Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Spotlight: Trouble With The Law by Becky McGraw



Synopsis:

Criminal defense attorney Veronica Winters has always wondered what it would be like with sexy former detective Trace Rooks. Even though he’s an ex-convict now, because of her, she still wonders. And she feels damned guilty for recommending a plea deal that sent an innocent man to jail. When she finds out he’s back in jail and a friend asks her to question him about the situation, she thinks she might have the opportunity to finally set things right with him.
At the jail though, she finds a changed man she almost doesn’t recognize. The scars on the outside have nothing on the scars he bears inside. Instead of the charming, easy going man she represented four years prior, his attitude now is as hard as his body. But the new, edgier Trace Rooks turns her on even more than the man she knew before. Until she finds out he’s involved in some pretty shady stuff at a local ranch where he works. Before she convicts him in her mind though, she’s going to find out who the real Trace Rooks is, and help him find his way back to the light, even if it kills her.
Trace Rooks would love nothing better than seeing the Shark Lady get her due. Ronnie Winters, supposedly the best criminal attorney in Amarillo had sent him to prison for three years when she was supposed to be defending him. Now she was back in his life saying she wanted to help him, and Trace wasn’t happy about it. Her digging around could get him killed. And if it was like it had been last time, her help could send him to prison again.
He had no idea if she was still in bed with his sleazy father, the good Senator Leland Rooks, or if she really did feel bad about her part in his false imprisonment and want to help him. Whatever her reason for showing up at the jail, he was going to get a few pounds of her flesh for his trouble. But his first order of business was bringing down his father who he knew was the mastermind behind all his problems.
Trying to stay on the right side of the law while doing that was not going to be easy. Trace was not going back to jail. He would rather die first. But if he died, he was taking his father and Ronnie Winters down with him. In the meantime, he was going to follow his grandfather’s advice. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. He didn’t know which camp Ronnie Winters fell into, but he sure didn’t mind keeping the leggy redhead close until he figured that out.

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Excerpt: 

