Tag: Ava Bleu

Excerpt: The Diva of Peddler’s Creek by Ava Bleu

Posted September 30, 2010 by Holly in Promotions | 0 Comments

Check out this excerpt for The Diva of Peddler’s Creek by Ava Bleu!


He pretended not to notice…

…Taylor’s quick blink of surprise and then her sudden clutch onto the horse as she realized she was high in the air with no one to steady her.

“What the hell…?” she said, grabbing the saddle.

“Take the reins,” Boyd said from beside her, thrusting the leather into her hands without meeting her eyes. He couldn’t, or she would surely see the desire he was trying so hard to hide. The last damn thing he needed was Taylor getting wind that he found her attractive—any more than she already knew.

She took the reins quickly, annoyance making her movements jerky.

“Take it easy!” he barked, allowing his frustration to masquerade as anger and his desire to transfer into bluster. “I hope you realize you lost the wager.”

“What? No way.”

“I put you on the horse.”

“You didn’t have the patience to allow me to do it myself.”

“You couldn’t do it yourself.”

“I could have, you didn’t want me to.”

“You didn’t,” he said with finality, turning away. He could feel the heat of her anger from where he stood, but only had a split second to enjoy it when…

“You are such a son of a…” She paired the last word with an angry kick. More of
a jerk, really. But it didn’t matter whether it was a kick or a jerk, because a millisecond later the horse beneath her kicked up its front feet, taking Taylor high into the air.

Boyd watched in horror as Flame reared slightly, causing Taylor’s eyes to go wide with surprise, and a screech to erupt from her throat before his prize steed took off and she disappeared like a blur before him…

This book is available from The Wild Rose Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Author: Ava Bleu – Control Freak

Posted September 30, 2010 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 6 Comments

Today author Ava Bleu is here to promote her recent The Wild Rose Press release, The Diva of Peddler’s Creek.She’s talking about being a control freak..something some of us *coughnotmecough* can totally relate to.


A Control Freak’s Guide to Writing…

Writing is a control freak’s nightmare.

I say this from first-hand experience. I fully admit to my control freak tendencies. I don’t eat without a satisfying dessert. I don’t drive without a destination. I don’t take a stroll in the park unless I’ve identified a marker to stride towards. And I don’t write unless I already have the ending in mind. There has just got to be a point to it, right?

For some of us, it is perfectly natural to want to force our characters to follow our story. I liken it to something a man once said to me when I was with my wiggly little dog: “got that fella’ on a mighty tight leash, don’tcha?”

Instantly miffed at his criticism of my parenting skills, I thought to myself, Of course he’s on a tight leash, I love him. And otherwise I wouldn’t be able to control where he went. Duh! Know what I’m saying?

But that’s the dilemma; to be a successful writer you kind of have to be a little willing to lose control, let the story take you where it wants to go.

My greatest praise has come from writing I have done when I lightened up the leash a little and let my characters breathe. When someone reads your work, gets this perplexed look on their face and says to you: “why’d he do that?” what they really mean is “this is entirely out of character”. When you have to spend two pages justifying a character’s motivation, you should stop and ask yourself just whom you’re trying to convince. Then, familiarize yourself with your character and start over.

But, the story…. your inner voice whines.

Your words mean nothing at all if no one cares about them, and no one will care if you jerk them around (i.e. make them ask questions that shouldn’t need to be asked, and/or include details that don’t have any practical purpose other than to make you happy, and/or force them to do what is against the grain).

It’s easier said than done.

I’m no expert, just a fellow control freak trying to save you some grief. My advice? Keep control of your finances, your exercise regime, your kids, husband and your little dog, too… but lose control of your writing and strive for abandon. When you see your characters through the eyes of a bystander and not their creator, only then will your story truly come alive.

Visit www.BooksbyAva.com to join Ava Bleu’s mailing list for information on contests, giveaways and blog tour stops.  Also, visit DIVAS UNITE at Facebook.


Want to win a copy of The Diva of Peddler’s Creek? Leave a comment on this post telling us if you’re a control freak and you’ll be entered to win. Contest ends 10/7 at 11:59 pm.

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Guest Review: The Diva of Peddler Creek by Ava Bleu.

Posted September 30, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 3 Comments

Romance novelist Taylor Beir will stop at nothing to get her mother off her back, including relocating to Peddler’s Creek to teach a little boy she doesn’t know how to read. But Christopher Doubleday doesn’t want to learn. His older brother, Boyd, has an invisible stick up his backside. And she suspects his parents, Mary and Jesse, of trying to transform her into the “good girl” she has never been, either by the power of suggestion or by filling her with endless goodies from Mary’s kitchen.

Taylor may be down-and-stuffed but not out. Someday the citizens of Peddler’s Creek, West Virginia, will realize that their hostility is misplaced, and recognize her for the gentle, misunderstood soul she really is. And they will admit that she is the best thing that has even happened to their dirt-water, backwoods, middle-of-the-creek town.

First of all, I have to say that the author of this really crazy novel has filled it with some of the most colorful characters I have encountered in recent months. The characterizations, the antics, the dialogue are all zippy and full of strength and color. It is absolutely impossible to read this novel without accurately picturing all the people and the way they interact. I think it is one of the most “in your face” reads that has been published recently.

Given that, there is a story here about a family who have a very troubled boy named Christopher who, quite simply, doesn’t want to learn to read. Taylor’s mother, having been born and raised in Peddler’s Creek, pushes and shoves and manipulates her to go and live with mom’s best friends, Mary & Jesse, so that she–a romance novelist, you know–can work her magic and teach this boy something. Taylor freely admits that she is out of her depth on this. Her mother seems to think that a summer in Peddler’s Creek will transform her into a socially acceptable, amenable, marriageable daughter. Mary & Jesse’s home seemed to be a literary version of “Mayberry RFD” and their seeming lack of concern about Christopher and their absolute faith in Taylor all seemed to be a bit out of whack. As I finished the book, I think that was intentional. Boyd, the oldest son and considerably older than his brother, was independent, a architect and building contractor, and someone who was deeply resentful of Taylor–styling her as a “diva”–even though he was sexually attracted to her.

It seemed to me that the whole situation was out of balance, and perhaps that is the point of the story. Taylor’s mother certainly seemed to be pushing her toward something she really didn’t want to do. Boyd really resented her. Mary & Jesse seemed bent on reforming her. The town was unwilling to accept her. Mary was working very hard to be the perfect homemaker; Taylor, on the other hand, was working very hard to be the perfect career woman. It was the supreme feminist clash. There seemed to be a change brewing–Mary & Jesse had to own up to being way too indulgent, that having the perfect home or the best recipes in town didn’t always substitute for discipline and guidance; Taylor had to admit that she wanted to succeed with this boy but her failure forced her to look at herself and to re-examine what she really wanted out of life; Boyd had to admit that he was determined to have Taylor in his life; the town slowly began to realize that Taylor wasn’t just a snobby nosed Yankee and actually had something to contribute to their community life.

This story is wild and crazy and just a lot of fun. I’m not sure that it will appeal to a lot of people but the writing is good, the plot is unusual, and the characters are fascinating. I do admit that I never really understood Taylor’s mother very well. I think she wanted her daughter to somehow succeed in that town where she failed. And perhaps by doing so the past with its disappointments could be put to rest. Maybe by sending Taylor there her mom hoped that the town could somehow realize that she hadn’t made a complete shambles of her life away from them.

Anyway, it is a fun read and I think we can all enjoy an amusing and witty story like this one.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place

This book is available from The Wild Rose Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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