Thursday, July 9, 2020

Never Enough by Kristina M. Sanchez



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristina M. Sanchez will be awarding a $20 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.

At thirty-seven, Valentin Belmonte returned to his mother’s house with his tail between his legs. No surprise there. His life had been a long line of bad choices, failures, and trouble. Also returning home, freshly graduated and on the hunt for a job, was Mina Toussaint, the orphan Val’s mother and stepfather had taken in when he was already grown. She’d been the only person who’d ever really liked him, but he’d screwed that up a long time ago.

Mina’s adoptive family had treated her like the perfect princess and little girl they always wanted. Val was the only one who’d ever seen her for who she really was; she’d never wanted to be a princess. But after what happened when she was sixteen, she thought she hated him. Now, six years later, things were different. She wasn’t the child she’d been when she got so angry. The trouble was that Val hadn’t changed. He still saw her.

Frankly, he saw too much.

Read an Excerpt

Val’s eyes flicked to Mina and back to Dante. “She doesn’t like skirts.”

How the hell had he known that? It was true. She tried it occasionally, and it always ended up badly. She hated stockings more than anything.

“Besides, she looks good in a power suit.”

Mina looked up to find Val’s eyes traveling up and down her body. Her cheeks flushed, and when his eyes met hers, her heart skipped a beat. “Very professional,” he said.

About the Author Kristina M. Sanchez began her life-long love of writing as a small, insomniac child, making up stories about Bugs Bunny to occupy herself when everyone in the house was asleep. She lives now in Southern California with two cats and an enchanting hurricane—err—toddler. An enchanting, smarty-pants, bewildering toddler. Kristina is an asexual, happily single mother by choice. You might think that’s a weird kind of person to be writing romance novels, but the best science-fiction writers have never been to space, so there you go.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LyricalKris
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lyricalkris
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kristina-M-Sanchez/e/B00DYW5VWI
Website: https://kristinamsanchez.com/

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Convenient Escape by Sara R. Turnquist



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sara R. Turnquist will be awarding a $30 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.

She has nowhere to go. He has nothing to lose.

Lily McAllen has known nothing but hardship and rejection. Her brother, the only person she can lean on, takes a job at the Miller ranch. Now with no ally, she is alone, confined, and vulnerable. She becomes desperate to get away…by any means necessary.

Despite his best intentions, Daniel Hayworth is drawn into a fatal mishap. He feels responsible. And is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure Lily is cared for…even if that means proposing marriage.

Complicating matters, Geronimo and his raiding band terrorize the surrounding areas. Troubles mount and tensions challenge the growing attraction between Dan and Lily.

Will they make it to the church? Or find themselves victims of lies, disillusionment, or the ire of an Apache rebel?

Read an Excerpt:

She prayed he would not pull back. Why would she do so? Why did she wish him to be near? Why did that seem important?

As if answering her prayer, he leaned closer. “That’s just not possible.”

She clenched her hands. “Why not?” The words did not have much force behind them.

“Just…trust me.” His words were clipped.

The manner of his tone sliced through her, stinging as it cut. Her fight against her tears became futile. And one escape.

Why would he be so insistent? Was there something he didn’t trust her with?

Dan covered her hands with his larger ones. “Lily, I…”

What did he care to say? Would he speak things that would endear him to her? She should not listen, yet she waited.

“I only want to do the best I can by you. For you.”

This time it was she who sought his regard while he looked downward.

He continued, “I can’t do that if you won’t trust me.”

In the silence of the moments that followed, she considered his words. And she knew he had been right—there must be some give and take. And he wasn’t asking for much. Only hurt had kept her from seeing it.

She didn’t have ground to stand on anyway. The truth was she had nothing. No one. And nowhere to go. He had been and was being generous. This offer was a gift.

Nodding, she slid a thumb over one of his fingers.

He peered up at her, meeting her gaze at last.

The velvety brown she found there was so soft and deep that the world melted away. Her heartbeat slowed.

Perhaps her trust wasn’t for nothing.

About the Author:
Sara is a coffee lovin', word slinging, Historical Romance author whose super power is converting caffeine into novels. She loves those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That's what inspires her. Well, that and a good love story.

But of all the love stories she knows, hers is her favorite. She lives happily with her own Prince Charming and their gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning.

Sara is an avid reader and enjoys reading and writing clean Historical Romance when she’s not traveling. Her books range from the Czech lands to the American wild west and from ancient Egypt to the early 1900s. Some of her titles include The Lady Bornekova, Hope in Cripple Creek, The General’s Wife, Trail of Fears, and the Convenient Risk Series.

Happy Reading!

Website: http://saraturnquist.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarat1701
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorsararturnquist/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarat0103/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/saravturnquist/
YouTube: https://bit.ly/sara-youtube

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BW79X4P/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0 Only $0.99! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Kitty's War byBarbara Whitaker



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Whitaker will be awarding a $20 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.

Seeking adventure, shy Kitty Greenlee joins the Women's Army Corps. In 1944 England, as secretarial support to the 8th Air Force, she encounters her dream man, a handsome lieutenant who only has eyes for her blonde friend. Uncomfortable around men, Kitty doesn't think the handsome officer could want someone like her.

Recovering from wounds, Ted Kruger wants to forget about losing his closest friends and have fun before returning to danger as a bomber navigator. When Ted recognizes Kitty as the girl who rescued him two years before, he must choose between dating the sexy blonde or pursuing quiet, serious-minded Kitty even though he knows he's not nearly good enough for her.

As the war gears up with the D-Day invasion, will Kitty and Ted risk their hearts as well as their lives?

Read an Excerpt

Once all the WACs were ashore, they marched to a loading area and climbed aboard waiting trucks. Packed like sardines, they had to pile their overstuffed duffle bags on their feet.

Katherine squirmed to get more comfortable and bit her trembling lip.

Madge leaned close. “You okay, kid?”

She nodded, but it was a lie. She fought the panic, pushed it deep inside.

“We’re here. We’ll be settled soon.” Madge tried to reassure her, and Katherine was grateful.

“I know.” She placed her hands on her midsection. “I’ll feel better when my stomach calms down.” Truth was she didn’t like the in-between. She wanted to get there, wherever there was, and get to work. She closed her eyes, leaned her head back against the canvas cover, and willed herself not to cry. After all, she wasn’t alone. Madge was here with her. She’d made it so far. This was the biggest adventure of her life. She wouldn’t fall apart now.

Madge patted her hand, and Katherine realized she had squeezed it into a tight fist. “Kitty. Relax. We’ll get there, in good time.”

