Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sugar & Spice Book Tour: 3 Books You MUST Read!

Hello and welcome to my little corner on the Internet. If you've stopped by before, you know how I roll over here. If this is your first time, welcome to the party.

I'm thrilled to be the 3rd stop on the Sugar & Spice tour. Three is my favorite number and sweet and spicy describes how I like my books and my men!

*virtual high-fives all around*

Amber, Elena, and Kelli are great authors and there hasn't been a thing they've written that I haven't enjoyed which is why I jumped at the chance to read these 3 books!

So grab a cocktail (it's Saturday!!!) and let's talk Mystique Antiques!

First, my disclaimer:
I am a reader first and author second.  If you are looking for a hard hitting professional book review, you are not going to get it here. :).

That being said...bring on the men!

Nothing makes me get into a love story more than the dude on the cover.  Scroll up or down and take another look at these guys!  Hot!  We don't even need to see their faces to know that they are F-I-N-E! Plus it adds to the mystique. (Pun intended)

First up: Sweet Serendipity by Elena Gray

Silence is golden. Honesty...not so much.

Gwen Palmer's saucy mouth gets in the way of her heart's desire...again. Just when she is about to trade her baker's hat for a nun's habit, she comes face to face with her idol, Ethan Reynolds.

Ethan isn't immune to Gwen's loose lips. Nor her quirkiness. And something about her smile tugs at his heart. Will he look beyond her outrageous remarks and see the truth inside? Or will Gwen lose her one chance at true love?

Basically, Gwen is a bakery owner with no filter inside her head. Which is the perfect character, in my opinion. I mean seriously, wouldn't we all like to be surrounded by chocolate and cupcakes all day AND get to say anything we want?
Then enter Ethan.  The man is a Chef, ladies. He cooks food for his woman! what?  Major swoon fest, right?

This book has everything in it to make you swoon from the moment you start reading. Although, there are moments when Gwen is just a little too real and it starts to feel like you're reading about that awkward moment when you totally freaked out and overreacted over something so stupid. There are a few of those in Sweet Serendipity and you're thinking "how did she know?" but once you get over your own personal panic attack and realize it's poor Gwen and not you, it's easy to get back into the groove of the story.

The realness of the characters, from Gail's awkwardness to Ethan's suave sexiness is what I enjoyed most about this book. Plus, Gwen's quips are hilarious.  I guarantee that the next time you see a hot guy in a bakery or in the bakery section of the grocery store, resisting the temptation to hit him with "you want to lick my cupcake" is going to be the hardest thing you've ever done.

I know Elena won't mind if you'd like to stalk contact her.  Here are her links.  Tell Jackie sent you!

Next: A Love Soul Deep by Amber Scott

A gold locket catches her eye and her heart. Inside the tiny gold frame is a picture of the one man she compares all others to. The one that got away..

Can this locket, one wish, bring back the love she lost?

"I don't want to walk in the rain. With you, here like this, I want to run. But I also want to stand still and get drenched." says the half naked man -ghost- or whatever he is.

Go ahead ladies, take a sip of that cocktail. You know you need it.  And you will need plenty more after reading A Love Soul Deep. This book is chock full of heart-stopping gems like that!

What can I say? Amber Scott does swoon well. Hot, kinda dirty, love sick, sexy swoon.  There were many times I had to sit my Kindle down and wipe the sweat from my neck. Which is what you want from a good romance novel, right?  At least that's what I want.

And Ms. Scott dared to put a couple of those "oh hell no!" moments into the book as well. Get through the end of chapter six and see if I'm right.

Man oh man oh man! If I could hire Amber to write my makeout scenes for me, I would. The woman has a gift. Not only does the woman write them well, they are pretty much perfect.

In A Love Soul Deep, we get Sara, a grief stricken woman who is holding on to the love she had for Crew (how hot is this dude's name?) who is no longer in the land of the living. Poor Sara is dealing with our greatest fear: not being given the chance to say goodbye or I love you one last time.  But through the help of her Mystique Antique locket, she's able to see her love again...but not for long.

