Falling for Shock Cover Reveal

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This fabulous cover came from none other than my head and computerized art programs. I had some excellent help from Russian resident, colleague and graphic designer Ольга Лабзина (Olga Labzina). Together we made this cover POP! and WOW! And I hope you enjoy it too and it captivates you enough to pick up FALLING FOR SHOCK when it release on April 25th, 2014!

Until then here’s a little teaser.

Oliver Hannel, England’s sexiest new star, has finally moved from the television screen to the silver screen, playing comic book hero The Shock in Hollywood’s upcoming blockbuster. While filming one summer night in the midwestern town of Greenfield, Indiana, Oliver finds himself witnessing a crime in progress. Will he embrace his inner superhero and save the day? Or will he remember he isn’t invincible and call for help?

Layla Brooks is a small town girl with a big spirited heart, especially when it comes to her twin sister, Lucy. She will rest at nothing to protect her from a casino mogul’s henchman bent on collecting a debt… even if that includes taking her sister’s punishment. But a strange suited man from out of the shadows isn’t about to let that happen.

Oliver and Layla’s opposite worlds collide with a Bam! But are either of them ready for the lies, truth and lust that comes along with a relationship born of shock? Or will their love come and go as fast as a bolt of lightning?

Opening Scene to Falling for Shock

Artist rendition of Oliver Hannel as The Shock - sketch by Nita - drawing by Eryn LaPlant

Artist rendition of Oliver Hannel as The Shock -
sketch by Nita – drawing by Eryn LaPlant

FALLING FOR SHOCK

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

“CUT!” the director called.

Oliver breathed a sigh of relief. He was in dire need of finding a bathroom; the straps of his flying harness were cutting into his full bladder. On the street below, the crew wasted no time disassembling set dressings and props. The cameramen turned off their equipment and congratulated themselves on a good day, while the dolly grips trudged the cameras down aluminum tracks. A twinge tightened in his groin and Oliver shifted, trying to redistribute the pressure. It was no use.

“Come on guys,” he grumbled, but he was thirty-feet in the air, who could hear him?

The more hustle and bustle beneath his booted feet, the more he was convinced they’d forgotten their superhero…again. With his thumb and forefinger in his mouth, he blew a shrill whistle. “Hey! Will someone get me down?”

Dean Clemens, the movie director, lifted his head to the sky. “Sorry, pal! Mike, let Ollie down.”

“Thank you!” Oliver called out and the rigging creaked and groaned as he slowly descended.

The moment his feet touched the ground, the grips were there disconnecting the bolts and wires from his hips and shoulder blades. When they came to the harness and its ten or so cinch buckles, Oliver shooed their hands away. He could get out of the hellish contraption faster than they could release him and time was of the essence.

Once free, he took off like the symbol emblazoned across his torso: a bolt of chain lightning. At his trailer, a fetid stench in the humid summer air greeted him before his assistant did. He leaned inside finding Will on his knees outside of the bathroom with long, yellow gloves up to his elbows and a white mask adorning his face. Oliver covered his nose and mouth. “What the hell happened?”

“Sorry, boss, you don’t want to come in here. The black water tank is backed up and overflowing. The septic truck broke down somewhere in Illinois. Your trailer, Kelli’s and Ira’s are all out of commission.”

Oliver growled and slammed the door. He didn’t care if he had a mere bucket at this point. He needed to GO. He surveyed the tiny town the production company had taken over, for some open business, but at one in the morning everything was closed.

“Hmm everything’s closed,” he repeated out loud to himself. He saw only the busy crew or bare streets with alleys in between the shops.

Whistling with casualness belying his desperation, he wandered across the street to the dark and vacant space between the post office and a furniture shop. In a flash, he dashed to the furthermost spot in the alley against the brick wall and wrenched the lycra and vinyl suit away from his body until he could get himself free and— “Ahh…”

“Look! I’ll get you the money, just give me some time!” A woman’s panicked voice made Oliver’s head swivel toward the entrance of the alley.

“Shit!” Oliver cursed. Where did she come from? He quickened and finished up, pulling his suit back on. The silver sleeves stuck to his sweat-slicked skin, making redressing with quick quietness impossible. But he had to stay soundless now that someone was around. A nightmare would ensue if his publicist found out he was caught half naked, using a public wall as a urinal.

“No more time! Pay up or tell it to the boss!” a male spoke.