“Are you Kitty?” a girl across from them asked.

Katherine’s eyes flew open. She nodded and forced a smile. Madge had dubbed her Kitty when they’d first met. And Katherine had accepted it because she’d wanted so badly for Madge to be her friend.

“I heard you were on the ship. You’re the one who got all the commendations back in Boston, aren’t you?” The girl stuck her hand across the mound of duffle bags. “I’m Dallas.”

Kitty nodded, unsure whether the girl meant her comment as a compliment or a jibe. She leaned forward and politely shook the girl’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”


About the Author:
Barbara grew up in a small town in Tennessee where the repeated stories of local and family history became embedded in her psyche. Fascinating tales of wartime, from her parents and her in-laws, instilled an insatiable curiosity about World War II. After retiring from her sensible career in accounting, she began full time pursuit of her lifelong love of historical romantic fiction. Enjoying every minute of research, Barbara spends hours reading, watching old, black-and-white movies and listening to big band music. Although Barbara and her husband have been longtime residents of Florida, they both still think of Tennessee as "home." Visit Barbara's website at http://barbarawhitaker.com. Or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraWhitakerAuthor.

Buy Links and Other Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Kittys-War-Barbara-Whitaker-ebook/dp/B01MCU9SOW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kittys-war-barbara-whitaker/1125466321?ean=9781509210909
https://www.bookbub.com/books/kitty-s-war-by-barbara-whitaker
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33303373-kitty-s-war
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/kitty-s-war-2
https://www.audible.com/pd/Kittys-War-Audiobook/B07MJ7LFKC
https://books.apple.com/us/book/kittys-war/id1164144741

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Anarchy of the Mice by Jeff Bond

Anarchy Of The Mice by Jeff Bond Banner

 

 

Anarchy of the Mice

by Jeff Bond

on Tour July 1 - August 31, 2020

Synopsis:

Anarchy of the Mice by Jeff Bond
From Jeff Bond, author of Blackquest 40 and The Pinebox Vendetta, comes Anarchy of the Mice, book one in an epic new series starring Quaid Rafferty, Durwood Oak Jones, and Molly McGill: the trio of freelance operatives known collectively as Third Chance Enterprises.

How far could society fall without data? Account balances, property lines, government ID records — if it all vanished, if everyone’s scorecard reset to zero, how might the world look?

The Blind Mice are going to show us.

Molly McGill is fighting it. Her teenage son has come downstairs in a T-shirt from these “hacktivists” dominating the news. Her daughter’s bus is canceled — too many stoplights out — and school is in the opposite direction of the temp job she’s supposed to be starting this morning. She is twice-divorced; her P.I. business, McGill Investigators, is on the rocks; what kind of life is this for a woman a mere twelve credit-hours shy of her PhD?

Then the doorbell rings.

It’s Quaid Rafferty, the charming — but disgraced — former governor of Massachusetts, and his plainspoken partner, Durwood Oak Jones. The guys have an assignment for Molly. It sounds risky, but the pay sure beats switchboard work.

They need her to infiltrate the Blind Mice.

Danger, romance, intrigue, action for miles — whatever you read, Anarchy of the Mice is coming for you.

Book Details:

