Friday, May 29, 2015

The Huntress by Elizabeth Davis - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elizabeth Davis will be awarding $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Kaitlin Hawthorne’s life as an heiress to her family’s multinational tech firm was over the moment she decided to pack up and flee with her father's protégé. Determined to strike out on her own, she sets sail for parts unknown but is haunted by her past mistakes and the fiancée she has left behind. Will the sins of her past ruin her chance for happiness with the man of her dreams?

Marcelo Alesi is a reformed bad boy, primed to revolutionize the tech industry. But an unexpected proposition convinces him to abandon his carefully laid plans for the chance to reclaim the only woman he has ever loved; even if it means playing fast and hard with the truth.

As the two embark on a journey, Kaitlin is drawn into the mysterious organization known as "The Order". Distrustful of the Order’s motives, and concealing secrets of his own, Marcelo fights to protect and love Kaitlin, the woman he has claimed as his own.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Astor’s gaze darkened. “It’s not like Kaitlin to go to such lengths to wash her hands of me. She’s not a risk taker. It’s part of the reason that I question her suitability as my successor. But she is my daughter and her place is by my side at this company.”

“Let her go,” Marcelo demanded on a hard breath, knowing that Astor wouldn’t easily relinquish his rigid control over Kaitlin’s life.

“Why?” Astor’s nostrils flared. “It’s obvious that it’s an emotional and reckless decision. And you’re defending her. I expect more from you, but Kaitlin…”

Broad lines grooved Astor’s forehead. He was disappointed, but he wasn’t surprised that his daughter refused to see reason and would choose to leave rather than sensibly discuss her life decisions with him.

“I know better than anyone how much you want for Kaitlin, but she needs to decide for herself what kind of woman she is. If you keep interfering with her choices, you’ll eventually lose her,” Marcelo warned.

Astor’s frustration increased, thickening the air between them. He didn’t care for the severity of Marcelo’s warning. And he sure as hell didn’t like the disrespectful tone or the forward manner in which his protégé had addressed him.

“This isn’t like you. You’re keeping something from me. What else is there?” Astor demanded.

“I think… she needs me.” Marcelo pushed off the edge of the desk, for a minute unable to meet the gaze of the man he admired most.

Astor sounded low, sarcastic laughter. “I should have seen this coming.” He shook his head in disbelief, his humor quickly dissipating. “We’re finally getting at the truth. You’re asking me if you can go with her.”

“I’m not asking.” Marcelo’s chest rose and fell on a sharp breath.

About the Author: Born in Houston, TX, in 1974, Elizabeth Davis started writing at an early age. Her first book was written for an elementary school assignment when she was eight years old. It was called Silly Excuses—a book about fantastic excuses young children can tell their parents when they have been naughty. Not only did she pass the assignment with flying colors, her teacher loved the book so much that she had it published in the school library. Elizabeth has been writing ever since. Elizabeth earned her B.A. from Bowie State University in Communications Media. Her hobbies include reading, baking, traveling with her family, and life coaching. She currently resides in The Netherlands with her husband Pawel, their son Aiden, and Hermes, the family cat.

Buy the book at Amazon, iBooks, or Kobo.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hope by Sam Rook - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sam Rook will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The winged knights—magically altered humans—are the only ones defending the portal from Av'lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn.

Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av'lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming.

Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation.

With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.

Enjoy an excerpt:

"That reminds me. The Ball of Remembrance is coming up in a few weeks. We should go together."

"A ball? You mean with dancing and stuff?" Kathryn remembered some of the best times in her life on a dance floor.

"Yes. Don’t sound so surprised. In the middle of a war, this is one of the few times we can relieve stress. You have to go. There’ll be dancing, singing, drinking and a ton of food. Everyone tends to relax their guard a little, maybe get a little…friendly, if you know what I mean?" Elena’s smile was infectious.

"Wait. They’re not going to be having sex on the dance floor, are they?"

"Kate, men of Av’lor aren’t like that. They’ll at least take us someplace private." Elena’s laugh made Kathryn smile and eventually join in.

"I think it would be a little awkward. I don’t know what any of the other knights look like beneath their armor. What if I hooked up with someone I work with every day? That would make things a little strained during drill the next day." An officer would be even more awkward. Sir Garrent or Sir Lanclor. Even worse, what if it was Jakara? Knife training would have a whole new meaning.

"Oh, rank is suspended for the one day and it’s pretty anonymous. Everyone’s wings will be the same color. License to party." Elena laughed and started thrusting her hips towards the bathtub with a sponge in one hand and a bottle of cleaner in the other.

About the Author: Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wrestling with Summer by Amelia Swan - guest post and giveaway

Five Things You’d Probably Never Guess About Amelia Swan

1. From the age of 5 through graduate school, I was heavily involved in figure skating. I competed, I coached, and I choreographed. If the sport wasn’t so expensive, I’d probably still be skating today. My sister was a skater too, so it was a huge part of our lives.

2. I talk about my cat and dog a lot, but I rarely mention my fish. I’ve had two goldfish for over five years. They’re names are Betty and Dawson. Most people think goldfish are just throwaway pets, but if you take care of them properly they can live for twenty years.

3. Romance novels aren’t the only books I like. As an English major in college and a former high school English teacher, I also enjoy the classics. I’ve always been particularly interested in the American literary canon. I consider myself an amateur Walt Whitman scholar. I also really like comic books and YA novels. My husband and I share an Audible account, and we go through a lot of fantasy and dystopian YA stories.

4. I’m watching Lost for the first time, and I’m really, really into it. I wish I’d watched it a few years ago when everyone else did. There are so many interesting things to talk about. It sort of reminds me of Twin Peaks, which is one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

5. Even though I’m from New Jersey, the Seahawks are my favorite football team.

Will Summer’s past stop her from giving her heart to a professional wrestler?

Summer Sullivan is in a slump. Her friends-with-benefits relationship with yoga teacher Drew is going nowhere, and she’s behind schedule on preparing for her upcoming art show. When she hears that a professional wrestler is scheduled to speak at the private school where she works, she’s convinced things have gone from bad to worse. After growing up with a father who changed from a loving family man to a womanizing, heavy-drinking deadbeat while he worked as a wrestler, Summer has wanted nothing to do with the industry.

But Ryan Steele isn’t like the wrestlers from Summer’s past. With boyish good looks and a lean physique, he doesn’t look like the big, bulky wrestlers she used to know. And with his kind heart and romantic tendencies, Ryan doesn’t act like them either. It doesn’t take long before Summer is smitten with the charming wrestler, but even though Summer wants to be with Ryan, memories of her past keep getting in the way of their happiness. Will she be able to give Ryan a fair chance or will she let her misconceptions about wrestling stand in the way?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Placing the bag on my kitchen counter, I pulled out its contents. Even though the food was in plastic containers, I could smell the tangy, spicy aroma. I opened the lid of my drunken noodles and let the steam hit my face. "I'm glad I chose Thai tonight."

