#FollowFive Winner!

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Congratulations to Virginia W. for winning the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway during the #AwesomeAmazonAuthors Instagram promo!

Got some new and diverse followers on Instagram and hope they stick around – I really like getting to know new people and expanding my realm of fellow authors. Along with followers, I also got some very interesting likes this week from actual Hollywood producers and casting managers – turns out when you tag your posts with #behindthescenes it gets some attention! 😀 (Dream BIG, right?)

Enjoy your weekend!

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It’s time for another “easiest giveaway ever” with the #AwesomeAmazonAuthors! This time around, we’re taking Instagram by storm. All you have to do is follow us on Instagram for your chance to win – it’s that easy! Watch all week, as we post new pics about our books, or repost some of our followers’ favorites.

I’ve decided to play on the Five Things You Didn’t Know About… the Úlfrinn series, instead of me. 🙂 It’s a behind the scenes look at some obscure references, locations and characters. You can find all these posts on Instagram throughout the day, so feel free to love, comment or repost – but don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Make sure to come back tomorrow for another author’s 5 Pics from Instagram post! Annnnd…..

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The Hot Seat 🔥 Olivia Chandler

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Greetings and welcome to The Hot Seat! This is a program where I get to take our favorite Heroes and Heroines and put them in the hot seat for some much desired insights and a bit of fun trivia. Results are bound to vary!

My guest today is Olivia Chandler from the Women’s Fiction (I would also say Romance): “In the Best Interest of The Child” and the highly anticipated sequel coming soon, “In The Best Interest of The Child: Family Matters” by Felicia Denise.

AC: Thank you for being here today, Olivia, I know you’re a very busy woman.

(Olivia waves)

Let me set the scene here, audience, Miss Chandler doesn’t think she’s the knock out of the courtroom, but I think a certain someone would disagree. At 5’7″, she has light brown eyes, long black hair and loves adding a pop of cheerful color to her business ensembles. It’s royal purple today.

AC: Okay, let’s get started. Olivia can you tell us a little about yourself? Where you’re from and how you ended up in Spring Falls, Minnesota as a child advocate attorney?

OC: I was a foster care kid. My family was in a car accident when I was a kid. My daddy was killed. My mom was, er… well, she was unable to care for me anymore. Having no other family, there was only one place for me to go… hell on earth. As it turns out, there was an inheritance from my daddy when I aged out of the foster care system. I went to college and became a child advocate attorney to keep children from going through the hell I did. (Looks down and lowers her voice) I wish it weren’t the case, but a lot of the abuse and neglect I went through is still with me.

AC: That must’ve been tough, Olivia, I’m sorry. I’m sure that didn’t make it easy to form any kind of relationship. What’s your view on romantic laiasons?

OC: I didn’t believe in them. What was the point? You allow someone into your heart… and they leave. Then I met Bruce. I don’t think that way anymore, but it’s still not easy to let someone in.

AC: Very understandable, but I’m curious, what was your first impression of Bruce?

OC: I thought Bruce was this huge annoying flirt. And adorable!

AC: Do you think Bruce has changed your previous views on relationships then, or confirmed them?

OC: Oh, he’s definitely changed them! I never saw relationships in my future and this big, brawny guy comes along and bumrushes his way into my life. (Flashes a big grin) I’m so glad he did. He’s so loving. Bruce taught me how to love.

AC: (grins right along with Olivia) Yes, he’s quite the charmer! Would you label yourself a social butterfly, family gal, career-oriented or a little of each?

OC: Career-oriented because of what I do. My actions directly impact a child’s future and I do not take that responsibility for granted, so it takes up a lot of my time. But… um, I would like to be a family gal too. I didn’t grow up with family and am lacking in family bonding skills, but Bruce’s gigantic tribe of a family are teaching me.

AC: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

OC: My past.

AC: You strike me as a very driven woman. What would you say your biggest mission or goal is in life?

OC: To keep children in homes where they’re loved and nurtured.

AC: That’s quite a commendable mission to have. If Bruce were sitting here, what do you think he’d say your best quality is and would you agree with him?

OC: He admires my passion for my work and my compassion for those less fortunate. I can’t say if agree or disagree. Would I be the same person without the childhood I had? My ‘qualities’ were shaped by circumstances. Not sure if that counts.

AC: I think it does, but we’ll move onto something a little more fun. Like compatibility in those spicier parts of a relationship. How would you describe your ideal lover?

OC: (grins real big) I had no clue until I met Bruce. I never had true relationships. More like friends-with-benefits and hook-ups. I didn’t allow myself to feel anything for my partners… they weren’t going to be around long enough.

Then… Bellamy. He’s giving… always putting me first. He’s playful, he doesn’t have that macho thing going on. There’s no dominating or submission… just mutual surrender.

