Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Plot Thickens: A Semya Slotin Mystery by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba (Review)

Polliannah's story is live! 
What led to that horrific phone call to Semya and Josh in the middle of the night?

When Polliannah Koch Guryev meets John Allen, she thinks that she’s finally found her Prince Charming in the form of a tall, blond and handsome banker. What could go wrong?
 John Allen has a job to do and getting closer to the beautiful Miss Koch Guryev is supposed to be a means to an end. But then they fall in love. He’s a hit man with a mission, she’s the sister of his targets. What possible future could they have? Now he and his Russian Princess have to leave London for their safety.
But it may already be too late for them.

Buy links
B&N, Kobo and iTunes coming soon


John heard the infamous familiar cackles before Salomon ‘Sal’ Dovos stepped out of the shadows. What the fuck is he doing in London? Sal moved his long dark hair away from his face showing his scar. “Why so jumpy mate?”
“Why are you here Sal? I don’t have time to babysit,” John said. Sal Dovos was the youngest son of Samuel Dovos Jr., or commonly known as The Second since Samuel Dovos Senior passed away over thirty years ago. For the people old enough to remember Samuel Dovos Senior’s reign of terror, as bad as it was, it was child’s play compared to The Second’s and young Salomon was a pure product of that evil.
“I can see that… so that’s the Guryev’s whore, nice arse but I prefer her sister,” he sneered. He looked at John’s gun. “Put that thing away John, you might hurt someone.”
John put the gun down and back under his jacket. “I won’t shoot you in the middle of the West End,” he said with a forced smile. Not without my silencer… “Stay away from them Sal.”
He shrugged the comment off and came closer to John. “I don’t know, I’ve heard interesting things about the Slotin girl and her real mother… she’s one sexy woman.”
John turned to face him. “Sal, I won’t shoot you but I would leave you incapacitated if it means that I get to finish my job in peace.” Sal Dovos was too unpredictable and sadistic to be left to his own devices. He reminded him a lot of Miska Guryev, same age, same villainous behaviours. They even used to be very good friends before the assassination attempts. “You can have Joseph,” he told him. It was more an order than a suggestion.
“I’m not here for them John. I’m here for Vincent.” His expression changed, Sal’s hatred for Vincent was notorious. “I heard he’s in London. He’s mine,” he said touching his scar.

The Playlist

My Review

There's a reason I keep talking about Semya Slotin: she's one of the most compelling- and fun- characters I've come across in a while. Having never gotten over my desire to be Nancy Drew, a brilliant female super-detective is just my cup of tea (although perhaps wine would be more appropriate).

The Plot Thickens fills in the blanks from Bird Of Prey and clues us into the life of Polliannah Koch Guryev, Semya's business partner, best friend and occasional partner-in-crime. Whereas Semya's haunted by losing her birth mother at a young age and not knowing who her birth father is, Polli lives trying to escape from the long shadow her powerful father and brothers cast. What could be so awful that she'd choose to follow her slightly self-destructive friend into frequent danger? The answer will shock you.

But before we get there we're going to see Polli fall in love with a very dangerous man who isn't anything close to what he appears to be. The reader knows well before Polli that John Allen is dangerous, ruthless and calculating and that she'd do well to steer clear of him. But she's smitten and we can also see why. 

Readers of Bird Of Prey will know exactly how their story ends, but we'll be genuinely heartbroken once we get there. Sharp-eyed readers are also going to get a big, huge clue about the question that we've had throughout Semya's tale, and I cannot wait to see how that revelation is going to play out.

Highlighted recommended for fans of romantic suspense and mystery.

Other book from the Semya Slotin Mystery...

Bird Of Prey
24 reviews in amazon

Check out the steamy romance thriller that started it all!

Who killed the infamous Johanna Cartier? Sémya Slotin is frown back in the business of solving mysteries when she found her body. With the help of a new ally and the mysterious Josh Heinz, she vows to see this through.

