Sunday, March 1, 2015

Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins – Interview and Excerpt


Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero?
After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero?

Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days.
After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.
As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did.
Andra Watkins 4Andra Watkins lives in Charleston, South Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She’s still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she’d end up starring in porn films. In addition to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.
For More Information

For More Information

    • Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace is available at Amazon
    • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Interview:
Has Your Dad Ever Offered You Pee-Stained Nuts?
People hear about Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, and they love to ask questions. "What was it like to spend five weeks with your 80-year-old dad?" "Did he really fart as much as you describe in the book?" "Did you ever want to drop your quest to become the first living person to walk the ancient Natchez Trace as the pioneers?"
I answer those questions in my memoir. You'll just have to read the book.
Please enjoy my answers to the most common general questions I get about writing, my projects and life as a writer. And PLEASE ask me anything in the comments!
  1. Tell me something about yourself. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was there an aha! moment?
I re-evaluated my whole life in the wake of the 2008-09 economic crash. I was forty. And basically unemployed. While I could've come up with ways to reignite a consulting practice I didn't enjoy, I was stuck. "What did I really want to do with my life?" I asked myself. Over.
And over.
I started writing again as a way to process my failure, never intending for writing to become my vocation. It was fun, something about which I was passionate. I loved making words and never viewed it as a job. Now that I've decided to pursue it full-time, I still see it as a challenging, fun way to spend my time. Maybe I found my way to what I should've been doing all along. Writing was my mid-life crisis, but it led me to a richer life. Not in terms of money, but with connections, with relationships, and with satisfaction.
  1. Did your walk on the Natchez Trail accomplish the goals you set for yourself?  Did the trek change you, and if so, in what way?
I finished, so yes, I accomplished that goal. I hoped the walk would garner a broader audience for my debut novel, and I don't believe that happened, though many people tell me it did. I had such lofty dreams for what walking 444-miles in a month might accomplish. Unrealistic goals, really. I never fathomed how hard it would be to get someone to choose my books over other offerings. I went into it thinking I'd do something bizarre, and people might be interested.
While I never had the goal of repairing a dysfunctional relationship, it was a happy by-product of my walk. My parents and I have a deep, meaningful relationship now, something I wish we could've had throughout my life. Many people don't get the opportunity to fix these relationships before a person is gone, or they are offered a way but refuse to take it. I'm grateful to my parents for agreeing to have this adventure with me, because my shredded feet pounded a path to healing. The experience made me determined to inspire others to Make a Memory, to grab a loved one and do something meaningful before it's too late. And because we're not guaranteed tomorrow, we never know when it may be too late.
The trek temporarily changed my mid-life figure. I'm blessed, because my body sprung back from the daily abuse within a month or so. My biggest challenge now is making myself exercise. My experience on the Trace also made me appreciate waning time. We all think we have time to have adventures, to connect with others, to do that thing. We put those things off for "someday", and "someday" morphs into "never" in the overwhelming crush of Life. I hope my experience taught me to seize the opportunities Life offers to connect with people who matter. People need those messages, that challenge to shift focus on what's important. Everyone should read Not Without My Father, because it will force them to Make a Memory they'll cherish forever.
  1. How did the time spent with your father change your relationship? Would you walk the Trace again with him as your companion?
I never really felt like I knew my dad. He was this figure who lectured me and told me what to do. I dreaded every second with him. Growing up, he was the classic uninvolved dad, the man who went to work, who came home, who never talked to me. When I turned thirteen, he decided he hadn't taught me anything, and he spent my teens starting every sentence with, "Andra, you need to learn......."
Not exactly the best approach for a teenage girl.
I couldn't stand my father. He lectured me through my teens, compared me to my more successful friends in my twenties and early thirties. Sometime in my mid-thirties, he started to see me as an adult, and his approach altered in that he treated me like all other adults in his life: He told stories, usually the same ones over and over, to try to form a bond. I rolled my eyes and put up with it, and when I started writing, I used him and his stories often for comic relief. Still, I never felt a deep bond with my dad or understood who he was.
And at eighty, I was running out of time.
The walk changed all that. Finally, I experienced him as a human being, an adult who wants to be remembered. We laughed and cried, argued and excelled, and redrew the bounds of our connection. No one will ever be able to rob me of the memories we made on that trip. When he's gone, he'll live in those experiences. I can't imagine spending five weeks on the Trace with anyone else.
