Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Tuesday, July 1, 2014



Juliet's new bo...
:    WHO IS THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE? Juliet's new book, The Sexiest Man Alive,  comes out a week from today.   ...


Juliet's new book, The Sexiest Man Alive,
            comes out a week from today.
             Enjoy this sneak preview.
 Chapter One
   The last time Mazie Maguire had been on a blind date she’d been fifteen years old. She’d been set up with a boy named Derwyn who believed that the way to drive a girl insane with lust was to swirl his tongue around inside her ear. Although Mazie had managed to blot out most of the painful details of that evening, she still couldn’t poke a Q-tip in her ear without shuddering. She’d vowed then that she would never, ever, under any circumstances, go on a blind date again.

   She’d kept that promise for fifteen years. But now here she was, pacing the lobby of a second-rate Mexican restaurant, waiting for a complete stranger to show up. He was late, and the hostess was coolly eyeballing Mazie, apparently suspecting her of being a lady of the evening trolling for clients.

   Nervously, Mazie checked her reflection in the lobby’s sunburst mirror, tucking a strand of dark, chin-length hair behind her ear. She didn’t look slutty, did she? Maybe she’d gone a little overboard on the mascara. It was navy blue and was supposed to bring out the blue in her eyes. She was wearing a lilac top, a flirty white skirt—short but not too short—and platform heels that the salesclerk had claimed would make her legs look longer and slimmer. Mazie fell for the old longer legs line every time. When you’re barely five foot three, the prospect of longer legs is like the promise of magic cellulite cream: you know it isn’t going to work but allow yourself to get suckered into buying it anyway.

   Just like she’d been suckered into this date.

   “His name is Chad and he looks like Bradley Cooper,” her friend Juju had promised. “The two of you have tons in common.”

   “Like what—we’re both carbon-based life-forms?”

   “Will you stop being so negative?” Juju had rolled her eyes. “Okay, so you were dumped by a guy you cared about. It’s time you got over him. Time to fling yourself back into the game.”

   The game had changed since the last time she’d played it, Mazie had discovered. The pool of eligible guys had drastically shrunk and single straight males were a hot commodity. Hooking up had replaced courtship, texting had replaced flirtatious banter, and guys gave their dates sex toys instead of flowers and candy.

   Really, it was enough to drive a woman to celibacy, Mazie thought, and if this Chad Whosis didn’t show up in one more minute, she was blowing this joint and going to McDonald’s.

   The minute passed. Shouldering her handbag, she headed for the door. That was the moment her date breezed into the lobby.

   “Uhh . . . hi,” he said, stopping short. “Are you Marie Maguire?”

    “Mazie,” she corrected.


    Chad was tall and male, but he looked like Bradley Cooper only in the sense that Elmer Fudd resembled Michael Jordan because they were both bald. He had a low forehead, weak chin, and hair braided into blond dreadlocks like fraying rope. He’d skipped shaving, opting for the cactus-jaw look. Obviously he’d skipped deodorant and toothbrushing, too. He wore rumpled jeans and a T-shirt that hung over what Mazie at first took to be a long-sleeved undershirt but which proved on second glance to be tattooed arms.

    He didn’t apologize for being late or attempt to shake hands. He gave Mazie a smirking top-to-bottom scan. “Hey—you’re not bad. Setups usually turn out to be complete dogs.”

    Mazie had spent an hour and a half getting ready for this date—she’d tweezed her eyebrows, for Pete’s sakeand the best this dud could come up with was not a complete dog? The only possible response to a comment like that was to bite the guy’s ankle, but Mazie restrained herself because Chad’s large feet, jammed into sandals, didn’t look any too sanitary and she’d probably contract ringworm of the gums.

    “So tell me about yourself, Margie,” he said when they’d settled across from each other in a booth.

    “It’s Mazie,” she corrected. She hated the phrase ‘Tell me about yourself.’ It sounded like a Human Resources person interviewing a job seeker.

