Friday, May 31, 2013

Stardust Summer by Lauren Clark - Virtual Review tour and giveaway

(Full Length Women's Fiction with strong romantic elements)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Lauren will be awarding winner's choice of either Dancing Naked in Dixie or Stay Tuned (in .mobi .pdf or .epub) to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop. Also, a $20 gift card to Amazon or (winner's choice) will be awarded to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour and a signed paperback copy of Dancing Naked in Dixie and Swag will be awarded to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour (USA ONLY)., so comment here and follow her tour for more chances to win -- just click the banner for a list of stops.

Single mom Grace Mason doesn’t believe in miracles, magic, or love at first sight. She likes the quiet life, complete with her eight-year-old son, their tiny house, and her teaching job. For Grace, happiness means that nothing much ever changes in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Then, one thousand miles away, tragedy strikes. A massive heart attack leaves Grace’s estranged father comatose in an Upstate New York hospital. While a team of doctors fight to keep Henry Mason alive, Grace and Evan rush to his bedside to say their final goodbyes.

Henry’s passing brings little closure for Grace, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to her new surroundings. What begins as a short trip results in an entire summer spent with Henry’s second wife, Kathleen, and her next-door neighbor, Ryan Gordon, the town doctor. When a series of unlikely events lead to Evan’s disappearance, Grace must face her worst fears to find her son and bring him back home.

Stardust Summer explores the complexities of forgiveness, what it means to be a family, and the fabulous possibility of falling in love—again.

Stardust Summer is a book that is packed with emotion. 

Grace is estranged from her father and hasn't seen him in years, despite his efforts to bridge the gap between them.  I have to admit that Grace was tough for me to like at first.  I wasn't completely sold on the reason for their estrangement, and when she goes to New York for the funeral and then stays for a while, there were times I felt she was being selfish and occasionally deliberately cruel.  This is definitely a book where the main character does some growing and changing before the end, in order to be a person you can admire and enjoy.

Her stepmother, Kathleen, was a great lady. She's struggling horribly with her husband's death.  One moment they were planning their retirement and then next she's having to face her later years alone, without the man she loved.  And even though Henry has passed, his memory touches every page of this book in some way.  I loved the man he seemed to be and, while he certainly wasn't perfect, I think that's one of the reasons Grace's behavior was so frustrating for me.

Ryan, Grace's romantic interest and Kathleen and Henry's neighbor and doctor, is also a good guy.  He has baggage from his failed first marriage to be sure, and some doubts about whether it was his fault (did he overlook something? Misdiagnose? Ignore symptoms?) that Henry died.  But he has a heart of gold, and the patience of Job.

Author Lauren Clark has created some incredibly real characters. Each person in the book from main to walk-on is separate, different and well-defined.  Her skill with description is amazing, and the dialogue is easy and realistic.  Truly her wonderful writing ability made the journey through Stardust Summer a joy.  If I'd have sympathized with Grace more, this book would have rated a solid 5 flowers.  I'll absolutely look for more from her and recommend her books to anyone looking for an enjoyable way to spends several hours. 

4 Flowers -- This was a very good book! I'd recommend it to my friends.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Grace woke to the sound of the lake lapping against the pebbly shore, as comfortable and familiar as a pair of old shoes. Morning light streamed in through the edges of the blinds covering the windows.

She noticed the dark tufts of Evan’s hair peeking out of the covers and smiled. He was breathing deeply, one arm slung over his head. Despite being eight and more grown-up, he still took every opportunity to climb into bed with her.

Carefully, she lifted her side of the sheets and pulled them back slowly. It was a new day and Grace was glad. It had been a long and weird afternoon yesterday, topped off with her stepmother’s performance at the funeral.

Grace sighed long and deep. She slipped on her robe and shut the bedroom door behind her carefully, so as not to wake Evan. If she had to guess, her stepmother was probably awake an hour ago. She peeked around the corner into the living room, expecting her to be standing there.

It was empty, and the door to Kathleen’s bedroom was open just a crack.

"Hello?" Grace said in a loud whisper.

No answer.

Grace let her shoulders relax. Kathleen was probably outside walking or gardening, maybe talking to one of the neighbors. Her father always said that her stepmother could never stand still.

Grateful for the reprieve, Grace decided to make coffee. As expected, everything inside the kitchen cabinets was stacked neatly and labeled. Grace inhaled the nutty aroma as she measured out a few scoops of dark brown granules, added the water, and flicked the switch.

As the coffee pot began to gurgle, Grace inspected the living room. It looked completely different without a crowd of people. The space was clean and white, with a sofa and loveseat in the corner, both set an equal distance apart from the coffee table. The floor, wide-planked and wooden, was aged to mellow golden color.

Framed pictures hung on the walls. There were lovely panoramic shots of Keuka Lake, two of her father and his Sailfish, and several snapshots of Evan.

The majority of photographs, however, were of Henry and Kathleen. Grace moved closer, studying the details, and found herself mesmerized by the similarities. In each one—location aside—her father and stepmother were smiling. In Italy, in China, and France. On the campus of the college where her father worked, on the shore of the lake, and inside the house where Grace was standing.

Every time the shutter clicked open, Henry and Kathleen had their heads bent together and arms entwined. They glowed with happiness and love.

Grace stepped back and turned away, feeling her throat choke with emotion.

It hurt to look too long at her father's face.

Grace slid open the heavy glass doors to the outside porch and stepped out onto the sturdy wooden planks, wishing the coffee would finish.

She shivered when the cool breeze hit her face and tugged the robe around her tighter. A tiny ant ran across the top of the wood, clinging for dear life in the breeze.

The chairs on the porch were empty. She looked further, down along the shoreline, for signs of life. The deck and pebbly beach were empty too.

Out of the corner of her eye, familiar blue and white stripes came into view across the aquamarine of the water. It looked hauntingly like her father’s sailboat. The trees near the deck bent in their branches, leaves rustling noisily.

The Sailfish was her father's prized possession, the boat he’d bought in college for only three hundred dollars. Henry had lovingly taken care of it over the years, sanded carefully and painted the brightest white at least a dozen times.

Grace kept her eyes focused on the tall mast, bobbing slightly as it made its way across the water. She could make out a single figure in an orange life vest. One person on board. It could be Kathleen, but she wasn't sure.

