Monday, August 20, 2018

The Half Breed by Bobbi Smith

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bobbi Smith will be awarding a $10 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.

Today I’m going to share five things you’d probably never guess about me!

1. I had a career in retail before I started writing. I went to a teacher’s college for two years. My sister was already teaching grade school, but when a kid showed up in her class with a gun, I changed majors. :-) I got a business degree and worked for a major department store chain for several years. I was the first female department manager in a hardlines department. :-) Looking back, I’m very glad I got that business degree because it really helped me career-wise. You can write a good book, but you also have to sell it. I have so much fun doing author tours. It’s great to get out and meet the booksellers and the readers.

2. I love New York City! New York is a wonderful place. The first time I went was for a Romantic Times conference back in the eighties. I am still amazed that so many people can live so close together and get along. I didn’t know anyone at the conference and I’d never flown before, so looking back, that was pretty daring of me, but it was definitely worth it.

3. I’ve been with my agent for over 30 years now. Thank heaven for Evan (Marshall)! (I didn’t know I was a poet, too. :-)) I don’t know if I would be as successful as I am fortunate to be if it hadn’t been for him. So, to all you aspiring writers out there, be sure to find an agent you can work with, one who will listen to you, and one who will guide you in the right direction.

4. I’m sure you can guess this one—I love the Wild West. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I love setting my stories there. From the desert near Phoenix to the snowy mountains in Wyoming, it’s amazing. The Superstition Mountains in Arizona have inspired several of my books. I was a huge Bonanza fan growing up, and one of my biggest thrills was getting to tour the Ponderosa out near Reno. And Texas is wonderful!

5. My favorite books growing up were Box Car Children series. I’m so glad to see that it’s still popular with young readers. As for the book that inspired my writing career, that was The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was one of the first historical romances to be published, and I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it. (I had a toddler at the time, so I was a little tired the following day!) Currently, I love reading Julie Garwood and Suzanne Brockman. They write some awesome stories with great heroes!


In the midst of the vast, windswept Texas plains stands a ranch wrested from the wilderness with blood, sweat and tears. It is the shining legacy of Thomas McBride to his five living heirs. But along with the fertile acres and herds of cattle, each will inherit a history of scandal, lies and hidden desire that threatens to burn out of control.


Chase knows he has no legitimate claim to the Circle M. After all, his father made it painfully clear he wants nothing to do with his bastard son or the Comanche girl he once took to his bed. But Chase has his own reasons for answering Tom McBride's deathbed summons. He has a job to do as a Texas Ranger, and a woman to protect—a woman whose sweet innocence gives him new faith that love born in the darkest night can face the dawn of all his tomorrows.

Read an Excerpt:

Chase was ready for trouble and trouble was exactly what he got when he snared the would-be horse thief around the waist. The thief put up a fierce struggle, but only when Chase heard the scream did he realize he was dealing with a woman!

“Hold still!” he commanded.

Fighting with all her strength, it took Faith a moment to realize he’d spoken English. Only when she was slammed back against the solid, hard-muscled width of his chest and held pinned there, did she become aware that this was no ordinary renegade.

“Damn it woman! I said hold still!” Chase ground out, wondering how this golden-haired wildcat of a woman had ended up in his camp trying to steal his horse in the middle of the night.

He looked down at her as she finally stilled in his arms. Only now did he notice that her blouse was torn and her pale flesh was bared to his gaze. She was filthy and there were bruises evident upon her flesh. They were a silent testimony to abuse she’d suffered. He wondered who she was and what had happened to bring her to him.

About the Author:
After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi Smith gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.

Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller of the Year Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists.

When she's not working on her novels, she is frequently a guest speaker for writer's groups. Bobbi is mother of two sons and resides in St. Charles, Missouri with her husband and three dogs.

You can follow Bobbi on Facebook in the group Bobbi Smith Books (

Bobbi has been awarded the prestigious “Storyteller of the Year” Award from Romantic Times Magazine (New York) and has attained positions on the New York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List, the Walden’s Best Seller List, B. Dalton’s List, and the Wal-Mart and K-Mart Best Seller Lists.