You want answers, Veronica?" Trace ground out, his eyes hard and dark.  His arm shot across the table, and she flinched.  He laughed and grabbed her pen then leaned back and dropped it under the table.  Lowering his voice, he leaned forward again to growl, "Let me tell you what I want, then you decide if you still want those answers.” He drummed his fingers on the table.
Tingles of alarm coursed through Veronica traveling with the excitement already buzzing along her nerve endings.  Something wasn't right here.  Trace Rooks wasn't right.  Three years in prison had warped him, changed him into a man she didn't know.  One who scared her a little.  And that was saying a lot.  Because men didn't scare her—ever.  She was the one who scared them. 
Veronica stiffened her shoulders, and her spine to sit up straighter in her chair.  She was The Shark Lady, the best damned criminal lawyer in Amarillo, and he better damn well remember who he was talking to.
Trace shoved his chair up under the table, and the sound grated through her.  He slouched in the chair, and drummed his fingers on the table again.  "What I want, Red, is for you to get under that table, and pick up that pen," he drawled, his eyes glittering with purpose. The scar on his cheek deepened when his mouth twisted into a travesty of a smile.  "While you're under there, I want you to unzip my pants and suck my dick.  If you do a good enough job of it, I'll give you your answers."
Ronnie snorted, and leaned back in her chair crossing her arms over her chest.  "Dream on, big boy."
He was out of his mind if he thought she was going to do that.  Her eyes involuntarily traveled to the camera mounted in the corner.  Not that the camera mattered, there was no way she was going to do what he wanted even if there wasn't a camera.  But the thought of it made her wet.  The possibility of getting caught, the probability of getting away with something so daring.
"I'm not dreaming," he said smoothly.  "You're the one who came here to get answers from me.  That's the only way you're going to get them, Veronica.  I haven't had sex in three years because of you.  You owe it to me.  Bet mine doesn't taste any different than Leland's did."
Three years? Trace Rooks had only served two years, and had been out of prison for six months.  Before he went to prison, Trace Rooks didn't have trouble finding a willing woman.  She couldn’t believe getting laid wasn’t near the top of his priority list when he got out of prison.  While she worked on his case, Veronica knew of at least two women he was with when he was out of jail pending court hearings.  One of them had even been in the courtroom, bawling hysterically when he was sentenced.
Either one of those women would probably do just what he asked.  Veronica wasn't those women.  And she absolutely was not getting under that table to suck Trace Rooks off.
His eyes narrowed and a smug smile kicked up the corner of his firm mouth.  "You asked me back then why Leland wanted me in jail.  What if I told you?" he asked with a lifted brow.  "Would you suck my dick for that information? How far would you go, Veronica? Would you swallow when I come in your mouth too?" Trace sucked a breath in through his teeth and moved one of his hands under the table.  "God, I'm hard just thinking about it."
Her eyes focused on his mouth.  Firm, full lips that spewed his venom, issued his dirty challenges.  "Stop being vulgar, Trace.  You're just trying to shock me.  Just talk to me.  I'm trying to help you here."
"Help me, help you.  Isn't that what you told me when you said I should accept that bogus plea deal, Red?"
"I was trying to help.  Taking that deal was in your best interest," she said leaning back in her chair again.  She glanced under the table and the pen taunted her.
Trace laughed harshly.  "You helped me right into three years in prison.  Now I'm going to help you get your answers, right after you give me a blow job."
She snorted, and lifted a brow.  "Keep screwing with me and I'll get under that table and bite your dick off," she threatened.
He leaned forward on his elbows, and met her eyes directly.  "You bite me and when I get out, I'll tie you up and spank your ass until you beg me to fuck you." Trace wasn't kidding. His dark eyes were focused on her, and he didn't blink, not once.  A dull throb started at the apex of her thighs, and she uncrossed her legs to press her knees together. 
This was ridiculous.  Ronnie didn't like kinky sex, had never had a partner who was into it either.  Why was she getting so turned on then by his naughty suggestions?
She shook her head to clear it.  This wasn’t getting her anywhere.  She also realized she wasn't getting anywhere with Trace Rooks, and considering his mood, she wasn't going to.  Veronica scraped her chair back, then reached down for her briefcase. 
The black pen near his foot taunted her again.  He used the toe of his boot to slowly shove it to one side, then the other, and she felt his gaze hot on the side of her face.  Back and forth, he moved it, teasing her.  But he said nothing. 
There was no way she could leave that pen there.  It was a very expensive Mont Blanc.  A pen she had been given by her attorney father when she graduated from law school.  A memoir of the only time in her life he'd ever told her he was proud of her.  So what if he'd only said it on the card that came with the pen, and he was a thousand miles away in Northern California handling a big case at the time.  He had finally said it.
"Do it, Red," Trace urged in a low growl, as he edged the pen with his toe again.  She dropped to her knees beside her briefcase and crawled under the table.  She saw Trace's hand resting on his crotch.  He stroked himself, and she saw the hard ridge of his large penis outlined under his jeans.  Her mouth watered, as she contemplated doing what he asked. 
She had always been curious what the big draw was with him.  Why women were always after him.  Policewomen and attorneys alike, even the female criminals fell prey to his charms.  Hell, she'd even heard he'd done a judge and a female senator, while he was a detective.  He must be one hell of a lover is all she could come up with.  Curiosity about him is what had her so hot and bothered when she was representing him.
Trace unzipped his jeans, and she saw his thick erection straining at the top of his tight white underwear.  She bit back a groan, as her hand closed around the ink pen.  His foot landed on top of her hand to trap it. 
"You know you want to do it, Veronica.  You've wanted to do it for years.  Since you first met me," he suggested softly.  "Now's your chance, Red.  To get your answers and satisfy your curiosity." His sexy, tempting voice sent a chill down her spine.

About Becky McGraw:



Becky McGraw is a married mother of three adult children, and a Southern girl by birth and the grace of God, ya'll. She resides in South Texas with her husband and dog Abby.

A jack of many trades in her life, Becky has been an optician, a beautician, a legal secretary, a senior project manager for an aviation management consulting firm, which took her all over the United States, a real estate broker, and now a graphic artist, web designer and writer.  She knows just enough about a variety of topics to make her dangerous, and her romance novels interesting and varied. Being a graphic artist is a good thing for her too, because she creates her own cover art, along with writing the novels.

Becky has been an avid reader of romance novels since she was a teenager, and has been known to read up to four novels of that genre a week, much to the dismay of her husband, and the delight of e-book sellers.

She has been writing fictional short stories and novels for fun, as well as technical copy for her jobs for many years. She was a member of the Writer's Guild on AOL, as well as a founding member and treasurer of the first online chapter of the Romance Writers of America, From the Heart Romance Writers. Currently, she is a PAN member of RWA and a general member of FTHRW.