Genre: Action-Adventure
Published by: Jeff Bond books
Publication Date: June 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 445
ISBN: 173225527X (978-1732255272)
Series: Third Chance Enterprises, #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE
The first I ever heard of the Blind Mice was from my fourteen-year-old son, Zach. I was scrambling to get him and his sister ready for school, stepping over dolls and skater magazines, thinking ahead to the temp job I was starting in about an hour, when Zach came slumping downstairs in a suspiciously plain T-shirt.
“Turn around,” I said. “Let’s see the back.”
He scowled but did comply. The clothing check was mandatory after that vomiting-skull sweatshirt he’d slipped out the door in last month.
Okay. No drugs, profanity, or bodily fluids being expelled.
But there was something. An abstract computer-ish symbol. A mouse? Possibly the nose, eyes, and whiskers of a mouse?
Printed underneath was, Nibble, nibble. Until the whole sick scam rots through.
I checked the clock: 7:38. Seven minutes before we absolutely had to be out the door, and I still hadn’t cleaned up the grape juice spill, dealt with my Frizz City hair, or checked the furnace. For twenty minutes, I’d been hearing ker-klacks, which my heart said was construction outside but my head worried could be the failing heater.
How bad did I want to let Zach’s shirt slide?
Bad.
“Is that supposed to be a mouse?” I said. “Like an angry mouse?”
“The Blind Mice,” my son replied. “Maybe you’ve heard, they’re overthrowing the corporatocracy?”
His eyes bulged teen sarcasm underneath those bangs he refuses to get cut.
“Wait,” I said, “that group that’s attacking big companies’ websites and factories?”
“Government too.” He drew his face back ominously. “Anyone who’s part of the scam.”
“And you’re wearing their shirt?”
He shrugged.
I would’ve dearly loved to engage Zach in a serious discussion of socioeconomic justice—I did my master’s thesis on the psychology of labor devaluation in communities—except we needed to go. In five minutes.
“What if Principal Broadhead sees that?” I said. “Go change.”
“No.”
“Zach McGill, that shirt promotes domestic terrorism. You’ll get kicked out of school.”
“Like half my friends wear it, Mom.” He thrust his hands into his pockets.
Ugh. I had stepped in parenting quicksand. I’d issued a rash order and Zach had refused, and now I could either make him change, starting a blow-out fight and virtually guaranteeing I’d be late my first day on the job at First Mutual, or back down and erode my authority.
“Wear a jacket,” I said—a poor attempt to limit the erosion, but the best I could do. “And don’t let your great-grandmother see that shirt.”
Speaking of, I could hear Granny’s slippers padding around upstairs. She was into her morning routine, and would shortly—at the denture-rinsing phase—be shouting down that her sink was draining slow again; why hadn’t the damn plumber come yet?
Because I hadn’t paid one. McGill Investigators, the PI business of which I was the founder and sole employee (yes, I realized the plural name was misleading), had just gone belly-up. Hence the temp job.
Karen, my six-year-old, was seated cheerily beside her doll in front of orange juice and an Eggo Waffle.
“Mommy!” she announced. “I get to ride to school with you today!”
The doll’s lips looked sticky—OJ?—and the cat was eyeing Karen’s waffle across the table.
“Honey, weren’t you going to ride the bus today?” I asked, shooing the cat, wiping the doll with a dishrag.
Karen shook her head. “Bus isn’t running. I get to ride in the Prius, in Mommy’s Prius!”
I felt simultaneous joy that Karen loved our new car—well, new to us: 120K miles as a rental, but it was a hybrid—and despair because I really couldn’t take her. School was in the complete opposite direction of New Jersey Transit. Even if I took the turnpike, which I loathed, I would miss my train.
Fighting to address Karen calmly in a time crunch, I said, “Are you sure the bus isn’t running?”
She nodded.
I asked how she knew.
“Bus driver said, ‘If the stoplights are blinking again in the morning, I ain’t taking you.’” She walked to the window and pointed. “See?”
I joined her at the window, ignoring the driver’s grammatical example for the moment. Up and down my street, traffic lights flashed yellow.
“Blind Mice, playa!” Zach puffed his chest. “Nibble, nibble.
The lights had gone out every morning this week at rush hour. On Monday, the news had reported a bald eagle flew into a substation. On Tuesday, they’d said the outages were lingering for unknown reasons. I hadn’t seen the news yesterday.
Did Zach know the Blind Mice were involved? Or was he just being obnoxious?
“Great,” I muttered. “Bus won’t run because stoplights are out, but I’m free to risk our lives driving to school.”
Karen gazed up at me, her eyes green like mine and trembling. A mirror of my stress.
Pull it together, Molly.
“Don’t worry,” I corrected myself. “I’ll take you. I will. Let me just figure a few things out.”
Trying not to visualize myself walking into First Mutual forty-five minutes late, I took a breath. I patted through my purse for keys, sifting through rumpled Kleenex and receipts and granola-bar halves. Granny had made her way downstairs and was reading aloud from a bill-collection notice. Zach was texting, undoubtedly to friends about his lame mom. I felt air on my toes and looked down: a hole in my hose.
Fantastic.
I’d picked out my cutest work sandals, but somehow I doubted the look would hold up with toes poking out like mini-wieners.
I wished I could shut my eyes, whisper some spell, and wake up in a different universe.
Then the doorbell rang.
CHAPTER TWO
Quaid Rafferty waited on the McGills’ front porch with a winning smile. It had been ten months since he’d seen Molly, and he was eager to reconnect.
Inside, there sounded a crash (pulled-over coatrack?), a smack (skateboard hitting wall?), and muffled cross-voices.
Quaid fixed the lay of his sport coat lapels and kept waiting. His partner, Durwood Oak Jones, stood two paces back with his dog. Durwood wasn’t saying anything, but Quaid could feel the West Virginian’s disapproval—it pulsed from his blue jeans and cowboy hat.
Quaid twisted from the door. “School morning, right? I’m sure she’ll be out shortly.”
Durwood remained silent. He was on record saying they’d be better off with a more accomplished operative like Kitty Ravensdale or Sigrada the Serpent, but Quaid believed in Molly. He’d argued that McGill, a relative amateur, was just what they needed: a fresh-faced idealist.
Now he focused on the door—and was pleased to hear the dead bolt turn within. He was less pleased when he saw the face that appeared in the door glass.
The grandmother.
“Why, color me damned!” began the septuagenarian, yanking open the screen door. “The louse returns. Whorehouses all kick you out?”
Quaid strained to keep smiling. “How are you this fine morning, Eunice?”
Her face stormed over. “What’re you here for?”
“We’re hoping for a word with Molly if she’s around.” He opened his shoulders to give her a full view of his party, which included Durwood and Sue-Ann, his aged bluetick coonhound.
They made for an admittedly odd sight. Quaid and Durwood shared the same vital stats, six one and 180-something pounds, but God himself couldn’t have created two more different molds. Quaid in a sport coat with suntanned wrists and mussed-just-so blond hair. Durwood removing his hat and casting steel-colored eyes humbly about, jeans pulled down over his boots’ piping. And Sue with her mottled coat, rasping like any breath could be her last.
Eunice stabbed a finger toward Durwood. “He can come in—him I respect. But you need to turn right around. My granddaughter wants nothing to do with cads like you.”
Behind her, a voice called, “Granny, I can handle this.
Eunice ignored this. “You’re a no-good man. I know it, my granddaughter knows it.” Veins showed through the chicken-y skin of her neck. “Go on, hop a flight back to Vegas and all your whores!”
Before Quaid could counter these aspersions, Molly appeared.
His heart chirped in his chest. Molly was a little discombobulated, bending to put on a sandal, a kid’s jacket tucked under one elbow—but those dimples, that curvy body...even in the worst domestic throes, she could’ve charmed slime off a senator.
He said, “Can’t you beat a seventy-four-year-old woman to the door?”
