Monday, March 31, 2014

Once Upon a Tiger by Kat Simons - Review and Giveaway

(Erotic Paranormal Romance)

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kat will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so make sure you comment and then follow the tour by clicking the tour banner, above, for more chances to win.

She’ll never run. Among the tiger shifters, Alexis Tarasova is regarded as fierce and dangerous, with a reputation that would make even the most daring tiger think twice about challenging her. Female tiger shifters may be rare and the mating run a critical part of their species’s survival, but Alexis is the only female Tracker and will not back down, even at the threat of tiger law. She will not be forced to mate. So when a handful of males band together to force her to participate in the run, Alexis chooses to stand her ground and fight instead.

He's forbidden to run.

Outcast from the tiger shifters after a vicious childhood attack left him mute, Victor Romanov has never taken part in the mate run. He’s never particularly cared, though, since the woman he loves refuses to take a mate. However, when he learns Alexis may be in danger, all bets are off. Nothing will keep him from her side.

Together, they're unmovable.

The chemistry between them burns wickedly hot and forges them into an unbeatable pair. Alexis knows that being with Victor means she will have to break another one of her people’s laws—a move that might push the tigers too far. But, for Victor, she will risk everything, including her life, and do what she thought she’d never do—run.

MY REVIEW:  This was a hot, interesting story that had quite a bit of meat in it considering how short it was.  At only 54 pages, I wasn't expecting much depth, but I was wrong!

Alexis is complex and has an interesting backstory full of murder and intrigue. She became a tracker for her clan, and is tough, smart and knows how to take care of herself. She's the only female tracker and was given leave to not have to be forced to mate -- something every female is required to do, due to declining numbers.  However, that's all about to change.

When she discovers the leaders have decided it's time she does her duty and get pregnant -- discovers it by finding a band of male shifters ready to force her to "run" outside her home -- she's determined to fight. And is surprised when her old friend and the male she secretly loves stands by her side to defend her rights.  Victor was badly injured as a cub and is mute.  Many shifters in their clan believe it's due to a mental problem, not physical, so he's not allowed to mate (and pass that on genetically).

There isn't a ton of conflict keeping the two apart, honestly, and they give in to their urges early in the story.  The sex is hot and well written and certainly steamed up my ereader, due in part to the awesome guy Victor is, inside and out.  Both Victor and Alexis are determined to do whatever it takes to be together, regardless of what the rest of the shifter clan decrees.  Their love is sweet, based in a solid friendship and respect, but there's no doubt of the physical attraction.  It's enough to make a romantic sigh.

A satisfying short read, I'm really glad I had a chance to pick it up.  Now I'm wondering if Joseph will get a story, because I've developed quite a crush on him!

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

Now enjoy an excerpt:

To Alexis’ surprise, Victor was standing at her door only a few minutes later. She swallowed and tried not to stare. He was magnificent, muscled and lean, with just the right amount of hair covering his human body. The hard cut angles of his face should have made him look harsh but somehow he just looked more compelling. Black eyes, closely cut dark hair, and a sexy half-smile that made her stomach muscles tighten, all combined to send her heartbeat pounding.

She’d never been around Victor when she was in estrous. In fact, since coming to terms with the knowledge that her obsession with him could never lead to a future, she’d made an effort to never spend time alone with him. He was the head security technician at the elders’ compound, so they crossed paths regularly. But she tried making sure there were others around to keep her from doing something stupid.

Unfortunately, she hadn’t always been successful.

She flashed on a recent memory of literally bumping into him in a corridor at the compound when she’d been too deep in thought to notice her surroundings. He’d held her arms while she caught her balance. The contact sent shivers of desire shooting through her body, forcing her to step back as soon as she could, then apologized.

He pulled a notebook from the back pocket of his dark jeans and wrote, You okay?

“Fine. The job I’m heading out on has me…” She shrugged. “It’s a tough one.”

A friend?

“No. Nothing like that.” She made the mistake of looking up to finish and got momentarily caught in the deep darkness of his steady gaze. Her stomach danced in giddy delight even as her heart tightened.

Kat Simons earned her Ph.D in animal behavior, working with animals as diverse as dolphins and deer. She brought her experience and knowledge of biology to her paranormal romance fiction, where she delights in taking nature and turning it on its ear. After traveling the world, she now lives in New York City with her family. Kat is a stay-at-home mom and a full time writer.






Once Upon a Tiger (Tiger Shifters, #1)



AllRomance Ebooks:

Friday, March 28, 2014

What's it To You by Judy Irwin - Review and Giveaway

(Middle Grade Fiction)

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will win a $25 Amazon/BN GC.

What if nothing was the worst thing you could do?

For 13-year old Tim Stockdale, it's all about keeping his head down and fitting in with the friends he's managed to make at his new school. His older brother, Eli, is the opposite. He's trying to set up a Gay-Straight Alliance at his high school, where he's a junior. Even though the school board is against it, Eli’s not afraid of what the fallout might be.

So when Tim's new friends start to bully a kid they think is gay, Tim's torn - he doesn't want to do anything to risk being cast out of the crew. But when Eli is hurt in a protest, Tim's own failure to do anything starts to get under his skin. Will he find his way at his new middle school, and figure out what's really worth standing up for?

MY REVIEW:  This short book by Judy Irwin is about a young boy trying to fit in at a new school--one that is very different from the school he is familiar with. He finally meets some friends, but the problem is these "friends" are bullies--something he is not familiar with and he doesn't know how to handle them or what he should do when they start bullying another classmate.

There is a strong familial relationship between the parents and sons, and one thing he learns through the course of the book is that even when you think people won't like you if you take a stand, you might not be as alone as you think.

I did have one issue with this book and that's the fact that it is so short. With more length, this could have gone from being a good book to being a great book. With a longer book, the characterizations could have been deeper. There were many issues that, because of the shortness of the book, were just lightly touched on instead of getting to any real depth with them.

However, it's written on a level that young middle grade students, around 8-9 years old, can easily understand and not be overwhelmed with and perhaps the length works really well for that age group.  It certainly has a worthwhile message that needs to be shared.

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

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Tim is out on the driveway, playing around with the basketball. So far, he's bounced it hard off the garage door, twice, and each time his mom sticks her head out the side door and shouts, "Keep it down!" at him.

When he bounces it off the metal garage door for the third time, he keeps an eye on the side door, expecting his mom to pop out, really mad this time. But nothing happens.

Tim dribbles the ball up and down the driveway, he's moving fast enough so that he's breathing hard. Every time he comes up to the top of the driveway, near the hoop, he takes a throw. The first four times it goes right in, but on the fifth throw it goes really wild and bounces off onto the lawn.

As he jogs over to grab the ball, Tim hears the side door open. He turns to face his mom. "Sor-ry," he drawls, with a grin. "Didn't mean to - Mom, what is it? What's wrong?"