Then, the wind slowed, gusted once again, and sputtered. As the sun rose about the hilltops, the air became absolutely still.

Grace waited for the breeze to pick up, anticipating the brush of air against her bare skin. Her heart began to beat faster. She glanced around for other boats in the area—a fishing boat, a rowboat, anything.

The lake was empty. The sail hadn’t moved.

Shading her eyes, Grace held the boat in view, starting to walk toward the dock.

Another agonizing minute passed.

The boat’s mast teetered, causing the sail to shake from side to side. Grace blinked to make sure what she was seeing was real.

It was Kathleen.

Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.

Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, the Mobile Writers Guild, and a regular contributor to Parents & Kids Magazine's Mississippi Gulf Coast Edition. Check out her website at

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Legal Ease by Lori Ryan - Virtual tour and giveaway

Today author Lori Ryan visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the contemporary romance, "Legal Ease: Sutton Capital Series, Book One".

Lori will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one commenter during the tour, so comment here today and follow her tour by clicking on the banner above.

Jack Sutton needs a wife and he needs one now. Jack loved his mother, but she really screwed him over when she set up her will. If Jack doesn’t have a wife by the end of the week, he’ll lose control of the largest chunk of voting stock in his company and will most likely lose his position as CEO as a result.

And Jack’s Aunt Mabry is waiting in the wings to make sure that the terms of the will are enforced. If he doesn’t find a wife, she’ll seize control of the stock so she can install her own son at the helm and she couldn’t care less that her son doesn’t want the job or that he probably won’t be any good at it.

Enter Kelly Bradley, a twenty eight year old college graduate with a spot at Yale Law School but no way to pay for it. Kelly and Jack’s eavesdropping secretary have discovered Jack’s secret need for a wife and Kelly comes up with a plan to fix both of their problems.

Just when Jack needs her, Kelly breezes into his office, introduces herself to his Aunt and cousin, and hands Jack an offer. She will marry him for a year so that he can retain the stock that will keep him in control of Sutton Development if he’ll pay for her to go to law school. Jack has no idea where his beautiful savior came from or who she is but he’s willing to take a chance to save it all.

The deal may have kept Jack in control at Sutton Development but his private life quickly spirals out of control. Just when Jack realizes that he wants more than a year with Kelly, his wealth puts her in great danger and he is left scrambling to save her life and their future together.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“We’re here to meet Jack’s fiancé,” a smug-looking Mabry announced to Chad and Jack watched a bemused expression come over his cousin’s face.

Chad had to be wondering what the hell was going on. He and Jack were more like brothers than cousins, so if Jack were getting married, Chad should have been the first to know.

Oh, shit. I’m never gonna’ hear the end of this from him.

So there they sat, waiting for an introduction to a fiancé that Jack had never mentioned to Chad and a fiancé that Chad had never set eyes on.

Jack leaned forward in his chair, took a deep breath and prepared to come clean. Just then his secretary’s voice cut in and he could swear he heard her say that his fiancé was here.

His head whipped around and he stared open-mouthed at the phone, unable to process what was going on. Jack’s experience in business had taught him to school his expressions and hide his thoughts from those around him and though he was shocked, he did just that. He quickly hid all emotion from his face as he listened to his secretary.

“Sir, did you hear me? Mr. Sutton? Your fiancé has just arrived. Shall I show her in?” Jennie spoke again.

Andrew. Andrew must have sent him a fiancé. How in the hell had Andrew found him a fiancé? I mean, how does one go about that, Jack thought. Oh God, what if Andrew sent him a prostitute?

Lori has had a number of careers before embarking on her newest adventure of writing novels. After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she practiced law for three years, working primarily in the areas of utilities law and intellectual property litigation.

More recently, Lori owned and operated a dog training business in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in aggression and became an expert in the field of dog bite analysis. Lori sold her dog training business in 2013 and is now a full time writer and mother of two.

Lori still lives in Austin with her husband -- who is endlessly supportive of her changing career paths -- and her two children, one cat, and three dogs.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Tree of Jesse by JR Mattison - Review tour and Giveaway

(Full length paranormal romantic suspense)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.

J.R. will be awarding one digital copy of The Tree of Jesse to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, so comment here and follow her tour for more chances to win -- just click the banner for a list of stops.

On a lonely strip of Death Valley a failing musician awakens to an intriguing new life. One filled with ancient languages, a hidden identity, and the woman who holds the key to unlocking his destiny...his connection to the lost pages of the Dead Sea Scrolls. But there are those who want to keep the secrets buried...and will stop at nothing to keep the prophecy from unfolding.

Critically acclaimed screenwriter Mattison delivers a nail-biting, fast-paced paranormal romantic thriller that stuns with both historical facts and new revelations.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up The Tree of Jesse, but whatever it was, I was wrong! This book has a vague "The DaVinci Code" feel to it, with the race against time to translate clues that relate to Biblical prophecy. But that's only one part of the story.  Ms. Mattison has combined numerous points-of-view in this book to include so many people who are involved with the possible coming true of a Messianic prophecy.

Now, this isn't a religious book, per se, but there are religious (and many not-so-religious) characters.  Some can quote the Bible from beginning to end, others are dark and evil, while others are just out to have a good time (there is drinking and drug use in the book).

There is a depth of description here, and no skimping on character creation. Sometimes is slows the story a bit, but it does make the overall experience more enjoyable.  Ms. Mattison is a truly skilled author with an amazing way with words. While this may not have been my favorite story I've every read, I did enjoy it and never considered not finishing it.  More, I really admired the author's skill and would not hesitate to pick up another one of her books.

3.5 Flowers - This was a good book. I liked it.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

The full moon never ceases to amaze me no matter how many times I see it. Lately I feel more connected to it. Like its force is pulling me towards something.

Towards a life that I’ve lived before.

Deja vu.

I stand awed by its glow as she turns into her long gravel drive way; I’m surprised that old Jeep makes it up the mountain. Never understood why they call this place Lone Pine. There are pine trees everywhere.