The foreign rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Russia and Sweden. Smith’s current publisher is Amazon. Bobbi has written two faith-based contemporary novels - Haven ( and Miracles ( - using the pseudonym of Julie Marshall. (

Copyright © 2018 Bobbi Smith.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Shadows and Silk Series by Sofie Darkling

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

5 Things You’d Probably Never Guess About Me

1. I’ll be running my 10th marathon in Toronto in October. A good friend, who lives in another state, and I meet in a different city every year to run a marathon together. This year marks our first international race. Although, I don’t think I can claim what I do out there is “racing.” We’ll call it “faster than a walk” and leave it at that. :)

2. I lived in the Philippines from 1997 to 1998. Mr. Darling accepted a year-long expat job there, and off we went. We had the best time exploring Manila, the islands, and the cuisine. I still crave cheddar cheese ice cream. It has to be tried to be believed, but, trust me, it’s absolutely scrumptious.

3. I’ve been inside the factory where iPhones are made. In the mid-aughts, I had the opportunity to travel to China and visit the massive, and infamous, factory where iPhones and other devices are manufactured. The experience was both fascinating and sobering. Our cheap technology can exact a high price from those who make it.

4. I’ve ventured into the very lava tube that inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. In April, Mr. Darling and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by visiting Iceland. While there, we followed Verne’s 150-year-old footsteps down 35 meters into the Vatnshellir Cave, located in the middle of an old lava field that runs into the sea. It was easy to see how the area got his creative juices flowing.

5. I love rap music. In the same year, I was introduced to both the Beastie Boys and Run DMC. I was 10, and they blew my mind and made me smile. I’m a music omnivore, but I always return to rap. It can be a difficult genre to navigate, especially for women, but at its very best, it’s gorgeous and raw and true, which is the best any artform can deliver. It’s poetry that happens to have a good beat.

Three Lessons in Seduction

Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.

Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.

Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping...

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband . . .

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.

Tempted by the Viscount

London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them subverts her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Read an Excerpt from Tempted by a Viscount

An image of tonight’s hostess came to mind. Of her surface . . . Her eyes fluttering shut, lashes dark against her pale skin, parted lips reaching up, up, up . . . And her depths . . . The quality that made him want to forget his place, his purpose, himself, and dip his head and claim those lips until they were satisfied, sated. As if a mere kiss could accomplish satisfaction and satiety between them.

A soft swish of skirts whispered behind him, and a voice sounded in his ear. “Does it disappoint? Disappointment can leave one feeling decidedly unfulfilled.”

Jake looked right, and the room fell away. There she stood, throwing that word at him again. Disappointment. The idea that he’d disappointed her had gnawed at him since yesterday. And now she was throwing another word into the mix. Unfulfilled.

While he had no desire to leave this woman disappointed, he certainly didn’t want to leave her unfulfilled. In fact, under a different set of circumstances for their acquaintance, he wouldn’t walk away from this woman until she was thoroughly . . . exhaustively . . . fulfilled, satisfied, sated . . .

About the Author:
Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.


BUY LINKS: Three Lessons in Seduction:
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Scourge by Charley Pearson

We welcome Charley Pearson who is celebrating today's release of Scourge.

Five Things You Might Not Guess About Charley Pearson

Ooh, evil request. I love it. Okay, let’s see.

1) On my first day of first grade, they let us out for recess in the morning. They hadn’t explained the concept, so I presumed it was lunchtime. Being a loner, I didn’t pay much attention to the other kids playing, and walked home. But my mom was out shopping. So I wandered around in circles in the front yard singing the theme song to TV’s Wyatt Earp at the top of my lungs until someone showed up and explained I should still be in school. To this day, my brother and sister think it’s hilarious. And no, I do not remember the words to that song.

2) In junior high (a.k.a. middle school, nowadays) I once ran for student council. We all had to give short speeches to the student body in a vain attempt to garner votes. I made the mistake of thinking this was about competence and willingness to serve, so I threw out such irrelevancies as my grades. Never occurred to me it was about popularity, and nerds hadn’t a prayer. Darn good thing I didn’t win—I’d have had no clue how to fit in.

