Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Shameless by Cheryl Douglas (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Cheryl Douglas, author of Shameless!

Author Guest Post

A Day In The Life Of This Author

I’m like any other work-at-home mom with a whole lot more weirdness going on inside my head than most. Yes, I have characters talking to me, shouting at me, when I choose to ignore them. I swear, they’re worse than my husband when he can’t find a clean pair of socks!

I can’t just turn it on and off, though sometimes I wish I could. My characters are with me when I fall asleep, they’re there when I wake up. I take them with me on vacation and to the mall. They intrude on my girl time and my ‘date night’ with my hubby. There’s no corner of my life where they don’t feel welcome. Thankfully, I’ve learned to live with it. Sometimes, they feel like the annoying aunt who stops by for tea without waiting for an invitation, but most of the time they’re like that old friend you haven’t seen since college and can’t wait to see again.

I have pre-determined times to write. Usually after I’ve had a shot of caffeine, which is early morning and early afternoon. I write seven pages every day, so I often write four pages in the morning and three in the afternoon, before I go and pick my son up from school. But my work day doesn’t end when I hit save. I always breath a deep sigh of relief, believing my work for the day is done, but I can see my characters in my head, smirking at me, as if to say… “Are you really that naïve?”

Between writing, or when I think I’ve finished for the day, I catch up with my readers on Facebook and respond to emails. I also stop in at the Kindleboards Writer’s Café to chat with my writer friends. These are the only people on earth who can make me feel normal… well, most of the time.

There’s also the editing I love so much (not). I usually have a manuscript I’m actively working on, and one that is in the editing phase. All of my manuscripts go through three phases of editing: content editing, copy editing, and proofreading. If that sounds like triple the torture, it’s because it is. But the way I see it, if my readers are going to take hours out of their busy lives to read one of my books, they deserve to have the very best experience I can possibly give them. (Uh no, I don’t write those kinds of books, though I’m happy to count myself among the millions who read 50 Shades. I love you, E.L. James).

Let’s see we’ve covered writing, editing, socializing with readers and other writers. What else do I do on a given day? Ah yes, I have a fabulous team of graphic designers and advertising people who try to make me look good. That means I get to work with the designer to design everything from covers to banners, trading cards, and websites. When that gets boring, I deal with the advertisers who needed their ads yesterday.

Do I ever find time to sleep? Rarely. But I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I’m living the dream, doing what I love, and I receive emails and messages from readers every day telling me they love what I do. It doesn’t get much better than that, so I promise, you’ll never hear me complaining about how hard I have to work!

About The Author

Cheryl began her professional career as a nutritionist, but her love of books started at an early age. She studied writing for many years before she decided to pursue her passion as a full-time career. After receiving constructive criticism from several well-known authors, Cheryl finally had the confidence to write her first romance novel.

The first book in the Nashville Nights series, Shameless, was a book that had been dwelling in Cheryl’s subconscious for years. For her, the surprise came when the manuscript began taking on a life of it’s own. Characters came to life, secondary characters became more prominent, outlines were forgotten, and a single title evolved into an eight book series, and another eight book spin-off series entitled Nashville Nights, Next Generation.

One word would aptly describe Cheryl: workaholic. She lives and breathes her writing, when she’s sleeping, watching TV, driving, reading… it’s always in the periphery of her mind. Her imagination rarely takes a holiday, even when she escapes to a sandy beach with her husband and son, she’s planning, plotting, outlining, and daydreaming.

Cheryl feels blessed to be able to get up every day and do something she loves. The thousands of fans who have embraced the Nashville Nights have made that possible. She writes for the readers who ask for more, she writes to satisfy the muse residing inside of her, but most of all, she writes because she couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life. It took her thirty-seven years to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, but now that she knows, she’s convinced she’s found her purpose.

Cheryl Douglas ! Shameless ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Goddess Fish Promotions

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Cheryl will be awarding: 

- Two (2) - $20 Amazon Gift Cards to randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
- One (1) - $20 Gift Card to a randomly drawn host. 
- Ten (10) - trading card/cover flat packs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US/Canada).
- Ten (10) - digital books from the Nashville Nights series (winner's choice) to randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
- Two (2) - Swarovski crystal necklaces to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US/Canada).