You can find Amazon Bestselling Author Becky McGraw at: 
www.beckymcgraw.com
beckymcgrawbooks@gmail.com 
facebook.com/beckymcgrawbooks

Texas Trouble Series by Becky McGraw:

The Cowboy Way Series by Becky McGraw:
Hope for Christmas, a novella included in Santa Wore Spurs (Christmas 2013)
Just Shoot Me (Dean’s Story) (#1, The Cowboy Way, est. release March 2014)


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Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Extravaganza


Join the Facebook party here. Chances to win ebooks galore! And enter the Rafflecopter below for $50 Amazon gift cards.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Release: Hot, Sexy & Bad!



This Holiday Season grab the gift everyone wants. Eight BRAND NEW novellas by Eight Best Selling Authors that will light your fire and warm your heart. But be warned, unwrap this collection with caution! 

Hot, Sexy and Bad: A Holiday Collection features original novellas written by New York Times, USA Today and Bestselling Authors: 

New York Times Best Seller Judy Angelo’s Rome for the Holidays’ 

Sexy as sin… 

Arie Angelis is floored when she lays eyes on the handsome hunk seated at the head table at the holiday event she's catering. When she finds out who he is, she realizes he's way out of reach. But you can't stop a girl from dreaming...

Rome Milano is used to getting what he wants but when he meets the hot and heavenly Arie Angelis he learns that he can't always have his way. He's used to calling the shots, but not this time. 

New York Times Best Seller Melody Anne’s Holiday Treasure: An Anderson Series Novella

Tanner Storm — rich as sin, disgustingly handsome, and an unwilling slumlord — is sentenced to live in his run-down building for two weeks, and to top it off, he has to play Santa. He sees only one good thing about house arrest — his spirited neighbor, Kyla. If he gets her into his bed, maybe he’ll forget the leaking pipes, the defective heating, and the mice. Her tragic past makes her a bit vulnerable, but he’ll be out of her life after Christmas Day. No problem. 

New York Times Best Seller Kathleen Brooks's Dancing Beneath the Mistletoe 

This is an extended sneak peek into the first book of Kathleen Brooks' new Women of Power series. 

Elle Simpson's days revolve around expanding the family business into a global conglomerate. Work has left her no time to find Prince Charming. 

Drake Charles hosts a masquerade ball each year in hopes of finding true love. This year's event is unlike any other when a mysterious masked beauty steals his heart and ignites his passions. 

Will this night of romance lead to a happily ever after? 

New York times Best Seller Ruth Cardello’s Recipe for Love: An Andrade Christmas Novella 

A Novella based on The Legacy Collection. 

Before Abby met Dominic. Before Nicole and Stephan got back together. Confessed secrets drove Madison Andrade away from her family and into the arms of an arrogant, lusty Frenchman. All she wants for Christmas is a place to hide, but she cooks up much more than that in their short time together. 

Richard D’Argenson is gaining fame for his talent in the kitchen, but he’s missing the most important ingredient to any recipe—love.

Will he find it in the steamy night they spend together, and can what they share survive an Andrade Christmas invasion? 

USA Today Best Seller Lynn Raye Harris’s Hot Package: A Hostile 
Operations Team novella. 

When Olivia Reese stumbles onto evidence of a conspiracy, there’s only one man she can call for help. Billy “The Kid” Blake is a Hostile Operations Team soldier—and Olivia’s former lover. 

Billy never forgot the woman who walked out on him, and he’ll do anything he can to keep her safe. But as time runs out and the snow piles up, can Billy and Olivia work together without getting involved again? 

USA Today Best Seller Sandra Marton's The Gift 

Kazimir Savitch is a wildly successful investment fund manager, but there was a time he was a soldier in Special Ops. Sometimes, he misses that excitement. 

Ekaterina Rostov is the daughter of a scheming and ruthless billionaire who will do whatever it takes to win more power. 

That’s why he’s arranged Katie’s marriage to a dissolute prince—and why Kaz will do whatever it takes to prevent the marriage, especially after he and Katie spend a passionate weekend in his bed. 

Shadonna Richards’s The Belmont Christmas Bride: The Bride Series 

Olivia McAlister is getting married in the morning on Christmas Day. Her three hundred guests are booked into the hotel and family members from out of the country have arrived—too bad her groom just called off the wedding. 