Molly slipped on the second sandal. “Can we please just not? It’s been a crazy morning.”
“I know the type.” Quaid smacked his hands together. “So hey, we have a job for you.”
“You’re a little late—McGill Investigators went out of business. I have a real job starting in less than an hour.”
“What kind?”
“Reception,” she said. “Three months with First Mutual.”
“Temp work?” Quaid asked.
“I was supposed to start with the board of psychological examiners, but the position fell through.”
“How come?”
“Funding ran out. The governor disbanded the board.”
“So First Mutual...?”
Molly’s eyes, big and leprechaun green, fell. “It’s temp work, yeah.”
“You’re criminally overqualified for that, McGill,” Quaid said. “Hear us out. Please.”
She snapped her arms over her chest but didn’t stop Quaid as he breezed into the living room followed by Durwood and Sue-Ann, who wore no leash but kept a perfect twenty-inch heel by her master.
Two kids poked their heads around the kitchen doorframe. Quaid waggled his fingers playfully at the girl.
Molly said, “Zach, Karen—please wait upstairs. I’m speaking with these men.”
The boy argued he should be able to stay; upstairs sucked; wasn’t she the one who said they had to leave, like, immedia—
“This is not a negotiation,” Molly said in a new tone.
They went upstairs.
She sighed. “Now they’ll be late for school. I’m officially the worst mother ever.”
Quaid glanced around the living room. The floor was clutter free, but toys jammed the shelves of the coffee table. Stray fibers stuck up from the carpet, which had faded beige from its original yellow or ivory.
“No, you’re an excellent mother,” Quaid said. “You do what you believe is best for your children, which is why you’re going to accept our proposition.”
The most effective means of winning a person over, Quaid had learned as governor of Massachusetts and in prior political capacities, was to identify their objective and articulate how your proposal brought it closer. Part two was always trickier.
He continued, “American Dynamics is the client, and they have deep pockets. If you help us pull this off, all your money troubles go poof.”
A glint pierced Molly’s skepticism. “Okay. I’m listening.”
“You’ve heard of the Blind Mice, these anarchist hackers?”
“I—well, yes, a little. Zach has their T-shirt.”
Quaid, having met the boy on a few occasions, wasn’t shocked by the information. “Here’s the deal. We need someone to infiltrate them.”
Molly blinked twice.
Durwood spoke up, “You’d be great, Moll. You’re young. Personable. People trust you.”
Molly’s eyes were grapefruits. “What did you call them, ‘anarchist hackers’? How would I infiltrate them? I just started paying bills online.”
“No tech knowledge required,” Quaid said. “We have a plan.”
He gave her the nickel summary. The Blind Mice had singled out twelve corporate targets, “the Despicable Dozen,” and American Dynamics topped the list. In recent months, AmDye had seen its websites crashed, its factories slowed by computer glitches, internal documents leaked, the CEO’s home
egged repeatedly. Government agencies from the FBI to NYPD were pursuing the Mice, but the company was troubled by the lack of progress and so had hired Third Chance Enterprises to take them down.
“Now if I accept,” Molly said, narrowing her eyes, “does that mean I’m officially part of Third Chance Enterprises?”
Quaid exhaled at length. Durwood shook his head with an irked air—he hated the name, and considered Quaid’s branding efforts foolish.
“Oh, Durwood and I have been at this freelance operative thing awhile.” Quaid smoothed his sport coat lapels. “Most cases we can handle between the two of us.”
“But not this one.”
“Right. Durwood’s a whiz with prosthetics, but even he can’t bring this”—Quaid indicated his own ruggedly handsome but undeniably middle-aged face—“back to twenty-five.”
Molly’s eyes turned inward. Quaid’s instincts told him she was thinking of her children.
She said, “Sounds dangerous.”
“Nah.” He spread his arms, wide and forthright. “You’re working with the best here: the top small-force, private-arms outfit in the Western world. Very minimal danger.”
Like the politician he’d once been, Quaid delivered this line of questionable veracity with full sincerity.
Then he turned to his partner. “Right, Wood? She won’t have a thing to worry about. We’d limit her involvement to safe situations.”
Durwood thinned his lips. “Do the best we could.”
This response, typical of the soldier he’d once been, was unhelpful.
Molly said, “Who takes care of my kids if something happens, if the Blind Mice sniff me out? Would I have to commit actual crimes?”
“Unlikely.”
Unlikely? I’ll tell you what’s unlikely, getting hired someplace, anyplace, with a felony conviction on your application...”
As she thundered away, Quaid wondered if Durwood might not have been right in preferring a pro. The few times they’d used Molly McGill before had been secondary: posing as a gate agent during the foiled Delta hijacking, later as an archivist for the American embassy in Rome. They’d only pulled her into Rome because of her language skills—she spoke six fluently.
“...also, I have to say,” she continued, and from the edge in her voice, Quaid knew just where they were headed, “I find it curious that I don’t hear from you for ten months, and then you need my help, and all of a sudden, I matter. All of a sudden, you’re on my doorstep.”
“I apologize,” Quaid said. “The Dubai job ran long, then that Guadeloupean resort got hit by a second hurricane. We got busy. I should’ve called.”
Molly’s face cooled a shade, and Quaid saw that he hadn’t lost her.
Yet.
Before either could say more, a heavy ker-klack sounded outside.
“What’s the racket?” Quaid asked. He peeked out the window at his and Durwood’s Vanagon, which looked no more beat-up than usual.
“It’s been going on all morning,” Molly said. “I figured it was construction.”
Quaid said, “Construction in this economy?”
He looked to Durwood.
“I’ll check ’er out.” The ex-soldier turned for the door. Sue-Ann, heaving herself laboriously off the carpet, scuffled after.
Alone now with Molly, Quaid walked several paces in. He doubled his sport coat over his forearm and passed a hand through his hair, using a foyer mirror to confirm the curlicues that graced his temples on his best days.
This was where it had to happen. Quaid’s behavior toward Molly had been less than gallant, and that was an issue. Still, there were sound arguments at his disposal. He could play the money angle. He could talk about making the world safer for Molly’s children. He could point out that she was meant for greater things, appealing to her sense of adventure, framing the job as an escape from the hamster wheel and entrée to a bright world of heroes and villains.
He believed in the job. Now he just needed her to believe too.
CHAPTER THREE
Durwood walked north. Sue-Ann gimped along after, favoring her bum hip. Paws echoed bootheels like sparrows answering blackbirds. They found their noise at the sixth house on the left.
A crew of three men was working outside a small home. Two-story like Molly’s. The owner had tacked an addition onto one side, prefab sunroom. The men were working where the sunroom met the main structure. Dislodging nails, jackhammering between fiberglass and brick.
Tossing panels onto a stack.
“Pardon,” Durwood called. “Who you boys working for?”
One man pointed to his earmuffs. The others paid Durwood no mind whatsoever. Heavyset men. Big stomachs and muscles.
Durwood walked closer. “Those corner boards’re getting beat up. Y’all got a permit I could see?”
The three continued to ignore him.
The addition was poorly done to begin with, the cornice already sagging. Shoddy craftsmanship. That didn’t mean the owners deserved to have it stolen for scrap.
The jackhammer was plugged into an outside GFI. Durwood caught its cord with his bootheel.
“The hell?” said the operator as his juice cut.
Durwood said, “You’re thieves. You’re stealing fiberglass.”
The men denied nothing.
One said, “Call the cops. See if they come.”
Sue-Ann bared her gums.
Durwood said, “I don’t believe we need to involve law enforcement,” and turned back south for the Vanagon.
Crime like this—callous, brash—was a sign of the times.  People were sore about this “new economy,” how well the rich were making out. Groups like the Blind Mice thought it gave them a right to practice lawlessness.

