Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Thirteen


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: WIN AGAIN

TRIGGER WARNING: PREGNANCY-RELATED ISSUES

Aside from Casa de Sangre and the issue with conflict diamonds, the biggest brick on Jay’s shoulder is his criminal trial. The threat to his freedom was a conflict I wanted to resolve prior to the wedding. However, before I got readers there, I inserted another interruption.

Unfortunately, that interruption comes in the form of a miscarriage. This is Carmen’s second miscarriage in the series. I made the decision for the pregnancy to result in a miscarriage for several reasons. First, the announcement of the pregnancy had already played its role in the book. It was Christmas Day and what better gift to give your significant other than the announcement of new life? Two, throwing wrenches in the story keeps readers on their toes or at least in my opinion. Next, where I wanted to take the story, I didn’t need Carmen to be pregnant because then the storyline would become her trying to balance a new baby, wedding…it would be too much. Also, I felt that if the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage, I could use it as something that could either bring her and Jay together or pull them further apart. If it pulled them further apart, it would leave readers guessing once again if this wedding was going to happen.

What did happen, though, which was revealed at the end of this chapter is that Jay was acquitted of all charges. So, what does this mean? Well, it means that if the wedding doesn’t happen, it won’t be because Jay is in prison.

Blurb Blitz Virtual Book Tour: Diamonds N’ Roses


Diamonds N’ Roses is going on tour! Check out all of the tour stops!

Remember to VISIT, LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE & ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

August 29: The Key Of Love
August 30: Long and Short Reviews
August 30: FUONLYKNEW
August 31: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’
August 31: Locks, Hooks and Books
September 1: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
September 2: All the Ups and Downs
September 5: Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
September 6: Fabulous and Brunette
September 7: Sandra’s Book Club
September 8: Westveil Publishing
September 9: Joanne Guidoccio
September 9: Wendi zwaduk – romance to make your heart race

#RazzleDazzle

Book Review: Phoenix’s Ascent by Winter Austin…Goddess Fish Review Tour- June 28 – July 26


June 28: The Faerie Review

June 28: Christa Reads and Writes

July 12: The Avid Reader

July 12: Our Town Book Reviews

July 19: Harlie’s Books

July 19: Simply Vogue

July 26: Fabulous and Brunette

July 26: Gina Rae Mitchell

Winter Austin will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

FOLLOW the TOUR and COMMENT! The more you COMMENT, the GREATER YOUR CHANCES at WINNING!

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

GENRE:   Romantic Suspense/Military Thriller

A maniac developing a fantastical drug wants one more thing to finalize the project—a test subject who fits all the parameters. But that test subject is as elusive as her namesake.

Ex-SAS operative Mitch Edwards has been on the run since the moment he was framed for treason by someone in the British government. But he’s never forgotten the flamboyant and seductive CIA operative with the tongue of a thousand languages. In a bar in Cancun, Mexico, Mitch comes face to face with her once more, and with her comes the full force of her enemies.

Reinstated Hera Force linguist and assassin, Nadia Roth, code named Phoenix, has no memory of Mitch Edwards, or of their affair before her team’s disastrous mission. Her traumatic brain injury is tricky that way. But something about this man sets her on fire and tickles the back of her mind. Her Hera teammates remember him, so why can’t she?

Mitch partners up with Hera, with the sole intent of locating those hell-bent on killing him and all who are associated with him. Yet more is at stake than their lives. A traitor hides among their ranks, one who has been revealing all their secrets to an enemy determined to procure this special drug and Nadia for his scheme.

Hera goes into operation mode, doing what they were created to do, but someone is watching, and the team finds themselves trapped behind enemy lines with no way out.


Will Nadia ever remember the man she once loved, or will they perish with the secret between them?

I was browsing a book blog and stumbled across the cover and synopsis for Phoenix’s Ascent. Although the book is not a part of the typical genre I read, the synopsis captured my interest. For one, the book cover depicted the main female character, Nadia Roth, a/k/a Phoenix, as a woman who knows how to kick ass. That was right up my alley as I love strong female leads. Then, I saw the words CIA operative. Those two things together made this book a MUST READ for me.

Phoenix’s Ascent is the second book in the Hera Force series. I did not read the first book, Mockingbird’s Cry, but it wasn’t necessary (Side Note – I have since purchased the first book because of how much I enjoyed this one). The author provides enough information and backstory that I could follow along without a problem.