3) During college I participated in the second march on Washington, D.C., to protest the Vietnam War and the draft. After the government responded to the pressure, got us out, and ended the draft, I responded in turn by volunteering for the Navy and spending thirty-some years working for them. Gotta support a system that allows me to protest when I like. Who knows? I may be the only Vietnam protester who admitted to once trying marijuana on his security clearance forms, vacationed for three weeks in the Soviet Union at the height of detente, and then spent a career with the military.

4) When my daughters were taking ballet, the studio roped some of us dads into being ushers. Then working backstage building sets. Then donning tuxedos and serving as mobile scenery during Nutcracker performances. Then helping the senior girls learn some basic partnering steps. So eventually, five us dared and out-dared each other enough to start taking ballet ourselves. For several years. Until we got to the intermediate level, anyway. So yes, I learned ballet, and we all lost weight and got in way better shape. And it was fun. So there.

5) Come on, do I really have to do five? Mumble. Well, I’m a cancer survivor, prostate cancer being sort of the male equivalent of breast cancer except either less deadly or more treatable. ’Twould be even better if more men were willing to talk about it and get regular PSA screening. Anyway, it’s not slowed me down. I’ve taken up tennis after a few decades of playing only once a year, and improved so much I’ve gone from atrocious to terrible to bad to the point where I’m now only extremely dubious. Woo-hoo!

Finally, I am a very private person who would never actually reveal deep dark secrets like these to the general Hey, how do you block and delete stuff, again?

Fine, I’m stuck with these responses. Hope they fulfill your request, because there’s absolutely nothing else about me that’s the least bit embarrassing. Really. Promise. (You believe me, don’t you?)

Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.

Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.

When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.

Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?

About the Author:
Charley Pearson started in chemistry and biology, then moved on to bioengineering, so the Navy threw in some extra training and made him a nuclear engineer. This actually made sense when his major task turned out to be overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at Navy facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use. Now he writes fiction.



Monday, August 13, 2018

Jinx by Ernest Lancaster

A special welcome to Ernest Lancaster who is visiting with us to celebrate the recent release of The Jinx.

By Ernest Lancaster

1. When my dad whistled, the birds envied him. And he could build anything he put his mind to. I can’t carry a tune of any stripe, and heaven help us if I pull out hammer-and-nail. The handiest device in my toolbox is my checkbook.

2. When I was a rookie cop in the early ’70s, on the midnight shift it wasn’t unusual to see Elvis cruising Memphis’ deserted streets in his big, black Stutz Bearcat. He would wave, and a gorgeous babe always rode at his side. Often, I dreamed of trading partners with him.

3. I once experimented with cooking eggs by adding a spicy rub to the mix. They were an awful, brown failure. DON’T BARBECUE EGGS!

4. My best friend and I invented a Frisbee © game that kept us entertained for thirty years until we got too old to sprint, dive and tumble, not to mention throw them at maximum velocity. We called it Ambush. Utilizing two Frisbees © of different weight and size, the object was to better the other by one of two means: First, float one high and then zing the second, so they arrived simultaneously. The closer one came to hitting the other in the hand with the zinger, only to have it pop out of his grasp, the greater the satisfaction. Second, nest the two Frisbees © and throw them as one until they separate in the air, making the opponent catch two hurtling discs. The double-throw could be glided softly, on-the-run, bounced off the ground or tossed straight up, only to come careening down. I’ve not seen the Frisbees © we used, a 165-gram model and a 141-gram, on the market for a long time. Since we usually played on Sunday mornings, my granddaughter called us Frisbyterians.

5. Cops are pranksters on par with athletes. Except we seek relief from life-and-death stress. I once “stole” a prize at a literary conference. At Killer Nashville after the awards ceremony, a winner of one of the categories sat proudly at the bar drinking with his trophy to his back. As the winner prattled on about who-knows-what, I took the opportunity of his indifference to slip up behind him, purloin the big cup, and set it on the bar beside me. When he recovered from the shock of his prize-gone-missing, it didn’t take long to spot it. He rushed over with great indignation and snatched it back. Some people don’t take jokes well, but I was quite proud to “win” such a prestigious award for a few minutes.