As she dips her boot clad foot out the car door I realize that the way she moves has grown familiar to me. That her essence has become tattooed on the recesses of my mind in ways I couldn’t have imagined possible. And that I can’t imagine a day without seeing her run those long fingers thru her hair or watch her light up one of those thin brown cigarettes. And just then I suddenly see myself clearly. I’ve become the kind of man that watches what he can never have. That lingers too long in alleyways waiting to catch a glimpse.

Someone frightening and grotesque.

I’ve become less than good for nothing, just like my father always said I would. I’ve become a monster who stalks in the night.

I have to stop this.

I turn on my heel and race into the woods as fast as my legs will take me, never looking back.

Mattison started her career in Chicago appearing on television and radio. She founded founded Cheshire Smile Productions, bringing to life and penning her first feature film FISH WITHOUT A BICYCLE, a festival winning coming of age comedy which was directed by Brian Austin Green. “Fish” is now available on Netflix. Mattison also wrote Cheshire’s second release THE THIRD WISH now available at Blockbuster and distributed by the Hallmark Channel.

Lionsgate’s FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY, based on a true story of Jewish gangsters set in the 1970’s starring James Caan, Paul Sorvino, Edward Furlong and Jeffrey Tambor was also produced and written by Mattison.

Most recently Jenna has written a TV movie called COMMITTED, which wrapped production this spring to premiere on television this fall. Her novel The Tree Of Jesse is a romantic religious thriller and will be released this spring, available worldwide. Mattison wrote the book while recovering from a traumatic injury and says that the novel, “wrote itself”, with historical facts just begging to be included. “I didn’t write this…it came from somewhere else. Somewhere good. Somewhere pure.”

moviemaker magazine article:

The Perfect Duke by Dawn Ireland - Virtual Book tour and Giveaway

Today author Dawn Ireland visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance, "The Perfect Duke".

Dawn will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to one commenter during the tour, so comment here today and follow her tour by clicking on the banner above.

Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke. Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.

Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart, that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Cara noted the tightening around the duke’s mouth and thought she may have gone too far. “I’m sure your behavior is exemplary. For a duke.”

“But?” He tilted his head slightly, one winged brow raised.

“If you expect your niece to like you, then stop treating her as if she doesn’t exist, or worse yet is a servant in this house.” She moved to within a foot of him. “Do you know anything about her?”

The duke’s gaze darkened with an emotion she didn’t recognize. He lifted his hand in slow increments until he cupped her cheek, as if compelled by a force beyond his control. His thumb rubbed feathery strokes at the corner of her mouth. “I admit to a certain amount of ignorance.” His voice dropped to silky persuasion. “Perhaps you could enlighten me?”

She couldn’t breathe. His voice washed over her like dark velvet. Her heart pounded and she had the absurd impulse to step forward, eliminating the space between them. What would he think of her boldness?

Instead, she closed her eyes and turned her face into the warmth of his hand. The moment felt magical, as if his touch awakened her.

When she dared a glance at him, he shook his head as if he didn’t understand what had just happened, then dropped his hand. The moment faded, leaving her empty and confused. What she wouldn’t give to be able to disappear like the fairies in her stories.

“Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favorite words. Her love of story became a love of romance when she read Georgette Heyer’s, Devil’s Cub. It inspired her to write stories with strong characters that discover love is never easy, but always worthwhile. Dawn’s written several award-winning novels set in Georgian England – an era filled with rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy “Society” as they pursue love, run away, pursue, run away – well, you get the idea.

Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. What other profession encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?

Dawn lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband and very independent cats. When she’s not writing, she’s singing, gardening, learning to play the harp or wood carving. If you’d like to learn more about Dawn and her novels, go to her website at


The Perfect Duke

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: A Legacy of Revenge by Harriet Schultz

(Full Length Contemporary romantic suspense)

When a fourteenth-century Scottish oath leads to murder in present-day Boston, the victim's devastated widow seeks revenge. Determined to find and punish the person who killed her husband Will, Alexandra Cameron joins forces with his best friend, Diego Navarro.

The handsome, wealthy and powerful Argentine never expected to win Alex’s heart, yet two years after the senseless killing, their love blazes with heat and passion. Their bliss is threatened by a Scotsman who blames the couple for the death of his son — Will Cameron’s murderer. The ruthless predator targets Alex and forces the deadly game of revenge into its next round.

This is the second book in the series. I read the first book, Legacy of the Highlands, and absolutely loved it. I wasn't certain that this second book could live up to the first. Well, I was wrong to be concerned. You don't have to read the first book to enjoy this second in the series, but if you get the chance, grab it -- it'll be a great read and make your enjoyment of this book much richer.

In this second book, It has been two years since Will Cameron’s body was discovered in a Boston alley, and his widow, Alexandra, now living in Boston, has become very close to Will's best friend, Diego Navarro.

I had forgotten a few details of the first book, but this author very cleverly included facts that made certain that you were never at a loss for what was going on.

This story, like the first, jumped into high gear almost immediately. I didn't want to put it down, but I had to once in a while, just to catch my breath. This book has a lot of twists and turns. This author has a magical way with words, she keeps you on your toes the entire book.

Again, there is a beautiful love story. It had plenty of heat, but the emotions were primary to the relationship. And the love story fit in so well that you could see that it was a very important portion of the whole plot in this tale. Without it, the story wouldn't have worked. I know that I said this about the first book, but it is so important to this book also, that I have to mention it.

I didn't know that there would be more to write about after the first book, but there is plenty going on. This is so important and exciting and I can't believe that I didn't realize that there was more to know after reading the first book.

I really don't know what more to say. If you are looking for an awesome romantic suspense, this is the book for you. I can not remember when I have read a book that was so intense before. This author is one of the best I have discovered in years. You don't want to miss reading this book.

5 Flowers - I loved this book! It's on my keeper shelf! I highly recommend it.

FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Promise of Paradise by Allie Boniface - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today author Allie Boniface visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the contemporary romance novel, "The Promise of Paradise".

Allie will be awarding a $10 Amazon OR B&N Gift Card AND an e-copy of any of her backlist (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment today and follow the rest of her tour by clicking on the banner above.

Allie bravely shared five things about herself we might not have guessed. Allie, the floor is yours!

Thank you so much for having me here today! If you visit my website or read any of my official author bios, you'll find that in addition to writing romance novels, I'm a full-time English teacher, I'm married, and I love to travel. Want to know some of the nuttier, more random facts about my life?