How To Enter The Contest:
Follow the tour and post a comment on each blog stop; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here:

Book Review

Shameless by Cheryl Douglas
Book 1: Nashville Nights series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Format: Paperback - 294 pages / Kindle - 357 KB / Nook - 587 KB
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Shameless
*Currently Free!*

BUY THE SERIES: Nashville Nights

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts, but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He's desperate to make amends for the mistakes he's made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.

Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves, and a man who loves her. Unfortunately, the man she intends to marry isn't the only one professing his love for her. He may be able to offer her safety and security, but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?

Book Excerpt:

Five Years Earlier

The sexy little waitress stretched to offer her neck as Trey Turner prepared to do another body shot at the urging of his inebriated friends. He licked the salt off her neck as he felt a small hand grip his shoulder.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

He turned to see his wife, Sierra, staring up at him, disgust darkening her bright blue eyes. He heard a few of his friends mutter curses as the crowd broke up and went back to drinking and dancing.

“Baby, I was just havin’ a little fun.” His words slurred and he wondered how many body shots he’d had before Sierra intervened.

The waitress slid her hand down his chest, hooking a finger through his belt loop. “That was fun. How ‘bout we pick up where we left off later?”

Sierra turned away, not waiting for his answer as she began weaving her way through the crowd.

“Sierra, baby, wait,” he called, trying to push his way through the throngs of people before she reached the door. He grabbed her wrist just as she was about to cross the threshold. “Wait. Please, don’t go.”

“It’s over, I’m done with this shit,” she said, trying to shake loose of his grip. 

He had more than a foot and a hundred pounds on her. She wasn’t going anywhere until he decided he was ready to let her go, which wouldn’t happen in this lifetime. “What’s that supposed to mean? Where the hell do you think you’re going?”

“Home to pack.”

He felt the room begin to spin out of control. “What did you say?”

“I’m leaving you. Our marriage is over.”

His grip on her wrist tightened. “No, you can’t leave me.”

She pressed a hand to his chest. “It’s been over for a long time. I’m just making it official.”

“We’re not having this conversation out here in front of a hundred people,” he said, pulling her through the horde of friends he’d invited to his private party. He opened the door to the small dressing room usually occupied by the nightly entertainment that performed at Jimmy’s bar. “We’ll have some privacy in here.”

She was finally able to shake free of his tight grip. “I’ve already said everything I have to say to you.”

He gripped her waist. “Don’t do this, Sierra.” He bent to kiss her neck. “I love you, baby. God, I love you so much. I can’t live without you.” He backed her toward the couch as he lowered himself down on top of her.

“You’ve been living without me for the past year, Trey. You’ve spent your days on a tour bus and your nights in a stadium or bar.” Her voice broke. “We lost our baby girl and you don’t seem to care.”

“Don’t say that,” he whispered furiously. “Don’t ever say that I didn’t care about Callie. I loved her, Sierra. It damn near killed me when we lost her.” 

She glared at him. “Really? Is that why you boarded that goddamn tour bus a week after her funeral?”

“I’m a musician; it’s what I do.” He knew the excuse was weak. Sierra was right. He’d been trying to run away from his grief and sadness instead of staying at home where he belonged, supporting his wife.

She shook her head, looking defeated. “It’s what you do—it’s who you are. Trey Turner, country music’s award-winning, platinum-selling mega-star. What about my husband? Callie’s father? Where is he?”

He closed his eyes, feeling disgusted with himself for letting her down again. “Baby, I’m sorry. Look, I know I’ve made mistakes, but let me make it up to you, okay?” His hand eased up her shirt to cup her breast.

Her head rolled back and she closed her eyes. “No, we can’t do this. It won’t fix the problem.” Making love to her may not solve all of their problems, but it would buy him some time to figure out a way to convince her to give him and their marriage another chance. “Just relax,” he whispered, licking her neck. 

“Hmm, that feels so good.” She wrapped her denim-clad leg around his. “But then you had lots of practice with your girlfriend right before I got here, didn’t you?”

He cursed himself for indulging in the adolescent drinking game and giving his wife reason to question his fidelity yet again. “Sweetheart,” he whispered, flipping the button on her jeans. “You’re the only one I want; you know that.” 

She squeezed her eyes shut as she shook her head. “No, I don’t.”

He hated that he had given her reason to doubt herself, to doubt them. “Let me prove it to you, then.”

His tongue traced the soft fullness of her lips until she finally parted for him. He groaned, taking her mouth with a savage intensity. His mind raced; fear warring with panic as he realized this may be the last time they made love, the last time he had the right to touch her.