"Yeah, and you're lucky there's vegan Thai food in town. Now get over here. I have something I think you'd like to see." I quickly grabbed two pairs of chopsticks and brought everything we needed for our Friday night ritual feast to the coffee table. Kate and my open laptop were waiting for me when I got there.

I eyed her with lighthearted suspicion. "Uh-oh, what did you find?"

Kate smiled mischievously, grabbed a pair of chopsticks, and shoved a piece of fried tofu in her mouth. She nudged the laptop in my direction.

There he was. Almond-shaped eyes with teal irises. Shaggy but well-kept brown hair. A lean, ripped body. He wore only a silver pair of briefs with his last name written in a navy blue cursive across his ass and black boots that came up to his knees.

I was totally not prepared for Ryan Steele to look like a god among men.

I pushed the laptop back in Kate's direction and shrugged, fighting to pry my eyes off the screen. "He's all right."

Her eyes widened in surprise. "He's all right? Ryan Steele is gorgeous."

I picked up a piece of broccoli with my chopsticks. "But he's still a wrestler."

Amelia Swan writes contemporary, erotic, and new adult romance. She’s interested in characters that are smart, sincere, and somewhat artistically inclined. Her and her husband currently reside in Northern New Jersey with their cat and dog. In addition to romance novels, Amelia is interested in yoga, fitness, veganism, and professional wrestling.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Fire by Various Authors- Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card. The book is priced at only $0.99! Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

21 ALL NEW Contemporary Romance stories by NY Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors.

Love when it’s hot? So do we. Especially when we’re writing about gritty alphas, angsty bad boys, sizzling attraction, and unrequited passion. Turn the fan to oscillate and join us for this steamy, groundbreaking bundle of summer tales that are hot hot hot.

Enjoy an excerpt from "Summer Rhythm" by Brandy L. Rivers

Intending to head for the bar, Chloe got lost in a daydream when she stepped through the door. A familiar song caught her attention. Glancing up, her gaze locked on her biggest regret.

Molten brown eyes, shaggy brown hair, perfectly curved lips twisted in a sinful smirk. That sexy mouth, and talented fingers—and damn, the man could play an instrument. Nearly any.

Smoldering eyes locked on hers for a brief second, igniting hope. Then his brow furrowed as he looked away. Closing his lids, Doug Walsh threw himself into the music like he wanted to banish her from his mind. She couldn’t blame him.

Her desire was a cruel twist of fate. He was even hotter than the last time she saw him, eight years ago. A twinge of guilt thrummed through her and she turned, with the intention of walking out the door.

Someone looped their arm through hers and dragged her toward the bar.

“Thought I mentioned your favorite mistake was playing tonight,” Jackie sing-songed. They’d been best friends since kindergarten. As much as Chloe loved her, Jackie was going to torture her.

She didn’t want to think about the way she’d let Doug in, only to shut him out the next morning. Not once, but twice.

Hopeless, she looked over. “If you had, I wouldn’t have come.”

With a dejected sigh, she climbed onto a stool and dropped her chin into her hand. Nodding at the bartender, she ordered, “Long Island, please?”

Bartender dipped his head in acknowledgement.

Jackie nudged her. “Why not? Clearly you’re still hung up on him. I saw your reaction.”

“He probably hates me.”

“Nah. He never let it slow him down.”

Her mouth fell open. “Are you saying Doug turned into a man-whore?”

Jackie’s brow scrunched. “Not exactly. Though he doesn’t have a problem picking up women.”

“That’s karma for you.” Chloe turned to find her drink. Tracing the disposable coaster, she took a sip from the tall glass before asking, “Why did you invite me here?”

“Figured it would be like old times. Only without having to sneak into bars.”

Chloe giggled. “What the hell. He’s already seen me and the worst he can do is ignore my sorry ass.”

A smirk lifted one corner of Jackie’s mouth as she looked to the stage. “Doubt he’ll ignore you long. He can’t seem to keep his eyes off you.”


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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Forty Watt Flowers by CM Subasic - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

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

The author has opted to share five things about her we might not guess ... she's a brave, brave person!

I have something to confess and you have to promise to keep it quiet.

(leans in close and whispers in your ear) I’m Canadian.

So, how did I end up writing a story about a band in the Deep South?

Love, of course! My man of the time went to Athens, GA to do research at UGA and I followed.

There I was, a Capital “C” Canadian playwright. I’d just finished serving as Chair of the Women’s Caucus for the Playwrights Union of Canada. I was working on a play about Marshall McLuhan (and it wasn’t going well).

At the time in Canada, writers wrote about “Canadian issues” whatever those are. We were convinced that we had to “protect our culture”! But in Athens, GA the concept of a Canadian playwright was… well… quaint. In other words, not very marketable.

I had served on the judging panel for the 3-day novel competition, and enjoyed it. So, when I learned about Hill Street Press (HSP), a publishing house that had recently opened in Athens, publishing stories about the New South, I approached the editor and offered my services as a reader of their slushpile.

What an adventure that was! I was given piles of manuscripts and would do the first read, write a brief synopsis and review. That is when I became an addict of reading diamonds in the rough.

Reading an unpolished masterpiece is a true privilege. I always feel like an audience of one, a midwife of sorts, responsible for this child of the imagination. I enjoyed the puzzle of how to make the story work. For one manuscript I recommended for publication, Kirby Gann’s Barbarian Parade I was also involved in the substantive editing. I recall sitting on the train from New Orleans puzzling over the first chapter, suggesting cuts and selecting the opening line, "The day the freight train hit my father . . ." (This book is great read for a soccer enthusiast, with writing that is sensual, characters that are vivid and surprising, and a story that feels so real.)

One of HSP’s publications was a reprint of Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex, and Suicide in the Deep South, by Rosemarie Daniell, which won the 1999 Palimpsest Prize. This book is a roadmap for Southern women, exploding stereotypes and exploring sensuality, it is about the power of women, their strengths and challenges. It was an important message for me to hear.

At the time I wasn’t a comfortable feminist. I’d always thought of myself as a human first, not a woman first. And yet, I couldn’t help but notice how the media would talk about a woman’s looks or style first, her ideas second. How a man with a goal wasn’t seen as messy person if he didn’t do the dishes.

Meanwhile, being in the South, all around us were those flowers. It is a place where people talk about the flowers the way we in the North talk about the weather. The pansies are a bit of “winter color.” Southern spring progresses through her cycle of cherry blossoms, tulip petal trees, lilacs, azaleas, wisteria, dogwoods and on until the summering air of June brings Kudzu and Magnolia blossoms as big as your head. It’s a heady mix.