    Okay, Chad, here’s a fun fact about me: I was convicted of murdering my husband and sentenced to life in prison. But that was sort of a conversation bomb. Best to start out bland and boring. “Well,” Mazie said, “I’m thirty years old—”

    Chad slapped the tabletop, grinning. “Radical—an older chick.”

    Mazie bristled. “Older?”

    “I just, like, turned twenty-six. I usually go for the younger ones—eighteen, nineteen, you know? But you’re not bad for your age. I mean, try everything in life once, right?”

    “Sure. Damn the torpedoes.” Mazie decided that the only way she was going to survive this date was to view it as a sociology experiment: exactly how bad can a bad date be?
    Really bad, as it turned out.

    The waiter brought their drinks, a beer for Chad and water for Mazie, because she didn’t want to muddle her wits with alcohol. She had the feeling she was going to need all of them.

    Chad sipped his beer. “So. Are you from Milwaukee?”

    “Not originally. I grew up on a farm in southwest Wisconsin, went away to a state college, majored in music—”

    “Music!” Chad drummed a riff on the tabletop. “I’m all about the music. You know about My Sphincter, don’t you?”

    “Your . . . umm . . . what?”

    “My band, babes. My Sphincter. It’s apocalyptic.” Apparently they’d hit the daily double with this topic, because Chad was off on a running rant, explaining how the Music Industry, who hated genius musicians like himself, had conspired to keep his band from cutting a record deal out of sheer jealousy. Eons passed, great glaciers covered the earth and retreated again, brain cells died, salads and entrées arrived, and Chad still nattered on.

    At last the waiter brought the bill. “Okay if we go halfsies?” Chad asked, eyes slightly glazed from the strong Mexican beer. “You owe—lemme see—jeez—I’m bad at math—let’s just split down the middle, okay?”

    Chad had ordered three beers, an entrée, and a liquor-drenched dessert, while Mazie had had a quesadilla and a salad, but she decided not to quibble. Anything to get her out of here.

    “Unless—you know, you want to pick up the whole thing,” Chad suggested without a twinge of embarrassment. “I’m kind of tapped out right now—the band got stiffed at the last place we played, if you can believe it.”

    Yup, she could believe it, but Mazie dug deeper into her wallet, slapped bills onto the waiter tray, then dived into her coin purse to scrape up the tip. She’d just lost her job and had planned on that cash to carry her through the week. But this was a small price to pay for the life lesson she’d just learned. Her fifteen-year-old self had been right. Never, ever go on a blind date. And when she saw Juju Danda, who’d brokered this date, she was going to wring her neck.

    Getting up from the booth, Mazie smoothed her skirt and shouldered her handbag. When she looked up, she was shocked to see that the tip had disappeared.

    She stared at Chad, incredulous. “Did you—”

    He shrugged, grinning. “They ripped us off on the drinks, man—you could buy that brand for a buck a bottle at the supermarket.”

    “Waiters live on their tips!”

    “Not my prob.”

    “Put it back.”

    Sulkily he replaced the money, muttering about women who got off on emasculating men.Mazie steamed out of the restaurant. Uninvited, Chad slouched along beside her.

    “Can you give me a ride?” he said. “I don’t got wheels. A buddy gave me a lift to get down here tonight.”

    “I don’t have wheels, either,” Mazie said, teeth gritted.

    “So where do you live?”


    “That’s cool—just around the corner. I’ll walk you home.”

    “Don’t bother.”

    “Hey, no problemo. I’m nothing if not a gentleman.”

    Where was a cattle prod when you needed one?

   Ordinarily Mazie enjoyed walking. The east side of Milwaukee was the hippest part of the city, the haunt of musicians, artists, writers, students, and the Legalize Marijuana crowd.Its streets were lined with small ethnic cafés, bars, and boutiques and everything was a mere Frisbee’s throw from Lake Michigan’s beaches and parks. But tonight the presence of Chad, slouching along beside her, blatantly checking out every female they passed, poisoned the atmosphere.