AC: If Bruce could seduce you with his culinary skills, what dish would be the one to have you eating out of his hands hands, per se?

OC: Bellamy can make a Chicken Pot Pie that would upset most grandmothers! Light, flaky crust, tender chicken, veggies with just enough crunch. He totally kills it!

AC: (note to self, get recipe from Bruce when he comes in for his interview…) So, do you play any instruments, or sing? What kind of music do you listen to?

OC: I play a little piano and my singing is best left in the shower! I love orchestrations and arrangements – full orchestras and bands… no synthesized music. I like women with power voices like Anita Baker, Freda Payne, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo, Melissa Manchester, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Adele, Tamia, Kelly Clarkson and old Mariah Carey. Not a fan of the kittenish, trying-to-stay-young Mariah. (Laughs) And I can tell by your face you’re wondering how I know a few of them, but my parents loved music. The clearest memories I have of our family life is the music.

AC: (smiles brightly) We have that in common. Fans are dying to know: Do you have any hidden tattoos or piercings?

OC: Nope!

AC: What’s the #1 item on your Bucket List?

OC: To drive a race car! And know what? Bellamy used to race cars! I see this happening… if he can get past worrying about me getting hurt.

AC: Now, that would be fun! If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

OC: The Ionian Islands off the coast of Greece. Trust me, I will get there!

AC: Outside of Bruce, who are the most important people in your life?

OC: Willis Benson, executor of my father’s estate, who fought for my inheritance even when he didn’t know where I was and Margot Schultz, my office manager… and friend.

AC: I love Margot. What is your greatest regret?

OC: I’d rather not answer that, AC, if you don’t mind.

AC: Of course not. How about one of your guilty pleasures, instead?

OC: A big pitcher of Cranberry-Lime Mojitos and several hours of black and white movies pre-1960. I love them all – the gangster flicks, war movies, musicals… and the love stories. ‘An Affair to Remember’ is my favorite.

AC: What is the one thing in this world you would never do?

OC: Turn my back on a child. Any child. I know what it feels like to… to feel worthless, unimportant, and unloved. I will never do that to a child.

AC: Are you keeping a secret? Can you share it with us, we won’t tell?

OC: (Laughs) No, I learned my lesson about secrets. But I do believe Bellamy has one. He doesn’t want me to sell my house, but keeps talking about us ‘living together’…so we’ll see.

AC: (tries not to squeal like a fangirl) What would you do to win the heart of Bruce Bellamy?

OC: That’s just it, AC, I didn’t have to do anything. Since the day we met, he’s known who I was inside… even when I didn’t. He said I made his heart restless and hungry. (Grins brightly again) Isn’t that hot? I was damaged and he still wanted me. He once told me love doesn’t heal everything, but it can hold you up while you heal. (Looks down at her hands) I don’t know where I’d be without Bruce. It only took acceptance on my part to get him, but I’d fight the devil himself to keep Bruce.

AC: I’d second that, Miss Chandler, he’s definitely one worth fighting for! (Turns to audience) Thank you for being with us today and if you haven’t grabbed your copy of “In The Best Interest of The Child”, please take the opportunity to do so now with the link below. It’s everything you could hope for in a book and then some; real, emotional, hilarious, charming, heartfelt, steamy and best yet, there’s more to come!

 

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Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, underserved child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s ever had…or wanted.

Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.

A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

Also Available in Print!

My Review ♥ Free, a novella

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My Review

Title: Free, a novella
Author: Felicia Denise
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Length: Novella
Rating: 5 ‘s

I first started reading “Free” on Felicia Denise’s website and like all of her readers, I was captured, pulled right into the highs and lows of the main character’s story. Lennie and her memories are so real, I felt as if she’d taken me by the hand so I could walk beside her, a silent witness to the ‘walk-through’ of her life. I was so happy when the author decided to turn this into a novella and even more thrilled with the promise for more!

Though shorter than I wanted it to be, don’t let the size of this *Ahem* prequel, fool you. It is cleverly stuffed to the point of overflowing with emotions; good, bad, ugly and joyful. So, stick some Kleenex in your pocket, grab a glass of wine and meet Lennie on the threshold of the Porter House on Linden Lane, because this is not a read. It’s an experience.

Lenore ‘Lennie’ Porter is every woman. She’s not perfect or overly flawed, she’s just human. A loving daughter, supportive wife, successful entrepreneur and dedicated mother. Her story is all about the joys, hardships, tragic loses, mistakes, fears, illnesses, frights and turning points that brought her to the present. Simultaneously, it’s about those little moments within the bigger ones, that become the linchpins of future outcomes. Those moments of regret, revelations, tough choices and self-honesty.

The memories she shares are full of family bonds, endearing friends, and a cowardly bully of a husband. Most revolve around her three sons and range from laugh-out-loud humorous, to heartwarming, to downright heart-wrenching.