So, when I came up with the idea of writing the story of a band in the funky, eclectic music town of Athens, GA, I knew I couldn’t write about just any band. I had to write about an all-girl band. The band also had to have the word “flowers” in their name. The book had to explore how being a woman with a creative goal is a challenging experience. How the world sets the hoops higher for women and sometimes we set them high for ourselves, too.

Do I feel guilty for not writing about an all-girl hockey team? (winks) What do you think?

Here’s four other brief confessions:

i. I have a girl cat named Henry and a boy cat named Cato (originally Kate) because I got their sex wrong. In my defense, they came from a feral colony and wouldn’t let me touch them for two years.

ii. I may write about music, but I’ve never been in a band.

iii. I was a cheerleader in high school because it was the activity that guaranteed more time off school than any other.

iv. In cheerleading I discovered my leadership and organizational ability, and soon became “head” cheerleader. My first stab at “writing” was developing new cheers.

All Trisha wants to do is create something meaningful. Since she's living in Athens, GA, she brings four other women together and the rock band The Forty Watt Flowers is formed. But making good music isn't as easy as it sounds. From the jock atmosphere of the garage where they rehearse to the beer-soaked bars when they gig, these five young women struggle to find beauty in the mess of notes they try to play and the chaos of their lives.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Drums Oh, the feeling of pounding the drums. Juanita allowed herself to disappear into the rough-and-tumble consistency of arms and feet. Flam paradiddle with accent. A long double stroke roll. Drag paradiddle followed by a ratatat pattern with just her weak, right stick. She became those jungle rhythms: The gentle shimmering of cymbal. The soldier march of snare. The boom boom boom, coming up the back-end with bass. A concert of percussion, erasing an erratic world. Here, passion made sense.

Juanita completed an extra hard rolling tumble and pulled the sticks to her lap, the abrupt silence jarring. She became aware of the gap-toothed barn around her, the absolute blackness settled around it, red pines hunched close by, cicadas trilling in chorus.

With a quick move of her forearm she wiped the sweat from her brow, squinted at her arm as if measuring for volume. Not enough. Then she looked up and noticed Tommy's slouched form by the welding equipment.

Colleen is award-winning editor who started her writing life as a playwright. She has had 7 plays produced across Canada and worked with the likes of Samantha Bee (yes, from The Daily Show) and Leah Cherniak.

Her plays include Back Alley Boys about the hardcore punk scene in Toronto, Eye am Hear which tells the tale of a luddite teenage squatters at some undetermined punkish time in the future, A Brief Case of Crack Addicted Cockroaches about the relationship between the media and politics featuring a city councillor who smokes crack (which was never produced because it was too off the wall) and Interbastation about the beauty in ugliness and the ugliness in beauty. Her novel Public Image tied for second in the Anvil Press International 3-day Novel competition.

In addition to her work as a playwright, Colleen puts on the dramaturgy, editor and script doctor hats for a range of publishers, producers and writer clients. She has a Master in Creative Writing from the prestigious UBC Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing and has taught play writing at the university level. She's also done the Board of Directors thing with the Playwrights Guild of Canada, The Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver and other arts organizations.

She was managing editor of Taking the Stage: Selections from plays by Canadian Women which was selected as the "most saleable dramatic publication of the year" by the Canadian Booksellers' Association. She has also been awarded Arts Council grants by the province of Ontario and Nova Scotia. She has served on the judging panel of several internationl novel awards. Her one-person play Interbastation was selected as one of the top-10 best shows by CBC Winnipeg in 1998.

She lived in Athens from 1999 to 2001 and, while there, reviewed and edited manuscripts for Hill Street Press.

Colleen currently resides in her birthplace, Toronto, with three grey cats and a drawer full of lint brushes.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Love Target by Heidi Loeb Hegerich - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I have always been a strange mix of shyness and boldness. Perhaps there’s a split personality in most of us; as for me, I am reticent and even bashful in the presence of strangers. I freak out and must settle my nerves before a public appearance such as a book signing or interview with media — even a phone interview, which would seem to be hardly nervewracking compared to a live appearance on a television show.

But as a first-time published author promoting my book — the novel LOVE TARGET — I force myself to control my timid inner child and take a seat at the author’s table or on the couch next to the TV host, or to pick up the phone and respond as articulately as I can to the interviewer’s voice coming through the speaker. I remind myself that they are doing me the favor: helping me let the world know about my book. What helps is that most of the interviewers seem genuinely interested in my story! This is both flattering and reassuring that LOVE TARGET is a good novel, well worth a reader’s time.

It was the bold side of me that spurred me to write LOVE TARGET in the first place. I always have craved new adventures; it’s why — at age 16 — I told my parents I’d had enough of America, and wanted to return to our native Munich, Germany, and I was intent on doing so whether they liked it or not, and I was heading from our Los Angeles apartment to Las Vegas, wherever Las Vegas was, to be a casino showgirl, whatever a showgirl was, because it paid $200 a week and I would earn enough money to get back to Munich alone.

In subsequent years, my adventures were of the type that would have seemed frightening to my 16-year-old self, had I known what lay in store! Not to give away the plot of LOVE TARGET, but these adventures — or misadventures — involved world-famous entertainers, New York mobsters, drug smugglers, crime-ridden ghettos, and more. Like so many first novels, LOVE TARGET is largely autobiographical; in fact, I term LOVE TARGET a memoir novel. Since my mid-20s, friends and family urged me to write my life story. But I resisted and resisted. When I finally took a stab at it, the result was 70 pages so unsatisfying to my eyes that I burned the sheets in my kitchen sink! But I knew deep inside I couldn’t give up just like that; and so I found an editor to help me shape the novel, get started on it again — and then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, for nearly two years, until the manuscript was finished and polished for publication.

I just needed a bit of a push. In fact, I always have. When I was too struck with stage fright to step out from behind the curtain at the Dunes in the Las Vegas Strip, as a 16-year-old showgirl, I was literally shoved into show businesses (stumbling forward onto the stage) by the showgirl standing behind me. Once the spotlight hit me, I automatically stuck my arms out and smiled brightly as I’d been trained to do in rehearsal, and began my patterned walk — leading the long line of showgirls snaking around the stage, to the audience’s applause.

In the section of my life story that is the basis for the sequel to LOVE TARGET that I am writing, my boldness has prompted me to undertake skydiving and sand railing, fire assault weapons and train with mixed martial artists, and travel to such exotic locales as Teheran, Iran, and Kabul, Afghanistan. (I overcome the jitters thanks to coaches, trainers, and travel agents who supply the necessary “push.”) And yet, I still cringe at the calendar in my smart phone showing a TV, magazine or webzine interview coming up. The butterflies flap fiercely in my belly — just as they did when I was a teenage showgirl. Therein lies a hidden reward of authorship: Not only does it allow you to create something for the world — it forces you out of your comfort cocoon to experience something both frightening and thrilling. It trumps timidy and rewards temerity.