In steps the hot, sexy and mysterious general manager of the hotel, Dane Romano. He’s not a marrying man but he sure as hell doesn’t want this pretty young thing’s day to be a total loss. Will he come to her rescue? 

'Tis the Season…for romantic miracles! 

Danielle Stewart’s Half My heart: A Clover Series Novella 

This is an introductory novella to Danielle Stewart's new Clover Series. 

At eighteen, Devin Sutton lost his first love, his freedom, and his hope. Years later, the only thing he has on his mind for this holiday season is finally settling the score back in Clover, North Carolina. 

That is, until he crosses paths with the girl he thought he’d lost forever. Rebecca Farrus was supposed to be off living the life of her dreams, not tending bar in some dive. 

When faced with the choice will Devin decide to celebrate what he’s finally found or keep seeking retribution for everything he lost? 

 
 
 
Judy Angelo:

New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling Author

- # 7 most popular contemporary romance author, April 2013
- #38 best-selling author in the overall store, April 2013
- 8 novels hit the top 50 in their categories
- Recent novel, Her Indecent Proposal, hit #23 on the top 100 best-seller list

I'm a lover of all things romance - novels, poetry, flowers and chocolate (Snickers and chocolate covered peanuts are my favorite). I also love visiting romantic destinations - the sunny beaches of the Caribbean and romantic European cities including London and Paris. My idea of heaven - a comfy lawn chair on the beach in the shade of a palm tree, with a sizzling romance novel and a pina colada. When I'm not writing I'm studying Psychology. I find the field of study fascinating. My book shelves are loaded with the stuff (right next to tons of romance novels). Reading is my life!


Melody Anne:


Melody Anne is the author of the popular series, Billionaire Bachelors, and Baby for the Billionaire. She also has a Young Adult Series out; Midnight Fire and Midnight Moon - Rise of the Dark Angel. She's been writing for years and published in 2011. She hold a bachelors degree in business, so she loves to write about strong, powerful, businessmen.

When Melody isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and pets. She lives in a small town that she loves, and is involved in many community projects.

She makes it a point to respond to all her fans. She looks forward to hearing from you and hopes you enjoy her stories.


Kathleen Brooks: 
Kathleen Brooks is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Bluegrass Series and Bluegrass Brothers Series. She has garnered attention as a new voice in romance with a warm Southern feel. Her books feature quirky small town characters you'll feel like you've known forever, romance, humor, and mystery all mixed into one perfect glass of sweet tea.


Kathleen is an animal lover who supports rescue organizations and other non-profit organizations, such as Friends and Vets Helping Pets, whose goals are to protect and save our four-legged family members.

Kathleen lives in Central Kentucky with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a cat who thinks he's a dog. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached at Kathleen@Kathleen-Brooks.com.


Ruth Cardello: 
NY Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of the Legacy Collection and the Texan Nights Series

Ruth Cardello lives on a small farm in Northern Rhode Island with her husband, three kids, three dogs, two horses, and some assorted chickens. If there is a happier place on Earth, she hasn't found it.

If you'd like to email her directly, you may contact her at Minouri@aol.com


Lynn Raye Harris: 
USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling."


Sandra Marton: 


Sandra is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, award-winning romances. Her heroes are Alphas and her stories will touch your heart.

I live in New England now but I was born in New York City and lived in or near the city most of my life. It's where I met my husband--I was fifteen and a senior in high school! He was at both my high school and college graduations. We have a lot of shared, wonderful history.

After we married, I taught elementary school for a while. Then I settled into being a wife and mother but the desire to write was always there. I'd written short stories when I was little--the first, which I illustrated myself, I wrote when I was seven! I never really stopped writing and one day I looked in the mirror and said, "Okay, Sandra, you've always wanted to be a published writer. Maybe it's time you did something about it."

I'd always been interested in the complex ways in which men and women relate to each so it seemed natural to start writing romance fiction. I wrote short stories and sold several of them. Finally, I took a deep breath, sat down and wrote my very first novel. To my amazement and joy, Harlequin Presents bought it.