Tim stares at his mother.

Her face is blotchy, and her nose is red. She's holding her purse in one hand, and car keys and a tissue in the other. She brings the hand with the tissue and keys up to her face, and rubs at her nose with the tissue.

"Tim, it's bad. It's Eli, and it's bad," she says, wiping at her eyes. "I have to get over to the hospital. I can't go into all the details, I just have to go." She unlocks the car door, and throws her purse onto the passenger seat.

"What - what happened?" says Tim. "Is he OK?"

Author Judy Irwin's books are about kids dealing with everyday stuff, like parents and divorce, friendships and bullies, and figuring out how to handle different situations and circumstances. She lives in Toronto with a dog, a cat, and a hamster, plus her husband and two children, ages 11 and 14. Judy always wanted to be a writer, and wrote her first book in fourth grade. It was about a boy named Japan, who lived in Japan. She studied English Literature at the University of Toronto, and some of her favorite authors are Judy Blume, Laurie Halse Anderson, Beverly Cleary, Edward Eager and Andrew Clements, and especially F. Scott Fitzgerald.

'What Did You Say?', Judy's first book, is about 12-year-old Tash. The book takes place at a trailer park up north. 'We're Done', Judy's second book, takes place in a middle school. It's about Luke, who first appears in 'What Did You Say?' Tash and Jon, from the first book, are also characters in this one. In 'What's It To You?', Judy's third book, 13-year-old Tim Stockdale (who first appeared as Luke's classmate in 'We're Done'), is figuring out where he fits in at Carlyle.

For Judy, the middle school years are especially interesting since they can be some of the most challenging for kids. It's a time when kids are faced with new issues, and bigger problems, than many have experienced before. As they figure out how they feel, and decide how to respond, they're also figuring out who they are, and shaping the nature of the person they will grow into.


Blaze of Glory by M. Garzon - interview and giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding the entire trilogy on Kindle or Kobo (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The author was brave enough to share five things we might not know about her. Check it out and then comment to win her awesome books!

Five things I’ll bet you didn’t know about me:

1) When I wrote my first book, I was shocked that some people objected to the one sex scene. The passage in question involved a girl who’s almost eighteen, in a committed relationship, and using protection, and the description is short and non-graphic. Imagine my surprise when a few Amazon reviewers said they considered this wrong because the character wasn’t married. What?!

I did a quick (and very unscientific) survey, and found that my Canadian friends shared my shock, while my American friends were shocked at my shock. You see, I grew up in Quebec, which I’m told has a more European type of culture than the US does. Whether that’s at the root of it I don’t know, but not having sex outside of marriage is an idea I thought of as a quaint nineteenth-century ideal. To be clear, my extended family is very respectable and in no way considered permissive – quite the opposite. Of my friends, only one or two who were devoutly religious had ever been introduced to the idea of saving sex for marriage, but obviously there were readers out there who shared that view. That cultural differences affect a reader’s experience of my stories was my first big learning experience as an author. The bulk of my book sales are in the US, so I spent considerable time pondering the issue. In the end, though, I didn’t let it change my writing style. I want to write things that I genuinely feel, and if I start editing out of fear of people’s reactions, my writing won’t truly feel like mine anymore.

2) I used to kick butt at Trivial Pursuit (although I haven’t played it in years now). I valued my fact-hoarding brain beyond all reason. In retrospect I think, what good was it, really? Does storing a lot of information make you a better person? More compassionate, more diligent, more patient? In my case, the answer was ‘no’. It did make me, for a short time, feel like I was pretty smart, but life soon showed me the error of that thinking!

3) I attended four different elementary schools and two different high schools, and I finished high school in four years (it’s normally five years here in Quebec: grades 7 through 11). All that moving around meant that I could never form a long-term relationship with any of my peers, and let me tell you, that’s an important skill to acquire. I’ve struggled my entire adult life to figure out how to weather the normal ups and downs of relationships, because as a child I never got to experience them. I’m trying to provide a very stable childhood for my own two kids so that they won’t be faced with the same issue – though I’m sure they’ll come up with some of their own!

4) I love to dance. I’m not saying I’m good at it, and I will likely completely embarrass my kids when they get older, but it’s something I miss from my pre-children days.

5) My mother was raised by Catholic nuns, the biological father I never knew was Muslim, my wonderful adoptive father is Jewish, and, if pressed, I’d call myself a Buddhist. I’m like an entire multicultural nation in one body. I didn’t think much about this as I was growing up; it was just part of me. But as it turns out, a beautiful advantage I gained from it is that few people I meet seem ‘foreign’ to me. I can get to know people based on their personalities, with (I think) little in the way of preconceived notions. I feel lucky that way *G*

"The first book in the popular trilogy, soon to be a major new television series!

Some fires can consume you.

Last year, I had it all. Two jumpers on the show circuit, a lot of wins, and a lot of attention - the good kind. But now I have nothing. My life is circling the drain. The only spark of light that exists for me is my new, forbidden passion. If my stepfather finds out, he will kill me. My twin brother, my only blood relative in the world, has already begged me not to. But I can't help myself. If it can't be horses, it has to be this..."

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“What do you need, Tea?” he asked quietly.

The question caught me by surprise. I needed a lot of things, but what sprang to mind first was Jaden. The one thing I definitely could never have.

I gulped. “Just be my friend.”

“I will always be that.” He pulled into the lot where my car was parked. Julia and Teri were following behind us.

He turned to me. “Will you think about what I said? About telling Dec?”

Truthfully, I had filed away his request as soon as he’d made it, under the heading of ‘not in this lifetime’.

“Why is it so important to you?” I asked a question rather than lie to him.

“Because I think it will help to extirpate your feelings of guilt,” he said.

Only Jaden could use a word like ‘extirpate’ and not sound like a total geek, I thought with a smile. I turned toward him, still smiling, and found myself being pulled into a hug. I hugged him back fiercely, my heart breaking into a mad dash. His body was hard, but very warm. I pulled away first—I liked being in his arms far, far too much to stay there. This was something I’d have to get under control, and quickly.

M. Garzon rode horses professionally for ten years, until an injury prompted a career change. She returned to school and completed a BSc; then for good measure, an MBA. After several years of toiling as a business consultant, she turned to writing in a desperate bid to regain her sanity. A mom of two fabulous children, she lives in St Lazare, QC and considers herself extremely lucky to be a writer.


(also available on Kobo, NOOK, and iBooks)

Intimate Desires by Celeste Carrara - Feature and Giveaway

MBB Intimate Desires Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Celeste will be awarding a $15 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MEDIA KIT IntimateDesiresStephanie is almost forty and her life hasn’t turned out the way she planned. That doesn’t mean she’s ready to give up and wallow in her misfortunes. She has fantasies, wild fantasies and she decides it’s time to make them come true. Lucky for Stephanie, she has four hot tenants that are anxious to satisfy her needs.