I honestly can’t say much more without completely spoiling it, but if you are a reader who enjoys learning all about another’s life through their eyes, then you will love Free! This is not a romance – though, I am really, really hoping that will come next – and it’s certainly not a fairytale. This is one woman’s journey back to self, through the realistic obstacles life throws in her way. Or perhaps, it’s merely the beginning of a discovery of the woman she’s hoping to become…I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

In a final note about this novella, I can’t end without expressing that Felicia Denise’s style is such that even her antagonists don’t get to just exit stage left without evoking some kind of empathy from her readers. To take a clear picture of bad and turn it into something a little more human is sly, underhanded and brilliant. It’s a true talent to nudge the emotional table off center for the reader with such a brief insight. Yet, in less than a page, it happened. You’ll just have to read it to believe me!

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

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It’s time for the second easiest #AwesomeAmazonAuthors Giveaway ever! All you have to do is follow us on Goodreads for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To make things a little more interesting, we’ve all asked one of the other authors a question on their Goodreads page, so readers can get to know a little more about our books.

If you missed our first #FollowFive collaboration, check out the four other participating authors, because they each bring their own genre and writing style to the party. Didi Oviatt, is an author of Suspenseful and Science Fiction Thrillers. Brickley Jules offers Contemporary and Erotic Romance. Felicia Denise just released her second work in Women’s Fiction, and D.E. Haggerty is best known for her Romantic Comedies.

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☆☆☆CLICK GRAPHIC TO ENTER GIVEAWAY☆☆☆

Make sure to check back every day this week, as we’ll each be sharing a list of 5 things about ourselves, rather than just our books. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the amount of TMI that may or may not occur this week.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

  1. I’m terrified of ‘open’ heights, like ladders, yet I love roller coasters and flying.
  2. I have zero food or nature-related allergies.
  3. My dad and I recorded a song together in his studio, so my singing is on a CD out there somewhere. My sincerest apologies.
  4. The only bone I’ve ever broken was my baby toe on my left foot. *Knocking on wood*
  5. I married my first crush at age 10 for pretend, but have never been married for real.

Remember, you’re not allowed to use any of this information against me for any reason – Now, go try your luck with the Giveaway – it’s super easy, promise!

Cover Reveal ♥ Family Matters by: Felicia Denise!


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“Family Matters”

Series: In the Best Interest of the Child, Book 2

Author: Felicia Denise

Cover Design: Jenn Cunningham

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: August 2017

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Synopsis:

Olivia Chandler’s journey to wholeness continues as she enters counseling. Her therapy will not be easy, and may not be successful unless Olivia can forgive her mother. But is Sarina Chandler the only one in need of Olivia’s forgiveness?

A Halloween party brings together a surprising group of people, and Bruce introduces Olivia to his adult children. Another Bellamy has a second chance at love – if he can put his old-fashioned ways aside.

The death of someone close to Olivia has her re-thinking the value of emotional connections. She withdraws from everyone, falling back into her old habit of burying herself in work. A surprise confrontation pushes Olivia to her limits and puts her heart on the line.

Her continued avoidance of confronting Sarina Chandler pulls at the seams of Olivia’s new-found love with Bruce Bellamy. Olivia must make a decision. Save them… or surrender to her emotional demons.

Excerpt:

“Olivia Chandler? I’m Sandra Riley, Sarina’s case manager.”

The tall woman grasped Olivia’s hand into both of her own, shaking briskly. “We’re so glad you’re here today. This is a big step forward for your mother.”

“Nice to meet you, Sandra, and honestly, it’s a big step for me too.”

“Oh, I’m sure, Olivia. Any questions for me before you visit with Sarina?”

Visit with Sarina. She made it sound so cute and homey, Olivia thought.

“Does she know I planned to be here today?”

“Yes, she does. When Sarina asked about you a few weeks ago, she said she also knew you’d have little or no reason to want to see her, but she’d always hoped you come someday.””

Olivia stared at the woman blankly, not knowing how to respond to the comment.

“I’m sure this is confusing, Olivia, and now isn’t the time for me to explain all that Sarina has gone through, but please know she is fully cognizant of her aging, of you, her late husband”, Sandra paused only for a second, “she even remembers the accident. It’s everything between the accident and a few months ago that’s fuzzy for her. It’s as though a switch was flipped off in her brain that was recently turned back on.”

Olivia frowned but didn’t ask the question on the tip of her tongue.

“May I see her now?”

“Of course! Follow me.”

The case manager’s long legs covered the distance across the sitting area in no time at all, with Olivia almost scurrying to keep up with her. Margot and Randie teased Olivia about her brisk walking pace, but she had nothing on Sandra Riley! Olivia would guess Sandra to be at least six feet tall… and light on her feet.