Disaster strikes and innocents die as police sniper Rick Munro is plagued by a first-call jinx. As his career takes off, he must overcome his rookie mistakes, and keep his team members safe.

When Munro returns to TACT as a newly promoted lieutenant, the jinx torments him still. He must contend with team members’ rival agendas around every turn. Munro finds himself in a battle he can’t escape as corruption and death unfold around him.

Who can he trust? Will Munro break the streak or will it destroy everything he believes in?

About the Author:
Ernest Lancaster retired from the Memphis Police Department as a captain after serving as a cop for thirty-three years.

In the early seventies Lancaster spent two years walking a night beat in downtown Memphis, when The Peabody and Beale Street lay boarded up and crumbling and the center city became a dystopian ghost town after dark. He patrolled in ward cars, trooped for three days through a sea of pilgrims to Elvis’s funeral, edited the Memphis Police Association’s newspaper and acted as the association’s vice-president. For twenty-six years he held positions on the TACT Squad.

Lancaster now resides with his wife and Yorkie in the Smoky Mountains, where they love to hike and camp.


Monday, August 6, 2018

A Match for the Marquess by Lillian Marek

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lillian Marek will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Decisions, decisions…

Should Lady Anne Milhaven marry the wealthy and handsome young marquess, or should she resign herself to living out her life in poverty and disgrace, exiled from the world she was born to?

Should Philip Tremaine, the new Marquess of Penworth, redeem his honor and marry the proud and beautiful earl’s daughter whom he has unintentionally compromised, or should he prove himself as dissolute as his contemptible family?

They are not fools, but marriage is only the beginning. Now can they learn to work together and thwart the vile plots of their scheming relatives?

A Match for the Marquess is the prequel to the Victorian Adventures series.

Read an Excerpt:

Lady Hadlow arrived first. The feline smile she turned on Anne was clearly not intended in friendship.

“My dear child,” she said, “you must be quite overwhelmed with all that is happening. It hardly seems right for such a little innocent to be married off to a man of such wide experience as Penworth. Do feel free to ask if you have any questions about how to please a man.”

Anne started to freeze up so she could allow the comments to slide past without touching her, the technique she had perfected while coping with the Craddocks. Then she realized that she did not have to retreat. Thanks to Penworth, she now had a place of her own, a standing quite as secure as that of Lady Hadlow.

She offered a smile as sincere as Lady Hadlow’s. “Oh thank you so much, Lady Hadlow. Not every older woman is generous enough to offer the fruits of her experience to the next generation. I am sure we could all profit”—here she gestured at her new friends, who were listening avidly to the exchange—“from the lessons of your many years in…society.” She lifted her hand to her breast so that her betrothal ring glittered in the candlelight.

Lady Hadlow had not been expecting any riposte, and since she was staring, mesmerized, at the ring, it took a few moments for the import of Anne’s words to sink in. Her eyes widened, and her fingers curled. “Next generation! Why you little chit…”

About the Author: When she retired after too many years in journalism, Lillian Marek felt a longing for happy endings and stories where the good guys win and the bad guys get their just deserts. Having exhausted her libraryís supply of non-gory mystery stories, she started reading romance novels, especially historical romance. This was so much fun that she thought sheíd like to try her hand at writing one. So she took her computer keyboard in hand, slipped back into the 19th century, and began.

She was right - writing romance novels is as much fun as reading them.


Buy links:

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Love. Local. Latebreaking. by H. Laurence Lareau

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. H. Laurence Lareau will be awarding a $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.

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

In a recent radio interview (it’s only 20 minutes or so—listen to it here:, the hosts and I discussed how satisfying romance is to read and how it will be the centerpiece of The Great American Novel, whenever that manifests itself. Romance is fundamentally about the fulfillment of our deepest human needs, to love, to be loved in return, to find some element of completion that will help each of us become acutalized humans. On the way to reaching that fulfillment, responsibly composed romances confront the mess that even the most meticulously organized life is. As we each must do, the characters confront their own weaknesses and deal with the difficulties of daily life in order to find their ways to the actualization of their romance. Of course, there is a wonderful satisfaction for the reader when heroine and hero are able to confront and conquer all their troubles and find a clear path to one another. The happily ever after ought to be as satisfying for the reader as for the characters. If the characters are vivid enough to root for, the ride into the sunset should feel as good for the romance reader as the team’s biggest win of the season feels for a devoted sports fan. It should show potential realized, hopes fulfilled, effort rewarded, and victory claimed. The adventure that romance offers to most of us is the greatest adventure most of us will ever experience, and having the quest end well in fiction fulfills our own hopes and dreams.

