Author Spotlight on...Aneta Cruz!

Aneta Cruz
Hello folks! I hope the summer's been kind to you all because guess what? School is back! Let those tans and bad sunburns fade! Rev up the heater in your car and break out those lumpy sweaters! It's time to go pumpkin-picking! Apple pie in the oven is right around the corner! Halloween is ready to burst upon us with screams and chills! The cold weather is waiting in the wings...and like I always say, what better way to fight off those impending cold days and nights but with a good book! Well, hey, I've got one right here by debut author, Aneta Cruz!

Her debut novel, "Heartbreak Hotel" is sure to keep you toasty warm. It follows the mostly horrifying dating escapades of Kara, who only wants to find a nice guy to settle down with. That shouldn't be too hard...right? Check out an excerpt from the book:

Suddenly, there was a tap on my shoulder. I turned my head, but there was no one there. Then I turned to the other side and directly in front of me was a man smiling ear to ear. He had eyebrows like the woodland creatures I used to read about in fairy tales. They hung over the rims of his John Lennon glasses whose lenses reflected the flashing neon lights. He wore a tie-dyed shirt and a pair of canvas pants that looked like he’d just pulled them out of the dumpster. Did he think he was coming to Woodstock tonight?

“Can I get you a drink?” he asked.

I frowned at his childish trick, then shrugged, and said, “Two pomegranate margaritas.”

“Two? Big drinker, huh?”

“One’s for my friend.” I pointed at Laura who was still trying to muscle her way through the crowd. He nodded then disappeared into the swarming mass. I pulled Laura out of the crowd. “Our drinks are coming,” I said and pointed toward the bar.

He returned shortly, passing us the cocktails. “I’m Ed, by the way. I run a very successful bank in Old Town,” he said and conjured up that ear-to-ear smile again. Why did he have to throw that in? Was it supposed to impress me?

Laura wrinkled her forehead as if to say Who’s this nerd? “Hi,” she said. “Do you have a friend around here? Three’s a crowd, if you know what I mean.”

“As a matter of fact, I do.” Ed turned toward the dance floor. While he searched for his friend, I kicked Laura in the knee. I didn’t want Ed to get the impression I was interested in him when I wasn’t. He wasn’t even close to being my type, not that I had one, but if I did, he would definitely not be it.

Ed waved at some guy on the dance floor. The guy nodded then quickly joined us. “This is my friend, Richard. He’s my driver,” Ed said, gesturing toward his friend who towered over Laura. “You ladies want to go somewhere less loud where we can talk?”

“Yes, let’s go outside,” Laura said immediately.

Good idea. I needed some fresh air.

There were two men smoking on the sidewalk outside Cobra. One was seriously intoxicated and could barely stand without the wall to support him. When the other man noticed us exit the club, he came over and quickly announced, “I don’t even know who this individual is. He just wanted to bum a cigarette off me.” He laughed and continued. “So what are you all doing this summer?”

“We just moved here. We work at an elite hotel. At the reception desk,” Laura replied, batting her lashes.

“Clever girls. Big money, huh?” The young man looked Laura and me up and down in admiration. “I’m going to Greece for two months. Dad works at the Embassy there, so that should be good.”

“You must be a spoiled brat, then,” Laura said and turned up her flirting.

He giggled. “I guess you could say that. Dad pays for the university and the Mercedes.” Then someone opened the door of the club and yelled for him to come in.

As he walked past Laura, she exhaled. “I want to be sp–sp–spoiled, too.”

But the man just smiled and went in.

I looked at my watch. It was already four in the morning. I raised my eyebrows at Laura. “We have to go.”

“Don’t leave! We haven’t had a chance to talk yet,” Ed whined.

I shrugged. “I have to be at work in two hours.”

“Where do you work?” he asked.

“At a hotel—”

I pinched Laura’s side to keep her from saying anything further. I was more than aware that Ed was attracted to me, but he gave me the chills every time he came into my personal space.

“You won’t be able to catch a tram this late, and I don’t want you taking a taxi. Richard will take you wherever you want to go.” Ed gave us one of his beaming smiles again.

“Fine,” Laura said in a bitter tone. “I’ve had enough of this night anyway.”

She sat in the front passenger seat of Ed’s black Audi, Ed and I in the back. Richard drove recklessly. I could feel every bump and pot hole in the street. I pressed my forehead against the cool window and just as I closed my eyes, Ed’s fingers slid across my back. He tried to rest his hand on my shoulder, but I immediately shook it off.

He leaned closer and smiled. “I hope to take you out soon.”

My skin erupted in goose bumps. His breath reeked as if something had crawled inside him and died. All I wanted to do was to get out of the car.

I tapped the driver’s shoulder. “Richard, can you stop? I’d like to get out.”

“What? Why?” Laura turned around. “We’re still a good mile from home.”

I scooted to the edge of the back seat and whispered in Laura’s ear, “This banker guy’s breath is gonna knock me out.”

Ed stroked my forearm. “What’s the problem?”

Your breath and the fact that when you touch me, my skin crawls.

“I feel sick, and I’m gonna throw up all over your car if you don’t let me out.”

“Richard!” Ed shouted and the car immediately screeched to a halt.

Sounds like something you want to dive into? Find your copy of Heartbreak Hotel at the following links:
Still not enough Aneta Cruz-ness for you? Check out where you, find her:
Did someone mention Facebook? Why, yes, I did! By liking Aneta's Facebook page, you can enter to win a signed copy of her book a-Muse-me[a]nt. A random drawing will take place on September 30th! So haul it on over to that Facebook page:
You need something to keep you company on those long autumn nights ahead and works by Aneta Cruz is just the ticket!




  1. Thank you for having me on your blog, Melissa! I love being surrounded by books--your background. It's fabulous.

  2. LOL. His breath must have been horrible. Too funny. Congrats on your book release Aneta.

    1. Nana, you should see what happens next. Kara is basically forced to go on a date with this guy. Can you imagine how the date will go? :)