Lawlessness, Durwood knew, was like a plague. Left unchecked, it spread. Even now, besides this sunroom dismantling, Durwood saw a half dozen offenses in plain sight. Low-stakes gambling on a porch. Coaxials looped across half the neighborhood roofs: cable splicing. A Rottweiler roaming off leash.
Each stuck in Durwood’s craw.
He walked a half block to the Vanagon. He hunted around inside, boots clattering the bare metal floor. Pushed aside Stinger missiles in titanium casings. Squinted past crates of frag grenades in the bulkhead he’d jiggered himself from ponderosa pine.
Here she was—a pressurized tin of black ops epoxy. Set quick enough to repel a flash air strike, strong enough to hold a bridge. Durwood had purchased it for the Dubai job. According to his supplier, Yakov, the stuff smelled like cinnamon when it dried. Something to do with chemistry.
Durwood removed the tin from its box and brushed off the pink Styrofoam packing Yakov favored. Then allowed Sue a moment to ease herself down to the curb before they started back north.
Passing Molly’s house, Durwood glimpsed her through the living room window. She was listening to Quaid, fingers pressed to her forehead.
Quaid was lying. Which was nothing new, Quaid stretching the truth to a woman. But these lies involved Molly’s safety. Fact was, they knew very little of the Blind Mice. Their capabilities, their willingness to harm innocents. The leader, Josiah, was a reckless troublemaker. He spewed his nonsense on Twitter, announcing targets ahead of time, talking about his own penis.
The heavyset men were back at it. One on the roof. The other two around back of the sunroom, digging up the slab.
Durwood set down the epoxy. The men glanced over but kept jackhammering. They would not be the first, nor last, to underestimate this son of an Appalachian coal miner.
The air compressor was set up on the lawn. Durwood found the main pressure valve and cranked its throat full open.
The man on the roof had his ratchet come roaring out of his hands. He slid down the grade, nose rubbing vinyl shingles, and landed in petunias.
Back on his feet, the man swore.
“Mind your language,” Durwood said. “There’s families in the neighborhood.”
The other two hustled over, shovels at their shoulders. The widest of the three circled to Durwood’s backside.
Sue-Ann coiled her old bones to strike. Ugliness roiled Durwood’s gut.
Big Man punched first. Durwood caught his fist, torqued his arm behind his back. The next man swung his shovel. Durwood charged underneath and speared his chest. The man wheezed sharply, his lung likely punctured.
The third man got hold of Durwood’s bootheel, smashed his elbow into the hollow of Durwood’s knee. Durwood scissored the opposite leg across the man’s throat. He gritted his teeth and clenched. He felt the man’s Adam’s apple wriggling between his legs. A black core in Durwood yearned to squeeze.
He resisted.
The hostiles came again, and Durwood whipped them again. Automatically, in a series of beats as natural to him as chirping to a katydid. The men’s faces changed from angry to scared to incredulous. Finally, they stayed down.
“Now y’all are helping fix that sunroom.” Durwood nodded to the epoxy tin. “Mix six to one, then paste ’er on quick.”
Luckily, he’d caught the thieves early, and the repair was uncomplicated. Clamp, glue, drill. The epoxy should increase the R-value on the sunroom ten, fifteen, units. Good for a few bucks off the gas bill in winter, anyhow.
Durwood did much of the work himself. He enjoyed the panels’ weight, the strength of a well-formed joint. His muscles felt free and easy as if he were home ridding the sorghum fields of johnsongrass.
Done, he let the thieves go.
He turned back south toward Molly’s house. Sue-Ann scrabbled alongside.
“Well, ole girl?” he said. “Let’s see how Quaid made out.”
CHAPTER FOUR
I stood on my front porch watching the Vanagon rumble down Sycamore. My toes tingled, my heart was tossing itself against the walls of my chest, and I was pretty sure my nose had gone berserk. How else could I be smelling cinnamon?
Quaid Rafferty’s last words played over and over in my head: We need you.
For twenty minutes, after Durwood had taken his dog to investigate ker-klacks, Quaid had given me the hard sell. The money would be big-time. I had the perfect skills for the assignment: guts, grace under fire, that youthful je ne sais quoi. Wasn’t I always saying I ought to be putting my psychology skills to better use? Well, here it was: understanding these young people’s outrage would be a major component of the job.
Some people will anticipate your words and mumble along. Quaid did something similar but with feelings, cringing at my credit issues, brightening with whole-face joy at Karen’s reading progress—which I was afraid would suffer if I got busy and didn’t keep up her nightly practice.
He was pitching me, yes. But he genuinely cared what was happening in my life.
I didn’t know how to think about Quaid, how to even fix him in my brain. He and Durwood were so far outside any normal frame of reference. Were they even real? Did I imagine them?
Their biographies were epic. Quaid the twice-elected (once-impeached) governor of Massachusetts who now battled villains across the globe and lived at Caesars Palace. Durwood a legend of the Marine Corps, discharged after defying his commanding officer and wiping out an entire Qaeda cell to avenge the death of his wife.
I’d met them during my own unreal adventure—the end of my second marriage, which had unraveled in tragedy in the backwoods of West Virginia.
They’d recruited me for three missions since. Each was like a huge, brilliant dream—the kind that’s so vital and packed with life that you hang on after you wake up, clutching backward into sleep to stay inside.
Granny said, “That man’s trouble. If you have any sense in that stubborn head of yours, you’ll steer clear.”
I stepped back into the living room, the Vanagon long gone, and allowed my eyes to close. Granny didn’t know the half of it. She had huffed off to watch her judge shows on TV before the guys had even mentioned the Blind Mice.
No, she meant a more conventional trouble.
“I’ve learned,” I said. “If I take this job, it won’t be for romance. I’d be doing it for me. For the family.”
As if cued by the word “family,” a peal of laughter sounded upstairs.
Children!
My eyes zoomed to the clock. It was 8:20. Zach would be lucky to make first hour, let alone homeroom. In a single swipe, I scooped up the Prius keys and both jackets. My purse whorled off my shoulder like some supermom prop.
“Leaving now!” I called up the stairwell. “Here we go, kids—laces tied, backpacks zipped.”
Zach trudged down, leaning his weight into the rail. Karen followed with sunny-careful steps. I sped through the last items on my list—tossed a towel over the grape juice, sloshed water onto the roast, considered my appearance in the microwave door, and just frowned, beyond caring.
Halfway across the porch, Granny’s fingers closed around my wrist.
“Promise me,” she said, “that you will not associate with Quaid Rafferty. Promise me you won’t have one single thing to do with that lowlife.”
I looked past her to the kitchen, where the cat was kinking herself to retch Eggo Waffle onto the linoleum.
“I’m sorry, Granny.” I patted her hand, freeing myself. “It’s something I have to do.”
***
Excerpt from Anarchy of the Mice by Jeff Bond. Copyright 2020 by Jeff Bond. Reproduced with permission from Jeff Bond. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Jeff Bond
Jeff Bond is an American author of popular fiction. His books have been featured in The New York Review of Books, and his 2020 release, The Pinebox Vendetta, received the gold medal (top prize) in the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards. A Kansas native and Yale graduate, he now lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:
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Monday, June 29, 2020

