Five From Ava Branson

Welcome to Five From Friends Friday!

Each week, I’ll share with you five quick and quirky questions and answers

from some of my favorite author friends.

I think you’ll see some familiar faces in here, too.


Quickies from Ava Branson

Welcome to Ava Branson, author of the Blue Water Seduction books as well as three other erotic romances. I met Ava during a recent group promotion we did together, and I’m enjoying her book Rough Seas right now! Let’s see what she has to share with us today. . .


Q: You’re driving along, turn on the radio and it’s a country song. Do you turn it off or turn it up and sing along? 

A: If it were a rockin’, upbeat song, I’d sure as heck turn it up! As for singing along? I can’t think of anyone I dislike enough to do that to. It would be unkind, and I’m anything but unkind.

Q: You’re getting ready to leave for a full day of meetings and appointments. Suddenly, they’re all cancelled. What do you do with this free day?

A: Once upon a time, an unexpected free day would have meant a long, leisurely stop at Barnes and Noble followed by a mad dash home to curl up on the couch with my new treasures. Now (after deciding to write full-time) I’d shout the rafters down, do some odd, uncoordinated happy dance, change back into my yoga pants, and plop down at the keyboard, delighted to have bonus time with my characters.

Q: If you could bring one literary character to life to introduce to your best single friend. . .who would it be?

A: One literary character…hmm…just one???

Q: Disney World or Disneyland?

A: Disney World, good people! Native Floridian here

Q: What one food could you eat every day for the rest of your life?

A: What a tough question to ask an Italian, but if push came to shove – probably lobster. Honorable mentions would include pasta, good sausage and meatballs, pizza, nachos, smothered burritos, chocolate…and a collective shudder just ran through many a nutritionist.


avaHead shotAva Branson is a native Floridian, born and raised. She grew up in a boating family on the Atlantic coast and had sandbetween her toes from birth. A ten year span spent living in Colorado taught her a love and appreciation of the mountains, but the ocean called her back home and Florida is where she settled, raising two children and any number of cats.

 When she’s not writing (which is rare) she’s thinking of stories to write (which is always) and just hopes to be able to share a fraction of the countless romances she has dreamed up with readers.

Follow Ava here: Newsletter/Website/Email/Facebook /Twitter/Pinterest


Emmy Ryan. A young, beautiful doctoral candidate finds herself at crossroads, questioning the path of a life she’d once believedRough Seas large so certain and the impulsive decision that may change it forever.

Stavros Maragos. Head of his family’s vast corporate empire. Driven and intensely passionate about those he loves. But when he becomes the only family member left living, he erects an emotional wall to buffer the pain left behind.

One multi-million dollar mega-yacht in the Caribbean. One new crew member. A very rich owner. Two vastly different worlds collide with stunning force and raw need.

Can Emmy find her footing in Stavros’ world? And is Stavros’ need for Emmy powerful enough to destroy the emotional fortress he lives in?

The stakes are high in this scorching tale of lust and love. 

Rough Seas – Book One, Blue Water Seduction


I’m Reading Stupid Girl

So I’ve exhausted all the Kristan Higgins books until August (August! Do you know how long away that is?? Does she not care for my well-being??), Alice Clayton has nothing until the fall, and Nora’s next hardback isn’t out until April. What’s a girl to do? I was relegated to trolling the scrolls at the ‘Zon.

I came across a promising looking book called Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles. It was NA con rom, and those don’t usually let me down. I started it one morning, and the beginning pulled me in.

Now I have to admit, there’s nothing new here. It’s what I call formula NA: girl arrives at college hiding some horrible event from her past. There’s usually a death somewhere, whether it’s her high school boyfriend, her sibling, her parent, a random passer-by. . .whatever. We got the angst going, right? And then once at college, this girl, who usually is a virgin, or at least very inexperienced and often considers herself shy or plain or a geek, has a meet-cute with The Hottest Guy On Campus. Yes, he has a title that must be written in all caps. And this dude, who is a major player and sleeps with anything that moves, falls suddenly and deeply in love with our hometown sad girl.

Of course, she’s warned off him by her friends, by classmates, by his exes and by random passers-by (not dead ones. Usually.). But she doesn’t listen because she is In Love, and although she’s afraid of a) being hurt b) him finding out her angsty secret c) being made a fool of in front of entire school, she risks it all. But dang it if a, b and sometimes c don’t happen, and then we have more angst and will they end up together? Of course they will. This is con rom.