The author serves up a story filled with relatable characters, vibrant dialogue, great action scenes, and unexpected plot twists. The author also has vast knowledge of the military and its operations, which is evident throughout the story.

While the book lives up to its genre – romantic suspense, I loved how this was also a story of friendship. In addition to Nadia, the Hera Force team consists of Lincoln, Jo, and Jade. They each have their own strengths (as well as weaknesses), which they use as a collective to take down those who threaten their team, and of course, the world.

Nadia’s love interest in the book is Mitch Edwards, an ex-SAS operative, who has his own problems and concerns. What makes their relationship intriguing and one to root for is the fact that they are two people who fell back from each other only to be brought back together by chance. Their relationship reminds me of the popular quote, ‘if you love something, let it go, if it comes back to you, it’s yours.’ Nadia is thrusted back into his life unexpectedly, which awakens the love and desire they had buried deep within.

I give this book 5 STARS. To be honest, I couldn’t think of one single reason why it should be rated anything less.     

Eighteen months in Cancún, he’d seen the cartel violence escalate at a rate that made his time fighting in the Afghan war look like a Sunday stroll through Kensington Gardens. Despite it all, exiled SAS operative Mitchell Edwards stayed on. Where else was a man framed for treason supposed to hide out?

Swirling margarita glasses in hot, soapy water, he kept an eye on the open doorway, nodding at the comings and goings of the patrons. A breeze off the sea rippled through the grass roof. The salty, sweet air buffeted his damp face, cooling him. The sea beckoned, tempting him to come and play.

Later. After his shift. A swim in his little alcove sounded marvelous.

Mitch set the sanitized glasses on a drying rack. He raked his fingers through his blonde hair—it still took some getting used to having his hair this long—and flipped the curled strands out of his eyes. Looking and feeling more like Robinson Crusoe than Mitch Edwards. Snorting, he grabbed another handful of bar glasses and plunged them into the hot water. That he wasn’t stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the bloody sea was a better outcome compared to his fictional counterpart.

Shadows passed over the bamboo shades, dampening the late afternoon sun that bounced off the pristine sandy beach. Three men entered the bar and paused inches inside the doorway. The lead man wore a cream-colored blazer over a brilliant blue shirt, and khaki slacks. The two flanking him wore similar styled clothing, the exception being the noticeable bulges under their blazers. Lead man pulled his sunglasses from his eyes and did a quick sweep of the bar. Seemingly satisfied by whatever he did or didn’t see, he pointed at the two with him. They stepped past, and did a circular walk around the bar. Their predatory motions put Mitch at attention.

Bodyguards.

Mitch’s little, insignificant bar had attracted unwanted visitors. His quick initial assessment turned scrutinizing. These were not casual visitors, not with those bulges. No. Mitch’s blood ran cold. These three had to be cartel. What the hell were they doing here? They tended to avoid the tourists’ haunting hours, preferring to do their dirty work in the black of night.

The dapper dressed man strolled up to the bar. “El camarero, Modelo Especial, por favor.”

Giving him a curt nod, Mitch moved to the fridge. From the corner of his eye, he spotted three more men enter the bar, sporting similar bulges under their jackets to the other two, who were now stationed on opposite sides of the bar. Tension coiled through Mitch’s muscles. The place was half-full of patrons. He didn’t need or want a turf war to go down with innocents caught in the crossfire.

He retrieved the asked-for beer. The fridge door slapped shut behind him as he returned to the dapper dressed man. Mitch cranked off the metal top and held out the beer.

http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Austin_Winter/phoenixs-ascent.htm

http://tirpub.com/waustin

Winter Austin perpetually answers the question: “were you born in the winter?” with a flat “nope,” but believe her, there is a story behind her name. A lifelong Mid-West gal with strong ties to the agriculture world, Winter grew up listening to the captivating stories told by relatives around a table or a campfire. As a published author, she learned her glass half-empty personality makes for a perfect suspense/thriller writer. Taking her ability to verbally spin a vivid and detailed story, Winter translated that into writing deadly romantic suspense, mysteries, and thrillers. When she’s not slaving away at the computer, you can find Winter supporting her daughter in cattle shows, seeing her three sons off into the wide-wide world, loving on her fur babies, prodding her teacher husband, and nagging at her flock of hens to stay in the coop or the dogs will get them. She is the author of ten novels, with more on the way.