Closer Than She Know by Kelly Irving

Closer Than She Knows

by Kelly Irvin

on Tour June 22 - July 24, 2020

Synopsis:

Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin
A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home.

Teagan O’Rourke has always loved murder mysteries. In her job as a court reporter, she has written official records for dozens of real-life murders. She’s slapped evidence stickers on crime scene photos. She’s listened to hours of chilling testimony. But she’s never known the smell of death. And she never thought she might be a victim.

Until now.

A young police officer is murdered just inches away from her, and then a man calling himself a serial killer starts leaving Teagan notes, signing each with the name of a different murderer from her favorite mystery novels.

Panicked, Teagan turns to her friend Max Kennedy. Max longs for more than friendship with Teagan, but he fears she’ll never trust someone with a past like his. He wonders how much of God’s “tough love” he can take before he gives up on love completely. And he wonders if he’ll be able to keep Teagan alive long enough to find out.

As Teagan, Max, and Teagan’s police officer father race to track down the elusive killer, they each know they could be the next victim. Desperate to save those she loves, Teagan battles fears that once haunted her in childhood. Nothing seems to stop this obsessed murderer. No matter what she does, he seems to be getting closer.

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: June 9th 2020
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785231862 (ISBN13: 9780785231868)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

“We’re almost there, Ms. O’Rourke.” Officer Moreno came to a full stop at the corner of Park and Academic Court, where the glass-covered police department recruitment center and property room facilities glinted in the late-afternoon sun.
A smile brought out dimples on Moreno’s cherub-cheeked face. Her assignment to escort a court reporter and the evidence to the property room was almost to the halfway point. Teagan had told Moreno to call her by her first name, but the patrolwoman couldn’t seem to manage it. “I’ll get us through security, we’ll stow the evidence, and I’ll have you back to your car in a jiffy.”
Did people still say “in a jiffy”? Teagan’s grandma might, but this woman was no more than twenty-four. A couple of years younger than Teagan. She studied the officer’s face as she turned onto Academic Court and accelerated. The woman was for real. A straight shooter determined to be successful in a man’s world.
Teagan smiled, but Moreno had already returned her gaze to the road, hands at the proper ten and two positions on the wheel. “I know there’s plenty of other things you’d rather do than babysit evidence—”
The driver’s side window exploded.
The force knocked Teagan’s head against her window. Sudden pain pricked her face. Fragments of glass pierced her cheeks and forehead.
The car swerved, jumped the curb, and crashed into the wrought-iron fence that protected the academy.
Was this what Mom felt the day she died? The inevitability of it?
Air bags ballooned.
Teagan slammed back against her seat.
I’m sorry, Max.
I’m sorry I never said it.
A second later the bag deflated. The smell of nitrogen gases gagged her. Powder coated her face. The skin on the back of her hands burned.
Time sped up in an odd, off-kilter tick-tock.
Teagan struggled to open her eyes. Pain pulsed in her temple. Her stomach heaved. Waves of adrenaline shook her body as if she’d grasped a live electrical wire.
I’m alive. Today’s not my day to die.
The evidence. Protect the evidence.
***
Excerpt from Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin. Copyright 2020 by Kelly Irvin. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Kelly Irvin
Kelly Irvin is a bestselling author and two-time Carol Award finalist. She is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats.

Visit her Online:
KellyIrvin.com
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harper Collins and Kelly Irving. There will be 1 winner of CLOSER THAN SHE KNOWS by Kelly Irving (print). The giveaway begins on June 22, 2020 and runs through July 26, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Memoirs of a Hockey Nobody by Jerry Hack



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jerry Hack 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.

Five Things You Would Probably Never Guess About Jerry Hack


1. I am the world’s worst (or best) procrastinator. I will almost always leave things until the last possible moment. I once did my Christmas shopping at 5:00 on Christmas Eve. I had to buy seven presents. I did it at Blockbuster Video and 7-11. I tell my wife that I work best under pressure. She just rolls her eyes and shakes her head.

2. Compliments make me very uncomfortable. I like to hear them, but I will almost always quickly change the subject.

3. I am the king of useless information. A walking encyclopedia of things that don’t matter. For some reason trivial details will stick in my brain forever, like song lyrics or lines from a movie or small details that no one in their right mind would ever remember. But if I need to remember something important, like doctor’s appointments or family events, or answers to a test, it goes right out the window.

4. I saw the movie “The Exorcist” when I was 15. That night I couldn’t sleep a wink. I had to go to school the next day and I was like a zombie. I had trouble sleeping for a whole year. To this day, 43 years later, I can not watch that movie, it freaked me out so bad. Funny thing is I read the book before I saw the movie and it had zero affect on me.

5. I once had a boss who was, shall we say, the smartest person in the room only when he was by himself. I had a really bad headache one day and I asked him if it was okay for me to go home. His response was “why do you have a headache?” I told him, with a straight face, that in a previous life I was a soldier in the War of 1812 and one day, when I was on furlough, my girlfriend and I were in a field behind her house doing what young people do, when her father happened upon us. He hit me in the head with a rake causing a small fracture in my skull and it still gives me problems from time to time. He just stared at me blankly and said “I hope she was worth it” and let me go home.

Memoir of a Hockey Nobody is the unlikely true story of an average Canadian kid who grew up playing street hockey. Although he didn't learn how to skate until his late teens, he took a shot at entering the world of professional ice hockey with, shall we say, haphazard results.

This is an "against all odds" tale of one man's journey from Vancouver, to all over Western Canada, California, The Yukon, and Alaska. Seemingly blocked at every turn, from managers who believed that someone who came from such humble beginnings couldn't be any good, to coaches who would rather see big names with bigger reputations. It's a story of tragedy, triumph and determination. A roller coaster ride with hilarious anecdotes of all the characters he met along the way.

This is a tale for those who dare to live their dream!

Read an Excerpt

Just one final note about my senior hockey career. I’ve never been a big believer in statistics. I like the quote from Bobby Bragan, who was a baseball player in the early 20th century. I’m paraphrasing but I believe he said, “The problem with statistics is, if you have one foot on fire and the other in a bucket of ice, according to the statisticians, you should be perfectly comfortable”. In the 4 seasons that I played for the Rebels, I won the Best Goalie trophy every year. 11 other goalies came and went during that time, some specifically to take my spot. I also won the league trophy for Best Goals Against Average every year. In 35 years of playing competitive hockey, I won a lot of trophies. The danger of winning that many is that you can start to think that you’re better than you are, (I call it “The Red Light Lonnie Syndrome”). I only kept one trophy from all those years and my wife is under strict instructions to show it to me if my head starts to get too big. I assumed that when the league bought the trophy that year, they sent it out to be engraved in a shop that didn’t employ sports fans. When I won the Best Goals Against award and it was presented to me, I read the inscription and it read:

“Best Average Goalie” “Jerry Hack”

How apt is that?