Don’t get me wrong. I happen to love me some good formula NA books. If done right, they grab you and stick in your mind for months. But they must include some crucial elements: strong, believable characters, a little humor so we don’t get too bogged down in the angsty-angst, and a story arc that makes us root for the Couple Least Likely To Succeed.

I’m happy to report that Stupid Girl covered most of those bases. I liked both Olivia and Brax. I liked that Olivia had a great passion–astronomy–which made her more than just a two-dimensional cutout girl. The story arc made sense, and there was enough of the funny to keep me from sobbing into my tea the whole book long.

On the negative side, some of the plot was a tad contrived, and there was a part near the end that felt too vague. I was hoping girlfriend would say, “Umm. . .what? Can you be a little more clear?” But she didn’t, and I was left having to trust that his explanation somehow made sense to her. Also, the side characters, which are so important in these books, felt a little flimsy. Olivia’s roommate was a tad stereotypical and there was not enough build-up to their relationship.

But overall, if you need a fast and fun NA, and you don’t mind a little pathos, try Stupid Girl. I may gamble on the next book in the series, too. Stay tuned.

Five From Sarah Ross

Welcome to Five From Friends Friday! Each week, I’ll share with you five quick and quirky questions and answers from some of my favorite author friends. I think you’ll see some familiar faces in here, too.


Quickies from Sarah Ross

Welcome to Sarah Ross, author of YA and NA paranormal, contemporary and thriller novels. She’s releasing her next book, Never Gonna Tell, next month. Check out her Q and A. . .

Q: You’re sitting at a bar, waiting for a friend. What’re you drinking?

A: Amaretto Sours. It’s been a favorite of mine since college. I’m not a big drinker, but I do like sweet drinks.

 And if they don’t have that, Red Sangria. You can’t go wrong with wine and fruit! 

Q: What was the first book that made you cry?

 A: I am not a big fan of books or movies that make me cry. I’ve never read John Greene or Nicholas Sparks for that reason. I want a HEA with the emphasis on the Happily!

 There was this book I read in middle school called “A Summer to Die” by Lois Lowry. Bawled my eyes out. I think after that book, I decided no more sad stories. I went on to read IT by Stephen King. I cried for a whole other reason reading that! (Scared the beJesus out of me!) 

Q: What song always makes you turn it up and sing along when it comes on the radio?

 A: If you ever have the displeasure of pulling up next to me at a red light, you’ll see me jamming out to something. There are soo many songs I love to sing in the car- and for the ears and listening pleasure of the outside world, I do it with my windows rolled up.

 I think some of my classic favorites are Bohemian Rhapsody, Summer of ’69, Jack & Diane, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Don’t Stop Believin, Livin on a Prayer. And newer ones like Take me to Church, All About that Bass, any Ed Sheeran or Mumford & Sons.
Q:It’s February. What’s your favorite cold-weather activity?

Curled up on the couch under fuzzy blankets with my Kindle and hot chocolate. That’s all. No, seriously, that’s it. I abhor the cold. It’s the number one reason I moved from Pittsburgh to Florida. I couldn’t stand the cold. Anytime it’s too cold for flip flops, it’s too cold for me!
Q: What television show, past or present, would be top on your list of must-see TV?

A: When I was a kid, my favorite TV show was I Love Lucy. They would show reruns of it on TVLand at like six in the morning. I would get up early, even in the summer, just to watch a few episodes before school started. It’s one of the all-time best TV shows ever made, so that has to top my list.


Sarah started her obsession with reading at an early age, often sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class. She would read any book she could get her hands on. Her love of reading quickly evolved into a love of writing and stories began to pour out of her. SarahAuthor

She grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English, and taught eighth graders to love reading as much as she does for several years. Sarah will always be a proud member of the Steelers’ Nation, but couldn’t take the cold and moved her frozen tush to Florida where she now lives with her husband, daughter, and two cats. You will find her now with her trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Sarah’s debut novel, AWAKEN, released in January, 2012. Other novels include AVENGE, ATONE, ECHO OF AN EARTH ANGEL, INHALE EXHALE, and NEVER GONNA TELL (Releasing March, 2015). 

Follow Sarah here: Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram


Never Gonna Tell-hi-res

My name is Reagan Wilcox: high school senior by day, kick-ass investigative journalist by night. I’ve always loved observing people—especially when they think no one is paying attention. 

I thought I was ready to cover any story. Work any angle. 

Nothing could have prepared me for what happened that night. I wasn’t ready for what I saw. And I certainly wasn’t ready for him. 

I always knew I’d write the headlines. Now, I just might become one. 


March 17th Preorder here

I’m Reading Never, Never

This week, I’ve just finished reading Never, Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher.