Currently at $0.99 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pick up This Could Have Been Our Song! (Coulda Woulda Should Song Series - #1) by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba for FREE!

FREE EVERYWHERE until February 2014 or longer (not a KDP free day)

Buy links
(Free but the page is not properly showing it) 
Amazon Canada
(already on the UK Amazon Bestsellers Rank for Romantic Comedy)
(not sure yet)

This Could Have Been Our Song! A coulda woulda shoulda ballad…
Series –  Coulda Woulda Shoulda Song Series  - #1
Author – Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Publication Date – January 18th 2013

Book one:
Love can be such a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” song sometimes…
Lucia Mpobo-Riddell could have been a dancer like the rest of women of her family but instead she chose music. Marcus Grant could have been a doctor like the rest of his family but instead he chose music. She also could have not fallen for Marcus on her birthday but she did. And Marcus, he could have told Lucia the truth about his real reason for being in Toronto that night, but he didn’t. Now they have to deal with big reveals and consequences: Marcus almost stealing her job and being force to work on an album together. Marcus, because he couldn’t swallow his pride, leaves Toronto and goes home to London. Lucia, because she just couldn’t give up on her first amazing opportunity to produce a whole album. And to complicate the situation further, the band they’re working for is not the easiest one. Mary Gillis, Marcus’ on and off flame, still has a hold on him. Greg McMullen, Lucia’s close friend and former dance partner is back in town and has been in love with her for years. Then there’s Marcus and Lucia, in the middle of their own a professional and personal tug-of- war with each over and the rest of the world. But maybe things could still work out… All things considered, this could have been one heck of a love song! 


“She’s adorable isn’t she?” she said. 
My look shifted toward John and Lucia, dancing and laughing. “Yes she is,” I answered, smiling to her. “And so are you.”
“I know,” she smirked back.
“Is she a professional dancer too?”
“Until the age of twenty she was the best dancer I’d ever seen,” she answered. “She moved to other passions after that.”
My gaze was always on Lucia and hers on mine. By the time they started to play “No me Ames” I went to get her back from John. 
“Missed me, Luce?” I asked her.
She brought her lips to mine for a kiss – a real, deep, long kiss. “John is a better dancer,” she answered.
“I bet. He does this for a living,” I said before kissing her again. “What’s with the Marc Anthony mar-athon here?” 
Lucia laughed, turning around and pressing her back against my chest. It felt amazing. “Noor’s doing, I’m sure.” Her hands were caressing my face and I kissed her neck. “It’s her favorite singer.” 
She turned around at the end of the song. I couldn’t speak anymore; my body was in full arousal. I kissed her with all I had and she kissed me back, matching the same passion. 
“Luce, you are so beautiful,” I hoarsely said.
“You’re not so bad yourself, Just Marcus.” Her fingers were under my shirt now; she kissed me some more then whispered “Do you want to get out of here?”
How could I say no? There was at least one good reason, but all I could think about was her lips, her smell, her touch, her smile. “Noor?” I whispered back.
“Like a cat always, she falls on her feet,” she laughed. “Andrew is waiting for her outside; we’ve all been drinking way too much.”
“Lead the way then.”  
She took my hand and led to the exit. I took my jacket after a quick, awkward farewell to John and Nella. Lucia hugged them both then we headed outside. Noor was already there kissing somebody I presumed to be her fiancé. She waved us goodbye and got into his car. Now it was just Lucia and me. I hailed a taxi and kissed her. I looked at her sweet, trusting face and felt like a real dick. She kissed my neck, giggling, and for some reason I giggled back. At that moment I was sure we would be able to talk about the whole Second Coming situation in the morning. But we never did. So now I’m going to have to confront her tomorrow.
 I really should have rung her. 