Find Winter on:

Website – https://www.winteraustin.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/author.winteraustin

Twitter – https://twitter.com/WinterAustin

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/iasuspensewriter/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/winteraustin/

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6880807.Winter_Austin

What I’m Reading: Phoenix’s Ascent by Winter Austin…Goddess Fish Review Tour- June 28 – July 26


June 28: The Faerie Review

June 28: Christa Reads and Writes

July 12: The Avid Reader

July 12: Our Town Book Reviews

July 19: Harlie’s Books

July 19: Simply Vogue

July 26: Fabulous and Brunette

July 26: Gina Rae Mitchell

Winter Austin will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

FOLLOW the TOUR and COMMENT! The more you COMMENT, the GREATER YOUR CHANCES at WINNING!

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

GENRE:   Romantic Suspense/Military Thriller

A maniac developing a fantastical drug wants one more thing to finalize the project—a test subject who fits all the parameters. But that test subject is as elusive as her namesake.

Ex-SAS operative Mitch Edwards has been on the run since the moment he was framed for treason by someone in the British government. But he’s never forgotten the flamboyant and seductive CIA operative with the tongue of a thousand languages. In a bar in Cancun, Mexico, Mitch comes face to face with her once more, and with her comes the full force of her enemies.

Reinstated Hera Force linguist and assassin, Nadia Roth, code named Phoenix, has no memory of Mitch Edwards, or of their affair before her team’s disastrous mission. Her traumatic brain injury is tricky that way. But something about this man sets her on fire and tickles the back of her mind. Her Hera teammates remember him, so why can’t she?

Mitch partners up with Hera, with the sole intent of locating those hell-bent on killing him and all who are associated with him. Yet more is at stake than their lives. A traitor hides among their ranks, one who has been revealing all their secrets to an enemy determined to procure this special drug and Nadia for his scheme.

Hera goes into operation mode, doing what they were created to do, but someone is watching, and the team finds themselves trapped behind enemy lines with no way out.


Will Nadia ever remember the man she once loved, or will they perish with the secret between them?

Eighteen months in Cancún, he’d seen the cartel violence escalate at a rate that made his time fighting in the Afghan war look like a Sunday stroll through Kensington Gardens. Despite it all, exiled SAS operative Mitchell Edwards stayed on. Where else was a man framed for treason supposed to hide out?

Swirling margarita glasses in hot, soapy water, he kept an eye on the open doorway, nodding at the comings and goings of the patrons. A breeze off the sea rippled through the grass roof. The salty, sweet air buffeted his damp face, cooling him. The sea beckoned, tempting him to come and play.

Later. After his shift. A swim in his little alcove sounded marvelous.

Mitch set the sanitized glasses on a drying rack. He raked his fingers through his blonde hair—it still took some getting used to having his hair this long—and flipped the curled strands out of his eyes. Looking and feeling more like Robinson Crusoe than Mitch Edwards. Snorting, he grabbed another handful of bar glasses and plunged them into the hot water. That he wasn’t stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the bloody sea was a better outcome compared to his fictional counterpart.

Shadows passed over the bamboo shades, dampening the late afternoon sun that bounced off the pristine sandy beach. Three men entered the bar and paused inches inside the doorway. The lead man wore a cream-colored blazer over a brilliant blue shirt, and khaki slacks. The two flanking him wore similar styled clothing, the exception being the noticeable bulges under their blazers. Lead man pulled his sunglasses from his eyes and did a quick sweep of the bar. Seemingly satisfied by whatever he did or didn’t see, he pointed at the two with him. They stepped past, and did a circular walk around the bar. Their predatory motions put Mitch at attention.

Bodyguards.

Mitch’s little, insignificant bar had attracted unwanted visitors. His quick initial assessment turned scrutinizing. These were not casual visitors, not with those bulges. No. Mitch’s blood ran cold. These three had to be cartel. What the hell were they doing here? They tended to avoid the tourists’ haunting hours, preferring to do their dirty work in the black of night.

The dapper dressed man strolled up to the bar. “El camarero, Modelo Especial, por favor.”

Giving him a curt nod, Mitch moved to the fridge. From the corner of his eye, he spotted three more men enter the bar, sporting similar bulges under their jackets to the other two, who were now stationed on opposite sides of the bar. Tension coiled through Mitch’s muscles. The place was half-full of patrons. He didn’t need or want a turf war to go down with innocents caught in the crossfire.

