8 Aug 2014

South Beach by Angelina M. Bishop

Fiction Addiction Book Tours
In SOUTH BEACH, Laila Sheridan, a successful fashionista who attracts male interest with an effortless strut of her stiletto heels, has ended a rocky relationship with Malcolm Khalid, a captivating lothario with a passion for shirking adult responsibilities. She believes partying in glamorous South Beach with her former college roommates is the prescription for getting her swagger back.
When her vacation becomes a media circus that draws Malcolm back into her life and her handsome Psyche marketing colleague, Gray Ryley, arrives on the scene to tame her antics, Laila is determined make the men play by her rules. Gray finds himself torn between anguish and ecstasy when another Lalia-sitting assignment is placed in his hands; he's asked to hinder Malcolm's advances and subdue the paparazzi, while wrestling with his smouldering desire to get Laila in his bed.
Will this assignment cause him to disclose feelings that may sever their friendship and jeopardize his career?
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Author Interview
Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about? 

Yes, dreams inspire me to write certain characters or certain settings. My last dream was a little weird. I dreamed Kanye West wanted me to convince government personnel to install a stature of his wife Kim Kardashian West near a small indoor pool in the White House.
He was being very nice in his request but the look on Michelle Obama’s face when she was told the topic of the meeting was priceless.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published? 
I’ve been writing since I was a young teenager. I kept a journal, wrote essays, and composed short stories. NORTH STAR was first made available electronically in November 2011.

What is it about the genre you write that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? 
I love the multicultural romance genre because it spans the entire spectrum of romance fiction. I write Contemporary Romance and Inspirational New Adult because I’m exposed to romance stories everyday and since I work at an university I have access to wonderful young people.
In my spare time I read other authors in various genres: romantic suspense, historicals, fantasy, etc.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book? 
SOUTH BEACH is the story about the turning points in Laila Sheridan's love life and closest friendships. The novel gives various views of different love relationships and how we deal with the challenges of starting again after heartbreak. It was important to me to show how women lean on their closest girlfriends to make wise choices in their love lives and how to stand in their own authenticity.

What inspired you to write it? 
It was important for me to show readers that women friends fill a special place in each other’s lives as they straighten out their love lives. I was inspired to have this focus because the value of true friendships have been minimized by realty television and social media.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere? 
Yes, I spotted someone reading my book before one of my book signing and it was a great feeling to know I was entertaining someone.

Who designs your covers? 
Rae Monet

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast? 
I really can’t say because there are talented actors arriving in Hollywood everyday. I know I would want unknowns to play the main characters.

What's your favourite book that made it to the big screen? 
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis

What were the last two books you read? 
Beautiful One by Mary Cope and Matching Wits With Venus by Therese Gilardi

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known. 
Nia Forrester because she writes woman-centered fiction for today’s woman of color.

Where do you write?
I write in my bedroom, in my office, and any place I can write comfortably.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream? 
I wanted to be a singer and a writer, so one out of two isn’t bad. I received my degree in English Literature and decided to make writing my profession in 2005.

In the movie of your life, who would play you? 
Sanaa Lathan

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy? 
I don’t drink very much but my favorite alcoholic drink is the Santa Margherita brand of Pinot Grigio

Shopaholic or shopadon't? 
I’m a shopadon’t in the summer months. I make a point not to spend very much from June to September so I can have extra funds for the holidays.

Sky high heels or closer to the ground? 
I love four inch heels so I can pretend I’m 5’9.

E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? 
I would say Jilly Cooper, minus the adultery and infidelity. I’m very pro-family and pro-community.

Cry baby or tough cookie? 
I’m a bit of both. I can be a real lioness when I’m determined to get my point across but I have high empathy so I can get teary when I hear a heartfelt story.

Exotic beach or enchanted forest? 
Exotic beach because relaxing at the water’s edge is so appealing in the summer.