1. I clean up after cats every Saturday morning. For the last 5 years, I've volunteered at a local animal shelter. Each weekend I go to the "cat house," where I clean litter boxes, change fleece blankets, and give the kitties lots and lots of attention. In fact, last month I helped out with a massive hoarding rescue. I fostered 2 very scared strays for a couple of weeks and am currently playing foster mom to a mother cat and her kitten. What can I say? I'm a softy when it comes to animals. Just remember, Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated."

2. I once hiked the Alps in a 2-day rainstorm. My husband, sister, and brother-in-law and I traveled to Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic one summer. While the men stayed in Munich and enjoyed the Hofbrauhaus, my sister and I decided to hike the Alps. It was beautiful. It was accessible (believe it or not, it's really tough to get lost, because the trails are well marked). And it rained the entire 2 days we were up there. Ugh. I remember lots of fog and soggy socks and shoes. I'd love to do it again – but only if it's sunny next time!

3. I don't eat cooked fruit. I know, it's weird. But I never have. I think it's a texture thing; I love fresh fruit and could eat it all day long. But when it's warm and mushy, something about my taste buds revolts. This means I don't eat apple pie, blueberry muffins, oatmeal raisin cookies, strawberry shortcake...

4. I had a pen pal all through college. I met a guy one summer when I was nineteen who went to a college in a different state. We hit it off but never dated, and he turned out to be one of those amazing people who liked to write letters. Long ones. Detailed ones. Observations on everyday life, the future, the past, our friendship, favorite books and movies...for the next 5 years or so, we exchanged letters every month. They were old-fashioned, handwritten, and I loved opening my mailbox and discovering them. It truly was a treasured friendship.

5. One of my favorite places to write when I was a teenager was the local cemetery. Kind of weird, right? But it was beautiful and peaceful and quiet – no one ever interrupted me! It was only about a quarter-mile from our house, quite small, and very old. I loved looking at the dates on the headstones, how far back they went and the names and ages of the people buried there. In summer, I would sit in the grass, notepad on my knees, and scribble down poems and ideas for stories.

So there you have it! 5 quirky things about Yours Truly – and yes, all of them in some way have affected my writing. Happy reading!

Harvard grad Ashton Kirk is headed for a promising law career when scandal breaks apart her family. To escape, she changes her name and rents an apartment in the small town of Paradise, New Hampshire, where no one knows who she is.

Ash hopes for solitude, but all bets are off when Eddie West, the town’s most eligible bachelor, moves in downstairs. The sexy auto mechanic loves his women and his cars shiny, sleek, and fast, and when he meets his new housemate, he wastes no time getting friendly. But Eddie is nursing his own recent loss, and the last thing he wants to do is let someone new into his life or his heart.

Can two people from different worlds find common ground and a place to fall in love? Or will Ashton’s past and Eddie’s scars keep them apart just as summer heat brings them together? Is it possible to find your soul mate in the place you least expect?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“You okay?” Eddie glanced over his shoulder.

“Yeah. Just resting.” Ash reached for another chair, but this one sprung open when she touched it, and the next thing she knew, it had pinched her finger in its hinge. Hard.

“Ow! Dammit.” Yanking the finger free, she blinked back tears. “That hurt.” A blood blister welled up immediately, and she put it to her mouth to try and suck away the pain.

In an instant Eddie was there. He reached for her hand and held it under the weak light that shone out from the kitchen. “Ouch. That’s gonna sting for a while.”

“No kidding.”

He looked at her, concern in his eyes, and suddenly Ash knew she was in trouble. Big, huge, complicated trouble. She felt as if someone had pushed her out of a plane from about a million miles up, and in that moment on the roof, when Eddie held her hand in his, she fell and kept falling, past the point where she knew whether it was right or wrong, to some bottomless, buoyant space where all she wanted to do was stay in his gaze forever.

“Ash? You okay? You want some ice?”

God, she loved the way the words sounded in his mouth. She loved the way he took her nickname and made it sound like no one else ever had. Even the pinpricks of desire Colin had once stirred now seemed like long-dead embers.

“No, I think it’s—” She couldn’t finish the thought, not with his eyes on her like that. She wanted to pull her hand away, to run the finger under cold water and make the sting go away. But she couldn’t move. Eddie’s gaze traveled from her hand to her face, and in the next instant there was no more space between them: no floor, no rooftop, barely any air at all.

Allie Boniface is a small-town girl at heart who's traveled around the world and still finds that the magic and the mystery of small towns make them the best places to fall in love and find adventure. From the New England coast to Rocky Mountain hotels to tiny European bars, she's found more character and plot inspirations than she could ever count. Currently, she's lucky enough to live in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley with her own "Hometown Hero," a guy who can fix, build, drive, and grill anything and is the epitome of the strong and silent type.

When she isn't writing love stories, Allie is a full-time high school English teacher who gets a kick out of helping her teenagers negotiate the ups and downs of writing along with the ups and downs of life (because, really, she's still trying to do the same thing!). And while she'll continue to travel far and wide, Allie knows there's really nothing like coming back to the place where the people who have known you forever welcome you home with open arms.
Twitter: AllieBoniface1

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine - Review tour and giveaway

(Full Length Women's Fiction)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.

Victoria will be awarding a $25 (grand prize) gift card with two gift cards for $15 each; the cards would for either Amazon or Smashwords (winner’s choice), so make sure you leave her a comment today!

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. Now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house, cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.

After placing an ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-zine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time.

Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.

Take a woman on the other side of forty, throw in a new supervisor (that you have to train because you've already been doing the job), add a general dissatisfaction with life as you know it-- and you have the recipe for a wonderfully madcap adventure as the main character trades in her ordinary life for a "life less ordinary."

I absolutely loved this book and each and every character (especially her imaginary friend Harvey--who has a to be a nod to Mary Chase's imaginary rabbit). The adventures that Manny and Zeke get into, as well as their growing respect and fondness for each other, are enjoyable to see.

I especially liked seeing how Zeke's attitude shifts during the course of their journey together and how he changes.

The secondary characters (I hate to call them that, because they are just as important to the story as Manny and Zeke) and their stories serve as a juxtaposition to the trip Manny and Zeke are taking--their ordinary lives are proving to be just as life-altering as Manny's less ordinary adventure.