It was supposed to be one night of pleasure. Mark soon realizes he can’t get enough of his landlord, Stephanie. He doesn’t care about their age difference, or what others will say. Mark will do whatever it takes to make her see they are meant to be regardless of the obstacles that lay ahead. He will fight for her because that’s what you do… you fight for the one you love.

*This novella contains explicit sexual encounters, which include ménage and group sex. 18 and over only.

Enjoy an excerpt:

It was hard to concentrate on walking with Mark in such close proximity. His face was so striking, with perfect masculine features, a strong chin, and broad nose. He had to be Italian. His dark hair was short and styled with a sexy “just got out of bed” look. His eyes matched his hair color and Stephanie was rattled when they met hers. His good looks made her so nervous she stumbled over the threshold. He was quick to catch her arm to help steady her. She was embarrassed beyond measure and tried to laugh it off, making small talk about the history of the house, though he seemed more interested in her than the things she was saying. Mark stared at her and it was unnerving. 
Self-conscious, she rubbed her fingers through her long hair afraid something was out of place. Why did he look at her like that? He smiled and blushed when she asked if he wanted to go upstairs. She told herself not to read too much into it and led him to his bedroom.

About the Author: Celeste Carrara grew up in New York City where she spent her days exploring all of its amazing treasures. Her writing started as a teen when she turned her heartache into poetry. From then on, she found a love for reading romance novels as well as books in other genres such as paranormal, mystery, poetry, thrillers and more. Celeste never dreamed that one day she would be lucky enough to become a full-time writer.

After having a dream that she couldn’t get out of her head, Celeste decided to put that story on paper. She was amazed at how fast her pen flew with the help of her characters leading the way. The result was book one in her Paranormal City series, Give Me Forever. A paranormal erotic romance based in her favorite city, New York.

Celeste has been on an amazing journey and has self published four additional books in her series. Recently, she tried her hand on new genres that produced two novellas, an erotic romance and a new adult contemporary romance. She spends her days writing in her office in her home in New York that she shares with her husband, and their two children. She has no plans on stopping and is currently working on the next novel in her Paranormal City series.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ All Romance eBooks ~ Goodreads

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Swept into the Darkness by Lataeya Lane - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. LaTaeya will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC and an autographed paperback copy of the book (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five things that readers don’t know about me

First and foremost I would like thank It’s Raining Books for being a tour host during this promotion. Thank you so much for your support. I will not be able to comment during the day because I work in the class, but as soon as I can I will stop by. Thanks! L.L.

There are so many things that my readers don’t know about me. I’ve thought long and hard about this question and I hope everyone finds my responses entertaining.

1. I love to go out and dance and have a good time. There was a time during my early twenties when I was out every weekend clubbing in New York with my friends. Our weekends started on Thursday nights and ended on Sunday nights. I think that I’ve been to almost every club or bar in Manhattan, and Queens. Now that I am a wife and mother, I can’t remember the time I’ve been to a club. (LOL) Sleep is my best friend now, Smile.

2. My husband and I got married in Las Vegas. We a small wedding ceremony at a beautiful little chapel, then had our reception at the Mandalay Bay hotel and Casino.

3. I don’t drive on the highway. I’ve been driving for over ten years and I can truly say that I have never driven on the highway. There is something about the highway that really scares me.

4. I love watching General Hospital. I started watching it in the 90’s. I love the excitement, the danger and all the other things that make the show so interesting and intriguing.

5. I started writing when I was seven years old. I wrote my first novel when I was 16. Strangely it wasn’t in the fantasy genre, since fantasy is my first love. My very first book was a crime novel about two bothers Jonathan and Edward Carmain. One bother was a police detective and the other was a mob boss. The story was about how Jonathan (the detective) struggled to survive and fight against crime and corruption in a city as his bother makes every attempt (no matter how deadly) to recruit him to join the mob.

Meet the Author: Years of exposure within the writing and publishing world have made a lasting impact on Author LaTaeya Lane. Writing since she was seven years old, Lane began jotting down phrases and themes later turning them into poems and short stories. Writing became such a passion throughout her youth that she became the Junior and Senior editor of her High school newspaper. She wrote her first novel at age sixteen but was not seeking publication at that time in her life. Lane entered several creative writing contests during her early years of writing and won a few of them. Always captivated by the supernatural and elements of fantasy, Lane was inspired to write a series of books that focused on going beyond the boundaries of life and imagination. The angel vampire fantasy "Swept into the Darkness" is Lane's first published book in a series called "Chronicles of the Celestial." Lane completed a degree in Liberal Studies and currently works to support the education of special needs, middle school students. Lane resides in New Jersey with her husband Leo and son, and is working on writing and publishing the other four books in the series, Dark Betrayal, Dark Revenge, Dark Defiance, and Dark Revelation. Lane also loves to draw and paint. Traveling and experiencing a variety of different foods is also a deep passion of hers. Lane loves watching horror and fantasy movies and is a believer of the Ancient Alien Theory. Some of her favorite authors include, Charline Harris, Stephen King and Erick Von Daniken.

Sydney London is no ordinary twenty-four year old. Ever since she was a child she has had unique out of this world abilities. Suffering from a near death experience and surviving a deadly car crash Sydney is no stranger to death and loss. Cut off from the world around her she encounters an Angel and eventually falls for him inspired by deceitful magic.

Her one true love awaits in the shadows attempting to guard and protect her by risking his immortality. Traumatized by the murder of her best friend she sets off on an unspeakable journey to bring the dead back to life. Sydney's journey of self discovery opens her up to learn of her true angelic identity. She is led in the middle of an inter dimensional war among a hybrid breed of Angel Vampires and the Hierarchy of the Angelic clan. Will her unique powers and the love she bears for her guardian be enough for her to save the Earthly Realm or will she be Swept into the Darkness?

Buy the book at Amazon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Silent Fear by Barbara Ebel - Spotlight and Giveaway

3_25 BBT Silent Fear Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara will be awarding a Gifted copy via Amazon Kindle for the first Dr. Danny Tilson Novel: Operation Neurosurgeon: You never know … who’s in the OR to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

3_25 MEDIA KIT Silent Fear a Medical Mystery eBookA devastating meningitis outbreak is sweeping nationwide at breakneck speed. Although not blamed, brain surgeon Dr. Danny Tilson’s recent surgeries happened just before his hospital patients and staff acquired the frightening malady.

Danny becomes the pivotal player of an investigation when the CDC, a neurologist, and an infectious disease specialist are summoned for their expertise. The root of the outbreak is an enigma, the sinister organism is a mystery, and the timeline of its victims is complicated.