What research is required?

Having spent a brief career working in television news, my research into the setting and background elements just involved updating my technical knowledge. Placing plausible news stories into the plot was a matter of reading headlines from various TV newsrooms to identify the kinds of events that could move the plot forward. Since the series tries diligently to hew to real life, my research and adaption didn’t have to diverge very far from actual events.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Love. Local. Latebreaking.’s heroine, Karli, taught me that I settle too easily. After the first draft, I thought she was an attractive and special character—a woman I could fall in love with. My beta readers informed me in no uncertain terms that I was wrong and that she was completely insufferable—one even said she wouldn’t mind if Karli fell off a cliff. It took six or seven iterations to give her a pleasant enough personality to pass muster with the beta readers. She became a warmer, kinder woman, and one more likely to expose her vulnerability on the way toward forming an authentic relationship with the hero. As she developed and grew, I realized that the had made great progress toward becoming a woman worthy of Jake (and, of course, me). Initially settling for less than the woman I deserved—a chilly, self-absorbed, micro-manager—was a mistake. She was not capable of authentic intimacy, and that was a fatal flaw in her character. As she and Jake grew together and she became more playful and able to reveal herself more fully, I came to appreciate that she was much more the woman the readers and Jake deserve because she was less broken and inhibited by her family history.

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

Since I write alone, I haven’t had a lot of feedback on any quirks—it all seems perfectly normal to me! Visualizing my characters is incredibly important, and I’ve been known to search the interwebs for images that help me to focus on the kinds of people they are. Mary Rose, one of Karli’s ride-or-die friends is a unique woman, and she took some searching before I found her doppelganger. She’s very feminine, but in unusual ways. Her fine arts and graphic arts background shows through her elaborate tattoos and several piercings. Her strongly self-reliant streak comes out in some kind of butch ways, that sort of undercut how powerfully female she is: she tears the sleeves off her company-issue polos, she wears somewhat mannish jeans, she drinks like a dude on a mission. Getting a clear picture of her in my head took quite a bit of searching, comparing, contrasting, and refining. As my search terms became more precise, I found myself clicking through to a number of soft-core sites. Just as I was deciding that things had gone too far, there she was—the exact piercings and tattoos I’d specified, the platinum hair with a streak of color, the alabaster skin. And, shockingly, the Cupid’s arrow-through-a-heart nipple piercings!

The other characters did not lead me anywhere near that far down the rabbit hole.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

For the first installment of the Newsroom Romance series, I organized the process around a heap of index cards containing scene descriptions. The scenes were not in any particular order, and it was a struggle to organize them so they hit the necessary beats of romance structure. Storyboarding comes sort of naturally from my experience in TV news and television production generally, so I had hoped that dropping scenes into the right order would give me the structure of the book. It didn’t, at least not without a lot of fancy footwork as things went along. The characters balked—a LOT—at being shoved from one scene to the next, too, which was frustrating.

Outlining drove Traffick Report, the second book. Because the story arc and character arcs aligned so closely, the outlining worked exceptionally well—the book practically poured out of my fingers and into the keyboard.