I hope the author has more in store for this ensemble--I feel like I've made friends and I would like to see what else happens with them.

4 flowers - This was a very good book! I'd recommend it to my friends.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“All I ever wanted was a life less ordinary.”

Manny lay flat on her back, eyes wide, staring at the ceiling while she waited for her clock to hit 6:00. Another day of work, she thought. Another day older and deeper in debt.

She had the alarm timed to the millisecond. The jarring noise had barely begun when she clicked it off. She sighed then threw back the covers and got out of bed.

She padded into the bathroom, glanced without interest in the full-length mirror that doubled as her shower doors and took her morning inventory.

Plain face? Check.

Looking tired? Check.

Thirty pounds overweight? Check.

Dark circles under deer-caught-in-headlights eyes? Check and check.

She shook her head at her limp, mousy hair and wondered when she’d gotten so old.

She sighed in resignation then conjured up her Perfect Fantasy Man–or Harvey, as she liked to call him–to give her a morning lift. She cocked her head to one side as she stared into the mirror and imagined him standing behind her. She smiled at the handsome man, and he smiled back, putting his hands on her shoulders. Everything about him was warm, in stark contrast to the cold shades of grey in which she lived her life. He had warm brown eyes, warm brown skin, and a warm smooth voice that always reminded her of golden honey. Today his hair was black with greying temples, and yes, even that seemed warm to her.

He was perfect, everything she considered ideal in a man–and extra-perfect, of course, because he was a fantasy. Just the thought of trying to establish a relationship with an actual man felt too much like work.

She sighed and Harvey disappeared.

“Instead I ended up in a rut–everything planned and executed to the minute.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Victoria Bernadine (a pseudonym) is, as the saying goes, a “woman of a certain age”. After twenty-something years of writer’s block, she began writing again in 2008. She began with fanfiction about a (now-cancelled) TV show called Jericho and particularly about the characters of Heather Lisinski and Edward Beck. From there, she expanded into writing original fic and she hasn’t stopped since.

Victoria enjoys reading all genres and particularly loves writing romantic comedy and post-apocalyptic science fiction. What those two have in common is anybody’s guess.

She lives in Edmonton with her two cats (The Grunt and The Runt). A Life Less Ordinary is the first novel she felt was good enough to be released into the wild.

Victoria can be contacted through Love of Words Publishing Inc. ( or through her brand new blog at

A Life Less Ordinary is available for sale on Amazon in both Kindle and hard copy formats at

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Gospel According to Prissy by Barbara Casey - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Today author Barbara Casey visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the inspirational suspense novel, "The Gospel According to Prissy".

Barbara Casey will be awarding a $25 Amazon or gift card to one randomly chosen commenter, so leave a comment today and follow the rest of her tour by clicking on the banner above.

Three Army veteran misfits, a college dropout, an unmotivated high school graduate accused of murder, a controversial warden of a women's prison, and a little girl with the gift of prophesy – these are the people 31-year-old Lara Kruger invites into her life after suffering a miscarriage, a divorce from an abusive husband, and unemployment.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The young child skipped through the tall trees and underbrush, unaware of the puddles created by recent rains or the low-lying tree branches and vines that swiped at her coveralls and scratched her bare arms. Hugging a doll that showed the wear of a favorite toy and a faint smudge of chocolate ice cream, the child pushed forward with determination. She knew where she wanted to go, and her face showed the intensity and resolve of a person much older than her five years. The black woman wearing the uniform of a prison guard struggled to keep up with her young charge. The thick green tangle of natural forest growth and uneven turf was more of a challenge to a woman her size and stature.

The child stopped when she reached a clearing, that place in the woods that wasn’t quite so overgrown and where the wild vegetation had been pressed from previous visits. In front of her was a tree, magnificent in size, ancient in age. She had reached her destination. She called it, quite simply, “the place.” Quietly, reverently, she approached the tree, reaching out and touching the familiar rough surface and its many irregular crevices. She squatted where some roots had pushed upward and were now gnarled and covered in bark before extending downward again deep into the soil. It was between two of these large root formations that the child placed the doll – a throne. Her hand explored the curvature of one darkened root, first touching the soft green moss, and then the small indented place that held water whenever it rained. It was moist. Satisfied, she knelt. Then, lowering her head and folding her dimpled hands together, she started to pray.

Barbara Casey is president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing adult fiction and nonfiction for authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. She is also the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award, the Dana Award for Best Novel, and the Publisher’s Best Seller Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, released in 2008, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and her novel Just Like Family received special recognition by the 7-Eleven Corporation. Her latest young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, was reviewed by the Smithsonian for its list of 2011 Best Books. The Gospel According to Prissy, a contemporary adult novel, was released in the spring of 2013.

In addition to being a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences, Ms. Casey served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kill Shot by Anne Patrick - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Today author Anne Patrick visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the romantic suspense novel, "Kill Shot".

Anne will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment today and follow the rest of her tour by clicking on the banner above.

Former combat medic Kory Wagner survived four war zones. Now she’s home and out of the Army for good and someone is trying to kill her in her own backyard. Just as disturbing is the handsome sheriff who’s on the case. Sheriff Sean Harding doesn’t quite know what to think of the decorated veteran that managed to outsmart an entire search party. What bothers him more is the body of a PI, whom she hired, was found dead in a building she owns. And Kory isn’t being very cooperative with helping him find the answers as to why someone would kill her sister and want her dead. Will he be able to keep her alive along enough to discover the truth?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Sean followed the trail of blood to the back of the warehouse. She had definitely been hit -- question was how bad? Was she the one who called in the shooting? If so he didn't blame her for not sticking around, not when someone was trying to kill her. He was surprised she called the police at all.

He stepped out into the late afternoon sunlight. The last traces of blood were found halfway between the building and the edge of the woods. There wasn't any skid marks in the side parking lot indicating a hasty retreat, and there were no casings. Did the shooter have an accomplice waiting at the back door just in case, or did she manage to escape into the woods?

Deputy McKee joined Sean at the edge of the woods. "Find anything?"

"No. The blood trail ends over there. Judging from the distance between droplets she was running at a pretty good pace."

