Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jump Cut by Libby Fischer Hellmann


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Libby will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


5 Things You (Might) Never Guess About Me

Although I live in Chicago now, I grew up in Washington DC (yes, right in the city), so some of these “events” take place there.

1. I went to National Cathedral School for girls in Washington from 7th through 12th grade. Luci Baines Johnson, LBJ’s daughter, was two years ahead of me. It was an NCS tradition that one class would host another class at a student’s home, so Luci “volunteered” her house when it was her class’s turn. All of us received engraved invitations, dressed up in our best tea-time outfits, and took buses down to the White House. We met Luci’s “parents” and were treated to a special White House tour. Some of the girls took toilet paper home with them as a souvenir, but I decided to LEAVE a souvenir instead. I’d been chewing gum (subtly… of course, it wasn’t allowed) and as we were strolling into the Blue Room, I wadded it up and stuck it behind the door jam. Really.

Ten years later, I was back on the same tour with some friends from France. As we walked into the Blue Room, I surreptitiously reached behind the door jam. The GUM WAS STILL THERE.

2. In sixth grade I was still in public school, and I had a friend who lived downtown near some of the monuments. I used to take the bus down to visit her regularly, and we’d explore the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Hill, and other places. One day we were behind the Capitol building and she whipped out a pack of cigarettes, pulled out one for her and one for me. We smoked them. It was my first time. I became deathly sick, to the point where the Capitol police came over to ask what was wrong. I—um—told them I had an upset stomach, and they encouraged me to go home. I did. 3. In February 1964 the Beatles came to Washington for the first time ever. It was a snowy day and school was dismissed early. My friend and neighbor knew they were staying at the Shoreham Hotel, which, as fate would have it, was only a block from my house. After school we ran down to the hotel, thinking we’d gently stalk them. Wrong. The place was crawling with police and security. A bunch of screaming teenagers were waiting at the front of the hotel, so we ran around to the back entrance. Sure enough, a few minutes later a limo pulled up and the Beatles got out and entered the hotel. So that was pretty cool. But then my friend said a family friend lived on the 7th floor of the hotel (Back then people sometimes did live in hotels). So we raced up the elevators. As soon as we got off we were stopped by two cops. My friend told them we were visiting “Miss Smith in 706” and they had to let us pass. Suddenly at the opposite end of the hall, another set of elevators opened, and the Beatles emerged. I took off down the hall and managed to catch George Harrison before he disappeared into a suite and asked him for his autograph. He said to me five words I will never forget. Are you ready? They were: “Do you have a pencil?”

4. “I hate to write but I love having written.” The late Dorothy Parker, a famous New York writer and satirist, said it, and I agree. Writing fiction is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am always second-guessing myself and disparaging my work. It’s “workmanlike” I say to myself, but couldn’t it “sing?” Rarely am I ever satisfied with my output. So much so, that when I’m facing an empty screen, I’ll procrastinate and do ANYTHING to keep from writing. I really don’t know how I wrote my last 3 or 4 novels. I must have been under a spell. The key, I’ve found, is to somehow silence the internal editor’s voice. When I am able to do that, albeit infrequently, the writing goes more smoothly. I try to embrace Annie Lamott’s advice in Bird By Bird, (which, btw, I highly recommend to writers) that our goal should be a “shitty first draft.” Only by allowing ourselves to write ugly can we later go edit that prose and make it better. Like I said, I’m trying.

5. I’ve always had a secret love affair with Cuba. When I was a little girl, my parents used to fly to Havana for a long weekend to gamble and do who knows what. In those days, Cuba was ruled by Batista who had a very close “friendship” with Meyer Lansky, one of the Mafia chieftains who ran Havana. But then, there was a revolution! And Fidel Castro came to power. And he WASN’T our friend. In fact he was cozying up to the USSR. And he advocated a strict communist state. After hearing so much about Castro from our side over the years, I was fascinated with communism. I was still pretty young but I was curious. How did it work? Did kids still play outside? What did they eat for dinner? Did they have TV? When they played baseball, did they have the same rules we did? Then there was the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and 18 months later the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cuba was off limits to Americans. Which only made it more alluring. I wanted to visit. Well, in 2012, I finally did. I took my daughter and we were on a tour for 10 days. It was wonderful! I’ve written extensively about it on my own blog (here and here, for example) , and wrote a historical thriller, HAVANA LOST, as a result. Now I can safely say it’s an itch that has been scratched.