Hang on for the ride as Dr. Danny straightens out his personal life while confronted with an epidemic of frightening proportions and consequences. The pandemic of the millennium has no cure in sight! And while Danny’s colleagues, patients and staff are falling dead around him, perhaps the most crucial question of all is - why has Danny been spared?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Danny almost slammed the chart closed as anger rose up in him like an irritated bee. He smacked his right fist into his left palm. In all his years of training and practice, nothing compared to the spread of this disease. He wasn’t a history buff, but he was aware of previous epidemics sweeping the country and Europe, wiping out thousands, if not millions of people.

But these were the days of modern medicine. Something like this is absolutely not supposed to happen. His thoughts tumbled ahead – chances are he was overdue to get whatever was ailing all these patients. If that were the case, he couldn’t wait to see Sara and put their relationship on better terms. She took priority in his personal life. What if he succumbed into a coma like everyone else seemed to be doing? He had to say he was sorry and ask her forgiveness.

He walked to the farthest isolated room down the hallway. The air in the room seemed stale as Danny pulled up a chair alongside Bill, who now looked older than his real age. Danny smiled, grateful that Bill recognized him when he took Danny’s gloved hand in his own.

“This is the first time I haven’t seen you wearing a bow tie,” Danny mused.

With his other hand, Bill gathered copious secretions into a tissue. “They don’t easily clip onto hospital gowns.”

The words came slowly, like a snail crossing a street, but Danny felt grateful for the doc’s sense of humor. He traced back the tubing coming from Bill’s forearm to the small bag of antibiotics, the recent drug of choice to fight the unknown killer.

About the Author:Barbara Ebel is an anesthesiologist-turned author. She'll give you an edgy view into the O.R. and deliver credible medicine in the background of her fiction, where plots and vivid characters get center stage. Even the ‘bug’ involved In Silent Fear is based on a rare, real organism.

‘Doctor Barbara’s’ Dr. Danny Tilson Novels take place in Tennessee; the first one is Operation Neurosurgeon, but both books can stand alone. Besides penning other adult books, she is also the author and illustrator of Chester the Chesapeake, a children's picture book series about her therapy dog. She lives with her husband and pets in a TN protected wildlife corridor.

Website with Purchase Links ~ Twitter: @BarbaraEbel ~ Facebook
Buy the book at Amazon Kindle Store - US
Amazon Kindle Store - UK
Amazon US Paperback
Amazon UK Paperback
BN Nook

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blue 52 by Elaine Cantrell - Book Review and Giveaway

(Mainstream Romance with time travel)

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elaine will be awarding a free ecopy of Return Engagement to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop and a Grand prize of a $50 gift certificate for Amazon or B&N to one commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

"First Lady Kills President Lovinggood"
December 29, 2018

Thirty years later Hank Lovinggood embarks on a quest to prove his mother's innocence and punish the killers who took his family from him. Together Hank and lovely physicist Kathryn Sinclair confront an implacable, twisted, merciless enemy who'll do whatever it takes to hide the truth forever.

My Review:

This book is a sequel to Ms. Cantrell's Return Engagement. Set in the near future, it was cool to see how things were mostly the same, but with a few differences (I don't like driving much, so I really liked the idea of the futuristic cars!; not so much the picture phones.. ). One thing it also shows though is that people don't much change and family matters.

Hank has grown up being told that his mother killed his father. When he is afforded the opportunity to go back in time to see what really happened, he takes it. I like the way he hesitated at first--that felt very real to me. In fact the first part of the book isn't so much about the time travel itself, but the relationship developing between Hank and Kathryn...the way the trust between them grows.

I really like the Lovinggood family. I understand where the grandparents are coming from and the ways they have of dealing with their grief. I also like the way they support Hank once the decision has been made.

Ms. Cantrell brings her characters to life... the reader grows to love them and to care what happens to them. That is key for this reader. If I don't care about the characters, then the book doesn't work for me, no matter how exciting the plot line might be or how skillfully the words are put together. So, that alone makes this book a winner in my eyes. It's just an added plus that the plot is interesting as well!

I do hope Ms. Cantrell writes more books with this family-- I would love for her to write about the incidents surrounding "Blue 52"... my curiosity is definitely aroused. Good job, Ms. Cantrell... 4 flowers and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Okay, Hank is what? Kathryn took a deep, cleansing breath and blew it out, clearing her mind of all thoughts except those of Hank. Gradually, she relaxed, and when she did, images flooded her mind.

She smiled as she remembered how Hank had confronted her about Double T. He certainly had changed his mind. Her thoughts strayed to the kisses they had shared at Millicent’s party. Oh those kisses! Even now her face flushed and her heart raced when she thought of his lips against hers.

We always enjoy each other’s company, too. Hank made a treat out of something as mundane as putting the rocking horses together. She sighed. And, oh, didn’t he look gorgeous in his peach-colored shirt!

She remembered the first time they had confronted the Stantons. At the cemetery he had stepped in front of her to protect her. And now he now made her feel safe in spite of Stanton’s dirty schemes. He had supported her and comforted her since Chris died, too, and look at what his family had done for CeeCee.

She couldn’t imagine a life without Hank Lovinggood in it. Her breath caught in her throat. She had fallen in love with him without even realizing it.

About the Author:
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators, Romance Writers of America, and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.

Find Elaine at the following locations:

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whiskey Creek Press, or Smashwords. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 24, 2014

Toeing the Line by Allyson Lindt - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Allyson will be awarding prizes as follows:

* Grand prize at the end of the four week tour - a Kindle Paperwhite to one randomly drawn winner.
* Each week, one randomly drawn commenter will win a $10 Amazon GC

Thanks for stopping by, Krystal. It's always a pleasure.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

What do you do when writer's block hits?

Pound my head against the wall, wail, and gnash my teeth in frustration.

But once my skull stops pounding from that… It depends on how long it lasts. I start by stepping away from the page. Trying to imagine the scene in my head while I’m nowhere near the computer. If I can get a good mental image of what’s going to happen, I can usually go write it all out. If that doesn’t work, I’ll make some brief notes about what I want to happen there, and then move on to the next scene.

When I’m done with a first draft, it’s pretty typical for about 1/4 of my manuscript to be notes that say things like “put something exciting/sexy/compelling here later”

What reality show would you love to be on? Why?

Any one of them that will come in and remake my house with some kind of grand, unlimited budget, including new appliances and all the bells and whistles.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

The hero, Zane, definitely. First of all, I’ll be superficial and say, he’s gorgeous. But he’s also loyal, and intelligent. The kind of guy who keeps his word, means his friendship, and can talk about anything and everything for hours on end.

And possibly the only person ever (real or fictional) who’s worse at billiards than I am.

What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?

1. The dormouse, from Alice in Wonderland – because I think there’s more inside that fluffy head than he’s letting on, and I’d bet it’s not all insanity.

2. The narrator (John/Jonah) from Cat’s Cradle—intelligent, scary insightful, and curious

3. Mark Twain, from a Tramp Abroad. I say character, because so much of the book is fictionalized. And just dry, and sarcastic, and humorous.

