Walking? Kicking back? Click the link above to get this summer read. STARS OR STRIPES 4th of JULY just became available in audio. Follow Veronica in Hilton Head, SC. Patrice is her new bf, and the local spa owner. Veronica gets advice from a psychic, runs a talent show and falls in love. Expect comedy, romance and accidental crime with Hippy Bob and JT. Who can you trust when you're new in town? Things get as murky as gators in the swamp--all the while you'll be laughing at Veronica's ill-conceived plans.
Also available in e-book, and print._http://tinyurl.com/obj5wtm
Stars or Stripes 4th of July
The International Book Awards are proud to announce the results of the 2014 competition!
Congratulations to all Winners & Finalists!
Fiction: Chick Lit/Women's Lit
Where the Heart Lives (Book Two, A Milford-Haven Novel) by Mara Purl
The Valentine State by Mariana Williams
Sunset Squid Publishing
A Load of Hooey by Bob Odenkirk
Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity by Mariana Williams
Sunset Squid Publishing
Dressed in tiny overall shorts while hawking peepholes door to door, having budget plastic surgery, and herding rabbits and roaches are all part of Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity. It is sure to squeam the squeamish with a schadenfreude delight.
TRUE? or FALSE? amazon.com/author/marianawilliams
A. All three novels are tales of romance, comedy and accidental crime
B. Each is a stand-alone book
C. Chronologically: Happy New Year, Darling, introduces Veronica as suburban wife and mother of wild teen, in The Valentine State Veronica is a writer living in Seal Beach, Stars or Stripes 4th of July begins in Sydney, Australia and ends up in Hilton Head, No. Carolina
D. Books are most enjoyed while on vacation, near water & sand, while sipping an umbrella drink, or coffee and doughnut, or on a plane, or unwrapped by great friend who knows you like to laugh and be intrigued.
E. All of the above
You are SO smart! Of course, it's E! Thanks for playing
Mariana Williams worked as a professional musician and comedy/entertainment booker. She now lends her experience to the wily protagonist, Veronica Bennett.
Stars or Stripes 4th of July now available in audio. http://tinyurl.com/nfumjb9
2011 Indie Excellence Award for Chick Lit
Singer Veronica Bennett plays piano at a lush resort. Meeting new guys makes her summer sizzle; however, it’s at the talent show when things heat up and bubble over. A psychic’s warning, mistaken identities and a ransom note are all part of the crime as murky as the Carolina coastline. As readers laugh along the way, they will still relate to Veronica’s plight.
When you’re new in town, who can you trust?
click below for print or e-book
2014 International Book Award-chick lit
In this comedic tale of misadventure, Veronica moves to Seal Beach, California. A love triangle and blackmail scheme have her backed into a corner but it’s the ill-conceived book, “The Valentine State,” that threatens to leave the three charming, yet roguish characters high and dry.
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“If good writing takes you places you've never been, great writing takes you places you can't wait to return to. There is a powerful, real-life edge to Mariana's work.
---Oscar winning songwriter, Paul Williams
"Mariana Williams delivers again! The Valentine State is laugh-out-loud funny and devilishly witty. I found myself both cringing with and rooting for the delightful, devious Veronica Bennett.”
—E.E. King author of Dirk Quigby's Guide to the Afterlife
“As she maneuvers through the twists and turns of a madcap plot, the author’s dazzling wordplay, on its own merits, makes this a page-turner. Take another bow, Mariana!”
—Tom Puckett, author of The Big Blur
“Summer reading is here! We catch up again with our favorite funny, sexy and endearing heroine, Veronica Bennett. You won't put it down until the surprising end
—Patty Hansen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul & Divorce and Recovery
Happy New Year, Darling
Now available at AUDIBLE. COM
is our first introduction to Veronica Bennett. She writes of life as a suburban housewife who brazenly concocts a con job on New Year’s Eve to save her home from foreclosure. Desperate for money, she places an ad in the personals, guaranteeing to provide the woman of your dreams, on New Year’s Eve—for $30,000.