MediaKit_BookCover_JumpCutChicago video producer, Ellie Foreman, has been absent from thriller author Libby Fischer Hellmann’s repertoire for almost a decade. Now she’s back...and soon entangled in a web of espionage, murder and suspicion that threatens to destroy what she holds most dear. Hired to produce a candyfloss profile of Chicago-based aviation giant, Delcroft, Ellie is dismayed when company VP Charlotte Hollander, the architect of a new anti-drone system for Delcroft, trashes the production and cancels the project. Ellie believes Hollander was spooked by shots of a specific man in the video footage. But when Ellie arranges to meet the man to find out why, he’s killed by a subway train before they can talk. In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now dead man.

Ellie has the drive’s contents decrypted, but before long she discovers she’s under surveillance. Suspecting Delcroft and the ambitious Hollander are behind it, she’s unconvinced when Hollander tells her the dead man was a Chinese spy. Ellie and her boyfriend Luke try to find answers, but they don’t realize how far into the dangerous echelons of hidden power they have ventured. When Ellie’s daughter is kidnapped and Charlotte Hollander disappears, it becomes terrifyingly clear that Ellie is in way over her head, and more lives are on the line, including her own.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Monday

Before my gangstah-rap neighbor emptied his AK-47 into his buddy, the most exciting thing to happen in our village was the opening of a new grocery store. The store hired a pianist who played Beatles tunes, no doubt to persuade shoppers to part with their money more easily. My neighbor, rapper King Bling, was helping his fans part with their money too, but the shooting ended all that. Once he made bail, he moved and hasn’t been heard from since.

And so it goes in my little corner of the North Shore, about twenty miles from downtown Chicago. There are benefits. The King, as he’s known to his disciples, gave our cops something to do besides ticket speeders. And the new grocery store gave me the chance to buy prepared dinners so I could dispense with cooking.

Both of which come in handy when I’m producing a video, as was the case now. We didn’t finish the shoot until seven. I raced up the expressway toward home, dropped into the store, and was eyeballing a turkey pot roast—the only one left—when my cell trilled. I fished it out of my bag.

“Mom, where did you get the shoes?” I heard chatter and giggles in the background.

“What shoes, Rachel?”

“The ones you gave Jackie.” My daughter, Rachel, had successfully, if unbelievably, graduated from college and lived in an apartment in Wrigleyville. Jackie was her roommate. “Everybody thinks they’re awesome.”


About the Author:Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Twelve novels and twenty short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. *

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_JumpCutWith the addition of Jump Cut in 2016, her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 4-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and three stand-alone historical thrillers that Libby calls her “Revolution Trilogy.” Her latest release, The Incidental Spy, is a historical novella set during the early years of the Manhattan Project at the U of Chicago. Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection.

* She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony, twice for Foreword Magazines Book of the Year, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne and has won the Lovey multiple times.
Website: http://www.libbyhellmann.com/

Author of Compulsively Readable Thrillers

Facebook: facebook.com:authorlibbyfischerhellmann
Twitter: http://twitter.com/libbyhellmann
Google+: google.com:+libbyhellmann
BUY LINK:

The Incidental Spy, Sept. 2015: http://www.amazon.com/Incidental-Spy-Libby-Fischer-Hellmann/dp/1938733843/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439437050&sr=1-1&keywords=the+incidental+spy+hellmann

Jump Cut, March 2016: http://www.amazon.com/Jump-Cut-Ellie-Foreman-Mystery/dp/1464205191/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1444748309&sr=8-1&keywords=Jump+Cut%2C+hellmann

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Violated by Carolyn Arnold - Interview and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I write in the mystery genre and I also have a series that I started the end of last year in the action-adventure genre. The latter has been given a fresh take and is written with the mystery reader in mind. As for the police procedural genre, I love the suspense and intrigue. The logical progression and the investigation aspects fascinate me as I hope they do my readers.