About the Author:
I was born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia. My sisters and I were raised by hard-working blue collar parents. We were and are a tight knit family. I grew up loving sports but hockey most of all. In fact, it was my passion. I read about it, watched it and played it. I was an average student and a good athlete. I could play most sports without looking out of place. But I was born to be a goalie. I graduated from high school in 1979 and a year later began my journey playing ice hockey. 40 years later, I am happily married with a 12 year old daughter and loving life more than ever.

Website: http://jerryhack.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Memoir-of-a-Hockey-Nobody-108751680786091

BUY LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Memoir-Hockey-Nobody-couldnt-proved-ebook/dp/B086BM79H2/
Indigo/Chapters: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/memoir-of-a-hockey-nobody/9780228828037-item.html
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memoir-of-a-hockey-nobody-jerry-hack/1136740350

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Hard Lust by Tina Donahue


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tina Donahue will be awarding a $10 Amazon Gift Card 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


1. The best place to begin baring my soul is with my writing. Although I author hot erotic romances, in real life I’m horribly shy. I’m the kid in school who buried my nose in books even during lunch. Although I have a talent for writing witty – or snarky – dialogue in my stories, as I was growing up conversation for me was exceedingly painful. Like most kids, I tried to be cool, but failed miserably. After that, I listened more than anything else, which might be why I’m so good at writing dialogue now since I heard so much of it. ☺

2. I didn’t experience my first kiss until I was seventeen. Yeah, I know, weird huh? I recall my sixteenth birthday being a terrible day. I kept hearing that phrase ‘sweet sixteen and never been kissed’ over and over in my head while I was at school. Of course, school for me was all-girls, which was one of the reasons I hadn’t been kissed. There were no guys around. The only time I saw any were at mixers with the all-boy schools. Gah. Talk about feeling like you’re on display. That didn’t do much for my quiet personality. In fact, it only made me crawl further into my shell.

3. An English teacher at my all-girl high school told me I’d never be able to write anything except my own name. She was a real sweetheart. For some reason, she loathed me from the day I walked into the first class. Constantly berated any answers I gave when called upon even if they were correct. The other kids in class noticed and called her on it. For one assignment, we had to write descriptive sentences. I worked on mine nonstop for days. Even then, I knew I wanted to write. She gave me a huge ‘F’ and a ‘see me after class’ on my paper. When we were alone in the room, she told me she knew I had someone else write the sentences because they were too good for someone as untalented as I was. A backhanded compliment if ever there was one.

4. I wrote my first published novel in three days. I had been writing thrillers, without success, and my agent said I should try romance given that there were romantic elements in my books. I read as many romances as I could, liking romcoms the most. I developed my plot then wrote it nonstop, finishing it in three days. I shipped it to my agent. He sent it to a NY publisher on a Monday. By that Wednesday, I had a contract for it and two other books. The easiest sales I’ve ever made.

5. My most embarrassing moment happened freshman year in high school. Some girls I knew were talking about their boyfriends. I didn’t have one, but wanted to be cool so I mentioned this guy I’d seen at a mixer. For some reason, it never occurred to me that these girls would have also seen him there. I told them he asked me out (total lie) and our date was awesome (complete fabrication). One of the girls frowned then said her BFF from another school was dating him and what I said couldn’t be true. If it was, he was in huge trouble. Honestly, I can’t recall what happened after that – it’s a blank. I do know I wanted to die on the spot. After that, I never lied about boyfriends again.

Don't ever trust a demon. Unfortunately, Megan has learned that lesson too late. The deal she made to save her sister's life has landed her in hell about seventy years early. And now she has three sexy demons trying to tell her what to do.

Nope. Not going to happen.

These guys have never had to deal with such defiance. Andros figures she's due for some erotic discipline, which he'll happily provide. Racan's pure alpha, his hardcore plans include bondage and submission. Quiet yet intense, Vespar expects endless kink to spice up their carnal play.

Who would have ever expected she'd end up falling for them? Too bad demons can't be trusted...because someone is trying to kill the magic and threatening her stay in this lusty world.

Read an Excerpt

Megan looked at him. “Do you guys ever get men down here?”

He shook his head. Having nothing except female condemned was a feature, not a bug, and a perk he wouldn’t give up without a fight. “Let’s go. Your time’s running out.”

She trotted to keep up with him. “My half hour started already?”

He stopped. “Twenty minutes.” He jabbed his finger at her. “You heard what Racan said. Don’t try to put anything over on us, because you can’t. Got it? Or would you care to try for fifteen minutes? Possibly less?”

Her lower lip trembled. “Why are you being so mean? You’re not that way really. You seem like a nice guy.”

He stepped back and bumped into the wall. “Guy?”

She flicked her wrist. “Demon. Devil. Entity. Whatever.”

“Try fallen angel.”

Her mouth rounded. “Get out. You started up there?” She pointed toward Heaven. “I knew it. You are a good man.”

He wasn’t Attila the Hun or Vlad the Impaler, but he wasn’t as great as she’d said.

“You’ve forgotten how I spanked you?”

Her cheeks got rosy, her face dreamy. “Uh-uh.”

He leaned in. “Are you turned on?”

“What?” She blinked and frowned. “No way.”

Her taut nipples told another tale. “There’s something you should know.” He tapped her chin. “I am not a good man.”

“Demon then. And yeah, you are. Andros told you to discipline me. You didn’t do it on your own.”

He’d been itching for the chance when Andros presented the opportunity. “Don’t be so certain.”

“I am.” She stroked his tat.

His gums tingled.

“What happened in Heaven? How’d you get down here?”

Bethshiba. His, Andros, and Racan’s crime hadn’t been that bad. They’d simply wanted to be heard and considered. Instead, they received the ultimate sentence—banishment.

“The reason isn’t important. This is.” He touched the handbook. “You need to learn everything you can. There isn’t much time.”

She screwed up her mouth. “I thought I was here for eternity.”

“Do you ever stop arguing?”

“I will, I swear. On one condition.”

He held back laughter at her gall. “On one what?”

“Help me, please. Show me the way out of here. At the least, get me an audience with Satan so I can plead my case.”

Poor girl was losing it. “Begging doesn’t work down here. With him or me. We need to go.”