Needing only one customer to save her home, she holds auditions to find an actress willing to "play" the perfect woman for one night. How hard could it be?
Finding an actress to fulfill the client’s expectations is the least of her worries, once the scheme is in motion.
Click here _http://www.amazon.com/Darling-Veronica-Bennett-Series-Volume/dp/1493593072
For the audio book
Stars or Stripes 4th of July
2011 Chick Lit Category
"Veronica opens up and lets you in - to her life, her bedroom and the backstage of show business. Mariana Williams is a storyteller who knows how to write and keep it real. I enjoyed it from cover to cover."
Alan Kalter. Announcer for The Late Show with David Letterman
"I would say it's a page turner except I was laughing so much that I had trouble sometimes turning the page. Sometimes you are lucky enough to read a book that not only keeps you in suspense but lets you giggle along the way. Stars or Stripes 4th of July is a real treat."
Andrea Abbate Comic, TV Writer
"Wacky con men and witty hijinks dominate this guilty pleasure of a novel. A female version of Carl Hiaasen, Williams substitutes Hilton Head for Florida, as main character Veronica Bennett heedlessly meanders into one sticky situation after another. Effortless enjoyment--you'll be reaching for another Veronica Bennett novel when finished."
Penny Bernal Juror for Elle Letters, Elle Magazine
"I could not put down Mariana William’s novel, Stars or Stripes 4th of July. Okay, I lied. I put it down a lot - so I could rest from laughing! I was truly captivated, entertained, and even titillated. I needed a cigarette after reading, and I quit smoking 10 years ago. Like a carnival ride...I want to go again!" Craig Shoemaker Comic, “The Love Master”
"Mariana Williams' prose is bubbly and her dialogue crackles with humor and truth. She is a good story teller to boot. Stars or Stripes 4th of July is not only a fun read but will leave you wanting a sequel."
Tracey Jackson Author, screenwriter and blogger
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Why do I suppose my life is fascinating enough to write about? Love? Hmm, as for my mom, dad and myself, we’ve racked up thirteen marriages—if not romantic, certainly optimistic. Regret? Well, if embarrassing, eye-squinting, throat closing, breathless, cringing describes it…I’ve got a few tales to tell, like budget plastic surgery and herding roaches at a party. Accidental nudity? My nudity is about as spontaneous as a space shuttle launch—even so, there’s still the unexpected.
"I enjoyed every minute of Love, Regret, and Accidental Nudity. You will laugh with her as she travels to exotic places, falls in love, and plays with grown-up girlfriends. A real winner!” —Lee Pound, Author and Book Publisher
“Mariana’s latest goes straight to the heart…you’ll find yourself laughing through your tears. —Darlene Quinn, Author of the International award-winning Web series
“And the wit goes on: Mariana Williams disarming the reader with tilted impeccable logic! —Penelope Bernal, Elle Magazine Juror
EXCERPT From Stars or Stripes 4th of July
“And so I’ve decided—we’ll make love every other time we, uh, see each other.” I cleared my throat. “Instead of every time.”
Jack’s eyes smiled over the top of his coffee cup. Sitting with his back against the bed’s ornate headboard, wearing the hotel’s plush robe with the collar circling his chiseled jaw, he looked positively regal. His dark hair was slept into peaks and valleys and he needed a shave but a sly grin made him boyishly cute. “Okay.” He tilted his head, with an expression one would use when standing in front of a Jackson Pollack painting. I let go of the door handle and my purse slid off my shoulder and down my arm, weighing heavy on my wrist. I squared my shoulders and spouted my memorized speech. “Since I’ve been in Sydney we’ve hardly worked on the book. You know I’m grateful to be here—the Park Hyatt is gorgeous.” I waved toward the expansive window overlooking the glistening harbor. “But I’ve flown fourteen hours and we need to finish your biography, Jack. Not just shag in the suite.”
“I’m not sure ‘shag’ is the word used here in Australia. You may be quoting Austin Powers.”