What research is required?
,br> When it comes to my police procedurals, I pride myself on making these books as correct as possible. I want the procedures correct and to ensure this happens, I do online research as well as I have contacts who work, or who have previously worked, in law enforcement. They’ve been such a huge help. Due to taking due diligence, people from law enforcement have praised my work. It led me to adopting my brand as “Police Procedurals Respected by Law Enforcement.” Visitors to my website can read these on my testimonials page.

With the first book in my action adventure series, I become obsessed with getting as much information as I could on the Inca’s lost city of gold… And my, was that fascinating! But I thought I had to discover it myself to write about it. This probably comes from the logical side of my brain that writes police procedurals. But I quickly came to realize I was to simply have fun with writing the story while incorporating historical aspects and information about the legend.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Wow. Excellent question. I find that I learn so much from the killers in my books that I hadn’t really thought about my main characters. Brandon Fisher, however, can be quick to react and sometimes this gets him into trouble…. Especially with his boss. Also he had a relationship years ago with a woman who is now on his team with the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. This makes for some complications as she loves him and he has strong feelings for her, as well, but he won’t fully admit to them. And given their careers, it’s not really feasible that they have a romantic relationship.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Not really... Unless you count watching the movie Romancing the Stone after finishing the first draft of a novel a quirky thing. ;)

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Panster all the way! Or as I like to say, I write organically. I simply go with the flow. It’s like I’m watching a movie play out before me and I’m just recording the story. Writing in this manner is probably another reason that I love writing investigative stories… I solve the murders along with my characters.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A hardcover and paperback copy of Violated, an empty plate from breakfast (it was only two hours ago!), a planning calendar, and a stapler.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Well, I just released Violated on April 28th, but I’m always working on something. Currently, a September release in my Detective Madison Knight series is going through the editing process, and I’ve started writing a novella for my McKinley Mystery series set to come out in October.

Do you have a question for our readers?

What is your favorite thing about the mystery genre?

Sometimes the past should stay there…

The murder is one of the most heinous Brandon Fisher has ever seen, but that’s not why it has his and his colleagues’ attention. The FBI’s interested because the prime suspect is one of their own, Paige Dawson.

But Paige didn’t go to Valencia, California to kill anyone. She had set out on “vacation”—her new lover in tow—only to confront the man who had raped her friend twenty-some years ago. While the hands of the law are tied, she wants him to face the fact that he destroyed a young woman’s life and know that, as an FBI agent, she’ll be watching his every move. But instead of accomplishing her goal, she wound up in the back of a police cruiser.

Now Paige must face off with a hard-nosed detective determined to stick a murder charge to a fed. But with the trained eyes of the FBI on the case, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the evidence lends itself to a serial killing, not an isolated incident. And as long as the local authorities are focused on Paige, the real murderer is still out there, possibly waiting to strike again…

Enjoy an excerpt:

Paige blinked the tears from her eyes. It couldn’t be. She wiped her wet eyes, her gaze not leaving the necklace in her hand. The chain was a common style, but the heart pendant and the letter N…

Still, it didn’t mean this one had been Natasha’s…

Paige swallowed. But she remembered when Natasha had realized she’d lost it. She had dropped on the end of the hotel bed as if all the weight of the world were piled on her shoulders. It was the morning after the rape.

Tears now fell freely down Paige’s cheeks. There was no doubt in her mind that the necklace she now held had been Natasha’s.

Paige cried as the past washed over her and continued to do so until rage replaced her sadness.

Somehow, she would make this son of a bitch pay for what he had done. She was past the point of keeping within the shades of the law and would circumvent legal means if that’s what it took to hold him responsible.

She clasped the necklace around her neck. Had Ferris kept it as some sort of sick notch in his bedpost? If so, that showed a psychology to him that confirmed he was a repeat offender. And if that was his mentality, prison wouldn’t have rehabilitated him, and that meant there were likely date-rape drugs here to prove it.

She stormed from the bedroom and toward the bathroom.