I discovered Colleen Hoover a few years ago, when a friend recommended Slammed. I enjoyed it, and then Point of No Return. . .and of course, Hopeless. Her more recent books have been even better. So when I saw this one, I was excited. I didn’t read the blurb or any reviews, I just dove right in.

From the beginning, it was. . .different. A little confusing, but I was willing to bear with it. And before too long, I was hooked. The premise is intriguing: both of the main characters, Charlie and Silas, apparently have an odd form of amnesia. Neither can remember anything that happened before 11 o’clock on the morning the book begins. How they cope–and what they learn–begins to paint a troubling picture.

Just when I was drawn in, wrapped up and ready to find out just what happens next. . .the three worst words appeared on the page.

To Be Continued

I came closer to throwing my Kindle across the room than I ever have. What?! I went back to Amazon, and I saw the truth. It’s a novella, the first in a series. When does the next one come out? May 17th. Do you how many days away that is? Like, 100. Okay, 88. But close enough.

I still do recommend you read it, but if you want to save yourself some angst, wait and read it on May 15th.

Until then, come back next week and we’ll see what I’m up to then.

Five From Jesi Lea Ryan

Welcome to Five From Friends Friday!

Each week, I’ll share with you

five quick and quirky questions and answers

from some of my favorite author friends.

I think you’ll see some familiar faces in here, too.


Quickies from Jesi Lea Ryan



{Note from Tawdra: Jesi Lea is one of my favorite authors. We ‘met’ through a book blog a few years back, and I fell in love with her book Arcadia’s Gift. . . and then I was blessed to be able to edit the second two books in the trilogy as well as her current release, which is a fast-paced, engaging and definitely *not* YA paranormal thriller. I can’t wait to read more. In so-called real life, Jesi Lea and I got to hang out a bit last year at RT in NOLA. Enjoy her quickies!)

Q: You are gifted the services of a maid for one year. However, she’s only allowed to perform one chore for you daily (same one every day). What will you assign her? 

A: Clean the bathroom! I have three of them, and they drive me crazy.

Q: Your cat SeBastard is known for his dastardly ways. If he could write it, what would be the title of his autobiography?

A: I Didn’t Do Nuffing!

Q: You’re on a cruise with every living author in the world. (It’s a big ship.) Which four will you choose to sit at dinner with you?

A: This is a hard question! I’m not big on hero-worshipping other authors, so I’m going to go with who would make for an entertaining table. John Green (I have a thing for sexy nerds), Alan Cumming (my future best friend) and Dan Savage.

Q: Your (okay, my) favorite of your characters is Cane, from the Arcadia books. You’re given the ability to talk to him for one minute. What would you tell him?

A:I think I’d like to tell him that I’m proud of him for making mature decisions. He’s a guy who has been through a lot in his young life. His mother was weak, his step-dad was emotionally abusive, he suffered a devastating loss when his high school girlfriend was killed, etc. But I feel like he has come through the worst and will be okay now. Okay, and I would tell him to stop by your house to see you. Maybe you could talk him into mowing your lawn or something so you can ogle him.

Q: Your fairy godmother will whisk you anywhere in the world for dinner tonight. Where will you go?

A: I’ve never been to Russia, but I’m not sure how I’d like their food. I guess I’d pick Marrakesh. I like Moroccan food, and I’ve always wanted to visit there.



Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two exceptionally naughty kitties.

Follow Jesi Lea here: Website/Newsletter/Twitter/Facebook



Just A Little Nudge

Marley Sexton nJust a Nudge - D2ever aspired to be a stripper. She even chose the stage name Misty Showers as a joke, thinking she’d make a few quick bucks and move on to greener pastures. Three years later, Marley’s still stripping. It’s the only job she can land that will put a dent in her mother’s mounting medical bills. 

It’s also the only job where she feels justified parting fools from their money with a little talent she calls nudging.

As psychic powers go, nudging isn’t impressive. Marley can’t get people to do anything they’re not already inclined to do. Useful for making a seedy customer grab a larger bill from his wallet, but not strong enough to ditch a drug cartel that’s on her tail.

Marley is in over her head. She’s not big on trusting people, especially a strange man with a gun, a badge, and a story that doesn’t quite add up. JC Moreno figures out that Marley may have taken the nudge a little too far. But how? Whoever the guy actually works for, one thing’s for certain. He has a history with the cartel and an agenda of his own. Although the suspicion between Marley and JC runs both ways, maybe they can work together to both get what they want…if they don’t get killed in the process.  

Buy the book: Amazon US/Amazon UK/Kobo/Smashwords/Nook/iBooks/Goodreads