He retrieved the asked-for beer. The fridge door slapped shut behind him as he returned to the dapper dressed man. Mitch cranked off the metal top and held out the beer.

http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Austin_Winter/phoenixs-ascent.htm

http://tirpub.com/waustin

Winter Austin perpetually answers the question: “were you born in the winter?” with a flat “nope,” but believe her, there is a story behind her name. A lifelong Mid-West gal with strong ties to the agriculture world, Winter grew up listening to the captivating stories told by relatives around a table or a campfire. As a published author, she learned her glass half-empty personality makes for a perfect suspense/thriller writer. Taking her ability to verbally spin a vivid and detailed story, Winter translated that into writing deadly romantic suspense, mysteries, and thrillers. When she’s not slaving away at the computer, you can find Winter supporting her daughter in cattle shows, seeing her three sons off into the wide-wide world, loving on her fur babies, prodding her teacher husband, and nagging at her flock of hens to stay in the coop or the dogs will get them. She is the author of ten novels, with more on the way.

Find Winter on:

Website – https://www.winteraustin.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/author.winteraustin

Twitter – https://twitter.com/WinterAustin

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/iasuspensewriter/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/winteraustin/

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6880807.Winter_Austin

The Diamond Tiara and Dirty Red Diamonds are NOW AVAILABLE for PRE-ORDER!


The Diamond Tiara and Dirty Red Diamonds are now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million. 

💎The Diamond Tiara (Paperback – $15; Kindle/ Nook – $2.99)

💎Dirty Red Diamonds (Paperback – $10; Kindle/ Nook – $2.99)

OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER: Dirty Red Diamonds (Part VII of The Diamond Collection)


Career-defining moments are not only years in the making, but also few and far between. What was supposed to be a night celebrating her wins, Carmen’s world is turned upside down when her fashion brand’s anniversary party becomes a bloodbath.

Fifteen people are left dead including members of the terrorist group, Artemis 66. When the group’s leader goes off the grid, Carmen receives a tip from a former Triad agent of a potential lead in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Dirty Red Diamonds is a tale of what happens when Vegas’ bright lights meets Brookstone’s most famous players.

Release Date: 06.07.2022

Thug Luv Instrumental Remake by TifsterBeatz

Dirty Red Diamonds: Part VII of The Diamond Collection


Career-defining moments are not only years in the making, but also few and far between. What was supposed to be a night celebrating her wins, Carmen’s world is turned upside down when her fashion brand’s anniversary party becomes a bloodbath.

Fifteen people are left dead including members of the terrorist group, Artemis 66. When the group’s leader goes off the grid, Carmen receives a tip from a former Triad agent of a potential lead in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Dirty Red Diamonds is a tale of what happens when Vegas’ bright lights meets Brookstone’s most famous players.

The Diamond Tiara: Part VI of The Diamond Collection


Ask anyone how New York-born fashion designer, Carmen Santiago (née Davenport), rose to fame and the first reference you’ll get is her multi-million dollar fashion empire, Flame, Inc. The second reference you’ll get is the fashionista’s high- profiled relationship with business mogul, Jay Santiago.

What many don’t reference is the driving force behind Carmen’s success, Flame’s Vice President, Tiara Washington. A Brookstone native, she’s had the reins of the company since its infancy. With a career in fashion that spans more than two decades, fashion greats describe Washington as Flame’s backbone.

As the fashion brand continues to stay on everyone’s lips, so does its major player, Carmen Santiago. After her lavish wedding in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen is whisked away to sunny St. Lucia. The first three days are pure bliss until one phone call sets off a nonstop cycle of drama, scandal, deception, and lies.

2022 New Year’s Resolution


This is my resolution for 2022.

I started this novel in my early twenties before a single book was published.

I revisited it in August of 2018. I would write, stop, and start back.

I never fell out of love with my characters. I only struggled with finding the right story to tell. Over the course of three years, bits and pieces would come.

Now as I read the pages, it amazes me how the story went from here to there. Some things I kept, some things I didn’t. Some things even happened I didn’t initially plan on.

One thing is for sure, I will always write the story I want to read.

While I don’t have a release date, I have faith.

Santiago season has begun. 💎

Diamonds N’ Roses is now available!


diamondsnroses copyDecember 25th marked the release of the fifth installment of The Diamond Collection, Diamonds N’ Roses.  The book is currently available in print and E-book on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com, etc. The e-book edition is $2.99 and the paperback version of the novel is $10.00.