Beyond the point of caring anymore if she left her fingerprints behind, she emptied the contents of the medicine cabinet, and his toiletries now filled the sink.

Nothing.

She rushed back to his bedroom and tore it apart. The drugs were here somewhere. A man like Ferris wouldn’t stop raping…

Several minutes passed as she searched, and when she was finished, his bedroom looked like a tornado had struck. But still no pills.

Maybe she was being ridiculous, hoping to find something where there was nothing. And even if she found the drugs, what did she hope to accomplish? While possession of date-rape drugs was illegal, her means of getting them would make them inadmissible in any court. But she couldn’t stop. All she could see was her friend’s body in that casket—the way her face, even in death, showed her tortured existence.

She hurried downstairs to the kitchen. There was no way she was stopping now.

She searched each cupboard and drawer, pulling out items and rooting to the back. She had one place left to look, and as she opened it, she saw that it was a catchall drawer. Stuffed with anything and everything from a meat thermometer, to sandwich bags, to tin foil, to… She pulled out a sleeve of pills. She flipped them and read the stamp on the silver backing. Allergy pills.

She continued working through the contents of the drawer until she reached the last item. It was an Aleve bottle. That was an inconvenient place to keep a pain reliever… She opened it and looked inside. It was only the medication. She was still holding the bottle in her hand when she recalled the one on the counter. She exchanged one for the other, not about to give up. Just because the bottle was labeled one way… She twisted the lid.

Police sirens wailed somewhere nearby, and she paused. Her instinct told her to leave this alone and get out of his house immediately. But it was too late, the whooping sirens were on top of her now, and then the patio door slid open on the other side of the dining room. Two police officers entered the house, guns drawn.

“Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Department! Put your hands on your head!”

“What’s—” The strength drained from her legs, and her head spun. She was under arrest?

Oh God. That woman must have called the police.

“I said, put your hands on your head!” the same officer shouted.

Another officer went around behind her, stripped her of her gun, passed it off to the second officer, and proceeded to cuff her. “You have the right to remain silent—”

“This isn’t what it looks like.”

“It looks like you’re ransacking the house of a dead man.”

A dead man?

“I’m an FBI agent. I can explain—”

“You can do that down at the station.”


About the Author:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™

Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and beagle. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
Website - http://carolynarnold.net/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.



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Friday, April 29, 2016

Renovation by Kim Loraine - Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kim Loraine will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Process


Writing a book is different for everyone. Some people start and hammer it all out in one awesome marathon of flowing ideas and brilliant words. That’s not me. I plot, plan, and second-guess myself constantly. And that’s just writing the book. Once I send it to my critique partner it comes back and the doubts creep back in as I implement changes based on her feedback.

I’m fortunate to have a great team of people I use throughout the process from first draft to publication. My Beta readers are a wonderful resource. They usually get to see the book after my critique partner. Once I’m pretty sure what I’m sending them will be super close to the finished product, I hit send and the waiting begins. I wait to hear what they think, whether they connect with the characters, if they found any inconsistencies, and more than that, I wait to see if they liked it. That’s the worst part. The waiting.

Assuming the Beta readers give me glowing feedback, I send the manuscript off to my editor and wait some more. After the first round of edits are done and I know I won’t need to make any content changes, my editor and I spend time polishing the book. We make it the best it can be. There’s nothing more embarrassing than finding basic grammar errors in your published work (believe me, I know) and not being able to fix it.

My favorite part of this whole process is cover art. I’ve got an awesome cover artist. The day my proofs pop up in my inbox is always exciting. Usually, for the first week after I approve a cover, I make it my profile picture on social media and stare at it with a dopey grin on my face.

Even though self-doubt creeps in and inspiration wanes, I love writing. As long as people want to read my books (honestly, even if they don’t) I’ll write.

Valerie Peters is done with bad boys and ready to start living for herself. She’s determined to settle for nothing less than a romantic, sweeps-you-off-your-feet, nice-guy. So when a sexy firefighter with the hottest reputation in town saves her from near-drowning, there’s no doubt he’s everything she shouldn't want.