  1. What gave you the original idea to use Meriwether Lewis’s ghost as a character in your novel? What advice would you give other writers?
Meriwether Lewis died a tragic death, a mysterious end that will remain unsolved for all time. For readers who don't know, Meriwether Lewis was one-half of the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific. He completed his expedition at thirty-two. At thirty-five, he was dead of two gunshot wounds on the Natchez Trace, seventy miles south of Nashville. He was an American hero, more famous than Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. America's First Scientist. Renowned and respected beyond the bounds of the United States. Yet, he had no federal funeral. For almost fifty years, he was buried in an unmarked grave. No marker or other means to identify the grave of an American hero. In 1848, the legislature for the state of Tennessee earmarked funds to purchase the marker one sees today if they visit his grave. Those people found it appalling that an American hero was buried in their state, his contributions to our nation totally forgotten.
I pondered the notion of the legacies we leave behind. We all want to be remembered, to have someone know we existed after we're gone. It's the only way we can really live forever.
With Meriwether Lewis, I wanted to give him a different ending, something else to do to round out his short life. I wondered what he might do if he could live again. I read everything he ever wrote, followed many of his footsteps, even communed with him at his grave. I hope he would be proud of the new tale I wove for him. To Live Forever is imbued with his spirit.
For other writers, don't give up on your vision. My books live by the sheer force of my will. No NEVER means no in this business. It just means I have to reframe a lot of opportunities, have the strength of a bulldog and never, ever give up. The world of publishing is a place where you can shine. Don't short-shift your vision. Don't take no for an answer. Never, ever give up.
  1. How has life changed for you since writing your first book?
I'm a full-time writer now, and I love the crazy, mixed-up world of writing and promoting. Not Without My Father launched mid-January 2015, and I embarked upon an ambitious book tour. I was in Nashville, New Orleans and other points in Louisiana and Mississippi to start. I returned to North and South Carolina in February. In March, I travel north, because this Southern girl needs her cold weather fix. I'll be in Chicago, Massachusetts and New York for events.
I love writing, making words into stories. But I really love meeting readers. Hearing how my books cause people to make changes in their lives is one of the most fulfilling things in life. I never wanted to craft books that didn't touch people. I'm grateful for readers who reach out and tell me how my books matter.
  1. Are you currently working on a new book? If so, what would you like to share about it?
My book Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time will be available February 1, 2015. It's a collection of pictures from my Natchez Trace walk, the perfect accompaniment to both To Live Forever and Not Without My Father. It will be available as an 8 x 8 paperback everywhere books are sold. I'm really proud of how it's come together. People will be able to walk the Natchez Trace by turning pages. I hope the images are a tribute to an ancient, incredible place.
I also have a short story coming in the spring. Hard To Die is a short prequel to To Live Forever. It's set in New Orleans and Mexico City, and it follows characters from To Live Forever. I enjoyed a trip to Mexico City recently for research, and I hope it makes the story pop.
Your True Love Lives will be available Summer 2015. It's a full-length paranormal romance. Set in England, it follows a group of Americans as they volunteer in a sailing-for-the-disabled program. I hope the book will shine a light on programs that enable disabled people to achieve mobility around the country. Several years ago, I was lucky to volunteer in such a program, and I met precious people who came out to sail, day after day, to feel like they could walk again, to experience memories they couldn't grasp any other way, or to escape a bed.
And I Am Number Thirteen, the sequel to To Live Forever, will be available November 2015. Surprising readers is a tall order, but I'm excited about the drafts I've produced. The book will follow Emmaline Cagney into her life with her father, an achievement that didn't quite turn out the way she hoped.
I'm very busy. And I love it.
  1.     What question that I didn’t ask would you have liked me to ask?
How does Dad feel about these books?
He's ecstatic, so proud of these stories that capture his essence. I'm glad I was able to get them to market before he's gone. He may be able to see what impact his life has on readers before he dies, and that's an incredible thing to give a person.
Dad also sees himself as my top book salesman. He spends his days in the community, meeting strangers, regaling them with stories, and selling them books. I'm glad to see him up and about, out of his recliner and living again. I won't say my decision to write saved his life, but it has enriched it. I'm thrilled to give him that gift in his life's twilight.
Book Excerpt #1:
ROAD TO NOWHERE
Talking Heads
The journey is a long slog with an unpredictable number of mileposts.
One can make the trip alone, but why not share it?
As I traversed familiar mile markers and pulled up in front of my fa- ther’s house, I could predict where I’d find him.
In his recliner, his belly a shelf for a vat of popcorn. At eighty, he whiled away days feeding his face and shouting at the television. Whenever his throne was vacant, I eschewed all temptation to occupy it.
Because I imagined how many times he farted into the velvet upholstery.
Sometimes while naked.