4. Justin March from the Age of X series by Richelle Mead (I couldn’t go all classical… got to have a little modern in here somewhere :)

Riley tends to fall hard and fast for the guys she dates, and it never ends with the wedding bells she expects. Tired of the heartbreak and unsure if she even knows what love is, she swears off unreliable things like dating and trying to find that elusive happily-ever-after spark. Focusing on her art seems like the perfect distraction, except she’s missing the physical side of being half a couple. Fortunately, her best friend, Zane, is happy to model for her drawings and tie her up in the bedroom with no expectations.

Zane’s granddad raised him with the belief that people who bring joy to the world should be protected at all costs. For Zane, his best friend Riley is one of those people, and he definitely doesn't mind when making her happy involves helping her pursue her creative dream and some sport sex with a hint of kink. They can have fun, and he can keep her from falling for the next idiot who comes along while she searches for her Prince Charming.

Regardless of her resolution, as things heat up between them, Riley finds herself falling again. She needs to decide if she’s in love with the idea of being in love, or if—despite Zane’s insistence that she deserves someone better—what she feels for him is the real thing. If she can’t learn to trust her heart and convince Zane he’s exactly what she needs, it will obliterate a lifelong friendship.

About the Author:
Allyson Lindt is a full-time geek and a fuller-time contemporary romance author. She prefers that her geeky heroes come with the alpha expansion pack and adores a heroine who can hold her own in a boardroom. She loves a sexy happily-ever-after and helping deserving cubicle dwellers find their futures together.

Amazon author page:

Buy Holding Her Close:

Buy Conflict of Interest:
Liquid Silver Books:
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Buy Toeing the Line:

Liquid Silver Books:
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Hotter than Texas by Tina Leonard -- Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tina will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops in the tour.

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

I began writing contemporary romance when an agent suggested I try them—I’d started out in historicals. I love writing paranormal and romantic suspense, too. That agent’s advice turned out to be very good!

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Sugar Cassavechia is strong—she’s had to be! She doesn’t put up with any crap from her new landlord who’s rented her a house, which is fondly known in Pecan Creek as the Sex Shack, among other nicknames. This isn’t the dream home she and her mother, Maggie, and sister, Lucy, hoped they’d find at the end of their journey from Florida to Texas. Each room is decorated like a sex-fueled Hollywood movie set—with themes like the Best Little Whorehouse room. Sugar’s pretty sure her new landlord should have been more forthcoming about the house he was leasing to them and she’s ready to hit the road to find better digs for her family, until Jake talks her into staying. Small-town Pecan Creek is a town that thrives on sex—secretly!

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

I like to write—a lot! I write as many books as I can a year—I’m sort of a use-it-or-lose-it kind of woman!

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’m a hybrid—I love to have an outline, but I want to let the characters do the moving and shaking! Sometimes the outline bails me out when I’ve gotten to a sticky place. I write the synopsis and then never look at it again—only if I get to a place where my characters aren’t talking to me!

Look to your right – what’s sitting there? My dad is on my right—my husband is on my left, and the Golden retriever is at our feet, as usual!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

In June look for Last of the Red-Hot Cowboys, the first of the Hell’s Outlaws series, available from Random House Loveswept!

Do you have a question for our readers?

Which kind of books do you like best—ebooks or print?

Special feature: Tina shared with us some things you'd never guess about her: You’d never guess . . . that I love to grow veggies organically!
You’d never guess . . . that I knew my husband in the first grade!
You’d never guess . . . that I once allowed the girls on my floor where I was an RA to bring two famous rock bands back to the floor—after curfew! The university was not happy! I never got to meet the guys or even see them, alas.
You’d never guess . . . I dream of owning my own line of soups!
You’d never guess . . . my happiest time is when I’m at the beach with family!

Perfection takes time, but desire waits for no man. Or woman…

Pecan Creek, Book 1

With more than one skeleton rattling in her closet, Sugar Cassavechia hopes “The Most Honest Town in Texas” will be the perfect place to start an online business. As soon as her mother remembers the family recipe that’ll get off the ground.

In the meantime, no way is Sugar letting their new landlord get away with renting them a run-down house that’s decorated like a rich widow’s orgasm. Even if he’s the biggest hunk of hot she’s ever laid eyes on.

Jake Bentley would love to do nothing but sit back and be amused as the Cassavechia women unwittingly stir up trouble in his uptight town. But something about them thaws out his frozen rescue complex. Especially Sugar’s long, chestnut hair and sassy mouth.

Right about the time Sugar figures one steamy night in Jake’s bed won’t hurt, another skeleton joins the party in the form of a dead body in the “Belle Watling” room. And Sugar must decide if her family’s reputation—and her own heart—are safe with Jake.

Product Warnings

No sex in this book. Nope. None. Nada. Honest. Now, if you believe that, the author has an iceberg in Texas to sell you. Better hurry before there’s none left to cool the fevered dreams generated by this book.

About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Tina Leonard has sold over 2.6 million copies of her titles. She has made the USA Today Bestseller, Waldenbooks, Bookscan, and Ingrambook lists, and has written and contracted seventy-one books and special projects. Her work has been published by Harlequin, Samhain Publishing, Robinson Scarlet, and most recently Random House Loveswept contracted for a single title trilogy project, Hell’s Outlaws. Leonard was chosen to be among the first authors published for Robinson’s Scarlet line, writing four single title novels for that imprint. Not long after, she sold on proposal to Harlequin American, where she has since written several popular series, most notably the Cowboys By The Dozen, Morgan Men, and Callahan Cowboys series. Her newest single title project, HOTTER THAN TEXAS, was published in March 2013. Leonard is known for her fun sense of humor, endearing communities, snappy dialogue, and memorable characters.

Join Tina at

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Medium by Meg Benjamin - review and giveaway

(Paranormal romance)

This review is posted in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Meg will be awarding the complete Ramos Family Trilogy: Medium Well, Medium Rare, and Happy Medium (all ebooks) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Love is good for the soul… unless it’s one that you’re trying to exorcise.

Ray Ramos has a problem–the King William District mansion he and his business partner purchased for a fast renovation needs more work than expected. Ray could use a quick infusion of cash. Enter Emma Shea, assistant to Gabrielle DeVere, the star of American Medium. Gabrielle is looking for San Antonio houses to use for her televised séances, and Ray’s fixer upper seems to fit.

When Gabrielle does a sample séance, Ray and Emma become the target of a touchy ghost with no respect for boundaries. After Ray learns his family has a special affinity for ghosts, the two decide to investigate the haunted house. It doesn’t hurt that Emma is immediately attracted to the laconic Ray or that Ray is intrigued by the buttoned-down beauty who seems determined to hide her considerable assets behind sober business suits. But can the two of them fight off a vengeful succubus bound to the house while getting a lot closer than either of them planned?