Reaching an unmarked door in the far corner, Sandra held it open for Olivia, who walked through and found herself standing in yet another sitting room, only this one resembled the average family room. Large, comfy chairs, throw rugs and even a flat screen television graced the area.

“Welcome to Honey Ridge East, Olivia.”

“Honey Ridge East? I don’t understand.”

Sandra pointed to a bulletin board on the wall near the door they’d just come through.

“The residents here are grouped by floor, the severity of mental disorder, and the amount of care and supervision needed. The healthiest, most independent residents reside here in Honey Ridge.”

“My mother is here… in this section?”

She nodded.

Olivia tried to digest the information. Her mother was healthy? Required little or no supervision? Trying to reconcile this new Sarina with the bedridden, incoherent woman she last saw five years ago was difficult for Olivia.

“How long has she lived here?”

Sandra pursed her lips, thinking. Then she nodded.

“I’m pretty sure Sarina was here for the group’s Valentine’s Day dinner dance, so that makes it eight months.” Sandra tried not to laugh at the horrified expression on Olivia’s face.

“Don’t be shocked. We also have Easter Egg hunts and 4th of July barbecues. The residents got a big kick out of the Halloween hay rides.” Sandra leaned in towards Olivia, “ And I hear Santa will visit on Christmas Eve.”

Shaking her head, Olivia was incredulous.

“What kind of mental hospital is this? I mean, um…I thought…”

The case manager guided Olivia past the sitting area while answering.

“River Ridge Meadows is a private care, private pay, voluntary commitment facility. We’re fully licensed by the state and the federal government. Insurance isn’t accepted here, and no resident is here against their will. We currently have one hundred and sixty-one residents ranging in age from seven to eighty-six. Most are from throughout the state, but there are a few from other parts of the country, and even four from Europe. River Ridge has two permanent, board certified psychiatrists, two permanent, board certified medical doctors, six psychologists, and a nursing staff of 40 which includes licensed physical therapists.

The residents here are used to a certain way of life, and we provide that here, within reason. That’s why we also have an event planner and a social activities director on staff.”

Sandra stopped at the top end of a short hallway. “But we have all the time in the world for me to tell you about River Ridge, and even give you a tour, if you like.” She nodded towards the end of the hall. “Your mother is expecting you.”

Olivia pressed her hand against her stomach, the tiny nervous tremors threatening to morph into a full-fledged earthquake. Heat enveloped her body as the familiar tang of bile crept up the back of her throat. Closing her eyes, the nervous woman tried to will the anxiety away.

You’ve come this far, Chandler, don’t you dare freak out now!

 

~ Author Bio and Links ~

 

A wife, mother, daughter, sister, blogger and indie author, Felicia loves all things book-related and coffee-related. A southern girl by birth, the fifty-something, voracious reader now resides in Arizona (via Michigan and California) with her husband of thirty-three years. Their three adult children also reside in Arizona – with their dogs. Felicia frequently reminds them she is the only one of her parents’ nine children who isn’t a grandparent.

Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child, released in the fall of 2016. Her latest book, Free, a Novella, released May 30, 2017.

Sometimes serious and always sarcastic, Felicia continues her literary search for the ultimate non-alpha, non-billionaire, non-bad-boy hero with a non-sassy, non-feisty, non-bad-decision-making heroine whose relationship exemplifies true romance. Recommendations are always welcome!

 

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#AwesomeAmazonAuthor Spotlight: Felicia Denise!

Felicia DeniseA wife, mother, daughter, sister, blogger and indie author, Felicia loves all things book-related and coffee-related. A southern girl by birth, the fiftysomething, voracious reader now reside in Arizona (via Michigan and California) with her husband of thirty-three years. Their three adult children also reside in Arizona – with their dogs. Felicia frequently reminds them she is the only one of her parents’ nine children who isn’t a grandparent.

Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016.

In her free time, Felicia sews, creates new recipes, and of course, reads. She’s also an avid history buff and loves exploring museums and libraries.

~ Stalk the Author ~

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Currently working on several projects, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the ChildFamily Matters, in summer 2017. Felicia’s latest release is the short story, Free, a Novella.

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Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 30, 2017

Synopsis

Lenore Porter’s life had not gone as she planned.

The marriage she put her heart and soul into failed.

The man she sacrificed so much for abandoned her.

But Lennie refused to be broken. She pushed on, running a successful business and raising her three sons alone.

Through health scares and severe family dysfunction, and trauma which forever changed their lives, the Porter family clung to each other to keep from sinking into the darkness.

With her marriage over long ago and her adult sons living their own lives, Lenore Porter decides to sell the cold fortress she worked so hard to make a warm, loving home.

A short, final inspection of her former home turns into a confrontation with ghosts from the past, and decisions and events Lennie felt she’d dealt with and moved on from.

Free is a short, clean read recounting one woman’s determination to not be broken by life or lose her identity.

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