   Mazie lived at the epicenter of the east side, on Brady Street, in a first-floor flat at the rear of Magenta’s, a boutique that catered to drag queens. “Well,” Mazie said, turning to Chad. “Thanks for a . . . an evening. Goodnight.” She made the mistake of opening her door. As she stepped into her entryway, Chad lunged in after her, trapping her against the foyer wall, groping her breasts and pressing himself against her.

   “What are you doing? Stop it!” Mazie knocked his hands away.

   Chad looked at her like a puppy who didn’t understand why he shouldn’t pee on the rugs. “What’s with you? I figured we were gonna hook up tonight.”

   Mazie glared at him. “You thought we were going to—hook up?”

   He shrugged. “Well, yeah—a guy does you the favor of showing up for a date, it’s like, expected that you’re going to get it on. You gotta deal with the reality, babe.” He came at her again, eyes half-lidded, hands like tentacles.

   Mazie snatched an umbrella out of the hall stand. It was small and pink and looked incapable of keeping rain off a Brussels sprout, but it had a lethally sharp point that made Chad squeal when she jabbed it into his ribs. “Deal with that reality, creep!”

   A tall man hulked up out of her apartment. A small dog shot out between the man’s legs, growling like an Irish boarhound, launching himself at Chad. The tall man grabbed Chad by his collar, spun him around, and wrenched his right arm up behind his back.

   “The lady said stop. Want me to demonstrate what that means?”

   Still maintaining the arm-breaking grip, the man frog-marched Chad down the steps, paused for a moment as though considering whether to rip his head off, then settled on giving him a shove that sent him staggering down the sidewalk.

   Once he’d satisfied himself that Chad was gone, the man turned back to Mazie. “Are you all right?” he asked.

   “Of course I’m all right,” Mazie snapped. “I was doing fine on my own. How’d you get in here, anyway?”

   “Key.” He set the spare key that she kept taped to the drainpipe into her palm. Their hands touched briefly and Mazie felt a rush so intense, it made her toes curl. It had been that way from the first moment this man had live-trapped her in his station’s camera van nearly a year ago. His name was Labeck. Bonaparte Labeck—he went by Ben. Broad-shouldered and slim-hipped, he had dark, badly behaved hair, chestnut brown eyes, and skin that now, in mid-August, had turned a deep, ruddy bronze. He was saved from being pretty boy handsome by a twice-broken nose, but he still turned women’s heads wherever he went. It was his self-confidence, the way he moved, some mysterious mix of toughness and warmth that made him utterly irresistible.

   But not irresistible to her, Mazie reminded herself. She was completely over him. He could strip off and do the funky boogaloo in the middle of her kitchen floor and she wouldn’t experience a single twinge in her twingey parts. She wore an invisible protective anti-Labeck shield these days. That jolt when their hands brushed—classic Pavlovian response—was something that could be unlearned as easily as learned.

   “I tried to call you,” Labeck said, “but your phone—”

   “Is kaput. So whatever was so urgent, you had to break into my apartment to tell me? You no longer have key rights to this place.”

   “Key rights?”

   Turning her back on him, Mazie stalked out to the kitchen. Ben followed, making himself right at home, leaning against the kitchen counter, watching as Mazie picked up Muffin’s water bowl and refilled it from the tap. She refused to look at him, but she could feel his gaze roaming over her, checking out her legs and boobs and making her despise herself for the way she automatically sucked in her stomach and stuck out her butt when she bent over the sink. Stop it! She could avoid looking at him, but she couldn’t help inhaling him. He smelled like lime and cinnamon and that unique Ben Labeck scent, sort of like warm sand.

   She turned around to face him, narrowing her eyes, and because she was so furious at him her words came out in disjointed chunks. “Saturday night, you—you came on to me—seduced me, made me think—I thought you—and then you just—just pulled one of your disappearing acts!”

   “I was at Y sports camp—”

   “Oh, so that makes it okay? Just drop out of my life whenever you feel like it, and when you drop back in, beat up my dates. You don’t want me, but you can’t stand the thought of another man having me, is that it? Well, for your information, I don’t need you jumping in, playing the big macho superhero!”

