cunning, clever and quirky’ thickly through every tiny strand of the tale. Be prepared for an unusual and wickedly entertaining story that might leave you chilled to the bone.

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Bram Stoker:- Things you probably don’t know about the author of Dracula-WackyWhatever?

Bram Stoker:- Author of Dracula

  • What would he be doing today:- Embroiled in a bitter mud-slinging battle with Stephanie Meyer.( and a few other modern writers, probably).
  • Who would you most likely bump into at his dinner parties?:- Sir Authur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Henry Irving, Hall Caine, William Ewart Gladstone, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt..
  • Most defining character building fact:- Was bedridden for most of his pre-school years.( until he was seven-years-old.).
  • Where did he travel?:-He was very well travelled, having toured most of the known world, however, he did not venture into Eastern Europe. I wonder why not??.
  • Worst social blunder:-Married his friends ‘gal’, the celebrated beauty Florence Balcombe Oscar Wildes Girl-friend..
  • What would he be doing for a living, apart from writing:- Running a state theater somewhere, probably in association with someone like Andrew Lloyd Webber..
  • Most famous work:-Dracula. Originally called the Un-Dead- The title was changed at the last minute before publication.
  • Did he invent Vampires?:-No in 1872 Joseph Le Fanu wrote a short-story Carmilla that influenced Bram Stoker. “Although Carmilla is a lesser known and far shorter Gothic vampire story than the generally-considered master work of that genre, Dracula, the latter is heavily influenced by Le Fanu’s short story.

    In the earliest manuscript of Dracula, dated 8 March 1890, the castle is set in Styria, although the setting was changed to Transylvania six days later. Stoker’s posthumously published short story “Dracula’s Guest”, known as the deleted first chapter to Dracula, shows a more obvious and intact debt to “Carmilla”: Both stories are told in the first person. Dracula expands on the idea of a first person account by creating a series of journal entries and logs of different persons and creating a plausible background story for them having been compiled. Stoker also indulges the air of mystery further than Le Fanu by allowing the characters to solve the enigma of the vampire along with the reader.

    The descriptions of Carmilla and the character of Lucy in Dracula are similar, and have become archetypes for the appearance of the waif-like victims and seducers in vampire stories as being tall, slender, languid, and with large eyes, full lips and soft voices. Both women also sleepwalk.

    Stoker’s Dr. Abraham Van Helsing is a direct parallel to Le Fanu’s vampire expert Baron Vordenburg: both characters used to investigate and catalyse actions in opposition to the vampire, and symbolically represent knowledge of the unknown and stability of mind in the onslaught of chaos and death.”.

  • How did he die:- A series of strokes. However many suspected Syphilis..