I could hear the television when I stepped from the car. “Why am I do- ing this again?” I whispered as I slipped through the back door.
“Andra!” There he was, sprawled in his recliner. A jagged scar played peek-a-boo through his open pajama top. “What’re you doing here?”
I opened my mouth and clamped it shut. Once I uttered my request, I couldn’t take it back.
I needed a wingman while I walked the 444-mile Natchez Trace from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. I planned to launch my debut novel and be- come the first living person to walk the 10,000-year-old road as our ancestors did. Nobody could convince me that an unathletic woman and her mid-life paunch were incapable of walk- ing more than a half-marathon every day for a month.
Even though my aversion to exercise was as spectacular as my father’s. I wanted my walk to redeem my novel’s hero, American explorer Meri- wether Lewis, one-half of the Lewis and Clark duo. He died of two gun-shot wounds on the Natchez Trace, seventy miles south of Nashville.
He was only thirty-five.
Was it suicide? Or murder? His death is one of America’s great un- solved mysteries.
To walk a forgotten highway for five weeks, I needed a wingman who could shuttle me to my first daily milepost and pick me up fifteen miles later. Someone who wasn’t busy. Someone available. Maybe this person even craved an adventure.
I scrolled through a list of prospects. My husband Michael couldn’t be absent from work for five weeks, especially since his job paid for my predilection to write. My friends all had children. Husbands. Gainful em- ployment. I discarded people for an hour, my list a scribbled mess that highlighted one harrowing name.
Dad.
My father wasn’t doing anything. He was available to go on a five-week jaunt through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
His stomach pooled over his thighs and his triple-chin jiggled as he leaned into his response. “Go on a five-week trip? Just you and me? I don’t want to do that, Andra.”
“Why not?” I shouted even louder to penetrate his VA-issued, cir- ca-1980 hearing aids.
“Well.” He chewed a handful of popcorn. “Because…….I got furni- ture to refinish.”
“It’ll be here when you get back.”
Dad dug his fingernails into the arms of his chair. “I cain’t be away from my Sunday school class for that long.”
“God won’t care if you miss church to spend time with your only daughter, Dad.”
“Well, uh…….I……..Linda might need me here.”
Mom preened into the room with his bowl of ice cream. I never understood why she didn’t just hand him the carton. She placed the spoon between his fingers and smiled. “I don’t need you here, Roy.” Her flawless makeup matched her leotard. “I’m going to the gym. Be home in four hours.”
She flounced out the door, leaving me with my jiggly arms and red hair I forgot to brush.
I sighed and turned back to Dad. “Why don’t you want to do this, Dad? I mean, you haven’t been anywhere since your appendix ruptured two years ago. You’re just sitting here in this recliner, waiting to die.”
Dad picked at his ice cream and avoided my gaze. “Spending five weeks with you don’t sound like much fun, Andra.”
Dad and I shouted down my teens, harangued through my twenties and seethed away my thirties. For most of my life, our every interaction disintegrated into hurtful words and pregnant silences. Yet, I was willing to cast our history aside and endure his company for more than a month, while he rejected me?
Wrong answer, Old Man.
I gnawed my tongue to regroup. Dad was my last hope to take readers into my book’s world. To help my scribblings make me somebody. In a uni- verse of words with little meaning and even less point, I believed I created something valuable, a story that could make a difference, a tale that would leave readers fundamentally altered and pining for the next installment.
All writers are convinced whatever they write qualifies, be it dreck or brilliance. Our words are sperm and egg on the page. Merge them together, and one can hold a physical chunk of the writer. It’s a shame a book can’t arrive covered in blood and filth from the birth canal, screaming and howling to breathe.
But to get anyone to care about a story, the writer must make it about the reader.
My breathing even, I flashed my most fetching smile.
“All right, Dad. Look at it this way. We’ll be riding near hundreds of tiny towns with lots of strangers who’ve never heard your stories. Think of all the junk shops and dive diners where you can enchant people. Don’t they deserve to meet you before you’re gone?”
Dad’s eyes took on a dreamy tinge. His yarns were Southern gothic legends, tales he rolled out for every stranger he encountered. I imagined myself spending the entire trip with a view of his broad back, regaling ev- eryone but me. He must’ve conjured the same scene. “I’ll do it, Andra. If the Lord lets me live ’til March, I’ll go with you.”
Dad would be my wingman on the Natchez Trace. Visions of literary stardom floated in front of my faraway eyes. Because my secret dream was The New York Times headline:
- Debut Novelist Walks Her Way to Blockbuster Best Seller! -
I basked in the mirage of that proclamation, in the glory of staggering to my Nashville finish line with crowds of people. News crews. Fans wav- ing my book and clamoring for an autograph.
My swelling imagination burst when Dad heaved himself from the chair, scratched his crotch and farted. “Yeah, Andra. This is gonna be real fun.”
What had I done? Besides self-scratching and legendary gas, his sleep apnea machine didn’t stifle his explosive snoring.
And the bathroom. I would have to share a bathroom with my father, whose hulking belly obscured all ability to aim. A sodden fact that seeped into my legs when I locked myself in Dad’s bathroom and plopped down on the toilet.
I didn’t want to spend five weeks with my father.
As I winced through a sink bath, I studied my face in the mirror. The beginnings of forehead wrinkles and crows feet. A hint of Dad’s bulldog jowl. I stuck my tongue out at my green-eyed self. “Welcome to Hell, you idiot.”