The third book, Storm Sirens, is in outlining and gathering a lot of dust as I work on promoting the first two books. That isn’t all bad, though, as the characters keep wandering around in my head and suggesting more painful conflicts, sweeter resolutions, and funnier dialogue. The prospect of having time to fully devote to a big outlining binge is becoming more exciting all the time.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Kaitlyn, the astonishingly able clerk of court in Judge Patton’s Henry County, Ill. courtroom. She’s very reserved yet utterly competent. She says she isn’t a big reader but should be. Even if she were, though, she wouldn’t read romance novels.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Yes! Storm Sirens is going to be super-exciting. Mary Rose and Scott will be center stage, after playing supporting roles in the first two books, and they’re going to have a catastrophic falling out that relates to a monumental current social issue. As the title suggests, the weather—and especially Three NewsFirst’s aggressive meteorologist and his search for romance in both the clouds and in a character-to-be-named—will be jostling with those two for attention.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Feedback from readers is incredibly valuable. I want to write books they want to read. So the question I’d put to them is—perhaps it’s more of a request—won’t you please write a review on Amazon that describes what you liked and didn’t like about the book you just read? Potential readers want to hear from you so they can make informed choices, and your author would love to hear from so he can write better books!

Professional passion in the tradition of Julie James, Love. Local. Latebreaking. is a page-turning romance shining a spotlight into television news.

"Heart-tugging relational tension but with a sophistication that raises it above the romance genre." -- Jlaird, verified purchaser

"Mr. Lareau manages humor beautifully--I was able to envision certain scenes/situations/people so clearly that I was chortling into my coffee. I highly recommend this novel as a light-hearted (and sexy) diversion." -- Sarah K. Clark, verified purchaser

"The heroine had a career that she worked hard for and that she didn't give that career up simply because she'd found love" -- A. Geek, verified purchaser

Local TV news reporter Karli Lewis has one goal: escape Iowa's cornfields and podunk local news scene to hit the bright lights of the Chicago's newsrooms. Karli’s career is on the rise, thanks to her talented, dizzingly handsome, yet enigmatic news photographer, Jake Gibson, a dedicated hometown boy who is staying put. Will Karli listen to her heart, or will she choose a dateline over her favorite date? Can she reconcile her unbridled ambition and her longing for the man she could lose forever?

Read an Excerpt:

Jake took the little wallet with the receipt and his credit card sticking out of it from Robert, wrote in a tip, signed, and set it on the table. “Karli, I haven’t said a thing about how you should live your life. I have congratulated you and wished you the best,” he said. “You’re right that I have other ideas, but I have never said anything about how I think you should live your life. If you’re feeling guilty, it’s not because I’ve laid that on you.”

“Oh, so this is all my doing, then, is it?” Karli responded angrily. “If I’m feeling guilty, it’s my own fault, right, and I should feel guilty about that, too, right?”

“That’s not what I said, either.”

“No, of course not,” Karli’s fury rolled on. “You’re just the latest man who wants to control me.”

Jake rose from the table and turned to leave. He went about two steps, paused, turned, and found Karli’s eyes. “No, Karli. I’m not trying to control you. I’m trying to tell you that I love you. And that I love you enough to let you find your own way.”

He began turning to leave, stopped, then reached into his pocket and turned back to Karli. “Here. I guess it’s my turn, now that you’re all finished,” he said, opening the box and handing it to her. He watched her pull out the elaborate platinum charm bracelet with an appreciative gasp.

As she minutely examined each custom-made charm—a covered bridge, a tiny ram with prominent testicles, a miniature microphone, a camera, a little bulletproof vest, a bicycle, a tiny Three NewsFirst logo, and the initials J.G.—he turned and moved silently to leave the restaurant, and Karli.

About the Author:
H. Laurence Lareau fell in love with romances the first time Pride and Prejudice came home from the library with him. Since that high school summer, he has earned an English degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, worked as a television and print journalist, built a career in law, and has remained a Jane Austen junkie through it all.

The Newsroom Romance series draws from his careers, his voracious reading, and his curiosity about the tensions between real life and real love.

Real life now is dramatically different from the real life of Austen’s times—privileged women no longer choose between eligible members of the landed gentry, nor are they imperiled by the sexist mysteries of the entailed fee simple estate in land.

Modern women with the privileges of education rather than birth now embark upon careers that can satisfy many personal and material dreams. Seemingly inevitably, though, careers fall short of the promise that they’ll fulfill women as people.

Strong, modern women have defined Lareau’s professional and personal lives, and strong women fully occupy center stage in their own newsroom romance stories. Their high-profile journalism and legal careers matter deeply to them and to the people they serve.