Shadonna Richards:
#1 KINDLE BESTSELLING ROMANCE AUTHOR
AMAZON'S TOP 50 MOST POPULAR AUTHORS IN CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Shadonna Richards enjoys reading and writing about the magic of romance and the power of love. She has sold over 260,000 copies of her bestselling romance novels, the Bride Series and Whirlwind Romance Series, in the past eighteen months. Born in London, England, she has a B.A. Degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Nursing. Winner of Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write 2010 Day Two Challenge, she is also a member of Romance Writers of America. She's a proud mommy and wife and lives in Canada with her husband and son.
AUTHOR CONTACT: Email: shadonna@ymail.com


Danielle Stewart: 
Writing is a way to make a lot of different people do exactly what you want them to do. When I can’t get my toddler to listen to me, I turn to my characters. They always cooperate!

I currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina with my husband and three year old son. I have perfected the ability to write in a noisy house and create story lines while folding laundry.

Chasing Justice is book one in my Piper Anderson Series. It follows the evolution of a woman who feels unworthy of love and introduces a colorful and endearing cast of characters who are hellbent on proving her wrong. Due to be released in May 2013 with additional books to follow closely behind.

I love hearing from my readers and always answers all of my email personally. Join my mailing list for updates on contests and new book releases!



Purchase Links:

iTunes | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

Island Lovelies Book Club will be having flash giveaway's throughout the day for a chance to win an ecopy of Hot, Bad & Sexy. Make sure to pop over for a chance to win.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Giveaways!

In the giving spirit of the holidays, here are two great book giveaways courtesy of some great authors. Click each picture to to enter!

http://nightaberrations.blogspot.com/2013/11/i-was-thinking-that-since-november-is.html
 
 
http://www.kimscottbooks.com/giveaway

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Building Attraction by Monique McDonell


Title: Building Attraction

Author: Monique McDonell

Published: October 31st, 2013

Word Count: 58,000

Genre: Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy

Content Warning: Adult Sexual Content

Recommended Age:  16+

Synopsis:

Hers has been a life of too many responsibilities and his has been a life of too few. Could the thing that initially repelled them from each other finally be the ultimate source of attraction?

Holly Adams has two jobs in the city, two petulant teenage sisters to support, a farm with a big mortgage and a terrible secret that propels her forward. Brad Winchester has a reputation for being a spoilt playboy who has abandoned his family business but he also has a secret that has finally brought him home.

When they are forced together at work (Holly works at the cut-throat PR Consultancy that handles his family’s account Winchester Homes – “They don’t build homes, they build dreams”)  a series of misunderstandings has them at odds.

Still working together they learn they have more in common than either might have imagined – common friends, family loyalty and dreams of something different. When life keeps pushing them in each other’s paths they must decide whether this is an attraction that might be worth building on after all.

Excerpt:


Bradley Winchester dove into his red convertible BMW and discreetly followed Holly home. She was fascinating. Mesmerizing even. He’d never seen anything as erotic as that woman bent over the car hood fixing her engine and snapping her knife shut against her thigh. It was primal and capable and so completely foreign to him. He was used to women who needed help to open their champagne let alone fix their cars.

He knew from the minute he walked into the EPR boardroom today that Holly Adams did not like him. He was an hour late, but that had been a genuine mix-up. His secretary had given him the wrong time. He was normally fastidious about punctuality. However, he knew it was more than that.

Holly Adams had him pegged as a guy punching above his weight, so to speak. She saw him as a guy who was handed a job on a silver platter that he wasn’t qualified for. She was right to an extent, but she didn’t know the full story and he couldn’t tell her, even if he wanted to. Not that it had been any of her goddamned business in the first place. He had tried to smooth things over with her at the time and she had been nothing but courteous but her distrust of him was obvious.

Holly did a left-hand turn into a driveway. It was the driveway of St Anne’s School for Day Students and Boarders. Why was Holly going into an exclusive girls’ school at seven at night? He turned into the driveway and shut his lights. She had gone right so he turned left and pulled his car into a park behind a bank of trees. He got out of the car and watched Holly. She parked. She went around to the passenger side and hauled out her briefcase. He watched her head towards a doorway and it swung open…light spilled through the doorway and an imperious woman filled its frame.

“Cutting it fine aren’t you Miss Adams?”

“Nothing to worry about Sister Evangeline, I’m here now.”

The door slammed and the yard was dark. Brad looked along the bank of buildings. Brad had dated a few St Anne’s girls back when he was in high school but he’d never been to the school before and never at night.