Get your free copy before Book Two release in January 18th 

This Would Have Been Our Song! Catchy tunes and dancers’ tales
Series – Coulda Woulda Shoulda Song Series - #2
Author – Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Release Date – January 18, 2014

Book two:
This would have been their perfect love song…
It has been two years since Lucia Mpobo-Riddell has made her choice between the two men in her life. She and her beloved would have been perfectly happy if it wasn’t for… the constant distractions from her past, her sister Noor’s complicated life, her own doubts and fears. Maybe there wasn’t such a thing as perfection and this was a lesson that Lucia was going to learn the hard way. 
Greg McMullen and Marcus Grant’s lives had been affected by Lucia’s choice that day in Glasgow two years ago. Since then one had been fighting to keep her when the other had been relentlessly trying to get her back. It soon became apparent to them that she wasn’t the Lucia they met and fell in love with anymore. Her life and priorities had completely shifted. To even consider keeping her or just getting her back, they would have to accept it or they would have to let her go. But would they ever be able to do either?


And the strangest thing happens, No Me Ames starts and we both freezes.  “I didn’t do it,” I mouth. She says something to Alex and he looks at both us and signals me to come. 
“I heard this was your song. That’s an odd choice,” Alex says when I get there.
“This is odd,” I tell them as I remove my jacket.
“Not to mention extra cheesy!” she laughs.
“Whatever dude, just bring her back when you’re done,” he says walking away with my jacket.

We laugh, we’re nervous. I put my hand on her naked back and bring her closer. We start dancing, avoiding looking at each over. She finally puts her arms around my neck and look up, “I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Lucia, Alex’s friend and baby mama,” she teases.
“Mercutio Grant but everyone calls me Marcus,” I say back.
“Well Mercutio, are you an underwear model?” She takes a quick pick at my giant ponytail, “An Italian underwear model?” she leers.
“Si,” I laugh. “I do…the clothes too,” I say with the worst fake Italian.
“It’s such a waste… I mean with this body and that long sexy hair, it’s all about boxer or briefs?” She gives me the most innocent look. “I’m in show business too. I write songs, good songs. And I play the guitar, the piano, bass, the violin… I like music. And you…Mercutio was it? Do you play anything when you’re not too busy taking your clothes off for the camera?”
“Le donne … I mostly play the women… no need to put clothes back on,” I say without skipping a beat. My Italian accent is terrible. I’m mentally apologizing to all Italians. “And it’s briefs.”
She burst out laughing and she’s laughing so hard, I have hold her tighter for her not to fall on her face. She’s wearing incredibly high heels. “Mercutio, you’re all right,” she lets out as the song ended. 
“Luce, you’re killing me. And you look incredible tonight… I mean wow!” I tell her. We walk back toward Alex. She puts her hand on my chest to stop me, grabs a drink and polishes it off. “Are you all right?”
“Did I mention that I belong to the Riddell clan and we love to dance? Mercutio, let’s dance.” She starts moving her hips seductively, her hands still on my chest pushing backward as she’s moving forward.  And then we dance, I’m just happy to have her in my arms a little bit longer. 

 The fabulous! 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A little college advice from Emily and Zainab

Today Emily and Zainab, my dynamic duo from The Smartest Girl in the Room, is over on K.C. Wilder's blog giving future freshman some college advice.

What would you do if you could do it differently?
This was relevant for K.C. because her son is getting started on his higher education adventure next year, but it made me wonder what advice grads of all ages would offer our younger selves. Study more? Party harder? Join a club?

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Heart That Breaks the Soil by Monica Lee (Guest Post and Excerpt)

Title:   A Heart That Breaks the Soil
Author: Monica Lee
Published:  September 2013
Word Count:  95,000
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Mandy held on to hope that her husband and her situation would change as she tried to honour her commitment despite all signs pointing to this being an unworkable marriage.  A Heart That Breaks the Soil takes you across the vast expanses of Africa and into the insecure realm of the human psyche.