Oliver could barely make out the shadowy figures twenty feet away. The street lamp on the sidewalk behind them created only a silhouette.

“No, don’t do that!” she cried, followed by a muffled, strangled noise coming from her throat. “P-Please. I j-just need a few more weeks. It’s a lot of money.”

“Uh-uh the boss wants it now. He’s waited long enough,” the man said, jerking her in close by both arms.

The figure was hulking, the woman petite, Oliver couldn’t let this continue despite whether the woman was at fault or not. Maybe it was his knighted British ancestry or the fact he was wearing a superhero’s costume, but he puffed up his chest and merged stealthly into the light.

The man bucked the woman’s back into the brick wall so hard, air rushed from her lungs in a heavy gust. Oliver winced then crossed his arms at his chest, the menacing biceps he’d trained so hard to achieve stood out strong and hard. “I suppose hurting a person two sizes smaller than you makes you feel like a real man, huh?” he said in his best Shock voice.

“Back off, pal, if you know what’s—“ the man’s gaze traveled from the woman to Oliver’s costume. “Who the hell are you?”

“Someone who knows better than to hit a lady.”

Much to Oliver’s surprise both the victim and her adversary sputtered at his statement. Determined to pull of this rescue, he stood firm. “Would you rather I let him continue man-handling you for whatever it is that you owe him?”

With widened, sheepish eyes, the woman shook her head.

“Good, then how about we work together and solve this in peace.”

The thug let her go and her backside hit the asphalt with a sudden heavy thwump! Stalking toward Oliver, he pushed his sleeves up revealing two meaty forearms. “I’ve got a better idea, freakshow. Why don’t you mind your business and let me finish my transaction?”

He stopped at Oliver’s toes. Without a pause Oliver darted out for the man’s collar, yanking him into his face. They were evenly matched on height, but Oliver had at least a stone and a half on him in weight. “I like my way better.”

“Not gonna happen.”

The guy sent a fist straight for Oliver’s gut. It took his breath away, making him want to be sick. But before the bloke could get another jab in, this one lining up with his face— his livelihood, Oliver threw a solid right into the his jaw. Pain vibrated from his knuckles all the way up his shoulder. He grunted, loud and strained at the burning ache.Movie punches don’t connect…don’t hurt.

Shaking out the ache, Oliver had just enough time to see the stunned man leap to his feet. He lunged for him with a wounded yell.

Adrenaline surged and Oliver stepped back into a crouch, dodging him and leaving him in position to whip a chop into his back. Oliver’s right hand stung again, his shoulder overextended, but this time he shrugged it back into place, ignoring the pain.

The man, on the other hand hit the pavement face first, yet still managed to scramble up on all fours. Already coiled to strike a final blow, Oliver snapped a weighted side-kick into the man’s head, like he was taught in practice. The tosser fell to the ground with a lifeless thud.

Amazed that the kick actually worked, Oliver backed away, breathing from both exertion and excitement. It had been a long time since he’d been in a real fight and even then those were mere drunken pub fights or brawls with his older brothers. He’d just faced a professional handler! Remembering who the guy was collecting from, Oliver spun around, finding the young woman still at the alley’s entrance. She was frozen in place, mouth and eyes wide with surprise and fear.

“Are you all right? It sounded like you hit the ground pretty hard before.” He did his best to curb the Shock’s American accent, and revert to his own British dialect in hopes to quell her apprehension.

Slowly, she nodded; hair, the color of warm honey, bounced against her shoulders as she did. “Who are you?”

“Oh, right. Well, like this I’m the Shock but—“ he reached behind his head and untied the blue mask outlining his eyes. “But normally I’m Oliver Hannel. I’m an—“

“An actor?” she went from bewildered to disenchanted in a second flat.

“Yes and certainly not a karate expert, so I suggest we get away before he comes to.”

“Yeah, good idea.”

Oliver held out his hand for her to take, but instead she held her breath, hesitant to grab hold. “It’s all right. I won’t hurt you.”

“Then where are you taking me?”

“To my trailer, so I can change and perhaps drive you home. I can’t really fly,” he joked, hoping she knew his character did.

He was rewarded with a less than apprehensive titter and she took his hand. From behind, the man began to stir and without waiting another moment, Oliver took off with the girl in tow.

“Lucy!” they heard and ducked between the Star Waggons on the movie set.

“Hurry!” Oliver said, weaving through the maze of trailers until they reached his. He pushed her up the metal stairs and entered, closing and locking the door behind him.