   “I’m supposed to just stand by while some troglodyte mauls you—”

   “You’re the troglodyte, Ben! You want to yank me by the hair into a cave and use me whenever you please, then go off and catch fish or whack a stupid ball around or chase skirts—oh wait—I forgot! Now that you’re the Sexiest Man Alive, women chase you—

   “That is so completely—wrongheaded, crazy, illogical—”

    “You need to leave. I have to work on my course.” Mazie yanked open the laptop on her counter. Then her eyes snapped to Ben. “I left this open. You’re always going around closing things that don’t need closing. You snooped in my stuff!”

   “If you don’t want people seeing what’s on your screen, you shouldn’t leave it open.”

   “Oh, right. Blame the victim.”

   Color rose in Ben’s cheeks. “Typical Mazie Maguire. You don’t close your laptop, you never put lids back on jars, you don’t keep your phone charged—and you sure as hell don’t check the guys you go out with to find out whether they’re psychopathic rapists.”

   “What a busy life you must lead, keeping track of other people’s faults.”

    “At least I don’t waste my time smashing dwarfs—or is that Beethoven with the pointy red hat up on your screen?”

   “They’re not dwarfs, they’re gnomes. I’m gnashing gnomes and I’m damn good at it.”

   “No, you’re not. You’re only at level fifteen. My four-year-old nephew is already at twenty-nine.”

   “Lucky for him he didn’t get his brains from his uncle.”

   Ben turned and stalked out of the kitchen. Infuriated, Mazie snatched up the ergonomic mouse he’d given her for her birthday and chucked it at him. It whizzed past his head, barely missed his ear, bounced off the wall, and dropped to the floor.

   He halted for a moment, back still to her, then opened the door and walked out.

   What had she been thinking, throwing that mouse? If it had hit Labeck’s hard skull, its delicate wiring might have been damaged. She needed to test it out, make sure it was okay. Just one game of Gnome Gnash, because she deserved some fun after the horrible night she’d had. A gnome appeared, stuck his tongue out, and wiggled his hips tauntingly. Mazie blasted him off his toadstool. Take that, you little rodent! Another gnome appeared in the corner of the screen, stealing her horde of mushrooms. Mazie fired but missed.

   Damn! Labeck was right. She was bad at this.

   She clicked on the TV. Apricot Ames, the hostess of Milwaukee Tonite!, appeared in front of a wall-size mural of downtown Milwaukee. Taken at dusk, the mural showed the city at its most glamorous, the skyscrapers ablaze, their glow reflected in the river. Milwaukee Tonite! glowed in bright blue neon on the set, but Apricot herself outshone the neon. She was a tall blonde with a thin face, fat lips, and hard hazel eyes beneath acres of fake lashes. “Goo-o-d evening, viewers,” Apricot cooed, leaning forward to display her bounteous cleavage. “Welcome to another edition of Milwaukee Tonite!, the program that tells you what’s hot, what’s hip, and what’s happening around brewtown—”

   “Oh, drop dead!” Mazie flung a dish towel at Apricot. “Everything is your fault,” she hissed at the TV image.

   A purple gnome scampered across the computer screen, bent over, dropped trou, and mooned Mazie. She zagged a lightning bolt at his butt and he exploded in a puff of violet smoke.

If only it were possible to zap real-life problems that easily, Mazie thought. Why couldn’t you dial back real life to beginner level and start over again? She would scroll back three weeks, back to when her life had been normal, back to the day before that evil woman on Milwaukee’s most popular local show had proclaimed Bonaparte Labeck “The Sexiest Man Alive.”

This book is being released in e-book form by Random House on July 8th. It's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and most other e-bookstores at $2.99.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

JulietRose: ANIMAL ATTRACTION              Falling in Love a...

              Falling in Love a...
: ANIMAL ATTRACTION                Falling in Love at the Zoo                He spotted me eating lunch on the patio. Eying me thoughtf...