Chapter One
For the first time in months, I’m going to forget everything and everyone in New Jersey, Laila Sheridan thought, as she strolled from her cab towards the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel lobby. She willed her mind to cease its preoccupation with constant scenes of her failed relationship with Malcolm Khalid, a gifted writer with an inflated sense of what the world owes him. Earlier this afternoon, she resolved to leave her past heartaches before taking her first-class seat, but glimpses of the past drifted into her mind with each air mile. Now as she inhaled the warm, citrusy Florida air, thoughts of chilly New Jersey and its inhabitants loosened their hold and moved from her memory, like a faded Prada purse at the back of her bedroom closet.
Entering the luminous hotel, she let herself enjoy the gentle embrace of an ocean breeze, as it whipped the hem of her lilac Valentino cocktail dress. The fabric’s movement exaggerated the normal sway of her hips making each step more feminine and peppy.
A little after 8PM, Laila approached the front desk, showed her reservation confirmation and in the most alluring voice inquired,” Which way to my femencation?”
Her voice was tempting like a great glass of iced coffee on a balmy day morning. Smooth, satisfying you to the center. Rich, with the faintest Jersey accent reserved for the likes of Keyshia Knight Pullam and Anne Hathaway. She knew her voice would instantly cause a male reaction when she turned up her throaty timbre with potent Sheridan flare. This vacation was about relishing in her womanhood, and toying with a few males would be a safe amusement, emphasis on safe because she had no intention of dealing with any strong male egos.
The Latino clerk smiled at her before locating her information in the hotel computer. “It seems your party is scheduled to enjoy the ocean view terrace of our Scarpetta restaurant for dinner right now. We can take your coat and belongings to the La Baie Presidential suite so you can join them.” Once she flashed her ID, he moved a form forward for her signature and placed her room key on the counter.
Laila took in the slight gleam in his eye and grinned to herself, her mind too busy with thoughts of her friends to think too heavily about the adoration. Enjoying an Italian meal after a long flight was all that she needed, well as long as an inviting glass of Pinot Grigio accompanied it. She took her electronic key and placed them into her Chloè bag. “That will be fine, just point me in the right direction.”
She loved being the woman that put the ‘fem’ in Femencationer. It was a word she came up with to define any group of female friends, whose ties go back as far as childhood or college that seek a high-end, luxury getaway experience. A vacation with all the feminine delights women dream of enjoying. This year’s femencation united three alumnus of University of Florida and marked the start of the year to forget old sorrows and usher in new adventures.
As Laila strolled towards the Scarpetta restaurant, she stopped when her shiny forehead and nose caught her attention in a mirror that hung in the corridor. She looked good for thirty one but preferred to say she was late twenties when vacationing because no one over thirty in their right mind would party the way she planned to. She blotted her face and secretly wished she was meeting her friends under better circumstances but after Sofìa’s pending divorce from the famous sports announcer, Sean Vega, they all needed a break from reality. And this trip was the perfect reason to release stress.
When Laila arrived at the restaurant, several male heads turned in appreciation as she silently commanded the wait staff’s attention.
“I’m a part of the Vega/Sheridan/Carter party,” she announced as she surveyed the room.
“Your party has already been seated. John will you escort Mrs—?”
“Ms. Sheridan,” she corrected him before pretended to be stricken with unbalance to mask her reason for placing a hand around John’s bicep. She smiled sweetly. “Excuse my balance, I had a long flight. Johnny, could you show me the way?”
They moved effortlessly through the patrons seated at their tables until Laila crossed the threshold of the balcony. The sight of her friends a few yards away made her light up like a five year old at a surprise party.
Laila approached Sofìa and Marina as they were enjoying their conversation and shrimp cocktails appetizers. “Here I am, straight off the plane. Where’s the love?”
Marina Carter squealed with laughter and rose to hug Laila tightly, “Oh girl you look great!” Genuine excitement radiated from her eyes as she peered into Laila’s face.
“And why shouldn’t I, we’re in South Beach, right?”
“You know it!”
“Could you two take it down a few notches?” Dr. Sofìa Barea-Vega demanded. She remained seated and frowned before she forced a demure smile to the people seated next to them. “You’re causing a scene.”
Laila took her seat, between her girlfriends, as Marina poured her a glass of Italian white wine. “I can see that someone’s high-profiled marriage is really doing a number on them. When did you start caring what other people think?”
Sofìa toyed with the appetizer in front of her, as boredom overshadowed the faint hint of a worried brow. A sullen look on the very attractive Latina annoyed Laila because it was in direct contrast to the lively mood she and Marina were basking in. There was only one way to change the mood, it worked in college and she prayed it would work in this case.
