#TacoTuesday

Are you ready for #TacoTuesday?

A.C. Melody

tacoshellsDisclaimer:This post has absolutely nothing to do with food – sorry foodies!

Welcome to a new kind of blog hop, engineered by moi for anyone who wants to join in. This is for fun, creativity, mostly cuz-we-can and designed to work for both readers and writers!

Objective: Every Tuesday I will introduce a new ‘ingredient’ until we have the biggest and best tacos in town. The only things you need are your own WIPs, published works &/or favorite books you’ve read. Answer as a writer, a reader or both, it’s completely up to you. There are no rules against using a different manuscript for each week’s writer answer, but please make sure to tag them with the story’s title so your followers know which books to look out for!

Here we go…

Writers Menu

Taco Shell/Wrap:Share a moment when a supporting character played a part in keeping your…

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#Preorder Mark Lukach’s Heartfelt Memoir, “My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward”

My Lovely Wife coverA heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love.

Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But, soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended.

A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breathtaking in its candor, radiant with compassion, and written with dazzling lyricism, Lukach’s is an intensely personal odyssey through the harrowing years of his wife’s mental illness, anchored by an abiding devotion to family that will affirm readers’ faith in the power of love.

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is on sale May 2nd; pre-order it from any of the retailers below.

HarperCollins Publishing    Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Books-A-Million    IndieBound

“Later, After” by Jane Harvey-Berrick #BlogTour 18+

 
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This is the full playscript for LATER, AFTER with commentary by the writers, actors and producers.


Since being discharged from the army after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Alex’s life is out of control and he keeps people at a distance – even his friends. When Alex is arrested after yet another bar fight, he finds himself in a police station being interviewed by police psychiatrist Dr. Helen Ashton. As Alex’s story unfolds, he tells Helen about his life of duty in a series of traumatic flashbacks. Can she help him find a way to navigate the unfamiliar, twisting paths of civilian life, or will he choose to sink deeper into a cycle of avoidance and depression? Is there a life for Alex, later, after the military?

“Harrowing”
“Thought provoking”
“Challenging”

A companion DVD is also available, filmed at the original London production of ‘Later, After’.


Proceeds support Felix Fund, the UK bomb disposal charity
www.felixfund.org.uk

Click HERE to watch
Extract from the end of ACT I

ALEX
The curse of my job is in the details.

HELEN
I still maintain that what you were doing was worthwhile.

ALEX
Yeah? Shall I tell you the rest? We left the scene in the hands of the Iraqi fire brigade. It came through later that they found no sign of explosives and there were two more bodies in the back of his car … he had his wife and child in the back. I mean what the fuck? Why didn’t he get out of his car? No-one blamed me for making the call, but I have to live with it. Rumour is he’d killed his family as you could still see the throats had been cut on the two corpses and he was trying to get us to finish him off; either way it’s not like the Iraqis tried to find out. Just another bullshit incident that never made the UK news. You people have no idea what it’s like out there.  

We weren’t winning. It was all just fucking pointless. Why are we there? Can you tell me? Because I haven’t got a fucking clue. When I’m out there, I’m there for my friends, for the boots on the ground – no one else. And what have we achieved? Did we make the world any safer? Is it any better for anyone living there? It’s all been so fucking pointless. All for nothing. [Getting really wound up] The cunt politicians – where the fuck are they? Hiding behind their fucking desks and pointing their fingers at each other. We’re sent out there with second-rate equipment and… [Getting more and more wound up and anxious, shaking]

HELEN
Alex! Alex! Stay with me. You’re safe now. Stay with me. Remember you are at a police station. Focus on your breathing…

Alex struggles to maintain his focus. Helen leans towards him; Alex leans away from her.

​​HELEN (cont.)
I think we should take a break now. Okay? Okay, Alex?

ALEX
I’m fine.

He’s angry that she’s seen him vulnerable and turns away from her.

​HELEN
I’ll get you some more water. Try to relax.

Helen stands up and exits room.

Slowly, Alex gets to his feet. He runs his hands over his face, stares out at the audience – uncomfortable eye contact. He stares around, finds the chair, and slowly sags into it. His head slowly sinks into his hands.

END OF PART ONE

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Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).
She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )
Author Links

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“Bear With Me” by Jenika Snow #ReleaseBlitz 18+


BRITTIN

When my brother and his problems had me coming back to Stales, my hometown, I was scared not just for my twin’s health, but also because I knew I’d run into Law, my bear-shifting ex and the sheriff of Stales.

Our breakup hadn’t been grisly, but after nearly two years, the thought of seeing him again had everything tightening in me because … I still loved him.

But that was the past, and I knew I had to move on, right?

LAW

Brittin was the only woman I would ever love. She was it for me, even if she broke it off because of my domineering ways. I screwed up when I lost her, and I spent the next two years regretting it. But she’d wanted space, and when she left for the city, I let her.

But now she’s back, and it’s my chance to show her I can give her everything she wants. It’s my chance to show her I can be the man she deserves.

I just hope I haven’t let too much time pass, because not having Brittin in my life is a fate worse than death.

Warning: This short story features a growly bear shifter, and a stubborn heroine. Bear With Me was previously published under the title “Yes, Sir” and was included in the Cuffed and Claimed anthology. It has since been revised and re-edited, but the story itself is the same.