It takes you, the author, on a brave quest just as the book you’ve created takes the reader on a vicarious odyssey.

Teenager Ingrid Liebschreiber is devastated when her parents move the family from their native Munich to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Homesick, she accepts a neighbor's offer to get her a job as a showgirl in Las Vegas.

Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle - where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.

Life's twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s - where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in "construction." Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid's hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.

Will she find true romance - a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is "happily ever after" just a crazy fairytale?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Rascal, you sit yourself right down there.” Elvis motioned at the bed.

He picked up a shiny guitar. It was honey yellow, and the face had a rust-red design below the sound hole, decorated with golden orbs and stems like dandelions.

“Oh, it is beautiful, Elvis!”

He held it up proudly. “This is my Gibson. Ain’t she sweet?”

He sat on a chair cradling the expensive guitar. He delicately plucked the top string with his thumb and gently strummed the other strings with his fingers.

Soft strains filled the room.

“This little number is from my first movie.”

As he began singing, I recognized the melody.

“Love me tender . . .”

Elvis gazed at me as he serenaded, his eyes big, brilliantly blue, dreamy. His song sang straight into my heart. I tingled like I’d been caught in a breeze. Could he see my skin quivering? He could definitely see my cheeks reddening.

Elvis finished with a slow downward strum, thumbing each string individually, a sweet arpeggio. He let the last note ring and fade away.

He looked up and smiled.

“Don’t I sound like Bing Crosby?”

He didn’t wait for an answer. He leaned the guitar against the dresser and in the next instant was on the bed, an arm slung around my shoulder. His other hand grasped and turned my chin.

Elvis’ mouth was warm and gentle. Our tongues met. Just as quickly, his retreated.

Our mouths puckered again. Elvis’ lips worked softly against mine. They moved away and began pecking my face with slow, small kisses. My lower lip burned. Elvis had sunk his teeth in with a hard nip.

He released it just as quickly and turned away with a bashful look. It was like he was a nervous teenager. Was this all an act? Or was he just a giant flirt?

Heidi Loeb Hegerich has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Squaw Valley and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits. A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.

Buy links:

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Robin Leach book review in Las Vegas Sun newspaper:

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Welcome to Temptation by Charlotte Hughes - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hughes will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

With a hurricane closing in on Temptation, Louisiana, Michelle Thurston fails to convince her stubborn grandmother to leave her home on the bayou. Sheriff Gator Landry arrives by boat, hell-bent on forcing the elderly recluse to evacuate. He is stunned to find Michelle, who was just 16 years old when he courted her one steamy summer.

Now, at 32, Michelle comes face-to-face with the man whose kisses tempted her to lose control, only this time there is no place to run. Although Gator is not about to leave the two women defenseless, Michelle can’t help but wonder if he is more dangerous to her than anything the storm can do.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“We need to get out of these wet things,” Michelle said, crossing her arms in front of her in an attempt to hide herself. She shivered as Gator continued to stare. He still had the power to make her body go berserk when he looked at her that way. Those glittering black eyes didn’t miss a thing. It was as though he were capable of seeing past flesh and bone to her inner workings, all of which shook at the moment as violently as the tree limbs outside the window. She was certain he knew what that look did to her. He had it down to an art. And if it had had a powerful effect on her at sixteen, it was doubly so now at thirty-two.

“That’s the best idea I've heard all day," Gator said, shrugging out of his shirt. He mopped his brow and chest with it and ran it across the back of his neck.

Michelle wondered if he had any idea how sensual that simple act was. He was all rippling muscles and taut flesh. Goose pimples stood out on his shoulders and his nipples puckered from the chill in the room. His arms were lean and as brown as the rest of him. The room seemed to shrink to the size of a shoe box. Michelle had seen enough male bodies in her job to know that the one before her was one of the best she’d ever laid eyes on.

Gator would have had to be blind not to notice her perusal. The grin he shot her was brazen. “Like what you see, Mic?”

About the Author:
Charlotte Hughes published her first category romance in 1987, a Bantam Books’ Loveswept, titled Too Many Husbands, which immediately shot to #1 on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. She went on to write almost thirty books before the line closed in 1998.

Although Charlotte is widely known for her laugh-out-loud romantic comedies, she went on to pen three Maggie-Award winning thrillers for Avon Books in the late nineties, before resuming her first love, funny stories about people falling in love. She thrilled readers with her hilarious books, A New Attitude and Hot Shot, the latter of which won the Waldenbooks Greatest Sales Growth Achievement in 2003.

Her books received so many accolades that she was invited to co-author the very popular Full House series with mega-star author Janet Evanovich.

With that series behind her, Charlotte began her own, starring psychologist Kate Holly; What Looks Like Crazy, Nutcase, and High Anxiety, creating a list of somewhat kooky but always loveable and funny ensemble characters.

To keep current with Charlotte and her projects, please sign up for her newsletter .

You can also visit her website, and follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Two Worlds Two Men by Joy Frawley - Guest Blog and Giveaway

4_7 two worlds NBTM_TourBanner_TwoWorldsTwoMen copy

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

Five things you’d never guess about me….. By Joy Frawley

When I was a child I had this vision of what a writer looked like. This vision included dusty old men with white hair dangling a pocket watch from their button down vest. Yes, I know. I had quite the imagination. Yet that same imagination served me quite well when I decided to write my first book Two Worlds Two Men.

That being said, if you guessed that the first thing I was going to share about myself was a twisted sense of humor than you are correct! My odd humor is a legend unto itself to anyone who knows me well. I recall trying to reign in my political incorrectness due to worry about what others would think. Hence, much like straightening my wild black locks, the effort was useless. I’ve since given up trying to hold back my observations about the humorous sides of things mostly because I think the world needs more of it. Twisted or not.

I also have this odd attraction to color in my kitchen. I have a gorgeous collection of multi-colored ceramic bowls I adore filing with fruits and vegetables. Then I proudly display it on my counter much like a mother bird coddling her first born chick. For some reason the mere sight of fresh food inside colorful bowls makes me smile. I guess I’m a sucker for a lime green bowl filled with orange and yellow peppers. It’s downright beautiful. Either that or I’m deranged.

Dogs are my thing. Plain and simple. Some are cat people, however, I am a dog lover through and through. My dogs, Piggs and Diggs, bring a lot of pleasure to my life. It always amazes me how much a part of the family our pets become.

Flowers are never out of style. My sexy boyfriend brings me flowers on a regular basis. He gets an incredible amount of brownie points for this too. I’ve read that some women have no need for flowers and actually dislike getting them! Not me. I find their scent, color, and shape an all-around pick me up. For future reference, I’ll be more than happy to take any unwanted flowers off your hands.