"There's only one car in the parking lot. Do you think they came together, or did she park back here?"

"They either came together or she came in soon after he did thru the front door. The trajectory of the bullets suggests she was near the front of the building when she was hit and exited through the back door."

"So she either managed to make it back to her car near the front of the building or she's on foot," the deputy said.

Sean looked toward the tree line. "If I were her and I had someone shooting at me I'd head for the woods. More places to hide than on a highway. Assemble a search team and have them start looking just in case. And notify the local hospital to be on the lookout for her. If she comes in I want her held for questioning."

Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award winning and bestselling WOUNDED HEROES SERIES, FIRE AND ASH, and TIES THAT BIND. Her books have garnered four-star reviews from Romantic Times, 'Top Pick' and 'Best Book' honors from Night Owl Reviews and Long and Short of It Reviews, and Five-Heart reviews from The Romance Studio. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

His Jilted Bride by Rose Gordon - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today author Rose Gordon visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance, "His Jilted Bride". I enjoyed this book quite a lot, and have reviewed it here.

Rose will be awarding a $100 gift card to to a randomly drawn commenter, so leave a comment today and follow the rest of her tour by clicking on the banner above. Additionally, along with the grand prize giveaway that stretches for the duration of the the tour, Rose is giving away a signed copy of one of her backlist titles: His Contract Bride to one commenter on this blog (US only -- international commenters will be awarded their choice of two digital books from her backlist instead).

Rose has shared five things about her we might not have guessed.  The floor is yours, Rose!

1. My husband’s hair is longer than mine. I recently cut my hair to just below my chin, and my husband has these tight spiral curls that hang down just below his shoulders, and further when wet! Ironically, many of the men I write about in my Regency novels, have long hair they keep in queues. So it didn’t come as a surprise—though was hysterically funny—when one of the women in my husband’s chemistry class asked him one day if he grew his hair long like that so he could be on the cover of one of my books.

2. I hate to hug. Yes, I know, I’m a romance novelist which automatically equates to lover of all things intimacy in some people’s minds. But not for me. I can’t explain why, but I’m not very comfortable being touched by people I don’t know—and even some I do know!

3. When people ask what I do, I tell them I’m an adult entertainer. It’s great to see their reaction. This came about when I was cornered about my extracurricular activities (writing romances) by some ladies in my church. When they asked what I was doing during the day with all of my free time now that my kids were in school, I just smiled and said I was now working as an adult entertainer. I didn’t lie. It’s true. I’m an adult and an entertainer! I’ve since given this as my job description to anyone who asks. It’s always a great way to break the ice.

4. My father reads all of my books and likes to discuss them at length. I think that’s all that needs to be said on this point.

5. I had to delete one of my things for fear of public crucifixion. Seriously. I made an admission (that I then had to delete) that many people would consider to be a crime against humanity—even though it had to do with having never read a book about vampires.

It's her wedding day and there is no groom in sight. But why should Amelia Brice be surprised? Hiram, Lord Friar is known for having no gentleman's honor to speak of and his jilting her on their wedding day makes it official.

Elijah Banks cannot allow his childhood friend to continue to be shamed this way. It's been almost an hour past the time when the wedding was to start, and that bounder still hasn't shown up. Unable to sit still a second longer, Elijah does the only thing that seems logical from where he stands: kidnap the bride and marry her himself in order to escape this scandal with one far more forgiving for a young lady's reputation.

The only trouble is, she has a secret...but so does he; hers is big...but his is bigger.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He pushed open the window as far as it would go and motioned for her to come over. “All right, I'll climb out first and then help pull you through.”

She cast him a tentative glance. “Is that really necessary?”

He stared at her as if she'd just asked the stupidest question ever. “Do you know another way to get out of here without being seen?”

“No.” But that still didn't mean she wanted to climb out a window.

“Don't worry, Amelia. I'll be right there to help you.”

“Wonderful,” she muttered as he threw his left leg over the window sill, then his right.

He jumped down and took a step back. “All right, Amelia, let's see those superb leaping skills you used to boast about having.”

Had she a heavy object at her disposal—and not been in the middle of escaping what was sure to be the scandal of the season—she'd have brained him right then and there. With as much grace as her heavy satin gown would allow, she made her way to the window, pulled her skirt up as far as she could, and then threw one stocking-clad leg over the windowsill.

And that's as far as she got.

Between the heavy skirts and the voluminous petticoats underneath them, she couldn't move.

“Elijah, help me. I think my skirt is stuck.”

He grinned at her.

“Elijah, why are you just standing there?”

“Just admiring the view,” he said with a wink.

“Elijah!” She gave her dress a hearty yank, but it would seem her iron hoop stays were too wide to go through the window. “You can gawk all you want later. Just help me out.”

“Promises, promises,” he muttered, coming up to her.

USA Today Bestselling Author of ten unusually unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroes, feisty heroines, marriage-producing scandals, far too much scheming, naughty literature and always a sweet happily-ever-after. When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she spends her time chasing two young boys around the house, being haunted by wild animals, or sitting on the swing in the backyard where she has to use her arms as shields to deflect projectiles AKA: balls, water balloons, sticks, pinecones, and anything else one of them picks up to hurl at his brother who just happens to be hiding behind her.




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Review: His Jilted Bride by Rose Gordon

(Novella length historical romance)

It's her wedding day and there is no groom in sight. But why should Amelia Brice be surprised? Hiram, Lord Friar is known for having no gentleman's honor to speak of and his jilting her on their wedding day makes it official.

Elijah Banks cannot allow his childhood friend to continue to be shamed this way. It's been almost an hour past the time when the wedding was to start, and that bounder still hasn't shown up. Unable to sit still a second longer, Elijah does the only thing that seems logical from where he stands: kidnap the bride and marry her himself in order to escape this scandal with one far more forgiving for a young lady's reputation.

The only trouble is, she has a secret...but so does he; hers is big...but his is bigger.

His Jilted Bride is both a typical and atypical historical romance.  Typical because of the mores of the time (especially regarding women), but not so typical since this story doesn't deal so much with things most readers have come to expect like ballrooms and the ton.