Donovan’s looks and image have kept his nights entertaining and his ring finger empty. One-night stands serve as a short-term distraction to the flashbacks of his past he increasingly struggles to ignore. But a chance encounter with his best friend’s sister makes him realize that one night is no longer enough.

Together they discover that bad can actually be the best and forever is worth everything.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Donovan Miller braced his arms on the side of the pool as he pushed himself out of the water. His limbs trembled slightly from exertion. He reached for his towel and caught sight of the swimmer a few lanes away. She was tiny. Her body moved smoothly through the water, mesmerizing him as she rotated back and forth. He could tell she was an experienced swimmer by the consistency in her strokes. As he toweled off, he admired the curves of her body. Alarm bells rang in his head when he realized she was rapidly approaching the wall and showed no sign of slowing.

"Hey! Hey! Watch out!" he shouted as he ran toward her lane, hoping desperately to intercept her.

With a dim thud, her head hit the side of the pool. He watched as her eyes rolled back and she sank under the water.

"Shit! Shit!"

Jumping into the swimmer's lane, he pulled her to the surface, attempting to immobilize her neck as much as possible. He assessed her pulse and checked to make sure her airway wasn't compromised.

"Call an ambulance," he barked at the dumbstruck lifeguards headed in their direction.

She floated in his arms, eyes closed, bleeding. He took a moment to feel thankful he'd seen the effects of blood mixed with water before. Even a small amount of blood can look like a murder scene when water is added. He held her while they waited for the ambulance. He stroked her hair and checked her pulse again, disconcerted by the feeling of her soft skin under his fingers. Her eyes fluttered open, affording him a concerned glance before she winced in pain.

"What happened?" Her voice was thin and raspy.

"Shh, don't try to move, sweetheart. You slammed into that wall pretty hard."

"I . . . mmm . . . lost my count."

"It's gonna be okay."

She frowned, eyebrows pulling together. "Can I get up now?"

"There's an ambulance on the way. They'll be here in a minute. We need to wait to move you. I want to get you on a spine board and in a neck brace." He smiled and locked eyes with her. "What's your name, sweetheart?"

"Valerie. Valerie Peters." Her face pulled into an adorable frown again. "Don't call me sweetheart. I don't even know you."


About the Author:
Kim Loraine is the author of the “Golden Beach” series, including “Restoration” (2015) and “Renovation” (2015). She started writing at a young age, scribbling down song lyrics, short stories, and poems she was too afraid to share with anyone. Busy working as a music teacher in her Pacific Northwest hometown, it wasn’t until her family of four picked up everything and moved to beautiful Japan that she decided to finally take the plunge and send her characters out into the world.

The central theme in Kim’s books is self-discovery, whether that is found through taking risks, breaking down walls, or admitting mistakes. Kim likes to write characters that seem like someone you actually know, who find that life is a journey not without its challenges.

When not writing Kim spends her time with her husband, chasing around their crazy kids, exploring Japan, and binge-watching Doctor Who on Netflix.

You can follow Kim on Facebook www.facebook.com/kimlorainewriter or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/kimloraine2.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Dawning of Scarlett by Jennifer Osborn


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be awarding a digital copy of The Dawning of Scarlett via iBooks to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

As a pale revenant—the vampire faction believing all life is sacred—sixteen-year-old Scarlett Ellis has learned to hide in the human world. She goes to night-school, works at a coffee shop, and her uncle Chasem trains her in martial arts. No matter what, she has to be prepared, because when she turns seventeen, she’ll be of Dawning age—and her biological father Apollo vows to see her dead first.

Expecting her Dawning to be impossible, she accepts the fact that she will become a rogue, forever hunted by revenant renegades and outcast by her own people. Scarlett thinks she’s prepared for this—until the curly-haired Nicholas Lightener walks into her life and asks her out on a date.

Torn between her feelings for Nick and the danger of the revenant world, Scarlett’s strange life is turned inside-out when she’s kidnapped and forced to do the one thing she swore she’d never do. Plus, she has no idea whose memories keep appearing in her dreams, or if they can even help her. Determined to free herself from a death sentence, Scarlett must fight to become who she was born to be.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Suddenly, I’m standing in a field, illuminated by sunlight, but I'm not burning. It's warm and relaxing. I look down to the translucent skin of my hands and can see the blood coursing through my veins. I turn my hand over, staring at it.