              Falling in Love at the Zoo
         He spotted me eating lunch on the patio. Eying me thoughtfully, he moved in, ducking beneath the fence and mincing across the flagstones, his long, brilliant train sweeping behind him.

        "Oh!"  I said intelligently, dribbling ketchup down my shirtfront, because on  Planet Mundane where I come from, gorgeous guys don't usually cross my path. 

      Like most handsome males, he knew he was hot. Keeping one eye cocked toward me as I fumbled for my camera, he wove between the lunch tables, refusing to wait long enough for me to line up my shot and leaving me with only a snap of his draggling tail.

But we were destined to meet again. More about that in a minute.
          I was playing hooky from my job and spending the day at the small but beautifully-designed Northeast Wisconsin Zoo in Green Bay. It was the first time I'd gone to a zoo by myself. Everyone else had small children in tow, but my kids are long past the age where they want to hang around with their mom. On other occasions when I've been at the zoo it's been as shepherd to a flock of elementary students, constantly on guard to ensure that no one crawls into the bear enclosure or teases the monkeys or freaks out in the snake house. Then there's the every-five-minutes head counts, the scramble to make sure  everyone gets their sack lunch,  and the bathroom parade before herding the crew onto  the bus.You Scout troop leaders and teachers know what I'm talking about. You never have  time to enjoy the creatures because you're focused on your little critters.
     So it was with a wonderful sense of freedom that I wandered around the zoo yesterday,  taking time to leisurely read the information placards and eating ice cream and getting sunburned because I'd forgotten to slather on sun screen. I watched kids feeding the giraffes, squealing in excitement as they felt the long, rough giraffe tongues licking their hands as they nibbled the giraffe crackers. It was the first time I'd seen a giraffe that close and I could see every detail of its face. Magical. Those eyelashes!  A goat in the petting zoo kissed my neck (not my animal magnetism--she was after dribbled ice cream). I pressed  my nose up against the glass of the tamarin enclosure, oohing and ahhing over the tiny, exquisite newborn  tamarin, wishing I could cuddle it. (The photo below,sadly, is not my own--my smart phone photos wouldn't download)
\     baby tamarin

Just as I was heading toward the lion enclosure, the peacock--whom I'd nicknamed Napoleon-- crossed my path again. He stopped. I stopped. We stared at each other.
          Then Napoleon unfolded his tail. Stunning!  I'd never seen a full peacock tail display in real life, a five-foot-wide fan of shimmering sapphires, glittering golds, and vibrant emeralds, each individual feather jeweled with an iridescent eyeball.
If I'd been a peahen I would have married the guy on the spot. Napoleon preened and strutted and wove from side to side to better display his gorgeousness, and even did a 360 to prove that he looked good from all angles.
And then--this just shows how fickle guys are--Napoleon spotted two little girls on the path and hurried over to show off for them.  
One of the zoo employees told me that Napoleon and the other peacocks are allowed to wander at will around the grounds during the day because the birds become stressed if they're kept in pens. Peacocks are much happier and healthier wandering around the grounds, and seem to thrive on the attention--well, that seems a sensible way for all living beings to be treated, doesn't it?
  Farewell, Napoleon! Live long, prosper, and may your offspring inherit your magnificent eyes.
 Before I left, I bought a peacock feather in the gift shop.
Today's blog has been brought to you by Tangled Thing Called Love, the third book in the Mazie Maguire series, which was just came out this month. Thanks to all the readers who have "liked" the book and taken the time to write reviews.


Monday, April 28, 2014

JulietRose:      TANGLED THING CALLED LOVEis being released T...

is being released nationwide Tuesday morning! T...
:      TANGLED THING CALLED LOVE is being released Tuesday, April 29th! Mazie and Ben's further adventures in the Love and Life on the ...
is being released Tuesday, April 29th!

Mazie and Ben's further adventures in the Love and Life on the Lam series comes out tomorrow. 

Goodreads reviewers who received advance copies have been raving about it--lots of 5 star reviews. 