Will was no longer in the bathroom, but the putrid smell was, except now it was overwhelmed by some kind of rose-scented air freshener. Embarrassment wasn’t word enough to describe seeing her cover her nose.

“I’m sorry, Lucy. We’ve had some septic trouble this evening.”

“It’s Layla and it’s all right. I guess it proves the old saying that celebrities are no better than the rest of us. Their stuff still stinks.”

A laugh escaped Oliver, leaning against the kitchenette. “I’ve never heard that one before.”

“Guess you have to be one of the normal folks to know it.”

“Perhaps. Now, tell me…if your name is Layla, why did that fella yell out ‘Lucy’?”

*********************** FALLING FOR SHOCK – COMING SOON – APRIL 25th, 2014 **************************

Meet The Shock

A little background on the newest superhero gracing the world (note: this is not the plot of the book… just a background on the character we created) …
Due to copyrights I couldn’t use Superman as my superhero character, so with the help of my, then, six year old son we created the character known as The Shock.

Simon Lloyd was a a small town boy who was involved in a strange accident involving an electric fence and a lightning storm when he was twelve. He wasn’t hurt and realized it was because he could conduct and manipulate electricity. At first he didn’t tell anyone, not even his parents about the accident because he thought they’d think he was a freak. But then one day there’s a storm and Simon is caught outside trying to run to the shelter with his mom and dad. Lightning kills his parents and, of course, sparing Simon. He couldn’t save them and he was crushed. He’s a young adult at this point and realizes he needed to learn how to use his powers for good so events like the one that took his parents wouldn’t happen again. Soon, he finds the answers to his abilities and how to use the most of them with a college professor who not only studies him but mentors and comforts him as well. And of course, there is a bad guy, the Rainmaker, who finds out Simon’s secret and tries to use his powers of creating rain to thwart any good the Shock does.

It was a fun place to start and everyday my son and I came up with something new about the Shock from who his girlfriend would be to what his costume looked like. He even came up with his own design of the character. Soon we will have a mini comic book page (or 2) of our friend the Shock, so you can witness him in action before seeing him in the pages of Falling for Shock.

Introducing – Falling for Shock

5 year old Eryn sporting Wonder Woman pajamas

5 year old Eryn sporting Wonder Woman pajamas

As many of my readers, friends, and family know I am a HUGE Superman fan. I was five years old when I first saw the Man of Steel in action on television and I was hooked. I wanted to be a superhero, I wanted to be the damsel, I wanted to be the spunky girlfriend to the big man himself.  Unfortunately, I don’t have super powers nor do I come from another planet, but I have a big heart and am a patriot through and through. I see heroes everywhere, whether they wear capes or not.

That thought took me to a new book idea one day. I was driving along and wondered what would it be like if an actor filming a superhero movie was mistaken for an actual superhero? If he came upon a crime in progress would he walk away, knowing he really wasn’t able to use super powers to save the victim or would he try to do something to dissuade the criminal? And what would the victim think being rescued by some crazy man running around in lycra and wearing a mask?

The words in my head began to flow. From October to February I worked long, sometimes torturous hours forcing the story from my head and out my fingers. I have researched actors, superheroes (even interviewed a real-life superhero actor), the British culture, twin sisterhood, Las Vegas, a little James Bond, and a lot of new romantic challenges just to bring this book to life. It’s not something I’d normally write. It’s not historic (gasp)! It’s not innocent (uh-oh). It’s me letting loose a little in a world where it’s okay for a girl to fall in love with a superhero…of sorts.

A little background for you…
Due to copyrights I couldn’t use Superman as my superhero character, (of course!) so with the help of my, then, six year old son we created a character known as The Shock.

Simon Lloyd was a a small town boy who was involved in a strange accident involving an electric fence and a lightning storm when he was twelve. He wasn’t hurt and realized it was because he could conduct and manipulate electricity. At first he didn’t tell anyone, not even his parents about the accident because he thought they’d think he was a freak. But then one day there’s a storm and Simon is caught outside trying to run to the shelter with his mom and dad. Lightning kills his parents and, of course, sparing Simon. He couldn’t save them and he was crushed. He’s a young adult at this point and realizes he needed to learn how to use his powers for good so events like the one that took his parents wouldn’t happen again. Soon, he finds the answers to his abilities and how to use the most of them with a college professor who not only studies him but mentors and comforts him as well. And of course, there is a bad guy, the Rainmaker, who finds out Simon’s secret and tries to use his powers of creating rain to thwart any good The Shock does.