MY REVIEW: Full of fun, heat and suspense, Happy Medium was a story that entertained from start to finish.

I really liked Ray.  He was primal and earthy and interesting and loyal.  He was who he was and if you didn't like it, too bad. But you knew where you stood with him and that goes a long way with me.  

Emma was just a little sad.  She felt so desperate at the start, eager to please and always feeling like she was falling just a little short. Gabrielle was so much larger than life, I'm sure Emma never felt like she measured up.  It broke my heart a little every time Gabrielle insinuated that Emma was fat, and Emma's self-esteem dropped.

That's okay, though. Ray changes all that... boy howdy!  He's hot to start with, but when they start going toe-to-toe with a succubus, things get even hotter.

Happy Medium is an interesting story, populated with unique, three-dimensional characters and plenty of action in the bedroom.  It hit all my happy buttons, and I'll definitely be looking for more from this author.

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

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“It’s nice here,” she mumbled. Great. Somehow whenever she wanted to be smooth she ended up sounding like a doofus. Yet another indication she was out of her league with Ray Ramos.

“Yeah.” His fingers brushed across her cheek, and he moved closer.

The hell with it. It might be a temporary thing, but right now temporary worked. She pushed up on her tiptoes, resting one hand against his shoulder. For a moment, his breath was on her cheek, warm against the cooling night air. And then she brought her lips to his.

All the comparisons that leapt to her mind were clichés. Electricity. Wild fires. Lightning bolts. And none of them really described the feeling that broadsided her, like her whole body was suddenly tingling with life. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling herself closer.

He tasted of spice and smoke, smelled slightly of sweat and musk. He leaned back against the railing of the bridge, pulling her deeper into his arms, bending her body beneath his own so that her hips pressed against his, against the hard jut of his arousal.

His tongue moved across the seam of her mouth and she opened for him, letting her tongue slide along his. Another wave of heat washed over her. His hands slid over her back, untucking her shirt, fingers against bare skin. She pushed his T-shirt aside to feel him too, the faint crinkle of hair against her palms as she touched his stomach. In some distant part of her brain it occurred to her that a passing pedestrian would have quite a view, assuming the two of them weren’t totally protected by the shadows of the trees.

And she didn’t care. Whatever happened now. She didn’t give a damn.

Meg Benjamin is an author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Ramos Family trilogy for Berkley InterMix is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon cats (well, partly Maine Coon anyway). Her Web site is and her blog is You can follow her on Facebook (, Pinterest (, and Twitter ( Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at

Happy Medium, the third in the Ramos Family trilogy, is available from Amazon ( and Barnes and Noble (

The Maid of Milan by Beverley Eikli - Review and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beverley will award a $20 Amazon book voucher and a digital copy of The Reluctant Bride to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After three years of marriage, Adelaide has fallen in love with the handsome, honourable husband who nurtured her through her darkest hours.

Now Adelaide’s former lover, the passionate poet from whose arms she was torn by her family during their illicit liaison in Milan six years previously has returned, a celebrity due to the success of his book The Maid of Milan.

High society is as desperate to discover the identity of his ‘muse’ as Adelaide is to protect her newfound love and her husband’s political career.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The following scene takes place when Adelaide has discovered that not only is she in love with the husband she reluctantly consented to wed, but that she wants him to be in no doubt about her desire to take intimacy to a higher level. Adelaide’s mother has perpetuated a lie to hide her daughter’s sinful past, telling Tristan that Adelaide is an invalid who must be kept calm at all costs if she is not to succumb to hysteria.


Tossing aside the bed covers, Adelaide shifted to make room for him, snuggling against his chest when he yielded slightly, nevertheless terrified of his reaction. She was blatantly seducing – no, trying to seduce – her husband for the first time in her life and she had no idea whether he’d be horrified or delighted. She just knew she had to convey to him her receptiveness for taking intimacy to a higher level.

So far so good. He was breathing more rapidly, she noticed, as he carefully removed his boots. She willed him to hurry. She was on fire. She closed her eyes in anticipation, her mind whirling with all the possibilities of what she might say, but the words with which she’d intended to unburden her heart were lost in the passion of his kiss. Scorching. It shocked her, as did the speed with which he moved now as he caged her body with his, his hands roaming over her as he trailed hot kisses along her jawline, down her neck, across her décolletage. Adelaide arched with impatience, resisting the urge to be the one to unbutton his trousers.

‘God, Addy, I love you,’ he muttered as he gripped the hem of her shift to raise it, nuzzling her neck. ‘I’ve never loved any woman as I love you. Are you sure you want—?’

Her reassurance that she’d never wanted anything so much was truncated by a sharp rap on the door and her mother’s nasal whine on the other side.

‘Addy? I’ve brought you something to help you sleep. Can I come in?’

Horrified, she and Tristan bolted upright as the door knob turned.

‘Wait, mother!’ Addy pulled the covers up to her chin as Tristan leapt to the floor, straightening his cravat and pulling on his boots with lightning speed.

‘Why, Tristan …?’ Mrs Henley’s cloying smile didn’t fool Adelaide. ‘I didn’t know you were here. I’m so sorry to interrupt.’

Adelaide felt like seizing the mug her mother carried with such false solicitude and hurling it at the wall. Instead, she hurled herself back down onto her bed with a sob as her husband bowed before leaving the room.

My Review:

I began reading this story expecting it to be another typical Regency romance. Wrong. This was certainly not a typical story of any kind.

Addy is married to Tristan and loves him dearly. However, he doesn’t really allow himself to get very close to her. Her mother appears to actually hate her, and does everything in her power to disrupt her marriage. In spite of this, Addy is beginning to get closer to Tristan and her to her.

Then Tristan’s best friend, James, comes to town with his very young fiancé, Beatrice. Unknown to Tristan and Beatrice, James and Addy had been involved years before, and she had become pregnant with his child. Upon his return, he spends most of his time neglecting his young fiancé, and chases after Addy. She now wants nothing to do with him, realizing what a mistake she had made in the first place.

She spends so much time trying to avoid him, while her husband keeps trying to encourage her be more friendly to him. I really began to love both Tristan and Addy, and hoped that they could work out their difficulties. It was almost impossible, however, as her mother kept putting everything possible in the way of her happiness.

I kept reading and hoping for a happy conclusion, but couldn’t figure out how it could possibly end happily. This author was wonderful and managed to surprise me with the ending and the result was not what I expected but even better.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who is not looking for a typical romance. This is even better. I give it 4 flowers.

About the Author:
Beverley Eikli is the author of eight historical romances. In 2012 she won UK Women's Fiction publisher Choc-Lit's Search for An Australia Star competition with her suspenseful, Napoleonic espionage Romance The Reluctant Bride, which has just been shortlisted by Australian Romance Readers for Favourite Historical in 2013.