This is the story of how one woman struggled to find her way in the search for that one coveted destination: a happy life.  It is Mandy’s story but it will become yours as well as you enter her world of trials and deep sadness, mixed in with humour, friendship and love.

Mandy could hear Winston in the background saying good- bye to his relatives. He then turned to Mandy. “Are you coming or would you like to stay behind?” he asked in a very pleasant voice. The relatives around him burst into laughter at hearing him joke so lightly. Mandy hastily fell into step and together they walked back to the car, and she was the only one who knew he wasn’t joking.

Mandy’s sisters said she looked stunning that afternoon at the registration office. She wore a lilac skirt with a well-fitting silk band, which enhanced her slender waist; the skirt fell elegantly to the floor. A snow-white bodice to accent the lilac skirt showed off her full bust. Her hat was a deeper purple with white and lilac ribbons that gave her an enchanting look.

Driving back in silence after tying the knot was something you don’t see in movies because movies are a fairy tale fantasy; this was real. Mandy could tell by his breathing that he was still very tense. When they got home, he jumped out of the car before it ground to a halt and rushed into the house. Just as he was throw- ing the wedding ring into the kitchen bin, Mandy walked in.

Was that where their symbol of marriage would lie? Looking at the ring lying on top of the rubbish, she reached to pick it up but a second thought overrode her instinct to retrieve it.

Are women in Africa tolerated or loved? by Monica Lee

Tradition plays a big role in African society and gender inequality is still prevalent. When I say tradition I think this needs to be qualified somewhat. Two or three hundred years ago men and women had well defined roles but lived in a village setting. The high standing of the man was accompanied by responsibilities and he was held accountable for his actions to the wider tribe. Whilst I do not wish to return to this kind of system it was one, which had developed over generations and was in harmony with the circumstances under which they lived. Nowadays African men in my opinion tend to take the parts of traditional culture they want whilst embracing western values they find appealing. Women are expected to serve and any show of weariness in this area can spell trouble in a marriage.
When a woman marries a man the custom is that she marries into his family. This means she is expected to look after her parents in law and other dependents from her husband’s family. The husband’s family has a considerable say in how any children from the marriage are brought up and will even take over possession of the man’s belongings in the unfortunate event of his death. I suppose this can contribute to a feeling of not being loved and being relegated. A man has to show he is in charge to satisfy his relatives. This can result in the marriage becoming a power struggle where the man is fearful of losing his status. This can be particularly pronounced in cases where the woman is educated or has access to her own funds or a career.  Some women still have limited access to productive resources and employment. These are some of the reasons that contribute to unhappy marriages.  Especially when a woman depends solely on her spouse and do not have the means to earn a living.
In my opinion the role of a woman in a marriage in Africa remains the same regardless of the global outlook. Men are brought up traditionally to think household chores and bringing up children is a woman’s job. Their role is to earn money for the family and make decisions. Poverty, unemployment are some other reasons for unhappiness in marriages. Domestic violence is dealt with in unrealistic ways when reported. Women that suffer the most are women in the grass root level.
How can we work toward on improving things? Women need to stand together in the fight of women inequality and violence against women. Men need to be educated about paternal care and the sharing of responsibilities in marriages. As long as abusive husbands are condoned in society the fight for respect and dignity amongst women is a lost battle.
A heart that breaks the soil looks at these problems in a different light. Mandy is not aware of her own situation because others around her are treated in the same way. Her journey based on true life situations takes you into the inner psychological isolation of women living in abusive marriages.
Often you read about these cases and not much is done to address the issue.

About the Author:
The author was born in Zambia. She spent years in England and Sweden as a young woman. For the last 20 year she has taught in an international school in Africa. Monica enjoys writing, cooking and reading. A Heart That Breaks the Soil - is her first contemporary fiction novel. She now lives and works in Asia with her husband and children. Monica is now writing her second book.

Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • 4 Kindle ebooks of A Heart That Breaks the Soil
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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