While I am excited about the release of my fifth novel, the release is bittersweet. Throughout writing the fifth book, I fell out of love with novel writing and with my characters. Due to this, my interest grew in screenwriting and I started working on new storylines with fresh characters. This helped as I began working towards a Master’s degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in writing for the stage and screen at Queens University (Charlotte, NC). Balancing work and school caused my attention to be swayed away from the novel and almost delayed the release of the book, but thankfully I (along with my fantastic editor) was able to finish the project on schedule.

At this time, it is imperative that I take a break from the series as I focus my attention on other projects. This does not mean that the series has come to a close, but it means that at this time I do not have a release date in mind for the sixth book, The Diamond Tiara, or for future works. However, the project has been started (which those of you will see who have purchased a copy of Diamonds N’ Roses.) I hope you enjoy this new book and remember to keep shining!

Vogue

#RazzleDazzle

Book Spotlight: Pluff Mud Murders


New Release: Pluff Mud Murders by Ann Carpenter

 
Atlanta, Georgia:
Local author releases brand new suspenseful read, Pluff Mud Murders now available at Amazon.com.

Mandi Christine Kerr,an
American actress, director.
 
 
 

Book Description: Riley Jordan has come home to Charleston to begin a new life—a life interrupted when she was a young child, and still haunted by vague memories of danger and mystery. After years of living the fast-paced life of New York’s publishing world, Riley will be the editor-in-chief of Charleston’s Premier
Health 
Magazine.
It should be the perfect life. But things are not what they seem.
Soon, Riley, who has suffered amnesia since a traumatic event in her childhood, finds herself embroiled in the past history and current events of the powerful Radisson family, a family whose evil deeds have evaded the long arm of the law, and whose influence reaches far beyond the city limits. When Riley is confronted with three tiny coffins upon a visit to the former Radisson Estate, she begins a journey into the past that will bring her into contact with Summer Radisson and her sister Hayden. Forced by current events to return to her tortured past, Riley is confronted with long-buried secrets that have an impact not only on her life, but on the lives of Alex Keys, a detective who is trying to find out who she really is, and his former partner, Phil Leatherman, who was forced from his position in the department because he knew too much. Under suspicion herself, Riley vacillates between wanting to remember whatever may have happened, and a desire to put the past—whatever it might reveal—behind her, and start life over. But the past is imposing itself upon her very life. As she learns through a series of revelations, “Death is the key that opens the door to the past.” This epitaph from Jefferson Radisson’s grave may indeed provide answers to the secret that has been buried too long—and that will finally set Riley free.

 
 
About Ann Carpenter:

Ann Carpenter is the author of three novels, Pluff Mud Murders, Circle of Player, and The Mystical Doll House. She is the founder of Kidz By Dezign, and lives in Atlanta, Ga with her husband and granddaughter.
 
 
 

Check out a Sneak Peek of Diamonds N’ Roses!


diamondsnroses copyHello Diamonds,

It is my birthday and as a special gift to you all, I would like to share with you the first seven chapters of Diamonds N’ Roses. This draft of the novel has not been professionally edited, but will give you insight on what to expect in Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

This sneak peek is available exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle. The price is currently set at .99, but a free promotion for the preview will run for the book, starting on Thursday, April 14th – Monday, April 18th. Click the Diamonds N’ Roses book cover to be directed to the book’s Amazon’s page.

For those of you who do not have  a Kindle, please drop your email below or send an email to crownjewelzpub@gmail.com and a PDF of the special preview will be delivered to you. I hope you enjoy and happy reading! Razzle Dazzle!

Vogue

How to Start a Gratitude Journal and Embrace It + Giveaway


Being Starkey discusses gratitude journals and is hosting a giveaway!

Being Starkey

How to Start a Gratitude JournalI’ve always been a journal-er. I remember as a child, I used to write down my inner most thoughts in my journal or diary. I stopped journaling for a while, and started focusing on my blog. However, last year I picked it back up and started a gratitude journal. It was a dedication to my little cousin who lost his life last year to gun violence. Before he passed away, he was working hard and wanted to give us a small Christmas gift. I used the money to get a journal and a nice pen. His bright personality made an indent in each and every one of our lives. My goal was to use the journal to write down those small blessings that we sometimes take for granted. It truly helped me to grow and appreciate the small things.

Oprah Winfrey shared, “I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up…

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