In 2011 she was nominated for an ARRA award for her Regency romance A Little Deception, and in 2012 for her racy Regency Romp, Rake’s Honour, written under her Beverley Oakley pseudonym.

Eikli wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.

After throwing in her job on South Australia's metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, she discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.

Twenty years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap, Eikli is back in Australia teaching in the Department of Professional Writing & Editing at Victoria University, as well as teaching Short Courses for the Centre of Adult Education and Macedon Ranges Further Education.

Buy the book at The Book Depository or Amazon

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Dispatches from Paradise by Shelley Gitlow - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shelley will be awarding an autographed copy of the book to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Author and screenwriter Shelly Gitlow makes her fiction debut in this colorful, lightning-paced, and often wildly unpredictable modern tale about sex, lies, and love.

From the very first page, DISPATCHES FROM PARADISE takes readers to the family battlefield of three generations of women living together in the sultry city of Miami -- where DD cups abound, octogenarians recite erotic poetry and an S&M Fitness class is not for the fainthearted.

Written in the distinct voices of Liz (39) who pulls the plug on her marriage and quits her job so she can re-boot her life, her over-sexed mother, Claudette (55) who’s searching for her next partner/meal ticket, and Darcy (18) Liz’s beautiful, reckless daughter who’s realizing she might also have a brain and be a lesbian, DISPATCHES FROM PARADISE explores the complex dynamics of the women’s relationships as they tear through Miami’s wild clubs and outrageous art scene, changing, growing and reconnecting on new terms.

Drawing upon her unique insights as a family therapist, author Shelly Gitlow gives readers three characters they will never forget. Her debut novel marks the arrival of a bold brash narrative voice.

Enjoy an excerpt

(DAUGTHER) DARCY : “OMFG. When I went to class and saw my Hotties Gone Wild video playing, I knew it was time to haul ass out of that stupid college. The only place I could go was home, which seriously sucks. My mom kicked my dad out, not that I blame her, cuz he’s a total dog. But the crappy thing is that she’s positive I’m still using, so she’ll be all up in my business. Grandma’s here, which is way cool cuz she’ll help me get into modeling. And as soon as I have the bucks, I am so out of here.”

About the Author:
Miami-based author Shelly Gitlow is the co-writer of the feature film Boynton Beach Club and the author of the novel Dispatches From Paradise. In her former life, she was a family therapist and wrote several books on quality management. She divides her time between New York City and Miami.

Buy the book at Amazon, Books and Books, or Barnes and Noble.

Caedan by Krystal Shannon - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Krystal will be awarding a necklace pendant depicting the cover of Caiden to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Caiden MacLaughlin has lost love once in his life already. He is leery of putting himself out there again, but when he sees the beautiful Lina Mathews his heart does a double take. She seems like a breath of fresh air, but secrets and trouble are following this girl like a bad habit. Will he take a chance and listen to his heart? Or will he cut himself off from another chance at love?

Lina Mathews is running scared. She left her home to avoid a man who’s determined to make her life a living hell. When she meets Caiden MacLaughlin, everything changes. Will he be her knight in shining armor, or will her troubles drive him away like everyone else? Can she find safety in his arms before it’s too late?

Enjoy an excerpt

His arms encircled her waist and lifted her from the ground. They were moving, but his mouth on her neck distracted her. She didn’t care where they were going as long as he was coming with her.

A door clicking shut made her eyes open. She peered around the semi-dark room. A small lamp from the bathroom en suite threw off just enough light to see the giant king-sized bed in the center of the room.

She shuddered in pleasure. His mouth moved to the center of her neck as he let her feet touch the floor again. She clung to his arms. He ran his tongue along the hollow of her neck and she moaned.

The clothes had to go.

He must’ve had the same idea because his hands were on her waist pulling at the hem of her shirt. She raised her arms and he yanked it over her head, tossing it away. His hands were immediately on her bra and with a quick snap he’d freed her breasts from their lacy prison. He latched onto one of her breasts, sucking the nipple to a hardened peak. She gasped, stiffening in his arms. If he wasn’t careful, she’d come right now before they even made it to the bed. Before she’d gotten one stitch of clothing off of him.

Tremors ricocheted through her body and her panties were soaked. She fumbled with his pants, but couldn’t get her hazy brain to focus enough to get the button undone. His mouth moved to the other breast and her knees nearly buckled under her. He slid his hands onto to her ass and squeezed before unhooking her jeans and pulling them down. His tongue trailed down her stomach and stopped just above the waistband of her black lace panties.

“You smell sweet, sugar. I can’t wait for a taste.”

About the Author:
Paranormal Romance author, Krystal Shannan, lives in Texas and is married to the love-of-her-life. They have a spunky young daughter who believes in fairies. Krystal professes to loving shoes, but avoids wearing them at all costs. She teaches in the public schools and writes as much as she can in her free time. If any more spare time can be squeezed from her day, she enjoys reading romance in all genres, but especially paranormal. If it has a 'Happily Ever After', she's on board!

She is an active member in her local RWA chapter DARA.

Krystal Shannan
Putting Magick in Romance one Soul Mate at a Time.
Contemporary Romance
Indie Published
Available @

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Patriot Priest by Patricia Daly-Lipe - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Patricia will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

Patriot Priest tells one man's personal experience over several epochs and areas of history. It is also, in part the story of one unique individual, author Patricia Daly-Lipe's great uncle, Msgr. William A Hemmick. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Europe, he became fluent in five languages. When the First World War broke out, he felt committed to help the troops. After the war, he was proclaimed the Patriot Priest of Picardy by the Army and Navy. After years spent in Paris, William Hemmick was asked by the Vatican to come to Rome. Ultimately he became the only American Canon of St. Peter's representing the Knights of Malta to the Holy See.

It was he who performed the nuptials of American film star Tyrone Power and Linda Christian. He also converted the future Queen Astrid of Belgium.

Enjoy this excerpt:

In 1944, when the bombers of the 8th Air Force were attacking synthetic fuel plants, another German wrote, as a boy, that despite the raids by American bombers, We Germans never feared the Americans. When the Americans arrived, "the soldiers were friendly and approachable. Their generosity toward children was constant." But all too soon, the Americans pulled out. It was now the Russian troops taking over occupation of East Germany. "We feared the Russians," he wrote. And, although the officers were European, in the beginning, the troops were Asian. Soon, however, the Asians left and just the Europeans remained. "The Russian soldiers (and the Asians when they were there) … were especially dangerous if they had been drinking. Since they were nearly always armed, alcohol made all of the Russians very dangerous.

This was what the children in Germany were subjected to after the war ended: irrational and often brutal behavior. Daily, the children lived under agonizing situations including hunger, cold, and fright. Yet they had resilience. Reading their stories in Wolfgang W. E. Samuel's book, The War of Our Childhood, Memories of World War II, it is awe-inspiring how that generation of German children was able to emerge from such debilitating conditions and become sane and productive human beings as adults.