 I have to admit first that I was a bit frustrated with the hero and heroine.  They've been friends since childhood, but suddenly find it impossible to talk to one another? This was a story with a misunderstanding (or two) that could have been cleared up easily with an honest conversation.  However, given their behavior at the beginning of the story that shoves a wedge between them, I suppose it's somewhat understandable.

Still, I found the hero, Elijah, and his brother, Henry, completely real and charming and enjoyed every scene they were in (together and separately).  Amelia made me a bit crazy and I wanted to shake her several times, but she redeems herself eventually and honestly, the romance was sweet and touched my heart.  I'm always a sucker for the friends to lovers trope.  The author's skill with words is never in question, and she creates scenes we can see clearly in our minds with deft description and clear, realistic dialogue.

 While this was apparently part of a series, I never felt lost or as if I were missing something.  It stands alone quite well.

If you are looking for an adorable historical romance with a touch of intrigue, and one that can be read in one or two sittings, then I recommend His Jilted Bride.  I eagerly look forward to Henry's story. He nearly steals the show in this book!

4 Flowers - This was a very good book! I'd recommend it to my friends.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Not to Train a Zombie by Annie Rachel Cole - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today author Annie Rachel Cole visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the middle grade novel, "How Not to Train a Zombie".

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment today and follow the rest of her tour by clicking on the banner above.

How does a thirteen-year old become the most popular kid in 8th grade? He trains a zombie to be a pet... And that's exactly what Max Taylor plans to do, even if he had to lie, steal, and lose his best friend in the process.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“Training a zombie is not a stupid idea. Everyone will be so jealous and they’ll want one. But we’ll be the only ones who can train them. Not only will we be popular, but we’ll be rich,” said Max, quickly changing the conversation away from Kelly’s pool party as fast as he could. It irked him that Eddy Pratt, the geekiest kid in school got invited to the party and he, Kelly’s soon-to-be boyfriend, didn’t. How could Eddy Pratt be ranked higher than him on the school social ladder? How could Chad get invited and not him? It didn’t make any sense.

Max banged his fist against his head. It did too make sense. Eddy didn’t get invited because he was cool or anything like that. He got invited because his dad’s a zombie exterminator.

“Training a zombie like it’s some sort of pet is not only the most stupid idea I’ve ever heard, it won’t work. No way!” Chad opened his locker and put several books inside. “All you’re gonna do is break a whole lot of laws. Besides, I’ve already told Mr. Carter we’re doing an experiment to show how volcanos create islands.”

“And how is showing how volcanos create islands going to make up popular?”

“It’ll win us the science fair.”

“But if we train a zombie, we’ll not only win the science fair, we’ll be doing the town a huge favor.”

“How? By getting ourselves put in jail or worse like—you know—infected? No! Thank! You! There are rules about zombies for a reason. They are extremely infectious…”

I live in Texas with my husband, son, and two cats who think they run the place. I read, write, play Texas Hold’em poker (I'm actually part of a local league), and occasionally I compete in BBQ competitions with my husband. Our team name is Outcast Cookers. I also teach in a public school.

My likes include: a wide variety of music (see my play list for book 2 on my blog), Star Trek (My son got me a signed picture of Patrick Stewart which sits on my desk.), Star Wars, Grimm (TV series), winter (though we don’t have snow), the holiday season, coffee, hot tea (with cream and sweetener), pizza (no anchovies though), puzzles, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, and JK Rowling.

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Elven Blood by Debra Dunbar - Virtual Book tour and giveaway

Today author Debra Dunbar visits on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the Urban Fantasy, "Elven Blood".

Debra will be awarding an e-book copy of A DEMON BOUND (book 1 in the Imp Series) to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a grand prize of a Kindle Fire with an ELVEN BLOOD book cover skin to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY), so leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered!

Thanks to Debra for answering all my prying questions!

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I’ve always loved fantasy. To young children, everything is magic and it’s just as possible for a dog to sprout wings and fly as it is for a bird to do so. I don’t think I ever lost that ability to see the world as a place of possibilities. The odd thing is I’m also a stodgy, practical person. I’ve got an MBA and work for a corporation designing sales compensation plans- which involves a lot of spreadsheets and statistics. You wouldn’t think that kind of person could also write stories about demons and angels, about elves and changelings, but I do. I like to think of it as a Clark Kent/Superman kind of thing. Mild mannered compensation consultant by day, cape-wearing super author by night!

What world-building is required?

Since I’m writing urban/contemporary fantasy, I try to root a lot of my world-building in mythology, folklore, or old religious texts. I think it’s easier for the reader to buy in to a fantasy world if some things are familiar.

For the parts that sprang completely from my imagination, a lot of brain work had to go into the series before I ever began the first chapter. The first draft of novel 1 (A Demon Bound) brought up even more questions, and I found myself with a few re-writes to make sure I had all the details down on the various supernatural races, their interactions and history, and the geography. I actually have a map drawn of Hel, so I know where the elven kingdoms are, topographical features, and locations of the angelic gates to our world.

Name one thing you learned from your heroine.

That we all have an imp somewhere inside of us, and it’s okay if we let her come out and play every now and then. I’m not likely to make a whole bar full of people crave hot wings, or vandalize an entire block of parking meters, but I still can take naughty pictures of our Elf On A Shelf and post them to Pinterest.

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

There is one weird superstition I have about picking up coins. If I see any kind of money on the ground, no matter how gross it is, I need to pick it up. I don’t have to keep it – I can stick it in a donation jar, give it to one of my kids, put it in a piggy bank, etc, but I do have to pick it up. If I don’t, I believe I’m sending the universe the signal that I don’t need money, and I’ll wind up with financial misfortune.

I actually wrote a horror short story based on this – A Slave To The Coin. It’s free on Smashwords, and on Amazon for 99 cents.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’m trying to be a reformed pantser. I’ve always done a sketchy outline, but for my current work-in-progress I have a chapter-by-chapter outline with more detail. I think that’s about as plotter as I can get, though.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My four year old son, with a panda Pillow Pet. He loves to sit beside me while I work, and sometimes he’ll pull one of my books off the shelf and “read”. He tells me they are quite good.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Now that Elven Blood is out the door, I’m working on book 4 in the Imp series. I’ve also got 2 more short stories in my Naughty Mom romantic erotica series coming soon, and a paranormal thriller, Dead Shift, due out this fall. There are story ideas for a few more things, but I’m not sure my schedule will allow them this year.