My Book Review:

Country music star Trey Turner and his songwriter wife Sierra Brooks had it all ... fame, wealth, a loving marriage. But when tragedy strikes five years ago, it all came crashing down with the death of their newborn baby girl, and their marriage quickly fell apart. Trey's grief sent him into a downward tailspin, he turned to his music, touring, and drinking, while shutting out Sierra, who was also grieving, leaving her no other action but to file for a divorce. Fast forward five years, Trey has managed to pull himself together only to once again descend into a downward spiral when he witnesses a car accident that takes the life of a mother and daughter, only this time he can't seem to recover.

Sierra has moved on with her life, she has a successful songwriting career and a new fiance. When Trey's sister calls her to help Trey recover from his latest downward spiral, she can't turn her back on the man she once loved, even if he did break her heart.

Can Trey and Sierra rekindle the love that was lost five years ago? Can they let go of their painful past and get a second chance at love, or will the risk bring another heartbreak?

Shameless is the emotionally charged story of love, loss, hope and second chances. In the first book of the Nashville Nights series, author Cheryl Douglas weaves a heart wrenching tale of one couple's journey towards a second chance at love and redemption, it is an emotional story that will pull at your heartstrings. The reader is easily drawn into Trey and Sierra's story, it has a mixture of love, angst, and a depth of pain and loss that is so palpable, you can't help but feel for them and hope they get a second chance as their journey unfolds.

With a strong cast of characters who are realistic, have flaws and are easy to connect with; a richly descriptive setting of Nashville, the country music mecca also known as Music City; wonderful insertion of beautiful songs throughout the book; and a storyline that packs an emotionally powerful punch and a roller coaster ride of twists and turns; Shameless will make you believe in second chances and simply leave you breathless and wanting more.

Shameless is the first book in the Nashville Nights series.

RATING: 4 Stars ****


  1. I always feel that the life experiences you would bring to your writing must enrich it.


    1. Hi Mary! Thank you for stopping by and visiting with Cheryl! I agree with your comment,I think life experiences do enrich the author's writing. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  3. Thanks so much for having me today!

    I agree completely, Mary. Whether I'm writing about heartbreak, love, loss, family, or friendships, I always try to draw on my own emotions to capture what the characters are feeling in that moment. It's often an emotionally draining expereince, but I think the book is that much better for it in the end.

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I am going to read every book in both series, you have a new fan! :)

  4. Thank you for the interesting look at your writing process! :)

    1. Hi Ashley! Thank you for stopping by and visiting with Cheryl today. :)

  5. What a great series this is. I loved the review.

    1. Hi MomJane! Thank you for visiting Cheryl. Thank you for your kind comment on the review, I appreciate it. :)

  6. Wow I had to idea how much work went into an author's day, it is more than just writing a book. It sounds like a labor of love

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi Shannon! Thank you stopping by and visiting with Cheryl. I love when the authors share with their fans what their day consists of when writing. :)

  7. You lead a very busy life. The book sounds great, I can't wait to read it.


    1. Hi Ingeborg! Thank you for stopping by and visiting with Cheryl. The book was really good, hope you get a chance to read it and the rest of the books in the series. :)

  8. Everyday is hectic, and I rarely take a day off, but it honestly doesn't feel like work! I just feel so blessed to be able to get up and so something I love everyday. It doesn't get much better than that!

    Thanks for your kind comments about the series. The best part of my job is being able to connect with readers who love these characters as much as I do!

    1. Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you love what you do? Readers love to connect with the authors. I think reading & writing is a wonderful bond that authors and readers share. :)

  9. Excellent excerpt, this books sounds intriguing.


    1. Hi Hope! Thank you for stopping by and visiting with Cheryl. The book was really good, hope you get a chance to read it. :)

  10. Hi Kathleen! I like your review of Shameless.

    I was just in NJ 3 weeks ago--in Red Bank. My niece got married at the Molly Pitcher. It was a LOVELY weekend and wedding, but I was glad to get back to my NC coast! The weather is much better here right now and it will be a great day for a beach walk. I hope that you're weathering the big noreaster storm OK.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Catherine! I know the Red Bank area, so glad you had a wonderful time up here in NJ. We received 3-4" inches of snow, not as bad as the poor new England states got. We're hoping to come down to Myrtle Beach in early May for our 5th wedding anniversary, that's where we spent our honeymoon, then head over to Darlington for the nascar race. Thank you for stopping by and posting a comment. :)