Cobalt blue glass on the windowsill is downright gorgeous. I have accumulated several cobalt blue items over the years that consistently rest on my windowsills. Whatever the season that bold color enhances whatever is behind it. If I have snow the blue delivers a contrast so incredible I often find myself standing still and just looking at it awhile. If it’s a warm day the blue manages to bring a sense of freshness to my eyes as the rays of sunshine radiate through the glass. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long lean bottle or a funky paperweight if it’s cobalt blue glass it has got to be good!

So there you have it. Five things you didn’t know about me. I would wager some of you wish you still didn’t know these five things while others are running out to the nearest flea market for colorful bowls. Like I said it’s downright beautiful. See? There’s that twisted sense of humor again.

4_7 two worlds Cover_Two Worlds, Two MenJocelyn and Neely are having a perfectly pleasant dinner at the Sheep Heid Inn when it happens: Jocelyn suddenly finds herself sitting across the table, not from Neely, but a strange man dressed in medieval garb. This man is no apparition. His eyes, the deepest brown, clearly look on her in intimacy; his touch causes her pulse to rise. Jocelyn realizes two things: from his clothes, he is clearly an aristocrat, and that she, Jocelyn Stewart, seems to be in some sort of romantic relationship with him! Minutes later Jocelyn returns to Neely, in the present day, weak and terrified. Together they begin to unravel the forgotten past and find themselves facing the reality of medieval Scotland. A strange world steeped in folklore and superstition; where life begins and often ends with the sword. As Jocelyn travels back to medieval times she learns that the man she keeps seeing is no other than Sir Colin Campbell of the powerful Campbell Clan. When Jocelyn is with Colin, she wants never to leave his side; then she returns to the present and cannot imagine herself with anyone but Neely. Jocelyn struggles with a choice. Which man will gain her heart when both offer such different love? She is in love with two different men in two different worlds.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jocelyn looked around for the driver who was supposed to be waiting for her arrival with a sign. She had hired someone to pick her up because, as an American and first-time visitor to Scotland, she had figured it would be less stressful.

She didn’t see the driver anywhere; then, just as she started feeling nervous, she saw a man holding a sign with her name on it. And what a man he was! He was broad shouldered, strong and had dark brown hair with reddish tints. He exuded masculinity like some cologne, and even across the airport, she thought she could smell it. Smoothing her unruly hair, she started to walk over to him.

The man, seeing her approach him, took a step toward her. “Are you, Jocelyn?”

When he spoke her name, she found herself frozen in place unable to respond. She’d heard this voice before; she knew this voice. This man spoke her name exactly like the dream she had had all those years ago! She had been stirred awake in bed by a voice of a man, who spoke her name with a Scottish accent. His voice was gentle and low; as if he wanted to gain her attention, but not cause her alarm. Jocelyn had clutched the sheets to her chest and stared out into the darkness of her bedroom almost feeling his intimate presence beside her. She lifted her hand up to her ear having sworn his warm breath had brushed her skin. Jocelyn remembered she had turned her head, anxiously, toward the pillow next to her and almost thought she would be looking into the eyes of a stranger; yet she had not been frightened. This man, his voice, somehow comforted her.

Now, she stood in the airport and caught her breath as she faced the man before her. Her eyes searched his face for something; though what it was she wasn’t sure. Jocelyn felt her heart beating so fast she was certain the man could hear it as memories flooded her mind of that night so long ago when he or someone spoke her name in the darkness. Was that the reason for her vacation to Scotland? Was she unconsciously trying to find the man?

4_7 two worlds AuthorPic_Two Worlds, Two MenAbout the Author: Joy Frawley is an author and writer of the upcoming romance novella; Two Worlds, Two Men due to release on October 2014 by Resplendence Publishing. Joy lives in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan relishing in living the life of the classic “townie” with her two dogs Piggs and Diggs.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Adding Lib by Kathryn Elliott - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

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

Welcome, Kathryn! Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

A fan of all things dark and criminally-minded, women’s fiction was not my first genre choice – I wanted to murder and plot political espionage. Sadly, it turns out I’ve got the killer instincts of a butterfly with Pope-like ethics. Damn Catholic school!

In all honesty, there are two schools of thought in writing. First, write outside your comfort zone, second write what you know; Adding Lib is a combination of both.

What research is required?

A key element of Adding Lib’s storyline stems from Libby’s mother, Mae McGinn’s early vascular dementia diagnosis. An advocate for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients for several years, I began researching the intricacies of the disease and interviewing families directly impacted by the often heart-wrenchingly slow process and discovered something surprising.

Laughter; a lot of laughter. It heals, soothes and even lessens the fears of both the patient and their family. I saw the niche for a humor and heartstrings based approach to a difficult subject matter – and Adding Lib was born.

Name one thing you learned from your heroine.


Libby has a short fuse. Mae carries a big match. Engulfed in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae's emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front burner. It takes a razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae's diagnosis. Thankfully, just like her mother Libby has both.

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

Confession: I lock the door to write love scenes. Don’t misunderstand, I’m a good ole’ smut loving gal, I just prefer privacy to craft the thrusts, grunts and afterglow. Sometimes I invite my friend Kendall Jackson to join me.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Pantser - down to the Spanx.

Unlike a lot of my writer pals, I tend to develop characters and dialogue before a firm plot. I have a workable outline to begin, but the voices in my head need to talk it out before their story hits the page.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Cold cup of coffee. That I will, without fail, re-heat in the microwave and forget about until tomorrow when the cream curdle bubbles up to make cottage cheese. Yum.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

The second book in the McGinn Series, Finding Caroline is almost through the first dreaded draft. Sean and Caroline’s story is up next, and yes, there’s quite a bit of door-locking-smut-crafting. And it’s about time!

Additionally, I’m doing a big of ghost writing and publicity work (where my roots lie) for local non-profits including the American Cancer Society and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Do you have a question for our readers?

If you could be any fictional character for one day, who would you be?

Thanks for inviting me for a visit! I hope Adding Lib brings love and laughter.

Libby O'Rourke has a short fuse. Her mother, Mae, carries a big match. Engulfed in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae's emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front burner.

Proficient in the art of denial, Mae brushes the shattering diagnosis aside and sets her sights on a matchmaking crusade for her eldest son. After all, if her lucid days are numbered, Mae’s going to make damned sure he makes it down the aisle while she still recognizes the groom.

It’s going to take a razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae's diagnosis. Thankfully, just like her mother Libby has both.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Libby felt the weight of the coming conversation bear down on her shoulders like a lead blanket and struggled to find the right words.

“It’s all right, Libby,” Mae said, interrupting her thoughts. “Say what you need to. We’re here for a reason. We both know it.”

Shocked by her mother’s perception, Libby stared at Mae.

The older woman’s eyes were moist but holding back. She continued. “Spit it out, honey. I won’t have a public tantrum. It’s obvious you have something important to talk to me about, and I think you’ve delayed long enough.”