The Way of Tea and Justice by Becca Stevens - Media Blast Tour and GIVEAWAY!

Tea-And-Justice-VBT
 
The Way of Tea and JusticeWhat started as an impossible dream-to build a café that employs women recovering from prostitution and addiction-is helping to fuel an astonishing movement to bring freedom and fair wages to women producers worldwide where tea and trafficking are linked by oppression and the opiate wars.
Becca Stevens started the Thistle Stop Café to empower women survivors. But when she discovered a connection between café workers and tea laborers overseas, she embarked on a global mission called “Shared Trade” to increase the value of women survivors and producers across the globe.
As she recounts the victories and unexpected challenges of building the café, Becca also sweeps the reader into the world of tea, where timeless rituals transport to an era of beauty and the challenging truths about tea’s darker, more violent history. She offers moving reflections of the meaning of tea in our lives, plus recipes for tea blends that readers can make themselves.
In this journey of triumph for impoverished tea laborers, hope for café workers, and insight into the history of tea, Becca sets out to defy the odds and prove that love is the most powerful force for transformation on earth.
 GIVEAWAY!
5 copies of In Love with Death and 1 of Tea & Justice
USA only. - leave a message with your email (for contact purposes)
Author Headshot
The Reverend Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest serving as Chaplain at St Augustine's at Vanderbilt University, and founder of Magdalene, a two-year residential community of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She founded Thistle Farms in 2001, which employs 50 residents and graduates, and houses a line of natural body care products, a paper and sewing studio, the Thistle Stop Café, and the Shared Trade initiative linking 14 women’s social enterprises around the globe.
Stevens has authored nine books, and has been featured in The New York Times and on ABC World NewsNPRPBS, CNN, and Huffington Post. She was named one of 15 Champions of Change by the White House in 2011, was inducted into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame in 2013, received an honorary doctorate by The University of the South, was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award from Vanderbilt Divinity School in October 2014, and was named the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year by the American Business Counsel. In 2011 she was also named "Tennessean of the Year."
In fall 2013, Stevens launched the first Thistle Farms National Conference, welcoming attendees from over 30 states. Her latest books include Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling and The Way of Tea & Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from its Violent History.
large
 

In Love with Death by Satish Modi - Media Blitz

Screen-Shot-2014-12-09-at-5.03.29-PM
“A must read for everyone who seeks spirituality and happiness, by giving joy to others and those who simply want to make the most of the one short life that one is given.”
— Ashanti Omkar, cultural expert, Monocle
New Book by Industrialist and Philanthropist Explores “Love Affair” with Death, and Reveals Surprising Secret to Living Well
 
