Book Features

Book Excerpt: Milked by Lisa Doyle

About the Book

 milked lisa doyle

By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.

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Book Excerpt

“Can you hear me?” said a slight, wiry man with glasses and an authentic Irish brogue. I hadn’t even noticed as a full band of six—no, seven—guys had assembled in the corner of the bar. And oh God, Eamonn was standing there holding a violin. (Is there an Irish word for violin? Would they call it a fiddle?) This was possibly better than a guitar.

“Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Failte,” said the older man, and we all applauded. The band started out with a lively piece and some of the presumably regular patrons started clapping and cheering.

Over the next hour, I sat transfixed watching them (okay, him) as the rest of my group kept chattering away. It wasn’t just his looks that made him sexy; it was the way his hands moved on the violin, how he put his whole body into the song, how he was so in tune with the rest of the group. There were so many more of them than you’d see in a typical bar band, and they all had to play off of each other, producing these amazing harmonies. There was another violinist (fiddler?) playing as well, but I could pick out Eamonn’s the entire night. It sounded sweeter. I had never appreciated Irish music at all before that night. In fact, I had thought it was kind of cheesy. There was nothing cheesy about the way Eamonn looked playing it.

Anthony, good sport that he had been, begged off at ten, citing an early call schedule starting the next day.

“Thank you for the wine,” I said, giving him a pat on the hand as he left. He nodded and left. Meg and Henry soon followed, giving me quick hugs goodbye.

Just then, Eamonn took the microphone from its stand. “We’ve got time for just one more song tonight. I understand there’s a lass here celebrating a birthday?” His eyes scanned the room for about half a second before landing on mine.

Oh, God. I managed a small wave as my friends started to clap and hoot in my direction.

“Any requests, love?” he asked, wiping a little sweat from his brow.

Crap. I didn’t know any Irish songs.

“Er. Something by U2, maybe?” I squeaked out.

He conferred with his bandmates for a moment. They all then left the stage except for Eamonn. He pulled a stool up closer to the microphone and set it back in its stand, then adjusted it for height. He sat down, wiped his brow again, then smiled at me and started to play.

A hush fell over the bar as he alone proceeded to play the most extraordinary version of “All I Want Is You.” Everyone was enraptured at this point, not just me. It was so melodious, so hauntingly beautiful and unlike anything I’d ever heard. I’d never been hugely into violin music before, but I knew I’d never listen to one the same way again.

When he played the last lines, it was like the end of a massage. I felt so refreshed, so relaxed, but damned if I didn’t wish it was longer. The bar erupted in applause, and Eamonn stood up to take a small bow. The wiry man returned to the stage and said, “How ’bout my nephew?” and gave Eamonn a large pat on the back.

Leigh turned to me after the cheers had died down.

“Seriously. If you don’t sleep with that guy tonight, I will,” Leigh whispered.

Let me just tell you that thirty-year-old me had never had a one-night stand before. And by definition, thirty-two-year-old me hasn’t either, thank you very much. I just wanted to make that clear. Leigh, on the other hand, she was kind of slutty. A great friend, sure, but she would be the first to admit she had lost track of her magic number halfway through her twenties.

“I’m not sleeping with anyone tonight, all right?” I said. But that’s not to say I was going to walk out that door and never see that guy again. Hell, no. I grabbed a coaster from the center of the table, and scribbled the words “Birthday Girl” and my cell phone number on it.


lisa doyle

Lisa Doyle is a communications manager and freelance writer based in the Chicago area. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois and a graduate of Miami University, she spent several years editing business-to-business publications for the personal care industry before moving to the nonprofit sector, and currently works in advocacy for homeless families at Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She has written for major beauty trade publications (Global Cosmetic Industry, Skin Inc, Salon Today, Modern Salon, Renew, Suburban Life) and is a contributor to WOMEN REINVENTED: TRUE STORIES OF EMPOWERMENT AND CHANGE (LaChance Publishing, 2010). Doyle is represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary, Inc., a full-service agency based in New York.

For more about Lisa, please visit her website.


Twitter: @bylisadoyle

Book Reviews

Book Review: Born at Dawn by Nigeria Lockley


Born at Dawn

Nigeria Lockley

Publication Date: September 30, 2014

4 Stars=Great Page Turner

Cynthia Barclay believes in for better or worse but in survival more. When is it time to say enough is enough? Cynthia reaches this limit in Born at Dawn by Nigeria Lockley. Cynthia leaves to find herself after dealing with her husband’s issues long enough. It breaks her heart to leave her children but it had to be done.

Cynthia moves to Richmond, Virginia with a small amount of money and the belief that she would secure a better a life for her and her children. She becomes a chef and as her dream becomes a reality tragedy strikes back in her hometown. Cynthia life had been going well and she knows going back home may cause a distraction.

Cheo is a photo journalist who befriends Cynthia after she moves into his apartment building. Cheo and Cynthia’s friendship grows as does their attraction to each other. Cynthia is hesitating because of the baggage she carries as well as still being married. Cheo is willing to wait because the love he has for Cynthia is hard to ignore any longer. When Cheo finds out Cynthia has to go back to her hometown for a family emergency, he wonders if she will return.

Born at Dawn was a wonderful story about finding real love even in the worse circumstance. I applaud Cynthia for her strength and that she realized that she deserved better. However, I was also upset with Cynthia because of the children and what they were left to deal with. The author does a wonderful job building up the relationship between Cynthia and Cheo, which kept me interested. I was also shocked by the twist in the story which tugged at my heart. I look forward to reading more by the author and recommend Born at Dawn to others.