Upstairs he could see school girls talking on a veranda. He saw Holly approach. She was backlit and her golden hair looked like a halo.

“Holly! You’re here!” One girl trilled. “I have so much to tell you!”

“OK Maddy, you will have to wait and tell me after study hall. Come on girls everyone inside. You all know the drill.”

Holly Adams worked at the school. How fascinating, Brad thought. He had so many questions.

He saw the downstairs door open again and the large woman peer out.

“Who are you? We don’t need any Peeping Tom’s around here. You’ve got two minutes to skedaddle or I’m letting the dogs out.”

Oh heck, thought Brad, and he climbed in his car and burnt rubber getting the hell away from St Anne’s.

About the Author:

Monique is an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance. She lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches with her husband and daughter, and despite a dog phobia, has a dog called Skip.

Monique has written all of her life, especially as a child when she loved to write short stories and poetry. At University she studied Creative Writing as part of her Communication degree. After wards she was busy working in public relations and didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although she wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And she still does in her day-job!)

When Monique began to write again she noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made her unhappy. So she made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and she has been writing happy stories ever since.

 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What’s Not in a Name – Part II: ADHD

Yesterday I discussed Depression and society’s general misunderstanding of the condition. Today, I tackle ADHD and the same misunderstanding. ADHD affects as much as ten percent of the population, most undiagnosed, not knowing there’s a brain-based biological condition behind their erratic behavior, but before I get too far into it, let’s talk about what’s not in a name.

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a spectrum disorder which means some who have it are minimally affected and others can be severely affected and a wide range in the middle. But, the name implies that the person can’t pay attention and can’t sit still and that’s the problem. It’s so much more. And not necessarily exactly those issues either. Books have been written on the subject, so to keep it simple, I’ll focus on the Attention and Hyperactivity aspects of this poorly named disorder.

The person with ADHD may have attention problems with things he is not interested in, but be able to pay extreme attention to those things he is interested in, to the point of ignoring everything else. It’s a dysregulation problem. Paying bills isn’t very interesting, but necessary. Some with ADHD don’t realize the link between cause and effect, don’t realize paying a bill will prevent the utilities from being shut off, but when the electric gets shut off, only then will their attention be all over it, because it is a urgent and then interesting matter. ADHD, like Depression is a neurotransmitter problem, but involves more neurotransmitters in the brain and is quite complex, but the bottom line, which was remarkable to me, is this physical, biological problem, which is an invisible illness, is responsible for Self Control. Self-control is something I was taught was a “fruit of the spirit” and something God expected you to bring forth in order to be a good person and if you didn’t, you were bad. ADHD interrupts the person’s good intentions from coming forth into good actions. The person may want to do the right thing, but, through a faulty brain, literally may not be able to. This causes the person to distrust themselves and others to distrust them as well. It’s an insidious condition.

Generally, society thinks if the person is not physically hyperactive, he could not have ADHD. Kids tend to have more of the physically hyperactive symptoms, unable to sit still, bouncing off the walls, tapping their pencil, etc. Some adults do to, but some people are hyperactive only in their minds. Always thinking of many things at once, perhaps not listening because of the constant thinking. ADHD has been characterized as a “bottomless pit of wants and needs” because the person is always looking for a new thrill, the next best thing, something else, to keep them interested and feeling alive, revving up those neurotransmitters to a level in the typical person. "Easily distracted" is the number one diagnostic sypmptom of ADHD. The person with ADHD may overcommit herself because she always wants to be doing something. She may not realize there’s not enough hours in the day and then fall short, appearing unreliable to others, even letting herself down. It’s a vicious circle which chips away at the person’s self-esteem. It’s no surprise then that depression and ADHD often ride in the same car.

ADHD used to be called minimal brain dysfunction, which is a better name in my opinion—much less ambiguous. Get real; a spade is a spade. For instance, clogged arteries are clogged arteries. We don’t hint around at it with a funky moniker – oxygenation deficit/circulation disorder. But, I’m a realist and I don’t see ADHD’s name changing any time soon. I just hoped to shed some light on the disorder for those who might not appreciate what’s not in a name.

For more on ADHD and treatment options click here or here.

The character, Glenn, in my novel, Love, Carry My Bags, has undiagnosed ADHD and depression. The novel is a realisitic portrayal of how the undiagnosed conditions can wrack havoc on a relationship and begs the question: What if they had known?