A movement catches my eye and I look up. Before me is a beautiful woman with dark hair and clear eyes. At first, her gaze is loving, adoring almost, and then it fades into a bone-chilling shriek as she turns to run away in horror. I try to reassure her that it’s okay, but the words get stuck in my throat. Her skin burns and flakes away, and before I know it, her scream fades to a muffled shriek, abruptly cut off as she becomes a pile of ash. A maniacal laugh sounds beside me, and I turn to see a dark-headed man with a deviant grin.

"Wasn't that lovely?" he asks me, laughing right as I feel my skin start to burn.


About the Author:
After working in the legal and technical fields for many years, Jennifer Osborn took the plunge into full time writing in 2015. She is the award-winning author of The Shilund Saga and The Sentinel’s Insurgency. When not writing, she listens to a different muse and creates paintings and collages of all sorts.

She lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband, three dogs, and two cats.

You can find out more about her at

Website: http://www.jenniferosborn.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferOsborn
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hondagirljen
Instragram: http://www.instagram.com/hondagirljen
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Osborn/e/B00EMWYFX0/

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Monday, April 25, 2016

The Trouble With Seduction by Victoria Hansen - Spotlight and Giveaway

BB_theTroubleWithSeduction_Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheTroubleWithSeductionRebellious, Scandalous and Irredeemable

Sarah, Lady Strathford is ready for a little harmless frivolity with a man of her own age and her own appetites…surely that’s not too much to ask! After the death of her beloved husband years before Sarah is ready for an adventure… Enter the dashing, roguish – and baffling – Mr Cornelius Ravenhill.

Ravenhill, however, is not the gentleman he seems, and soon Sarah finds herself battling against the corrupt and harsh world around her as it threatens to destroy all she holds dear. The question is, will her seduction at the hands of Mr Ravenhill prove to be her saviour or her downfall?

Enjoy an excerpt:

"This excerpt is from an unedited ARC and there may be small changes in the final book."

“I have a favor to ask, Amelia.” Sarah rolled her cigar between her fingers. “It has come to my attention that perhaps someone connected to Edward’s accident was at your party a few weeks ago. Would it be possible for you to make a list of all present? And could you please include the servants and anyone else who might have arrived late, guest or not.”

“Oh, my, Sarah! Whom do you suspect?”

“I’m not sure. It’s for an acquaintance who thought they briefly saw someone there.”

Amelia’s face lit up. “This is all so mysterious. Who is this acquaintance?”

Sarah bit her lower lip and tasted rich Cuban tobacco. Yesterday’s image of Mr. Ravenhill in his revealing work smock appeared in her mind. She probably should have nothing more to do with him. Handsome males had always brought trouble. The very first boy she’d admired had teased her into breaking her leg. Its weakness would probably forever plague her.

She shouldn’t reveal he was the one who wanted the list, but she hated lying, and especially to her friends. “This acquaintance believes they have found a connection between the fire that killed Edward and the men who attacked…him.”

“It’s Mr. Ravenhill!” Amelia clapped excitedly.

Calista’s dimple twitched, and she shoved her cigar into her mouth.

Sarah wanted to make herself very small and slink away. This was exactly what she’d been afraid of, and these were her friends. She and Ravenhill were such a chestnut – a wealthy widow befriending a handsome rake, the younger son of a peer. “You purposely misunderstand the situation. There is nothing between us and that is the way it will stay.”


About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheTroubleWithSeductionAward winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is stories with happily ever afters. Her first book, The Trouble With Misbehaving, was published in February 2016. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.

Website: http://www.victoriahanlen.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaHanlen
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/VictoriaHanlen

Buy the book at Mills and Boon, Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, or Google Play.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

In Defense of the Moth by Johnny Newport


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Johnny Newport will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Moon...

It is said the moon’s spell can move us and nobody understands her pull like Johnny Gomez.