Do you have a question for our readers?

If you let your inner Imp out to play, what would she (or he) do? Assuming you didn’t need to fear incarceration, that is!

Sam may be the Iblis, but she is also an imp with a price on her head. The powerful demon Haagenti won’t rest until she’s dragged back to Hel for “punishment”. Sam knows she can’t face Haagenti and win, so when an Elf Lord offers to eliminate the demon in return for her help, Sam accepts. It’s a simple job – find and retrieve a half-breed monster dead or alive. But finding this demon/elf hybrid isn’t proving easy and time is running out.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

The hiss of Wyatt’s shower penetrated through the fog of my pre-caffeinated brain. I was still sprawled on the bed, hidden under a heap of covers, wondering whether I could sneak in a few more minutes of sleep. It was rent day, and I was already late in making my collection rounds. Stretching, I poked my head from under the blanket and watched a small lizard cross the floor. It had a scorpion tail, pointed ears and crimson eyes that darted intelligently across the room. Those red eyes locked onto the bed just as I realized this wasn’t a lizard. It was a demon—and not the usual Low one either.

There was a flash, and I rolled across the bed and onto the floor just before the mattress sliced into two smoking sections. Unfortunately I was trapped in a tangle of sheets. Instinctively I converted my form, deconstructing my usual human one into basic atoms and re-assembling into a creature that was small and hard to kill.

I heard a muffled curse, and I felt the sheets snatched from above me. The demon was no longer a lizard; he was bipedal with furry, clawed legs and a scaled torso. Arms hung down past his knees, ending in sharp hooks. His head twisted and turned, forked tongue tasting the air as he searched for me.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Debra Dunbar lives on a farm in the northeast United States with her husband, three boys, and a Noah’s ark of four legged family members. Her urban fantasy novels feature supernatural elements in local settings. In addition to A DEMON BOUND, SATAN’S SWORD, and ELVEN BLOOD, she has also published a short story erotica series titled NAUGHTY MOM. Connect with her on Twitter @debra_dunbar on Facebook at debradunbarauthor, and on her website at .



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time by S. R. Howen - Review tour and giveaway

(Full length, Paranormal Time Travel Native American Romance)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.

S.R. will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment on this post and you're entered!

Shannon Running Deer is American Indian by blood, but he has forsaken his people's ancient ways to embrace the "modern" world as a wealthy, highly successful trauma surgeon.

His comfortable existence begins to unravel when, seemingly by chance, Shannon finds himself gradually drawn into the past. Pursued by an ancient evil, he knows he can change the future, if he can survive the past.

In the tradition of Diana Gabaldon, S.R. Howen's MEDICINE MAN is a distinctive and atmospheric novel full of spirituality, mystical time travel, romance, passion, and suspense.

With descriptive and detailing writing, author SR Howen introduces us to a world of intrigue and mystery.

This book is unlike anything I typically read.  With "real life" interwoven with dreams and visions, and tradition versus modern beliefs, there are times we aren't sure just exactly what is true and what isn't.  Our main character, Shannon Running Deer, frequently felt the same!  I liked him, though, and that attachment kept me turning pages.

I wasn't as fond of  Morning Dove as I couldn't get a grip on her. Was she good or evil? Should our hero be with her or not?  Eventually, we get the answers to those questions, but it made my feelings for her ambivalent, which affected some of my enjoyment of the story.

The plot itself was very interesting and well-constructed. Occasionally, it slowed a bit, but would pick right back up again and start with heart-pounding excitement.  I never thought of stopping reading, as I needed to know how things would turn out.

Author SR Howen is very talented and skilled with the written word.  I'd absolutely pick something of hers up to read again.

3.5 Flowers - This was a good book. I liked it.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

I ducked behind the lab table and made my way to the far side of the room. I crouched behind the drawer unit of the farthest table. The wolf didn’t follow me. I couldn’t chance looking around the corner of the table to see where he was. The soft sounds of someone walking across the floor made my nerves stretch tight and sing with fear.

“I’ve got everything put together,” a woman said.

Doctor Martins?

The second person made a small sound of agreement, but didn’t speak. Pages rattled, and a drawer opened.

“The instructions are in here. I included a set in the shell itself--just in case you need them.”

Another sound of agreement from the second person.

“It would have been a lot easier to put this stuff on a disk.”

“No disks. I already told you--no trail of any sort.” He sounded angry and annoyed.

A key turned in a lock, and a hinge squeaked. Something heavy got set down on the lab table I had been at earlier.

What was going on?

The room door swung open.

“You aren’t supposed to be in here,” Doctor Martins said.

Her voice had risen in tone--someone caught doing something they shouldn’t have been.

“I have to check all the doors. Once every hour on this floor. Who are you?” I assumed it was a guard asking.

“Doctor Martins,” she answered. “This is my lab.”

“And him?”

“My assistant,” Doctor Martins said too quickly.

The guard’s shoes made a sound on the floor. “Well, you need to lock the door, even when you’re inside.” The door opened again before it shut with a click. The guard had locked the door from the outside. I wondered briefly if I needed a key from the inside.

“You told me there wouldn’t be a guard,” the man said.

He sounded threatening.

“I don’t even know who that guy is. The other guard was a lazy fool. He spent most his shifts on the phone with his girlfriend.”

“And if this new guard reports you were here?”

“He won’t,” Doctor Martins said.

The man stayed silent. His lack of continued protests seemed wrong.

Another cabinet opened, and something else got set on the lab table.

“How much is here?” the man asked.

“What we agreed on--you could vaccinate everyone in China,” Doctor Martins answered. She let out a nervous little laugh.

“And the other?”

“Everything I promised. It self-replicates, so you can use it in the field--and each time it replicates the structure mutates so it can fight bigger and better bugs.” She laughed again.

“Very good,” the man said.

There was a slight sound, like the brushing of fabric over something hard. One of the two gasped followed by a loud thump that made me startle. I barely kept from smacking my head on the metal drawers behind me. A sulfurous smell drifted across the room.

Latches snapped shut, and papers got shuffled. What had happened? I carefully peered around the edge of the drawer unit. Doctor Martins lay on her back on the floor. Blood seeped from beneath her.

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