Losing at that hand, Veronica flees Jack's suite. Desperate to heal her pride,
she boards the first plane out of Australia and nabs a gig playing piano for the summer in the resort town, Hilton Head Island. She embraces the solitary life of musician by night, and by day works on her book and her tan. Not necessarily in that order. Immediately she's assigned the task of producing an American Idol type talent show to bring in a crowd on Independence Day. A month later she's borrowing thousands to pay a kidnapper's ransom. Misinterpreting a psychic's warning and playing love's fool, Veronica skips down a path as sinister as a gator's smile.
If I could re-trace a thousand steps leading to the disaster that took place on New Year’s Eve, the first step was when Mickey and I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. My folly began with a get-rich-quick scheme, inspired by a table tent advertising the hotel’s extravagant New Year’s Eve Party taking place in a few months.
Brooding as I waited for Mickey’s return, I studied the ad carefully. Apparently, for a mere $40,000, a guest could bring in the New Year with this snazzy package: a seven course dinner, dancing the night away, a luxurious suite, Champagne Brunch on New Year’s Day, and unlimited food and beverages. The fee included round trip airfare to any of their luxury hotel resorts, anywhere in the world. Aside from the airfare, hmm…that’s a pretty steep cover charge for a weekend. Oh, and all you can eat? There isn’t a woman over size 6 in the hotel; it’s not like an open bar at a frat party. These people are moderate in their habits (with the exception of overpaying).
Putting the ad in my purse, I started wondering: Who could pay forty grand for a 24-hour party for two? And, what could the Ritz possibly include to justify that kind of money? They should throw in sex for that. Or, something even more dangerous and exciting - love! How would it feel to have unlimited cash and no one to share the most anticipated, romantic night of the year? Sure, the hotel provides the setting, but how would a lonely, rich person find love? Sex is easier; you can rent a body. But, how about renting a romantic fantasy? What is it worth to feel adored, cherished and loved? To escape the feeling that another year has gone down the drain. The last day on the calendar and hope has exhausted all possibilities that you were loveable. Every interaction is motivated by finance or polite obligation set in motion years ago.
Crossing the room to the mini-bar, I liberated a Snickers and a bottle of Perrier. Then, plopping into an overstuffed chair in front of the window, my thoughts drifted past the ocean’s horizon. I book entertainment for a living, and I’m on familiar territory when it comes to fantasy and deception. I book entertainment, hmm. Perhaps I could book a fantasy; all I really need is one customer. Like a detective, I must zero in on the profile of a lonely, wealthy, love-starved man in need of sincere attention.
A man who is estranged from his family; maybe his bitchy wife gets the kids on that holiday. A successful businessman, who also wants to be a successful family man. He’s used to having things his way; to spend that night alone would scream defeat in an otherwise orderly world. Or, at the very least, he wants the hope or suggestion of love from a beautiful and attentive woman. He secretly fantasizes of spending just one weekend with “the one that got away.”
Fantasy is the key. It may be his college sweetheart, or his business partner’s wife, but he has an ideal woman in mind. This classy and beautiful angel, who stares at him adoringly while he drones on about nothing, is even better in a swank setting. This completes the picture he has of himself. Joyously, he toasts in the New Year. With the classic beauty at his side, he celebrates their success as loving eyes lock across the flutes of champagne. Never mind that the workaholic will dive back into business on the following workday, forgetting the “woman at his side.” All the better.
Perhaps a well behaved, model child joins the happy couple in the dining room, then disappears with the nanny, following dinner. This leaves an evening of dining and dancing culminating in a romantic, sensual interlude. This man deserves the best; he needs the complete illusion of happiness, even if the clock is ticking. It’s expensive, but what does he care? My phantom client makes money while he sleeps. He’s probably lost forty grand in a casino in one night, and had only bad memories the next day, without real recrimination.
This fee will buy him some lasting memories—if it’s done right. This opportunity is unique. Heck, this type of man likes adventure! I book entertainment, I book events and I can book a fantasy. After all, this is just a small, small party. Should I find an actress slutty enough to have sex with a stranger? It will be hard enough to match the description of his Dream Girl. Or, do I find a hooker and send her to charm school? I’ll have to figure that out.