Johnny, a devil-may-care and fatalistic salesman, remains tethered to his privileged life by a love for his children, his career and the moon—and not necessarily in that order. In fact, it’s Johnny’s lifelong passion for the moon, through both obsessive, independent study and a communal involvement in an astronomy society, that serves as the only outward distraction as a life of standard struggles waxes into a burgeoning crisis.

Until one night Johnny finds that the moon—his preferred method of self-medication-- no longer exists...but for him only and not anyone else.

Or so it seems, leaving Johnny’s continued marriage with reality to hinge on his rediscovery of the moon!

If you like allegories and/or philosophical apologies for acute insanity, grab “In Defense of the Moth or A Meaningless Dance in the Blinding Heat and Light” and join the eclipse.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I walked past a block of shuttered buildings. Most I noticed had been shuttered for a long time, but the last office was a more recent failure. It was a beauty salon last I remembered. I reached the street corner where the tall street lamp was planted in the sidewalk and I gazed upward. A flutter of moths danced to the low hum of energy the light created. It wasn’t much and it wasn’t for long as they would be dead soon, but at least without the light of the moon they had the luck of having a substitute for their meaning, even if artificial, through man’s production.

They owe us one, I thought.”


About the Author:
Johnny Newport (The Moth) is carrying the consciousness of the oft-failed man native to 2016. Strictly from a visual standpoint he looks like he may be kept in a nice package, but this is not so. Johnny Newport has two feet on the warpath and probably smells like last night’s street tacos.

Johnny knows that his devil-may-care attitude is unfair—to himself and to others—but this is precisely the origin for the voice of an unbridled generation of privilege; the 21st-century-livers that intimately know they have squandered (squandered what? How can we say definitively and with any assurance despite knowing that a squandering has, indeed, befallen?), and will continue to do so, happily.

Otherwise about me, I studied at the University of Texas at Austin, have spent the last two years in The Writer's Path program at SMU (Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and have applied to a handful of low-res MFA programs for fall of '16.

Short story publications in 2015 were:


* Mr. Franklin’s Heartbreaking Sympathy (The Speculative Book, anthology)

* La Tortuga, (Limestone, University of Kentucky MFA journal)

* He, Who Controls the Spices (Euphemism, Illinois State University graduate journal)

* I Blame Lolita (Moth magazine, Ireland's premiere literary review)
* Letter to the Jew's Mom (The Vehicle, Eastern Illinois University online journal)

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14879430.Johnny_Newport
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mothankles
Website: http://www.johnnynewport.com/

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hidden Chamber of Death by Hawk MacKinney - Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If someone were writing a story about you, what would your blurb say?

A landowner-rancher, raises Herford and Angus cattle and uses quarter horses—best in thick scrub ranges and brush—to corral and herd. A farmer, produces feed for the animals and food for the two-legged ones. The owner of sprawling lands of timber, harvested and replanted to restore habitats & endangered ecosystem—plants AND animal. Disapproves of new-money showy ostentation. Knows 15min of spotlight fame is the icing on the cake; the real work of painting pictures with words occurs in the solitude of the cave on Mars. Brooks no violations of his Man-Cave on Mars; does not suffer deceit and untruths of any sort. When words and actions don’t match, the words are false. His word is his bond. Considerate of those less fortunate.

Would you tell us a little about your newest release that isn't in the blurb?

In Hidden Chamber of Death, SEAL Craige Howelle Graeme Roynane Ingram has completed USNavy/SEAL active duty commitments. Along with several charities, he is a pick-&-choose part-time PI, and Trustee of Ardochy Manor and the estate of the late eccentric dowager Theosia Ambarella McGiffern. Craige soon uncovers estate discrepancies, banking conspiracies, deception, blackmail, and larceny hiding a madman's frenzied trail of murderous lust…and one very captivating young widow, Terry Stanley. He attempts to protect Terri and her teenage son before there are more dead bodies…including his own. The perp or perps are motivated by sensual twisted pleasure. Thwarted at every turn and frustrated, Craige’s instincts and those of his local across-the-river homicide investigator SEAL-bud acquired during their active duty are tested to the edge of a very close stalking death. A twist on keeping your friends close; keep your enemies closer…if you know who they are.