Monday, November 11, 2013

What’s Not in a Name – Part I: Depression

I’ve had the misfortunate opportunity to have mental disturbances in my family my entire life. However, I really didn’t know it until two years ago. Not really. I know I’m not alone. A good 25 percent of the population has some type of mental illness or disorder, but what; maybe 2 percent talk about it?  There’s a lot of misinformation, ignorance, denial and sweeping things under the rug out there that can persist for years, decades. It was only after digging through my mother’s things after she passed that I realized she was an ill, tortured soul. Before that, I’d thought she was quirky and odd. I’d like to talk about two brain-based disabilities that are so much more than their names suggest: Depression and ADHD. Today I’ll tackle depression and tomorrow, ADHD.

We all think we know what depression is—sadness, lethargy, even having a bad day. People walk around saying they are depressed. Maybe they heard a sad story on the news and it got them down, depressing them, but we all know they’ll get over it and it isn’t such a big deal. That’s not the depression I’m talking about and why speaking about depression can get so confusing.

Some people are more specific and say “clinical depression” when referring to a chronic condition lasting at least two weeks, sometimes years. Depression involves a biological condition, a problem with the serotonin levels in the brain and body. It has physical origins, and is not merely a thought process that can be willingly turned around. The person can be sad and lethargic, uninterested in life activities, self-loathing and telling everyone how worthless she is. This pattern can then become a circular, self-fulfilling prophesy, causing other people to actually believe the person is worthless, shunning her because all she does is whine or cry all day. This gives the depressee evidence of her worthlessness, and so it goes, even to the point that the depressed person may look for an out, further damaging her reputation, turning to drugs or alcohol. Yet others find something to believe in to the extreme, becoming religious zealots, for example—something to hide behind.

People generally don’t share their clinical depression diagnosis. If they say anything at all, they just say they are depressed, which most people consider as the bad-day type and pay little attention. The clinically depressed may take medication to help with those serotonin issues. They might make a casual mention of being on medication to help them feel better, which also gets little notice in society’s common notion of being depressed. People perk up if you say you have cancer, because they know it’s serious. No so with depression. But clinical depression is serious. It causes missed work days, ruins family relationships, can claim lives through suicide and more.

If you’re a clinically depressed man, you might not fit society’s notion of the depressed. Depression can also manifest in irritability, anger, and digestive troubles or pain, causing you to look for a remedy in all the wrong places, blaming others for your bad mood. Anger management classes won’t change your attitude if the attitude is driven by a physical condition. How many people have known an alcoholic and pointed to alcoholism as the problem? Maybe it’s a symptom, not the disease. Why is he an alcoholic? Because he’s depressed? Maybe. Fix the depression and the alcoholism may be easier to resolve. They might not need it anymore.

My father was a columnist for a newspaper. He left his readers with this, “I have written out of concern, hoping the readers feel that a whole person is talking with you on a wide range of human concerns in a joint exploration and examination of life and all it means. The major goal of my writing has been to encourage the reader to think.” This apple hasn’t fallen far from that tree. I’m concerned that we take too much at first blush, not examining situations closely. I’m encouraging you, the reader, to think too.

For more on serotonin and depression, click here.
For more on depression in men, click here.
For more on depression in general, click here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

J.S Scott & Cali MacKay - A Maine Christmas Or Two

Book One Synopsis 

The Billionaire’s Angel by J.S. Scott (The Billionaire’s Obsession Christmas Story)

Considered an eccentric beast by most of the residents in Amesport, Maine, Billionaire Grady Sinclair stays isolated on his private peninsula in a grand mansion most people are afraid to approach. The arrangement suits Grady just fine, until a fearless angel lands on his doorstep, making him painfully aware of how lonely he really is, and how much he wants to keep the fiery blonde cherub for his very own. But will he have to become the monster the townspeople believe him to be in order to get his Christmas wish?

Emily Ashworth needs money, and plenty of it. As director of the Youth Center of Amesport, she either finds the funds she needs to supply Christmas presents and other items she needs to purchase to give the kids of Amesport a Christmas, or they won’t have one at all. Desperate, she ventures to the Amesport Peninsula to ask the wealthiest person in the area to provide a Christmas for her misplaced, abused, or troubled kids, and to help keep the doors of the much-needed refuge open. Emily is shocked when she meets Grady, and surprisingly more attracted to him than she has ever been to any man. He might have seemed like a barbarian in the beginning, but Emily quickly learns that Grady is nothing like she’d imagined. Was the monster of Amesport truly the very devil, or just a lonely man who needs the gift of love for Christmas?