Twenty-five years after the end of World War II, Adam B. Ulam wrote: "A study of the history of the past twenty-five years …can suggest which of our hopes and fears are realistic and which are not …" (Ulam's preface to The Rivals, America & Russia Since World War II) Although today (2013) the Cold War (the theme of his book) is over, the fear of a global conflict still exists. My point is that the past, and our understanding of it, enhances our ability to understand the present. Today's events take on a new interpretation in light of what came before This is what is known as historical process. This is not a search for answers; it is a search for perspective and questions. Your perspective is formed according to your source of reference: the scholar, the statesman, the politician, the military, the businessman, or, in this case, the life and time of William A. Hemmick [or my interpretation resulting from extensive research.]

In 1953, in predominance was the Soviet-U.S conflict. Some said it was not an isolated moment in history, but a natural evolution of a struggle that began in the past as we saw with Germany. Nations seeking power fall in competition for prestige and security, sea lanes and natural resources, markets and even empires. And so, some asserted in the fifties, it was precisely in this context that the Soviet Union justified its position. George F. Kennan, Secretary of the American Embassy in Moscow in the middle thirties, wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs (The Source of Soviet Conduct, 1947).

About the Author:
Dr. Patricia Daly-Lipe, is an Author and Artist. She has written six books, all different genres. She is winner of the San Diego Book Awards, Best Books Finalist, the JADA Novel Contest, Finalist, 2009 2nd place in poetry by the Virginia Writers Club, Inc, and 2013 winner in historical fiction at the Annual Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for 'A CRUEL CALM, Paris Between the Wars and 2013 winner for her short story by the Virfginia Writers Assn.

Although born in La Jolla, California, Patricia spent equal time in Washington, D.C., home of several generations of her mother’s family.

She has taught at colleges and writing centers, written for magazines and newspapers (including the Evening Star in Washington, DC, La Jolla Village News, The Georgetowner andUptowner), and her paintings have been accepted and sold in Juried shows, art galleries, and private homes. Two of her books feature her paintings on their covers. Patricia served as President of both the La Jolla and DC Branches of the National League of American Pen Women. Patricia now lives in Virginia with her husband, Dr. Steele Lipe, three dogs, three horses, and two cats. For years, Patricia raised, raced, and showed Thoroughbred horses. Now she rescues them. She is the mother of three and grandmother of six children.

Buy the book at Amazon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Price of Justice by Alan Brenham - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alan will be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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

After spending over thirty years working in the Texas criminal justice system as a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, defense attorney, and Assistant General Counsel with the Texas prison and parole agency, I felt fairly familair with what goes through a street cop’s head and what life on both sides of a criminal trial was all about. So writing crime fiction seemed a logical choice. Plus, I have a goldmine of cases and experiences to dredge up and use to create believable plotlines and scenes.

What research is required?

Both legal and police technique research is required to make the story believable.

So much has changed in police procedures since I had been a detective. I cultivated friendships with various law enforcement agents to educate me about the latest techniques in a criminal investigation and exactly what a police crime lab can do.

The legal research side is a lot easier in that I stay current with the criminal aspects of both prosecution and defense. Maintaining an active bar license requires that I attend on-going legal education every year.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine?

Dani Mueller taught me that the bond between a mother and her child runs deeper than I ever imagined. She’s willing and capable of doing whatever it takes to protect or, in Dani’s situation, to avenge a wrong heaped on her child.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Every morning, before beginning work on a manuscript and after booting up the computer, I always, without fail, follow a set routine of loading the toolbar with the mailbox first, the Word document I’m working with that day next, the Google browser third, and last the Firefox browser. To do it any other way, takes me out of my comfort zone.

Plotter or pantser?

I’m without a doubt a plotter. I prepare an outline of the story, character sketches, and some initial research.

Look to your right - what’s sitting there?

A large comfy lounge chair I use to work through writer’s block, and to think through ideas of how to ruin my protagonist’s day.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’ve recently completed the revisions suggested by my publisher for my book, Cornered. I will be working on the revision for my third novel, Rampage.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I don’t have a question for them but if they have any, I’ll be glad to answer them.

His focus is on solving the murders—until the unthinkable happens…

Recently widowed, Austin Police Detective Jason Scarsdale works to solve the murders of two pedophiles, while trying to be both mother and father to his five-year-old daughter. During his investigation, Scarsdale is forced to navigate between the crosshairs of two police commanders out to get him. Drawn to Austin Police Crime Analyst, Dani Mueller, who has also suffered tragedy, Scarsdale fights both his attraction and his suspicions that something just isn’t right…

She is hiding a secret, one that could not only cost her a job—it could end her life…

Dani hides a deadly past. After her daughter was brutally murdered, Dani exacted her revenge then changed her name and fled to Austin. But if her secret ever gets out, she knows there is no place she can hide from the murderer’s vicious family.

Pulled into a web of malice and deceit, Scarsdale and Dani discover the value of breaking the rules. Then just when they thought things couldn’t get worse…they do.

Read an excerpt:

Today Susan’s worst nightmare would become a horrible reality, and I knew exactly how she felt when she walked past me on her way to the witness stand. The jurors’ eyes scrutinized her every step as she neared the witness chair just like the jurors in Burton’s trial did to me. That chair sat behind a white pine modesty panel, next to the judge’s elevated bench. Susan would be center stage like I had been two and a half years ago.

She seemed to be trying hard to maintain her composure, but I could tell by the way she shifted in the witness chair, the way her hand alternately covered her mouth and toyed with the gold cross dangling around her neck, that she was anything but composed. Testifying was a nerve-wracking experience. No, actually, it was a terrible experience—it had been for me and it would be for Susan, too.

I figured Susan’s heart must be in her throat by now. Her stomach churning so bad she probably wanted to vomit. The loss of a child was a terrible hurt that a mother never recovered from, and having to relive it in front of a room full of strangers, staring and hanging onto her every word, would make it a hundred times worse. I hoped for Susan’s sake the system worked this time. It didn’t for me.

My name is Dani Mueller and I used to be a defense attorney and crime analyst in Sacramento, California, under another name—Karla Engel. But all that life was gone now. Seven years practicing law and a life—a once happy life I shared with my ten year old daughter, Katarina—wiped away by a maniac’s sick frenzy, a maniac named Doyle Burton.

About the Author:
Alan Brenham is the pseudonym of Alan Behr, an American author and attorney. He served as a law enforcement officer before earning a law degree. He worked first as a prosecutor then defense attorney for the next twenty-six years. His travels took him to several European and Middle Eastern countries, Alaska and almost every island in the Caribbean. While contracted to US military forces, he resided in Berlin, Germany for a few years. Alan and his wife, Lillian, currently live in the Austin, Texas area. He has authored two crime fiction books, Price of Justice and Cornered, and is working on a third titled Rampage.

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