This book is that good kind of torture. Moments of complete and utter bliss followed by longing and wanting what you cannot have.  It's absolutely great!  Makes you all hot and bothered and emotionally invested in the story. Plus there's an alternate ending and I can't decide which one I like more because both work perfectly. Great job Amber!

Feel free to hang out with Amber.  She's always down for a good time conversation with fans.  Plus all the hot guys always show up on her FB page.  I spend a lot of time there ;)

Finally: Only In Time by Kelli McCracken

Jonah McCabe made a horrible mistake six years ago that cost him his chance at happiness. Then fate interceded.

A last minute favor has him coming face to face with the past. Every beautiful inch of it. Her laughter still echoed in his mind. As did the pain in her voice the day she left.

Can he make things right in a race against the clock or will time continue to work against him?

I've read many books that hit me hard in the gut but I've never gotten that feeling from a romance novel.  AND I LOVE ROMANCE novels.  I'm a romance author.  I believe in the butterflies in your stomach, love at first sight...I believe in the fairytale.

But Only In Time hit me right in the gut and made me really analyze my life...for about 5 minutes then I had to force myself to stop so I could go write this blog.  This story deeply touches on the emotions a person could and would feel when they let love get away.  It touched my very soul.  I'm still shocked.  The story was so genuine that I truly didn't want it to end.

I'm not one for spoilers so I'll just say that the story ended just like it was supposed to.  Anything else would have left me a little PO'd.  Also, Kelli does steam sex really well.  Her timing is perfect.

Kelli is now accepting stalkers fans too!  Bring wine or JD and be ready to par-tay!

All in all, these three novellas are what true romance is all about.  Intriguing story, unrequited love, and butterflies in your tummy.  I wouldn't have expected anything less from these three.

Feel free to leave a comment, along with your email address because someone is going to get lucky!  By lucky, I mean someone is going to get a copy of all 3 books for your Kindle, or Kindle app if that's how you roll.

While you're at it, go ahead and enter the raffle.  These ladies aren't playing around with that gift basket.  I've already put my name in the hat LOL.  Follow the rest of the tour to support Indie Authors at their finest!

Tour Schedule:

Thanks for stopping by and having a few cocktails with me.  It was fun!

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Dealing with Bad Reviews

Every person who has ever written a book has gotten a negative review...the dreaded 1-star Amazon review.  And they are hard to deal with.

It's like someone looking you in the face and telling you that your kid is ugly.  It definitely hurts.

Before I uploaded my first book on Amazon, I listened to many authors' advice on how to deal with negative book reviews and the first thing they said was "do not respond to them".

I thought that was a given.  It never crossed my mind to ever respond directly to any review, good or bad.  As I started paying attention to what other authors were doing, I was shocked to see that some authors actually respond to reviews and their responses to negative reviews are just as shocking as the review itself.

When I received my first 1-star review, I cried.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year...Big Things to Come

She's back!

And by she, I do mean, me...Miss Jackie Chanel.

Honestly, I'm blown away how good the beginning of 2012 was.  With the release of A Hustler's Promise and A Hustler's Promise 2, I saw my books hit the top of the Amazon charts and authors who I've admired for a long time were beginning to notice me and see me as a force in this business.

Along with the success of my books came a promotion at work.  I was really happy for the promotion, but it was stressful and a lot of hard work.  It took me out of my element as a writer because I simply did not have the energy to keep going at the level I was writing on and do my job effectively.

At the end of 2012, I made a decision to leave my job and work for myself.  That was a GIANT step in the right direction for me and my books.  I'm so happy!!!

Needless to say, 2013 is going to be a busy year.  I thank each and everyone of you guys for your amazing support and I appreciate your eagerness for more.

With that being said, if you haven't already, you may want to read Untitled.  The follow up book, Unsung, is coming soon!  This book has been a long time coming, but I guarantee you, it will be worth the wait.

I'm going to be working on many different projects this year so don't be surprised.  As I always say, I'm not your average romance author.  I'm always looking for opportunities to broaden my writing experience and write across the genres.

And finally...

Yes, there will be a A Hustler's Promise 3 this year.  I do not have a date but stay tuned to my Twitter, Facebook, and this blog to get all the details.

Like I said, New Year...Big Things to Come!



PS- did you know that Change of Heart got a makeover?  Check it out.