Described as the “son of the founder of modern industrial India,” Satish Modi is a member of one of the most influential and affluent families in India. Yet despite privilege and success, he discovered happiness was not synonymous with wealth—and the secret to a meaningful life begins with a fresh understanding of death.
He now shares how his unique understanding of death has enabled him to embrace an extraordinary and impactful life, and reveals how reinterpreting death can help others live to the fullest in his new book, In Love with Death (Birlinn Limited, $16.95 / £9.99 hardcover, May 1, 2014).
Challenging readers to mark their “death date” and calculate their remaining time on earth (or, “reverse living”), Modi seeks to empower people to overcome their fear of dying, and enable them to live meaningful lives of goodness, love, and compassion.
Including poignant narratives from people from all walks of life, Modi sweeps the reader into a journey through life’s joys and sorrows with fascinating stories, thought-provoking philosophy, and wise advice from a life well lived.
The result is a fascinating book that teaches us that whoever we are and whatever our aspirations in this life, it is important for everyone to accept their own passing—and embrace the courage to live fully.
“It is my hope that engaging with our own mortality will help us to appreciate the world in which we live and encourage us to make the most of our lives,” Modi said.
Modi started India’s first private airline (Modiluft, now known as Spice Jet) in 1993, and established the International Institute of Fine Arts (www.iifaindia.org) in India in 2000. His foundation also runs the Right to Education program, which provides subsidized/free education to four thousand underprivileged children. He set up the charity “Arts for India” (www.artsforindia.org) help needy young artists in India get the education they deserve.
IN LOVE WITH DEATH by Satish Modi
Published by Birlinn Limited, May 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-1780272146
$16.95 / £9.99 Ÿ 174 pages
High res imageDeath is the inevitable fate of every single person on earth. How do we accept the inevitability of our own death? How do we live our lives with meaning? Will money lead us to happiness? Satish Modi examines these questions and more in a moving, powerful, thought-provoking work based on his own reflections as well as the experiences of people from all walks of life. The result is a fascinating book that teaches us that whoever we are and whatever our aspirations in this life, it is important for each and every one of us to accept our own passing. In doing so, we free ourselves to live as fully as possible, guided by the principles of goodness, love, and compassion.
 
SaitshModi_authorphoto2SATISH MODI is a philanthropist, educationist, industrialist, and author who divides his time between London and New Delhi. He is respected for his entrepreneurial approach to international business.
Modi started India’s first private airline (Modiluft, now known as Spice Jet) in 1993 and in 2013 he founded a Football Club in the U.K. known as Modi Town Football Club. He founded and is on the board of India’s first offshore mutual fund, the J.F. India Fund, which is part of J.P. Morgan Chase. His father established the Modi Group of Industries and, in 1933, established the industrial township of Modinagar, which now has a population of half a million people. The group has a turnover of about US $1.2 billion.
Satish Modi and his wife Abha established the International Institute of Fine Arts (www.iifaindia.org) in 2000. His Foundation also runs the Right to Education program, which provides subsidized/free education to four thousand underprivileged children in India. The philanthropic project, ‘A Stitch in Time' is an initiative to empower women. This has enabled thousands of women to earn their livelihood respectfully. In 2010 Modi launched Arts for India, a charity to raise funds to support underprivileged, yet talented artists from India (www.artsforindia.org).SatishwithwifeandPrinceCharles
Satish Modi is President of the Dayawati Modi Foundation for Art, Culture and Education. Mother Teresa was one of the first to receive its annual award. His Holiness the Dalai Lama received the Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education in 2011. Other prominent awardees include Anish Kapur, Mark Shand, Goldie Hawn, Simon Beaufoy, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Amitabh Bachchan.
He is also President of the G.M. Modi Science Foundation that promotes Science and Technology in India and has instituted the prestigious annual G.M. Modi Science Award. Among the recipients is Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India.
Under his initiative, various art shows were organized at several venues around the world, including Tate Britain, London; the House of Lords, London; the Saatchi Gallery, London and the New York Academy of ArtNew York. A Fashion Show was also organized at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2011.
He was a member at UNESCO’s Global Forum on the ‘Power of Peace’. On the invitation of UNESCO, Satish Modi created, for the first time, an Art Show on the theme ‘Power of Peace’ at the UNESCO Global Forum held at Bali, Indonesia in 2007.
For his services to the nation, Satish Modi has received a number of awards and honors including the Gem of India Award. He was appointed an Ambassador for Philanthropy by the UK’s Founding Ambassador for Philanthropy, Dame Stephanie Shirley. In 2010, he was nominated for an Arts & Business Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy. He was also invited for a Breakfast Prayer Meeting in Washington D.C. by Mr. George Bush, the then President of U.S.A.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ACCEPT THIS DANDELION by Brooke Williams - Review, 5 stars

Renee Lockhart has her eye on a lofty goal…to fill the open position of morning radio show host at the station where she works. When her co-workers sign her up for a local TV version of The Bachelor, Renee goes along with it in order to raise her profile.
Upon seeing her bumbling audition, Ben McConnell, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, insists that Renee be placed on the show. But Ben gets much more than he expected in Renee… he gets a girl who can’t seem to do anything right…and a girl he can’t seem to resist.
 
 
Brooke Williams
Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer/producer and script writer turned freelance writer and author. When Brooke's first daughter was born in 2009 she left her full time radio career to stay home. Eventually, she realized she could fulfill her lifelong desire to write while her daughter napped and she then entered into the freelance writing world. As her business grew, she took on clients from all over the world and began to dabble in fiction writing once again. Brooke has several books on the market including her first novel, "Someone Always Loved You" and the thriller "Beyond the Bars." Her upcoming released include "Wrong place, Right time" (December 9th 2014 from the Writer's Coffee Shop), "Accept this Dandelion" (feb 2015, Prism Book Group) and "Mamarazzi (August 2015, Prism Book Group.) She even has a children's book under contract for Feb 2016. Brooke loves all things writing and currently specializes in clean romantic comedy, though she's written a bit of everything.
Buy on Amazon in these formats:
Kindle
My Review:
Accept this Dandelion is a great book from start to finish. The humor is outstanding and I found myself crying from laughing so hard. It is tender and romantic. The writing was great. I really really enjoyed this book. 
Renee couldn't do anything right. She fell at his feet, lit herself on fire, pushed him into pools, told him embarrassing stories, and admitted to hearing voices. Why did he not alert security to her presence and have her escorted from the premises?
If I say anymore on the subject I will definitely be spilling the beans on the entire story. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and loves the combination of comedy and romance. You will devour this book in one sitting. I'm giving Accept this Dandelion five stars. 
My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Against the Sky by Kat Martin - Review, 5 stars