Libby’s shoulders slumped. “How’d you know?”

“Well, let’s examine the facts...” Mae grinned despite the gravity of the moment. “You took me to church, plied me with brunch, and now you’re standing there biting your bottom lip raw. Daddy used to call that your tell. We always knew something was wrong if your bottom lip looked like it had a run-in with a cheese grater.”

“Huh?” Libby ran her tongue over her bottom lip. “I never noticed.”

“In your teens, we were pretty sure you were going to bite clean through it,” Mae joked. “At least your nervous habit isn’t offensive; whenever Kevin lies, he grabs his testicles. Since the day he was born that boy treated his penis like an accessory. It’s terribly inappropriate, especially at parties.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathryn Elliott is a lifetime journalist with awards in political satire, human interest, and commentary. A Connecticut native, she is a happily married mother of two sons with high hopes one of them will pay for a delightful rest home.

A true believer in laughter's healing power, Kathryn writes characters whose flaws resonate with readers long after "The End."

ADDING LIB is her debut novel, and the first in The McGinn Series.

TWITTER: @CandidKathryn

BUY LINKS: The Wild Rose Press:




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Friday, May 15, 2015

The Devil's Music by Pearl R. Meaker

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

Welcome, Pearl!

Thank you for inviting me to be on your blog. Also, thank you Goddess Fish Promotions for bringing us together.

Where are you from?

I’m from the state of Illinois in the Midwest part of the United States. That is also where The Devil’s Music is set, though it isn’t set in the town I actually live in. Twombly is a fictional town that has elements of my town and several other places I’ve lived.

What genre do you write in?

The Emory Crawford Mysteries are all cozy mysteries. My first favorite author, when I was nine years old, was Agatha Christie, and my love for her genre has stuck with me since. It is still my favorite genre to read in and was where my muse took me when I decided to write a book.

Why are you an Author?

This is a tough one. Needed to give it some thought before I answered.

I’m an author because I love stories, I love reading, and I discovered almost by accident that I write well. I’ve found the thrill of sharing a story with readers and having them fall in love with where I take them and the people I introduce them to. It is a totally amazing feeling. Every bit as wonderful as when I’m the reader and a story transports me.

What inspires you?

All sorts of things inspire me. Songs inspire me, and both The Devil’s Music and my next book The Devil’s Hook were inspired by the song “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby” from the movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.

I also enjoy writing challenges where you’re given three or so words that seem random and unconnected and you have to write a short story using them all. Or you’re given a starting sentence – things like that. I used to write for a fanfiction challenge group and had a different challenge every month. It was a lot of fun, a good “school” on how to write and full of inspiration.

Where and what times during the day do you work best?

My time of day really fluctuates. I’m rather moody so it’s usually when the fit takes me. I’ve awoken in the middle of the night with something that just has to get written down “right now” and I’ll be at it still come morning.

Location is usually my living room, or my kitchen (where I am while I’m doing this interview), my office/craft room, or out on our patios in our backyard.

I’m a computer writer. I never wrote a story until we had a computer. I don’t like having to make messy corrections or not be able to move things around without having to rewrite whole pages by hand.

Who is your target audience?

Well, research says that it should be middle-aged women. But I read my first cozy when I was nine and loved it! So what that Hercule Poirot was an old man? Who cared that Miss Marple was an old, grey haired spinster who was a former nanny and knitted little fuzzy things? I loved them!

Think about it. The Harry Potter books are basically written for children, then growing into books for youngsters then teens. But right from the start adults loved them too. I think industries are often too quick to put prospective customers into neat little categories that don’t always fit.

I know the genre appeals to a wide range of people so mostly I’m concerned with writing a good, entertaining “who-done-it” with interesting plots and characters. If I do that it won’t matter much what the statisticians think.

How do you want your readers to feel as they read your book?


I want them happy when the story is being happy. Sad when the murder happens. Frightened when something scary is happening. I hope they feel what the characters in the story are feeling with each scene they read.

But over and above all, I want them to feel like they’ve been well entertained by escaping their everyday lives for a while.

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Study the craft – but don’t think you have to follow every piece of advice experts have to offer.

Sift through all the helpful hints and down-right insistence that this or that idea is THE BEST WAY TO WRITE. I myself, and many other writers I’ve come to know, have been badly messed up and had to spend some time recovering themselves, recovering their own style and voice, because they’d been convinced they were doing it wrong.

Try new ways and means if you want to, but start a new project, like a short story, to try them with. That way, if you find it doesn’t suit you, you haven’t ruined your larger work.

I did that with the “plotters vs. pantsers” issue. To read many writers opinions, you are doomed to failure if you don’t outline your book in intensely deep detail. For me, with the two short stories I tried it with, after I put all that detail into the outline, my brain knew it had written the story out in full and I couldn’t get it shifted into prose. Doing the deep, thorough outline didn’t work for me. I’ve read interviews with many successful authors who are “pantsers.” I prefer to call us “intuitive plotters.”

One writer I know tried the intense outline process on a novel she’d already been working on. She ruined that story and had to start over, working the way she had before, with a whole new novel. Which is why I say try the new technique on something small instead.

Share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know.

I’m willing to try things. If I find I can do something and like it, I keep doing it. That happened with writing, with fencing for five years, with playing bluegrass fiddle. It’s happened with all sorts of things. I still struggle with wanting to do well at things I just don’t do well at, just because I think they are things others expect of me. But I’m getting better at setting those aside and focusing on what I do well.

Emory Crawford doesn't do martial arts nor is she an athletic, leggy woman who is built like a model. She's a wife, grandmother, and empty nest lover of crafts, reading, birding and bluegrass music.

When an acclaimed scholar, best-selling author and fellow bluegrass musician is found murdered on the Twombly College campus where her husband teaches chemistry and forensics, Emory takes up her knitting caddy, to help her channel the spirit of Miss Marple, and heads off to help solve the crime.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Stars shone in a sky hazed with moonlight from a half- moon. The fountain played its merry music. The smell of late spring flowers wafted on the cooling air. Soft lights in the fountain made the area cozy while keeping it from being scary-dark. But our playful mood faded as we saw the silhouette of someone sleeping on one of the backless benches near the fountain.

“Drat! I was looking forward to some romance.” At forty-seven I still sound like a sulky child when I’m disappointed.

“So was I.” Jebbin didn’t sound it though. He was too busy squinting at the figure on the bench. He nodded his head toward the figure. “Something’s odd there, Emory.”

I looked closer. The figure’s arms both dangled down, hands resting on the ground. The legs were straight, hanging off either side of the bench in an uncomfortable looking position. We edged closer until we could see, lit by the light of the fountain, the body of a man splayed lengthwise on the bench. Several pouches and odd amulets rested on his chest. On the ground, the hand nearest us was holding a fiddle with no strings.