Excerpt 

Grady tried not to flinch as he met his father’s cold, gray-eyed stare, eyes so very much like his own. “I don’t like parties,” he stated flatly, knowing it went much deeper than that, but he wasn’t about to try to explain. His father had never understood him, and he never would.
“I don’t give a shit about what you like and don’t like. No son of mine is going to be an idiot and a coward. Man up and do what’s expected of you,” his father growled. “Downstairs. Five minutes. And try not to act like a fool for a change.” Martin Sinclair turned around and left without another word.
Grady let out a huge sigh, glad that his father was hosting the annual Christmas party and probably didn’t have more time to rake him over the coals for not being the man he wanted all of his sons to be.
Martin Sinclair wanted every one of his children to be just like him, and Grady knew he was…different. He didn’t want to be, but he was, and at the age of eighteen, he knew he’d never be like his father.
Walking to his closet, he pulled out a suit and tie, shucking his jeans and t-shirt to put on more formal clothing. Nothing less than a suit and tie would do, and if he couldn’t act like a Sinclair, at least he would dress like one.

Book Two 

A Mermaid Isle Christmas by Cali MacKay 

Once Aidan Nordson made his fortune, he was finally able to leave behind the world that left him broken and scarred. Escaping to Mermaid Isle, all he wants is to be left alone to live his life and deal with his demons, but when a blizzard hits and strands Chloe Madison at his door, the gorgeous and feisty brunette stirs feelings in him he’d rather push away. Forced together by fate and circumstance, can Aidan let go of the past that haunts him so he can learn to love again or will the storm in his heart swallow him in its darkness?


Excerpt
 
Aidan got ready to hunker down for the nor’easter that was threatening to hit Mermaid Isle. Maine winters could certainly be brutal, but this storm had veered from its original course and now threatened to be one for the record books. It would guarantee the island a picture-perfect, snowy white Christmas, though that did little to ease the demons that tormented him this time of year. 

His pantry was well-stocked, he had a cord of wood for his fireplace, and a generator that should kick in if he lost power. He even had a bottle of whiskey should the need arise, though more often than not, he chose to live with the pain rather than dull it. 

It usually helped to stay busy, and he’d found that woodworking and making handcrafted furniture was the only thing that brought him some semblance of peace. Not that it would be enough with the holidays approaching. 

The wind started to howl and whistle as icy flakes of snow whipped against the large windows. He stoked the fire and added another piece of wood when there was an unexpected knock at his door, sending his shaggy hound into a barking fit. “Whist, pup.” 

Who the hell was out in this mess? He then thought of his cousin, Lucy, who’d recently moved in down the road with her husband and was nearly five months pregnant. Panic snaked through his chest as he yanked the door open, worried she was somehow in trouble. 

The person on his doorstep wasn’t his cousin, and it sure as hell wasn’t anyone else he recognized either. She looked like Snow White—porcelain skin with rosy cheeks, black as night hair, ice blue eyes, and lush, naturally red lips. Definitely not a local, though what the hell she was doing out in this bad of a storm, he hadn’t a clue. And it was really coming down now. “Can I help you?” 



About J.S Scott 





J.S. Scott is a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic romance. She's an avid reader of all types of books and literature. Writing what she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary erotic romance stories and paranormal romance erotics. They almost always feature an Alpha Male and have a happily ever after because she just can't seem to write them any other way! She lives with her husband in the picturesque Colorado Rockies.

Contact J.S Scott On Facebook -  https://www.facebook.com/authorjsscott
Twitter - @AuthorJSScott
 
 
About Cali MacKay 
Cali MacKay lives in New England with her husband, two girls and their crazy mutt. When not tapping away on her laptop and getting her characters into trouble, she can be found designing book covers for other authors, wrangling her girls, and splicing DNA.

She's also a decent potter, adventurous cook, and horrible gardener. For more information, please go to http://calimackay.com .

https://twitter.com/CaliMacKay

Buy Links 

Amazon.com  http://amzn.com/B00EYFDXS8
Amazon UK http:/amzn.co.uk/B00EYFDXS8

 

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