Against-the-Sky-cover-(300xALASKA. In America’s last wilderness there is no limits to what a man can do.
For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he’s seen, he’s definitely in need of a break.
Samantha Hollis never thought she’d meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be more than a one-night stand?
When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she’ll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both …
SHORT BLURB:
AGAINST THE SKY is a fish out of water story. Nick Brodie, an ex-Anchorage cop, is tough as nails, a true man's man, comfortable in the hard life in Alaska. But Samantha Hollis, owner of a pet grooming parlor in San Francisco likes shopping at Sak's and a day at the spa.   Unwillingly swept into Nick’s problems, Samantha finds herself on a wild ride that leads them in to passion and terrible danger.
It was fun finding ways to make their relationship work when they seem so very far apart. This one’s very fast paced, but it has a soft heart. It turned out to be one of my favorites.
Kat---Ventura-Star(250by175KAT’s WEBSITE
AGAINST THE SKY BOOK TRAILER VIDEO
CONTEST
BUY LINKS
BN
REVIEW QUOTES
Against the Sky by Kat Martin sizzles enough to melt a polar icecap. She allows these two polar opposite to find that elusive chemistry that the world craves, but their differences present enough of a challenge that one wonders I love can conquer all or not. Kick in the suspense and danger from the Russian mob and voila! Romantic suspense!”
“Wow, the action scenes are so exciting. I never knew what would happen next.”
“The second book in Kat Martin's Brodie's of Alaska series delivers an awesome punch of suspense and romance.”
SOCIAL MEDIA
Twitter: @katbooks
Guest Post
Writing Romantic Suspense
I’ve always been a plot-oriented writer, which can be a boon or a burden. When I came up with the idea to write three books set in Alaska, I knew immediately knew I wanted the stories to revolve around three brothers. I had written about the Raines brothers when I began my AGAINST Series with Jackson, Gabe, and Dev, in AGAINST THE WIND, AGAINST THE FIRE, and AGAINST THE LAW.
I loved the interaction between the three men and wanted to try it again. I knew I wanted all three of the brothers to be tough outdoorsmen, the kind of guys who face the harsh challenges of Alaska every day.
Being a plot-oriented author, the stories that came to mind didn’t all fit into one tiny town. AGAINST THE WILD was set in the fictional village of Watertown on the Alaska panhandle near the real town of Wrangell. AGAINST THE SKY is set near Anchorage, AGAINST THE TIDE is in Valdez. The action takes place miles apart, but the Brodie brothers, Dylan, Nick, and Rafe have a very strong bond. The kind of men who are there for each other, no matter what dangers might befall them.
In AGAINST THE SKY, Nick Brodie, a former Army Ranger and ex-Anchorage homicide detective, has a serious case of burnout. He wants a new life, something that doesn't include violence and death. Unfortunately when his neighbor, twelve-year-old Jimmy Evans, comes to him beaten and battered, claiming his father was murdered, Nick has no choice but to help him.
To make matters worse, Nick has a lady friend visiting from San Francisco. Samantha Hollis, owner of the Perfect Pup pet grooming parlor, isn't cut out for the harsh life in Alaska. Unwillingly swept into Jimmy's problems, she finds herself on a wild ride with Nick that leads them both into passion and terrible danger.
Because I write bigger stories, this one pulls Nick and Samantha into the seedy world of drugs and prostitution when they come up against the Russian mafia.
It’s one of my favorite stories--lots of heart in this one.
I hope you enjoy AGAINST THE SKY and that you’ll watch for Rafe, the oldest Brodie brother, in AGAINST THE TIDE, out May 27th. Until then, all best and happy reading. Kat
Chapter 1
AGAINST THE SKY
Samantha had almost reached her door when she saw a man walking toward her, tall and heavyset, weaving a little. His suit was wrinkled, his brown hair mussed and falling over a wide forehead. Obviously he was drunk.
She didn’t like the leering grin that appeared on his flushed face as he spotted her and staggered in her direction. Samantha opened her purse and began digging frantically for her key card. She was still searching when the man stopped in front of her.
“Hello there, sweetheart. Aren’t you a pretty little thing?”
She ignored him, kept on digging, couldn’t find the damned card, prayed she hadn’t left it in her room.
“Not talking, huh? I’m Howard.” He stuck out a meaty hand she ignored, finally let it drop. “Want me to help you find your key?”
“No, thank you.” For once, she wished her purse wasn’t so big.
“Say, why don’t we go downstairs and have a drink? There’s a lot of great restaurants in the hotel. What do you say I buy you dinner?”
His words were thick and a faintly slurred, though Samantha didn’t think he was quite as drunk as he had first seemed.
“I have plans.” Like a soak in the tub and an early evening. “Please leave me alone.”
Pain-in-the-ass Howard’s bushy eyebrows went up. “No reason to take that attitude.” He started crowding her, forcing her back against the door. She wasn’t very big and he towered above her.
He moved closer, knocking the shoes she had taken off to soothe her aching feet out of her hand. “Come on, what do you say?”
“I told you to leave me alone.” Samantha set her palms on his thick chest and tried to push him away. “If you don’t leave, I’m going to call security.” She pushed, didn’t budge him. “Please--I’m just not interested.”
“Come on, sweetheart, it’s only a drink.”
He had her completely boxed in against the door, and though her heart was thrumming away, she was more angry than scared. There were hotel cameras everywhere. In another second, she was going to scream.
She might have done it if good ol’ Howard hadn’t suddenly been jerked away like a puppet on a string and slammed hard against the wall. In an instant, he was facing the opposite direction, spread-eagled, legs splayed, one of his beefy arms forced up behind his back.
“Time to go home, buddy. The lady has other plans.”
“What business is that of yours?”
Her rescuer, tall and broad-shouldered with wavy black hair, cranked the arm up higher, drawing a hiss of pain. “I told you the lady has plans.”
“Don’t hurt him,” Samantha said. “He’s just drunk.”
The most amazing blue eyes she had ever seen swung in her direction. “He a friend of yours?”
“Heavens, no. I was just trying to open the door to my room when he walked up and started accosting me.”
The black-haired man turned back to good ol’ Howard, who seemed to have realized the game was up. “Thanks to the lady, I’m letting you go and not calling the hotel police. If you’re smart, you’ll walk away, go back to your room and sober up.”
Howard stiffened. The arm behind his back got cranked a little higher. Howard hissed and nodded.
“Smart move.” Easing up a little, her rescuer released him and stepped away. With a last angry glance, Howard moved off at a loping stagger down the hall, heading back the way he had come.
“You okay?”
Dear God, the man was handsome. With his blue eyes, high-cheekbones, and straight nose, he was one of the best-looking men she had ever seen. The shadow of a late-afternoon beard along his jaw gave him a slightly dangerous appearance that only made him more attractive.