Jebbin grabbed my shoulders, turning me toward the fountain and away from the bench.

“He’s been strangled.” Jebbin’s body was tight, his voice tense. “It’s Archie and he’s been strangled.”

Pearl R. Meaker is an upper-middle-aged, short, pudgy homemaker, mother, and grandmother who in 2002 became a writer. Initially writing fanfiction she soon tried original fiction at the encouragement of her regular readers. She has been a life-long lover of mystery stories and automatically went to that genre for her first book, The Devil’s Music. She and her husband of nearly 40 years live in central Illinois. They both love bluegrass music, playing fiddle and banjo and singing. Pearl also does many crafts – when she’s not reading or writing - knitting, crochet, origami, needlepoint, and cross-stitch among them. She also enjoys birding and photography and is a former fencer.

Visit Pearl here:

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Chapels on the Hill by Virginia McCullough - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Virginia will award one randomly drawn winner a digital copy of one of her fiction books via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When tragedy struck, Sonia and Aaron’s reason to be together seemed to slip away, along with the love they once shared. Both believe they’ll find closure at an event dedicating a music pavilion to their son, allowing them to say a final goodbye and freeing them to commit to new relationships. But instead of finding peace, memories of the life they shared with their son, Matt, stir up unexpected feelings, prompting them to relive both sweet and painful times of their shared memories of the life they shared…

And they can’t forget Matt’s special gift…

By age five, Matt’s cello teacher declared him a child prodigy. But life with a prodigy can become complicated and even strains Aaron and Sonia’s marriage. Sonia is forced to balance her commitment to Matt and his music with running Chapel’s Botanical Garden, a business she created to save Aaron’s family’s land. Aaron’s law practice leads him to high-profile cases all over the country. Aaron is concerned about music dominating Matt’s childhood, but he eventually understands his son’s gift is already leading him to a life far away from their home in Lady’s River, Wisconsin.

When Matt is taken from them unexpectedly, Aaron and Sonia turn in different directions, eventually going their separate ways. It seems to be working…or is it? For Sonia and Aaron, only a trip through the past will allow them to redeem the future—perhaps even find a shared future again.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sonia switched back and forth between two cable news stations and an old made-for TV movie she’d seen a couple of times, determined to stay upright and awake. When sleepiness overtook her, she’d head to bed. No more dozing off in the den. This catch-as-catch-can lifestyle she’d sunk into after coming back from Pearson Pond had begun to embarrass her.

First, she’d call the painter in the morning. Even if she reconnected with Ben—maybe even began planning a future with him—she’d still need to fix up the house before she could sell it. And the den was as good a place to start as any.

She picked at the fraying fabric on the arm of the couch. No wonder she felt off balance. She spent most of her time at home in a room she last painted a sophisticated pale gray. But time had darkened the walls, and now they looked drab and sad, begging for new life, like the whole house had the day she first stood in the living room imagining herself living there.

She and Aaron had poured their new-found passion into the house, discovering each other and reveling in the miracle that they’d fallen in love.

No more ancient history. Move on. Maybe selling the place was the only way to make a fresh start. What was she hanging on to it for, anyway? She wouldn’t want to live in it with Ben. No, the house belonged to her old life.

Studying the walls in the den, she settled on replacing the gray with a brighter ivory, with the far wall painted in a butterscotch yellow for contrast. Then she’d hang the paintings she’d bought at various art exhibits at the garden over the last few years. Too distracted to decide where to hang them, she’d stashed them in the attic for safekeeping.

Sonia left the couch and knelt on the rug in front of the shelves. Before she could change her mind, she scooped up a row of paperbacks and spread them out in front of her. She needed two piles, one for the keepers and one for the giveaways.

No lingering allowed. If she let the memories grab hold of her, she’d hear echoes of Aaron teasing her about her gritty murder mysteries. But even as she sorted, little snippets popped into her mind and she couldn’t order them back into their hiding places.

She sat back on her heels and recalled the day, only a week or two before Matt was born, when she’d flopped into the easy chair to read. She’d ended up resting the open book across her swollen belly and dozed, opening her eyes when she’d felt Aaron’s lips on her forehead. “Having sweet dreams?” he’d asked, holding up the book and pointing to the bloody knife on the cover.

She smiled at the memory of his amused eyes.

“Enough of that,” she said out loud. Distracting herself by gathering up a second armful of books, she quickly tossed them into one pile or the other.

Bestselling author Virginia McCullough’s fiction titles include Amber Light, Greta's Grace, Island Healing, Book 1 of her St. Anne's Island Series, and The Chapels on the Hill. The Jacks of Her Heart, which releases in May 2015, offers a lighter take on romance in middle-age. Her novels offer hope, healing, and plenty of second chances—and her characters always share some fun and laughter along the way, too. A lifelong writer, Virginia has written over 100 books as a ghostwriter or coauthor. Her clients include well-known doctors, lawyers, professional speakers, and individuals with a story to tell. She’s come to see that her nonfiction work also offers readers hope and healing. Virginia coauthored (w/Lynda McDaniel) Write Your Book Now and Storytelling Toolkit, both available on She currently lives in Wisconsin. Visit Virginia online:






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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Permanent Spring Showers by Scott D. Southard - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is having a very bad season. The ramifications of one torrid evening with one of the great upcoming painters of his generation, will not only be felt across her life but over the entire art world. Sexy, funny, and very surprising, Permanent Spring Showers is the tale of one very memorable springtime and how it impacts a group of unique artists and dreamers. From the the hopeful Olympian with the failing marriage to the writer who is creating a new literary movement (through outright manipulation) to the romantic wondering what he did wrong to drive away the love of his life, each tale walks the line between reality and fantasy. And waiting at the end of the line is a very important painting... and possibly the revolver used in the Lincoln Assassination.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“What are you thinking? She’s an escort!”

“I’m in love, Steve. After sitting through the first twenty minutes of this lunch, it’s obvious you certainly still remember what that feeling is like.” He pushed his plate forward.

"But Clark…” I began.

He interrupted, “And it’s not like she wants to do that her entire life, Steve, if that is what is troubling you. She is doing it to pay for college.”

I stopped, the car of my mind shifting gears again. “Wait, did you say ‘is’? Do you mean she is still doing it?”

“Well, times are tough all over,” Clark replied far too calmly for my taste. “Have you seen college tuition rates this year?”

“And she’s really in college?” I asked, shocked. I began to wonder if I was on one of those TV shows and a camera was hidden in a bush nearby me.

My shock was perfectly mirrored by the opposite reflection of the casualness of my brother.

“You didn’t think I would marry an idiot did you, Steve? I need to be mentally challenged, you know that. She is studying education; her dream’s to teach third graders.”

“You’re engaged to a hooker…”

“Escort,” he corrected quickly for a third time.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said sarcastically. “You are engaged to an active escort who wants to be an elementary school teacher?”