What was your favorite scene to write in this story?

Over several scenes in different titles the developing closeness between Craige and the young widow, Terri Wofford Stanley and her son…serial characters in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series titles.

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be?

Pathologist, medical examiner Frederick `Fred' Dinkins.

Why?

He works alone and undisturbed in his morgue much like a writer in a room buried among stacks of book and papers and antique spider webs snuggled with dust bunnies. Fred relentlessly digs and distills the forensic minutiae of natural causes and felony skullduggery down to its picky parts-&-pieces. Probing the obvious, matching it with the mundane, puzzling together puzzles and oft-twisted secreted conundrums…or the fumbled mistakes by perps. Except for a sinister caveat, fumbled mistakes with a psychotic can be tranquilly fatal. Psychotics are neither insane nor demented; they make their own rules. No one else matters. We see it daily, hourly…all around us in our civilized societies. Educated or not, psychotics are highly intelligent with a heavy dose of cocked-&-loaded paranoia, and if cornered are beastly aggressive in unexpected of ways. They are bottomless wellsprings from which to concoct perps, and they readily enjoy confounding and killing adversaries with devious MOs.

Hidden Chamber of Death is a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, deception and suspense that leads retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram in search of the connection between seemingly random murders and a banking conspiracy. Working with the local homicide investigator, who just happens to be a former Navy buddy, Craige Ingram's attempts to protect a lonely widow and solve the case before another person dies are only thwarted by a psychotic killer whose motivation is based on pure depraved pleasure. In this first book of the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY SERIES, the instincts and skills Ingram and his buddy acquired as Navy SEALS are tested to their limits.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Years later, Grannie’s death turned his world upside-down. He still remembered watching her coffin sink into the ground next to his parents and the terrible time he had afterwards. It wrenched his butt out of the Naval Academy, but Grannie was right again.

She’d often say, “Things be happenin’ like they should.

After several months of brooding, he and his high school bud, Graysen MacGerald, enlisted. He went through Navy SEAL BUD training where he learned a lot about himself, met some great people and acquired some bad habits, which he still had. Heavy sack time wasn’t one of them unless he had a tequila hangover or was snugged next to a hot body. That never happened on base—well, almost never.

Investments had paid off nicely. He’d added several large sections to Grannie’s place. She’d had a tough fight keeping her land from speculators pulling tax schemes to force it to auction. Some were her own kin. It wasn’t the first time Ingrams and Graemes faced that, and it wasn’t the first time backbiters reckoned wrong about Corinthia Ingram being easy pickings. She logged enough timber to pay the taxes and made damn sure riffraff, Ingram or otherwise, never set foot on Moccasin Hollow. Water and mineral rights were worth plenty then, and they were worth more now. Now and then, kaolin conglomerates pinged Craige about long-term leases, but it wasn't happening on Ingram land.

Craige's broker almost choked at the idea of his investing in Russian timber commodities. The seven-figure chunk of negotiable paper made his broker nervous. “You could lose it all, and they can be mean as snot,” he told Craige.

“Sometimes they have a right to be mean as snot.” It wouldn’t be the first time Craige’d done business with them, which he didn't reveal. He also didn’t tell him the Russians once had standing orders to shoot him on sight.

For a minute Craige thought he might have to administer CPR to this man, but the broker made the arrangements. Craige hadn’t planned on inspecting the properties till spring, but absentee landlords made for easy skimming. By being there he could make sure the cuts were from the selected sections. He wouldn’t be partner to slash and stripping whole mountains. Even with his inside contacts, it was a real eye opener. It’s never only about the money.


About the Author:
Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. Following graduation, he served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on fetal and adult anatomy, Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. This was followed by the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. In a change of direction, October of 2012 saw the release of Hawk’s first science fiction novel, The Bleikovat Event, in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series. Volume II in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series, The Missing Planets, was released in 2014 with Volume III in the works.

Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was just released, and Book 2 in the series, Westobou Gold, will be released in the fall.

Website: http://www.hawkmackinney.com
Book Video: https://youtu.be/LClbrwyQGhM
Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway