Julie Particka (aka Seleste deLaney, who writes the weirder stuff) was told to get serious about her future in Junior High. Several years after getting a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she realized being serious was over-rated and went back to her first love–writing. Now rather than spending her days in the drudgery of the lab or teaching science to high school students, she disappears into worlds of her own creation where monsters sometimes roam, but true love still conquers all.
She can most often be located in the Detroit area with her favorite minions (the ones who know her as Mom) where she is currently hatching a plot for world domination. It involves cookies for everyone, so she’s pretty sure there’s no way it can fail…except the minions keep eating the cookies.
Can you keep a secret? I’m actually a winter girl. Shhhhh… Don’t tell anyone.
Seriously, I melt in the heat. And there is no glistening here—it’s sweat. This is one of the reasons I live in the great frozen north. One thing they don’t tell you about Michigan though? It still gets hot here in the summer.
So, one of my favorite things to do during the summer is escape to the beach. For the last several years, my extended family has done a week-long trip to Myrtle Beach. There are some things about the trip that make me nutty but, dude…a week right on the beach. It can be a little slice of heaven.
Several years ago, while we were on the trip, there was a huge storm. Lightning all over the horizon, flashing against the water as wind whipped rain around like a plaything. That night, I sat on the deck (getting soaked and) just watching the storm. At one point, during a flash of lightning, I thought I saw someone walking on the beach. In the next flash (they were coming pretty close together), there was nothing.
No news stories followed about anyone dying or being lost during the storm, but it was one of those magical moments of inspiration. Somewhere in the depths of my hard drive, I still have the book I started that summer. It was called Surrender to the Tides, and it broke my heart as I was writing it. Now that I’ve been writing longer, I realize that reaction was one that should have spurred me to finish the book, but I didn’t. Someday I will.
Who knows, maybe there will be another storm this year…
For me, a great beach read is anything that distracts me from the heat and also distracts me from hunting up and down the sand for hot men. (Yes, I do it. Yes, I’m shameless about it.) I honestly have no idea what I read last year, so instead, I’m going to give my top two book recommendations of this year (plus a bonus one from last year.)
(For the SFF fans and nerds among you—I happen to be both.) The Martian by Andy Weir. I know, it’s not a romance. I know, it’s not really a guilty pleasure. But this book…you guys, it’s amazing. It’s the first book in a long time that had me sitting up way past my bedtime reading. I recommend it to everyone.
(Romance? Well, kind of…) The Virgin by Tiffany Reisz. I’m an Original Sinners junkie. I definitely don’t recommend starting with this book as it’s number seven in the series but, if you’re a fan like I am and haven’t read it yet, get on that. (If you haven’t read the series, start with The Siren.)
(Finally, from 2014, is my single YA entry, and after all the storm talk above, I’d be hard pressed not to include) Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson. I loved this book, my son loved this book… And the new paperback cover is amazing—I’m seriously debating buying a second copy just for that cover.
A proposition leads to compromising positions...Journalist Stasia Grant needs a hero. Specifically one who will help her humiliate her ex-husband after he publicly left her for another woman. In Vegas for the biggest interview of her career, Stasia is grappling with a broken heart, her cheating ex (and the other woman), and a serious need for revenge. Her salvation comes from the most unlikely place charming and sexy-as-all-get-out action star Evan Stone.After spending his life playing a superhero, Evan has a plan for delicious satisfaction: a fake, week-long engagement. He'll not only show Stasia's ex what he's missing but gain some sympathetic publicity to turn around his image as a player. It's win-win for them both. But neither expected the sizzling chemistry that erupts whenever they're together. Stepping out for the paparazzi, Stasia and Evan are about to pull off the performance of a lifetime...but will they fall for their own con?
Check out what's up for grabs.
Up For Grabs:
- 1 $5 Amazon Gift Card
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Special thanks to Julie Particka for sponsoring this giveaway.