“Not yet.” She pressed closer to stop him from leaving, her nipples poking his pecs, her cunt smack against his groin.

Heat rose between them, unmasked desire sparking in her eyes. His hair stood on end. Her musk and the scent from his leather pants mingled to create one fucking great fragrance. She rocked her hips slowly, sensuously, arousal parting her lips. “I was… Uh, I was… That is, I was…”

He pumped against her, his already massive erection increasing by the second.

She met him thrust for thrust, their gyrations lewd. “Wait.” She kept grinding into him. “I need to say this.”

“Sure.”

They maintained their carnal dance.

“Go on.” He wanted to hear this.

She pulled in a huge breath. “I was taking law classes at night before I got here. I know how to present a case. I’m a great litigator. It’s in my blood. I’ll make Satan see reason. I won’t lose.”

She couldn’t have killed the magic between them faster if she’d tried. He stopped pretend fucking and stepped away. “There’s no winning down here for the condemned.” The moment she opened her plush lips, Satan would vaporize her then bring her back and get his rocks off on torture…the kind she wouldn’t like. “It’s not possible.” He grasped her biceps. “You need to get a grip and accept your fate.”

“Screw that.” She stroked his fingers.

Remarkable heat and delight shot up his arm and landed in his balls and cock, both still ready to boogie, her effect on him more than it should be or what he seemed able to stop.

About the Author:Tina’s an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

On a less serious note: she’s an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, brakes for Mexican restaurants, and has been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally while wolfing down tostadas. She’s flown a single-engine airplane (freaking scary), rewired an old house using an ‘electricity for dummies’ book, and is horribly shy despite the hot romances she writes.

Author Website: http://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/
Author Blog: http://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinadonahue
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonahueTina1
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinadonahuebooks/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146988.Tina_Donahue
Newsletter: https://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/p/newsletter.html

Purchase Link:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089F9L6B5/

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Counting on Trust by M. Ferguson Powers



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter will receive a digital and an audio copy of the book. 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?

I write in this genre out of my career interest in globalization and its impacts, and it allows me to use my academic background in microbiology. I also have been personally interested in how relationships have evolved in an age of social media and limited privacy. The suspense thriller genre seemed like the right way to weave all those interests together.

What research (or world-building – for fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi) is required?

I like to write what I know. My story ideas tend to originate from my own experiences (career and personal) and various literary influences. For example, there were several factors that contributed to the writing of Counting on Trust.

First was my interest in globalization and its impacts, especially with regard to China and its relations with the U.S. This began when I accompanied my husband on a trip to China in 1978 with a delegation of faculty members from the University of Pittsburgh. At that time, China was just opening up to the West. What I saw and learned there suggested some interesting story ideas.

Next, the idea for a story involving corporate intrigue came while my husband and I were living in Nebraska. There was a lot of research on GMO foods being done at some of the universities there. We lived on a small lake, and I decided to invent a fictional company, Omniprotein, that was doing research on GMO fish. The theft of this company’s intellectual property by a Chinese general kicks off all the subsequent action.

A third influence was my interest in the work of Jane Austen. She explored relationships and challenged the social norms around romance and marriage in her day. I wanted to similarly explore how relationships are changing in modern times.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

That re-establishing trust after it is broken is much harder than creating it in the first place.

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

One of the things I enjoy most about writing is creating the characters that will populate a story. Like many writers, my characters are built up from an amalgam of people I have known at different points in my life. I like to mix and match physical traits, personality, temperament, and behavioral quirks. Often I will exaggerate these a bit to provide more depth and interest for my readers. Then I like to give each character a backstory that provides a rationale for their behavior. Lastly, I like to play out little scenarios to see how they would interact with each other based on all that, and make adjustments.

I like to think of it as being a kind of “character chef”: you might have a recipe of sorts, but the real fun and creativity comes with experimenting and tweaking until it you get something that feels just right. Then I “play dolls” with them to see the character dynamics hold up.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Overall, on the spectrum, I’m closer to plotter than pantser. I am more of a plotter in laying out the story line, and getting flow carefully laid out. I’m more of a pantser when it comes to character creation.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

The Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. I live on Whidbey Island in the northern Puget Sound and my house faces east with a view across the Sound to the Cascade Mountains. I’m in a glass enclosed sun room with this view and I have found to be the perfect spot to write and reflect.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m currently taking a break from my writing due to the recent, sudden death of my husband of 54 years. Before this happened, I had been sketching out a few ideas for the next book which would probably involve some of my favorite characters from Counting on Trust. But those will have to wait for a while.

 
In this suspense-charged, touching novel, Counting on Trust, information is stolen from a U.S. genetic engineering company (Omniprotein) by an employee promised payment by a Chinese general who wants to profit from selling the company’s technologies in the military region of China he commands.

• To force quick payment the thief attacks fellow employees and threatens to continue until his money arrives. Will his next targets be: young lovers, computer geek Gabriel and gorgeous biologist Selena, who are discovering loving sex while trying to overcome post-traumatic effects of Selena’s girlhood rape.

• Company president, Eleanor, who’s determined to keep some privacy and intimacy although her job’s high profile and her husband, Charley, has just had prostate cancer surgery.

• Venture capitalist, John, who plans to duplicate Omniprotein’s facility in China and reunite with his ex-wife, fashion designer Ziyi, who returned to Shanghai after their only child died.

The personal stories of these couples explore how privacy, intimacy and trust are changing in our social-media age. They paint a compelling portrait of our time.
 
Listen to an Excerpt



 About the Author:




Themes of novels by M. Ferguson Powers reflect the author’s varied interests, including preservation of the natural world and its creatures;



Challenges of building and maintaining loving relationships in a culture with decreasing respect for personal boundaries and privacy



Influences of globalization on world events and how the U. S. and other nations relate to one another



Public policy issues such as controlling the military-industrial-political complex and requiring the health care industry to be more respectful of its clients



The need for cooperation across governments, cultures, and societies to address global challenges such as climate change



Developments in business and university administration and management



Powers has taught microbiology, headed a university office of research, served as executive director of two university-business partnership programs, and co-authored two books on university administration. She has a bachelor of science degree in bacteriology from The Pennsylvania State University, a master’s in experimental psychology from George Mason University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.



She lives on an island near Seattle with husband David R. Powers and their two shelties. Her first novel, Each Unique and Fascinating, about a bullied young girl whose father has gone to war, was published in 2012.  OrcaSpeak, a novel of relationships and suspense, was published in 2013, and its prequel, Counting on Trust, was published in 2017.







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