Following is an summary and critique by the Hootie and Globug book review website: 

Nancy Drew to the rescue!! Just kidding, but Mazie Maguire is back in a another hilarious and sexy new adventure with her beefcake sidekick Ben Labeck. Speaking of Nancy Drew I loved those damn books as a kid and couldn't stop once I started them. Much in the same way The Love and Life on the Lam series has kept me completely at Rosetti's mercy from the beginning. This time the peanut gallery has to solve a 13 year old disappearance that involves the town's beauty pageant. 

Mazie and Ben are a couple who infuriate me one minute and make me swoon the next. Their back and forth courtship Is like riding the Goliath at the Atlanta Six flags. 175 feet drop at 70 mph. I honestly wouldn't have it any other way though because I adore these two. After the last book and their near death escape from a group of  killers I thought they would be on the road to reconciling but as per their usual the damn book began with them, again, NOT TOGETHER! (I'm seeing a pattern here). Yet another stupid misunderstanding involving Ben (always when a man is involved. Now I see why lesbians are popular). He took a job in California and Mazie let him go not wanting to hold him back. With the last book it was Ben that sent me into a "Hulk MackenRage" fit with his bullheadedness. Now Mazie is the self-sacrificing one putting what she wants aside to let Ben have his career.

She's back in her hometown visiting family and taking care of her brother's kid while her S.I.L has a baby. Guess who shows up unannounced? YES! Everyone's favorite sexpot knucklehead BEN! not only had he given up his semi glamorous job to win Mazie back but the way he does it is so amazingly sweet and rewarding for anyone who has read these books. While in town he decides he and Mazie should do a documentary on the disappearance of a local girl that started the curse of Quail Hollow. Tricky thing about digging up old ghosts is you usually find the people who buried them and Ben and Mazie find themselves in yet another ridiculously hilarious scenario full of danger and suspense. Not to mention while all this is taking place Mazie is having to relive her high school nightmare of competing in an annual beauty pageant she swore never to go through again. 

One of the things I love about this author is how well she utilizes her characters. Everyone plays a part and is so equally important that they never feel like secondary props. They have a purpose and connect to the main characters that in turn makes me fall for them just as much as I do with Mazie and Ben. Since her escape from prison Mazie hasn't made too many friends due to everyones preconceived opinion about her even though she was found innocent in the murder of her husband. Coming from a small town with equally small minds is no different so when she comes face to face with old nemeses-es. That's a word right? Anyway, What I'm trying to say is that I love, love, LOVED that Mazie made friendships and new bonds in this book on top the ones she's made back home. She's really starting to come out of her shell and make an effort to live her life with no regrets and it's been so much fun to watch her go through everything and come out such a strong female heroine. 

One thing I picked up on in this book was how the author spiced up the sex scenes a little bit more than she has in the past. In previous books it was eluded to with a vague fade to black, which didn't bother me in the slightest. I loved the characters so much I was just happy they stopped fighting against their connection. In Tangled Thing Called Love, however there was a little bit longer of a look inside the bedroom door between Mazie and Ben that really satisfied the voyeur in me. Bonus treat thrown in getting a little bit of that from Ben's perspective which made my heart beat triple time for him and my Labeck boner even more stiff. He's such a great guy and I say it with every review of this series but seriously, Ben is fantastic. He's sweet, impatient but understanding, strong yet gentle and down right SEXY. Coming back from a six week jaunt as a west coast videographer hell bent on sitting down and talking things out with Mazie was priceless. I Lloved watching him work things out with her and the sweet way he (hopefully) sealed the deal and finally snagged Mazie completely gave me the tummy flutters.

Another one bites the dust! There's no stopping the dynamic duo of Mazie Maguire and Ben Labeck. It's fun to watch them work together to solve these crazy crimes, make lasting friendships and fall in love again all while solving world hunger. Well... three out of four ain't bad. These books are a diamond in the rough and I can't implore you enough to give them a try. They are funny, witty, sexy and suspenseful and the writing is flawless. grab the books that always keep me laughing long after I've put them down, TODAY!