Then love comes walking in. These book boyfriends don’t have kilts or billions or pirate ships, though. Their career goals meet and often clash with their romantic counterparts, requiring both the men and women to make hard choices about what happily ever after should look like and how to achieve it.

When he isn’t writing, practicing law, or raising children, he’s working on martial arts and music.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Casey 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.

Mackenzie Yarborough, one of the three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—finds herself facing a terrifying death of an ancient evil dragon while in China working on a secret research project and trying to discover the truth of her birth parents.

Read an Excerpt:

Dara knew that once she started researching the ancient writing systems and language of Shandong Province, there was no way she was going to waste her time attending her required undergraduate classes when she could be working on her research. Therefore, with Dr. Chu’s permission and using the syllabi she received on the first day of classes, she simply completed all of the course work in advance and turned it in. Most of the professors only wanted a report anyway. “Now with that out of the way, I can turn my full attention to the Longshan period dating 2500-1900 BC and researching the early writing, language, and human sacrifice at the Shang Dynasty capital of Anyang,” she told Mackenzie, Jennifer, and Carolina during another one of their nightly visits by phone.

“I am so impressed, Dara,” said Carolina. “Not surprised that you could do it, but still impressed.”

Jennifer and Mackenzie agreed.

Dara had something else to tell them. “I was going to wait to talk to you about this once I had all of the details worked out, but since Mackenzie might be going to China over our winter break to visit the Yellow Sea Laboratories, I’d better go ahead and let you know what I am thinking.” Then she told them about Dr. Wu inviting her to the small village of Dawenkou in the Shandong Province over the winter break in order to meet the rest of the archeology team and see the dig site and their research facilities. “I was hoping the four of us could go together—check it out. Dr. Wu said you are more than welcome.” She hesitated, and when no one said anything, “Mackenzie, Dr. Wu said that the Yellow Sea Laboratories is also in the Shandong Province and near Dawenkou where the dig site is.”

“That’s right—Ling told me it is in the town of Puli.”

Carolina interrupted, “Did you say Puli?”

“Yeah, have you heard of it?” Mackenzie asked. “I don’t think it is a very big town—Ling calls it a village. It is located on the Yellow Sea, and it is near Qufu where Confucius lived. That is where her family and ancestors are from although she was born in Hawaii. And other than what I am doing at MIT, that is also where the research on the Clock Flower Project is being conducted.”

“Talk about coincidence,” Jennifer mumbled. “Well, I’m in,” but she couldn’t say anything else. The pounding in her chest, the painful heaviness of the rock, and the brilliance of the bright yellow and red took her breath. As the pain eased, she once again heard the delicate tones of the banhu—a little more distinct this time—a few more notes—another measure to be added to the symphony.

Carolina’s heart started to race, and it felt like all of the air had been sucked out of her lungs. Taking little breaths, she managed to say, “That goes for me, too.” Putting her hand on her chest and taking a deep breath, willing her heart to stop pounding, “I’ve never been to China, and this is too good of an opportunity to miss. Maybe they will let us tour the research lab, Mackenzie. And it will be great fun to see an actual working archeology site, Dara.”

But those weren’t the reasons she wanted to go; she knew when it concerned the FIGs, there was no such thing as coincidence. Larry had told her that he believed Mackenzie’s mother was from Puli and that is where she returned after giving birth. Something was happening which she didn’t understand. She had heard her mother’s warning, and she knew she needed to go to China. She needed to be with her girls. And she needed to protect Mackenzie.

About the Author:
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey's two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla's Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach's Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation,” and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary novel written for adults, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction.

The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for young/new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. In 2012, The Cadence of Gypsies was expanded into a four-book mystery series called THE FIG MYSTERIES: The Wish Rider (2016), The Clock Flower (2018), and The Nightjar’s Promise (to be released in 2019).

Ms. Casey also writes book-length nonfiction for adults. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released in 2016 and has been optioned for a major movie. In 2018 her book Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave was released and it has been signed for a major movie.

Ms. Casey's award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation). Other award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery.

In 2018, Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and Benton, a hound mix who adopted her.


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