1st image of The Shock courtesy of Cameron Lloyd

1st image of The Shock courtesy of Cameron Lloyd

It was a fun place to start and everyday my son and I came up with something new about the Shock from who his girlfriend would be to what his costume looked like. He even came up with his own design of the character.

This little thought has grown beyond our simple imagination and this Spring – April 2014 you will be able to read about Oliver Hannel, the actor playing the part of Simon Lloyd, The Shock. Stay tuned for more information!!

This new contemporary romance novel starts in a very different place. It starts with an actor named Oliver Hannel who has the privilege of playing the Shock in a blockbuster movie. While filming in small town Greenfield, Indiana, he meets a waitress/artist in the most unusual of places in the most unusual of ways- in a mugging, while he’s still dressed in his Shock costume. Does he embrace his inner superhero, his knighted lifeblood pulsing through his veins and save the day? What does the woman think of him once the act is over? Can she get past the fact that he’s merely an privileged actor playing a vigilante? Does she even care that he’s famous? It’s a great story and was SO fun to write! I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

Stay tuned to this blog and to my social media pages for more stories and breaking news about Falling for Shock. And on April 24, 2014 purchase it for yourself world-wide!

Those Moments…

…Few and far in between.

As children grow their independence grows more and more. My once newborn who was so floppy and small and could only lay in my arms eat, sleep, cry, and soil his diaper is now a seven year old boy who can tie his shoes, get his own food, and leave me for school six hours a day. Sure, he still needs me for big things and still needs guidance, but how often do I get to gather him in my arms and just stare and smile at him until my cheeks hurt like I used to do when he was an infant. How often do I get to rub his little back and sing to him when I put him to bed? These days putting him to bed includes reading silly books about school principals who wear a cape and only underpants ready to save the day.

But last night, for some reason my little man climbed on my lap and wrapped his arms around me, then asked me what that song was I used to sing to him. I’m not sure what was running through his little mind, but I told him it was Fireflies by Faith Hill. It was our lullaby. I sang it to him every night since he’s was born until he was about three or four. It was always the perfect song for us. An anthem of a young girl pretending she was a princess and travelled around the world, looking for adventure. A girl who was taught to dream. It was the life I had before my son and I always sang it to him as if I were passing on my gift of dreaming to him in the form of a lullaby.

He sang it with me last night so unlike any other time I sang it to him, whispering the soft words into the darkness as he’d fall asleep. I couldn’t help but think the time had stopped for those few minutes. We were in a bubble of no time, nothing happening all around. For that moment I was still in the hospital holding him in a fresh blanket less than twenty-four hours old. His big, round eyes staring into mine as I sang to him. He knew me, knew my voice, knew my comfort…I was his mother.

Sure, today we have many things that bond us together still. We play games together, read together, go on hiking adventures or day trip journeys and they are wonderful times that I’ll never forget, but the baby days are gone. We’ve graduated to a new era, but sometimes, like last night I get one of those moments back and he’s a little baby again. Those are the moments few and far in between when I’ll look back and remember… yep, he’s still my baby.

MotherandSon

Hello LAlaland by Madi Merek – Cover Release

Hello_LAlaland_Hi-Res_Cover-1

Hello LAlaland

Lost in LAlaland #1

Paparazzi, vodka cocktails, and sex. Welcome to LAlaland.

Winifred Chapman isn’t thrilled with the idea of her ten year reunion; especially not the idea of returning to LAlaland. Even in the midst of her thrilling career, she’s managed to avoid LA as often as possible, which is saying a lot for a world-renowned fashion designer. She has a life which women everywhere would envy, and has everything she needs . . . or so she thinks.

Anthony Ricci was the most popular guy at Westlake High, and the one Winifred thought would never look twice at her. A former professional athlete, he now runs a successful Italian restaurant in New York City. When they run into each other at the reunion and give in to a widely passionate night, Anthony decides he may want more than Winifred is willing to give.

Hating being known by the men she’s dated or slept with, Winifred has learned to take what she needs from them without investing emotionally. When she discovers Anthony’s old desire for her and disappears after their night together, he refuses to give her up.

Will he be able to show her that love doesn’t have to be a battle, or will LAlaland prove to be enough to destroy her carefully constructed walls?

Are you ready for the madness of LA?

Hello LAlaland

April 1, 2014

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