Law

My bear wanted out, wanted to claim our mate right now. But I told myself I needed to go slow. After all the shit we’d been through over the years, and the fact I’d let her walk away from my own arrogant, demanding attitude, I had to make things right. I had to show her that I knew I’d fucked up.
I had to show her even a bear could make love, could admit he was wrong.
But I liked the rough kind of sex, the kind that had my female submitting to me. And Brittin had been such a perfect submissive. I wasn’t into the whole BDSM scene, but the occasional spank, the random restraining … yeah, that got me off.
But only with Brittin.
I only wanted to do that with her. Only her.
“Tell me you want this,” I growled against the side of her throat. I just stood there with her pressed against the wall, my body pinning her, making her submit to me. “Tell me, Brittin.” I ground my cock against her belly, wanting her to tell me, wanting her to feel how hard I was for her.
“God, Law.”
“Tell me you’re mine, baby.”
“You just think things can be patched up?” She breathed the words out.
She was mine. Only mine.
I wouldn’t let her go.
“No, I don’t think things can just be erased, but I want to show you what we used to have. I want to show you how good it was.”
She closed her eyes and moaned. “I know how good it was, Law.”
I said again, loving hearing her say that.
“I want this,” she breathed out.
I ground my dick into her harder. “Say my name, baby. I want you to tell me how much you want this. I want you to tell me that it was a mistake we stayed apart.” It was my fault just as much as it was hers; I’d stayed away. “Things can be different now, Brittin. I can be a better male to you.” I pulled back and looked at her. She looked drugged right now.
Good.
“This might be a mistake…”
My heart fucking stopped.
“But I want this, Law. I want you.”
I growled out low, my bear pushing for supremacy.
“I want you to make me yours again. Lord help me, but I want things to be different than before.”
Fuck. Yes.
I stared into her eyes. “You’re mine, and I’ll never let you go. Not again. That was the worst damn mistake I’ve ever made.”
She licked her lips. “This is insane,” she whispered. “But fuck me, Law. Fuck me like you’ve been aching for me this entire time.”
“I have, baby.” I leaned forward and ran my tongue up the length of her neck. “Tell me this doesn’t feel good.” I gently bit the spot where I used to all those years ago.
“It would be a lie if I said that,” she whispered, and I groaned in approval.
I rested the tip of my nose right on the side of her neck and inhaled. Yeah, she smelled the same.
So. Fucking. Good.
“It’s only ever been you, baby.” She gasped after my words. “I haven’t been with another female since you. And I don’t want anyone else.” I leaned back and looked into her eyes.
“I haven’t been with anyone else, Law,” she whispered, her eyes wide.
“Are you surprised, Brittin? Did you really think anyone else would compare to you?”
She licked her lips, and I watched the act. “I didn’t want to think about that.”
I lifted my gaze to look into her eyes. “Once we start, I won’t stop. I can’t. Too much time has passed, and I don’t want to waste another second.”
She parted her lips and sucked in a breath.
I leaned in so close our lips were almost touching. “Tell me you want this, and that you want more than my cock filling you.”
She didn’t answer for long seconds, and I wanted to tear through my skin to get the answer.
“Fuck me.” She pulled me close and slanted her lips on mine. “Let’s just take this one step at a time,” she whispered against my lips.
And just hearing her say that, even if she wasn’t telling me she wanted me and all I had to offer, I couldn’t deny her.
She was mine, and I wouldn’t let her get away again.

Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.

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“Sweetest Obsession” by Ann Mayburn #ReleaseBlitz 18+

This is a STANDALONE insta-obsession erotic romance set in the Cordova Empire series (no cheating-HEA-no cliffhanger)

Ramon

In my family, there’s an old story going back generations about love at first sight. I used to think it was a fairytale, until I met my sweet Joy. The more I got to know her, the more I wanted her. But the world of the cartels is a dangerous place, so I watched her from afar, wishing things were different and I could claim her for my own. Despite my best efforts to keep her safe, evil found Joy. After she endured a savage beating at the hands of a rival cartel, I vowed to do everything in my power to make her mine and win her heart. I can only pray that when she finds out the truth about me, and the things I’ve done to bind her to me forever, that she’ll be able to love the monster I really am.

Joy

Without a doubt, Ramon Cordova is one of the biggest jerks I’ve ever met. He’s egotistical, bossy, and seems to know how to push all my buttons. Too bad he’s also sinfully handsome, utterly charming when he wants to be, and is the only man I feel safe with. After the attack, I’ve become afraid of the world outside of my home—afraid of crowds, afraid of loud noises, afraid of everything. When I’m in Ramon’s strong arms, those fears melt away. I know there’s a darkness inside of him that he tries to hide, and I’m afraid that when I finally find out the secrets he’s been keeping, he’ll destroy what’s left of my battered heart.

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With over forty published books, Ann is Queen of the Castle to her husband and three sons in the mountains of West Virginia. In her past lives she’s been an Import Broker, a Communications Specialist, a US Navy Civilian Contractor, a Bartender/Waitress, and an actor at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. She also spent a summer touring with the Grateful Dead-though she will deny to her children that it ever happened.

From a young age, Ann has had a love affair with books would read everything she could get her hands on. As Ann grew older, and her hormones kicked in, she discovered bodice ripping Fabio-esque romance novels. They were great at first, but she soon grew tired of the endless stories with a big wonderful emotional buildup to really short and crappy sex. Never a big fan of purple prose, throbbing spears of fleshy pleasure and wet honey pots make her giggle, she sought out books that gave the sex scenes in the story just as much detail and plot as everything else-without using cringe worthy euphemisms. This led her to the wonderful world of Erotic Romance, and she’s never looked back.

Now Ann spends her days trying to tune out cartoons playing in the background to get into her ‘sexy space’ and has accepted that her Muse has a severe case of ADD.

Ann loves to talk with her fans, as long as they realize she’s weird, and that sarcasm doesn’t translate well via text.