Reviewed by Teresa Beasley

Book Features

Book Blast: Stitching Love by Tiss Devane


In Part one of this debut series from Tiss Devane, Skyla Richards is a planner. But, all the forethought and organization on the planet can t prepare her for the events that are about to alter her world. After her six year marriage ends bitterly, her job becomes her refuge until Jonathan Bass enters her life. He s a young, handsome co-worker whose future includes an Ivy League opportunity and his upcoming nuptials to an unstable fiancée, Mia. But that doesn t stop him from recruiting Skyla to help him sew a few wild oats before the clock winds down on his bachelorhood.

His relentless pursuit has her tossing her to-do lists into the fiery flames of passion and reacquaints her with feelings she d long since forgotten. And her feminine wiles has him rethinking his engagement and ultimately, taking a ring off of it. But while their hearts continue to align, their careers split into opposite paths when she gets promoted and his Princeton plans are jeopardized when his manager accuses him of dark and menacing acts. With Skyla s assistance, he rebounds and the two resume their future plans. But while they ve been ring shopping and deciding wedding dates, Mia has been sulking and contemplating the fastest way to bring their relationship to a shattering demise. And what she comes up with will permanently transform all their lives.

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Book Excerpt

We gazed out at the skyline in silence.  He reached back and cut my desk lamp off leaving only the city scene outdoors illuminating the room.

“Sometimes, I could just look up at the stars all night,” he said, staring at the sky in wonderment.

“You have that kind of time?” I asked, looking up at the sky.

He turned to me and with a piercing look replied, “I make time for beautiful things.”

I could feel myself blushing and started fidgeting with my Blackberry.

Just then, he leaned into my neck and inhaled deeply.

“Damn, you smell good,” he whispered, allowing his lips to brush lightly against my earlobe.

My palms started to sweat as he moved closer.  I quickly turned to cut my lamp back on and dropped my Blackberry.  He bent to pick it up and placed his face as close to my leg as possible, blowing on it while slowly standing. My flesh tingled as the warmth of his breath traveled up my calf and reached my thigh.

“Here ya go,” he said in a low tone, handing it to me.

I clumsily took it, inadvertently hitting the send button on the earlier reply I’d typed Phillip.  But I didn’t care.

He sat on the edge of my desk and swallowed my hand with his while drawing me between his legs.

“What did you want to talk about?” he asked, taking his fingertip and gently sweeping a portion of my hair behind my left ear.

“Oh….um, um…” My brain searched for words while my eyes became stuck on his lips. “It’s Angelica,” I said.

“Yeah, what about her?” he asked, continuing to come closer.

My heart started racing and I felt weak.

“She…she’s gotta do something,” I mumbled.

“Something like what?” he whispered, lips lightly grazing mine.  I wanted to pounce and run away at the same time.


About The Author


Tiss Devane hails from the Southside of Chicago and wears many hats including mother, wife, business owner, columnist and now romantic novelist. Some of her other literary efforts range from poetry to political commentary. But her first love is fiction. Her passion for storytelling can be traced back to the often funny but always captivating stories she heard while growing up which ignited her imagination and sparked her creativity.
Find the

Twitter @TissDevane
Book Reviews

Double Book Review: Because I Am A Girl and Goodbye Unanswered by John E. Kato


Because I Am A Girl

John Eldard Kato

Publication Date: December 9, 2013

4 Stars=Great Page Turner

This was a novel about a young African girl named Shamim. Shamim was raised in a home where her family stayed true to their cultural beliefs. Shamim was expected to be married off to the man of her father’s choosing for a dowry. Shamim wanted to get an education and if she did what was expected of her she would have to drop out and assume the duties of a wife. Shamim was headstrong, strong willed and she was going to stand up to her father. She wanted to pursue her own dreams but that would mean she would have to flee.

This story shows how a young girl stands up to defy traditional and cultural norms by trying to choose her own path in life. Many young women can see the importance of being educated and independent and making their own choices, even if it means being disappointing the people you love. In the end she overcame and proved that all she needed was a chance to do it her way.
Nicely written story and I enjoyed watching Shamim find herself and then become successful despite being estranged from her family. This is a good read and I give it four stars.

Reviewed by Tracy Cooper


Goodbye Unanswered

John Eldard Kato

Publication Date: November 30, 2013

3 Stars=Okay Page Turner

Vanessa and Paul are siblings struggling with the loss of their mother. Due to the mother’s passing the children are separated after a decision by the family’s clan. Vanessa would move away from the village to stay with an aunt and her brother would remain at home with his father. The father decides that the household can use a female caretaker and her son would serve as a playmate for Paul.

His daughter Vanessa is living in a rural area where she began farming and doing chores as the others. Her living conditions were adverse compared to where she had come from and her aunt didn’t find schooling to be important. Vanessa constantly worried about her brother and hoped their situations would not be long standing.

Paul on the other hand feels hat new caretaker shows favoritism towards her son and Paul’s appearance shows the lack of care. Vanessa finds that her father’s focus has shifted from them and he has become preoccupied with the caretaker and her children. The siblings feel slighted and find that their father has some secrets of his own which are revealed when Vanessa returns home for a visit.

This was an interesting storyline although I must admit it took me longer to get through the story, which made it an average read for me. I appreciate the author highlighting African life for youth. Their experiences and challenges they are faced with are exhibited through his storylines. I can hear their voices loud and clear through his writings and that is a plus.

Reviewed by Tracy Cooper