“Yes,” Clark said with a dramatic point across the table at me. “And Steve, this is where you come in. You need to help me introduce her to mom and dad.”

Scott D. Southard is the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors, Megan, 3 Days in Rome and Me Stuff in addition to his latest release, Permanent Spring Showers. His eclectic writing has also found its way into radio, as Scott was the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog “The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" where he writes on topics ranging from writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. His blog can be found at Scott is also the fiction book reviewer for WKAR's daily radio show Current State.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

The Body Market by DV Berkom - Review and Giveaway

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Click the banner above for other stops on the tour.

A retired assassin is called in when a celebration south of the border turns into a nightmare.

Everything's for sale...

Former assassin Leine Basso is hired by a wealthy Beverly Hills power couple to find their missing daughter, Elise, who was last seen partying with her boyfriend at a club in Tijuana. At first, police believe the two teenagers are the victims of a carjacking. But when Leine finds their missing vehicle with the boyfriend’s mutilated body inside, and the local cartel warns her away, she knows if Elise isn’t already dead, she will be soon, or worse.

In the lethal world of organized crime, there’s always a worse.

As Leine races to uncover the reason behind Elise Bennett’s disappearance, she must also battle the powerful interests fighting to keep her from the truth.


I really enjoyed this book. You can tell that it's part of the series (in fact, I discovered it's book three of the series--the first two being Serial Date and Bad Traffick.  However, it is definitely a standalone.  The author gives enough clues so you know there is a backstory you don't know, so there's also enough character development within the story itself that you don't feel like you are missing anything.

I really liked the main characters in this book.  Leine is tough, but she also has her tender side, and I like her scenes with Santa-- it really shows that side of her.

The book starts off right in the action and gives the reader a first-hand look at Leine Basso's style and toughness.  This book is very much a page-turner and I could not wait to find out what happened--and the ending was not quite what I was expecting.  Now I have to go back and reread the book to see what clues I might have missed!  I'm also going to be picking up the first two book in the series--I think I might just have found a new auto-buy.  4 flowers and, thanks, Ms. Berkom, for a good read.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

The first man seized him by the arm and shoved him away from the car and onto his knees, aiming a gun at his head. With the weapon still trained on Josh, he reached inside the car and unlocked Elise’s door.

“No!” Elise screamed as the second man wrenched the door open, grabbed her by the hair, and yanked her out of the car. She landed hard on the gravel beside the Porsche. A sharp pain lanced down her leg, followed by the warm, sticky-wetness of blood.

Elise didn’t have time to gain her feet before the man grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off the ground. She kicked and squirmed and tried to rake his face with her nails as he dragged her away from the car, losing one of her shoes in the process, but the man never faltered. The moment before he shoved her into the back of the open SUV, Elise managed to twist around and look back at Josh.

Shoulders shaking and head bowed, his wristwatch glinted in the moonlight. A light breeze ruffled his hair.

“Take my car. I promise I won’t report it if you let me go,” he pleaded with the man in front of him.

“I thought you said it wasn’t your car,” the man replied with a smile as he moved behind him.

“I lied. I’m scared. Please don’t kill me. I—I’m only eighteen.” Sobbing now, Josh put his hands up as though they were playing a game and it was time to quit. Elise held her breath. Overwhelming fear tightened her chest and spread to her throat, the nausea in her stomach gaining momentum.

Before she could utter a sound, the man aimed the gun at the back of Josh’s head.

And fired.

DV Berkom is a slave to the voices in her head. As the author of two popular thriller series (Leine Basso and Kate Jones), her love of creating resilient, kick-*ss female characters stems from a lifelong addiction to reading spy novels, mysteries, and thrillers, and longing to find the female equivalent within those pages. 

Raised in the Midwest, she received her BA in political science from the University of Minnesota and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat. Many, many cross-country moves later, she now lives near Seattle, Washington with the love of her life, Mark, a chef-turned-contractor, and several imaginary characters who love to tell her what to do.

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Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan by Iris Dorbian - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

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

It's the early 1980s, MTV is in its infancy, the Internet does not exist, Ronald Reagan is president and yuppies are ruling Wall Street. Edie is a naïve NYU student desperate to lose her virginity and to experience adventure that will finally make her worldly, setting her further apart from her bland suburban roots. But in her quest to mold herself into an ideal of urban sophistication, the New Jersey-born co-ed gets more than she bargained for, triggering a chain of events that will have lasting repercussions.

Enjoy an excerpt:

It was an era before cell phones, the Internet did not exist, disco was dying, about to be swallowed whole by New Wave and AIDS, which hadn’t yet broken into the mainstream, would soon become a death sentence ending a person’s life within two years of infection. Carter had only one year left of his failed, one-term presidency. Reaganomics—and yuppies—were looming.

Though still heavily ravaged by the urban blight that had nearly decimated it earlier in the decade, New York City was starting to undergo a period of renewal and rebirth thanks to its new feisty mayor Ed Koch.

Into this fray I entered as an NYU student, naïve, curious, not knowing what the future would bring. But then I didn’t care, choosing to live in the present. Willful obliviousness suited me just fine.

Peter, my first real boyfriend (translated into the vernacular: the first guy I slept with), used to always tell me I was an existentialist. But that confused me especially because I knew that underneath this veneer that classmates used to say was so deep and cerebral lurked a fluttery airhead, more influenced by appearances and artifice than she let on.

I had briefly studied existentialism when I was a high school senior taking advanced humanities with Mrs. Stein at Fair Lawn High School, an unusually good public school made possible by the enormous taxes levied against its local citizenry.

Mrs. Stein was very eclectic with the syllabus. We read Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles,” (a book about wronged innocence that resonated strongly with my callow self), Homer’s “The Odyssey,” Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage” and Albert Camus’ “The Stranger,” the latter considered both a literary classic and a benchmark of the existential movement.

“The Stranger” was about an emotionally impassive Frenchman, Mersault, who experiences all sorts of tragedies—he even murders someone and goes on trial for it—while remaining curiously detached throughout. Was he a sociopath? Did he feel any kind of remorse for his actions? Why didn’t he cry when his mother died?

When Mrs. Stein would describe the protagonist as someone who embodied the existential doctrine of self-determination and assuming responsibilities for one’s choices, all I could think of was a sleek and tall Frenchman, fashionably attired in black from head to toe, wearing a beret and sitting in a Parisian café, sipping lattes and eating croissants while having animated philosophical discourses with friends and borderline foes. It was an image of sophistication I was desperate to emulate ever since my parents took me two years earlier to Café Feenjon on MacDougal Street to hear Israeli musicians play cheesy Middle-Eastern music.

Iris Dorbian is a former actress turned business journalist/blogger. Her articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, DMNews, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater," which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Skirt! Diverse Voices Quarterly and Gothesque Magazine.

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