Laila took a hearty sip of wine and suddenly developed a serious demeanor. She squared her shoulders and winked at Marina before turning all of her attention toward their brooding best friend.
With a subdued face, Laila lowered her voice to a whisper and asked, “Could you do me a favor, Sofìa?”
Sofìa looked up from wine menu to Laila and then to Marina and noticed the seriousness. Concern suddenly washed over Sofìa’s face as she leaned forward and placed her hand on Laila’s forearm. “Anything, La La, what is it?”
“Could you please remove that painful stick from your behind because it’s destroying my sunny disposition?”
Hearty laughter roared from Marina as Sofìa recoiled and crossed her arms under her breasts. “Oh you got jokes, huh?”
Laila and Marina tossed back their heads and giggled like two high school girls as Sofìa sat rigid like a frustrated, overworked parent. It was amazing how frowning aged her about seven years.
“Not jokes…observations.” Laila brought her hand up to her mouth to stifle her giggle. “And believe me, after our ultimate South Beach trip, you’ll have a different way of seeing things too.”
Sofìa returned her attention to her menu and began looking over the selections. “You think?” she asked in her usual disconnected medical voice.
“I know!” Laila composed herself as Marina signaled a waiter and gave Laila’s food order. “I know Sean ripped your heart out and kicked it like a football, but wearing a foul mood on a vacation is like wearing last year’s bathing suit after losing fifteen pounds. –totally non-supportive to the festive environment and unattractive to my eyes. Do I need to remind you of the Sofìa you were before he placed that ring on your finger? You were strong, confident, and—”
“I’m still strong and confident and whatever else is on the list.”
“And fun, Sofìa! You were a lot of fun! Don’t you remember how we celebrated in Florida after you got your residency in Chicago?”
“Yes, I do. We crashed the Gator Ball in Gainesville.” Sofìa smiled at the memory before she met Laila’s concerned gaze. “That seems like a lifetime ago.”
“But it doesn’t have to be.” Laila continued to influence Sofìa to loosen up. “We have two weeks to let our hair down and get back our feminine power. So we’re going to enjoy some much needed relaxation by using men for our enjoyment. They will draw our baths, massage our bodies and serve us wonderful food. By the time we step back into our lives our heads will be clear and focused.”
“Sound like a miracle,” Marina said, when she saw the determination in Laila’s eyes.
“Let’s face the facts. Malcolm pulled the rug right out from under me. He gave me no warning, just condo that reeked of dead fish. But I swallowed the pain, planned this vacation, and even helped my new sister-in-law, Caresse with her wedding. I put on the face of normalcy for seven months and now I’m going to get my sexy back.”
“You go, girl!” Marina cheered, as she raised her glass in sympathetic acknowledgement before taking a long sip of wine.
Laila nodded her appreciation and continued, “Girlfriends, it’ll be a cold day in hell before that dog gets a whiff of these panties again. I’m putting the whole situation behind me.”
“I guess I feel the same way about Sean.” Sofìa said, as she toyed with a tendril of auburn hair that flowed from her center part.
“I say the hell with them!” Laila snapped. “They were lucky to have us for the time they did ‘cause we were the best thing to ever cross their paths.’ Laila raised her glass and raised herself up on one elbow. “Let’s make a toast. Do the honors, Sofìa.”
Sofìa smiled mischievously as she raised her glass along with Marina. “To the ultimate femencation; a time to enjoy luxury, sisterhood and feminine power. To the ladies.”
“To the ladies!” Laila and Marina repeated and drank a sip of wine a moment before their dinner was set before them.

Angeline Bishop writes contemporary romance fiction and has a growing fan base. Angeline’s novels are thought-provoking, refreshingly entertaining, fast paced, and with a strong romantic elements. She was born in Washington, D. C., but lived most of her life in New Jersey and considers the 'Garden State' her home. Her childhood passion for writing led to a degree in English Literature and a membership in Romance Writers of America.
Aside from writing her own novels and blogging, Angeline is the Vice President of the Cultural, Interracial, and Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of Romance Writers of America and enjoys helping authors strengthen their craft. She co-hosts the AMB Talk Radio podcasts each Fall with her pop-culture loving, college-aged daughter. And she’s the founder of the AMB Ovation Awards (The Angie) which provides honor and recognition of authors’ outstanding achievements in the multicultural romance literary profession.
South Beach, the second novel in the Sheridan Series, will soon be following by Wild West and Big East. Angeline also looks forward to launching the Jacmuir Series, a multicultural New Adult series inspired by her college-reader fan base.

The overall tour giveaway is paperback/ebook copies of Book 1 and 2 of the Sheridan Series (North Star and South Beach) plus a $100 Amazon’s gift card.

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