Blurb blitz & giveaway – Need You Now by Dei Araujo

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Need You Now

by Dei Araujo

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GENRE: Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Nothing compared to the horror Amaranth Wallace felt upon discovering her babysitter beaten and her autistic son missing. To get him back, she must put all her faith in her ex-lover, the very man she vowed to avoid forever.

One steamy and mind-blowing night with Amaranth and Nicholas was hooked. But when she chose his half-brother over him, Nicholas turned his back on her and love. Now fate has brought them back together, and Nicholas must revisit old wounds that run deep with the woman who broke his heart.

Can Amaranth and Nicholas put their torrid history aside to find her son and get a chance at love?

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NOTE: The book is on sale for only $0.99.

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EXCERPT:

“Why are you here?” she asked, ignoring the little jump of her heart at the sight of him.

“Really, Am? We’re going to do this? Me, out in the hallway as if I was some vampire begging to come in just so I can bite that delicate little neck of yours?”

“Sorry, I prefer werewolves,” she replied with a smirk before attempting to close the door in his face. Irritated, she looked down and saw he used his foot as a stopper.

“Cute. Have it your way.” He stood his ground. Amaranth wanted to let him stay right out in the hallway, but he was right. She didn’t want anyone privy to their conversation, so she stepped away to let him enter.

“Come in,” she relented and inhaled his clean scent as he walked past her to the center of the room. His presence filled the tiny space as he looked around, turned and laid those gorgeous hazel eyes on her. God, would she ever stop feeling as if the very sight of him was like a vacuum sucking the air from her body? She willed her pulse to slow its rapid hammering. He was still devastatingly handsome with his ink black wavy hair and eyes that couldn’t decide whether they wanted to be amber or green. They regarded her even now with some sort of emotion that bordered on anxious and apologetic.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_NeedYouNow

Dei Araujo knew she wanted to be a writer at the age of 11 after writing a short story that drew a raucous response from her dad. Her love for romance came through her mother who encouraged Dei’s voracious appetite for reading. She went on to win writing awards in high school to include a first-place award for poetry in honor of her father who served during the first Gulf War.

After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Journalism/News Editorial, Dei was commissioned in the Air Force as a public affairs officer where she utilized her skill as a writer to tell the Air Force story. Her military career took her all over the world and exposed her different cultures and people.

While serving as an Air Force reservist, Dei completed her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University and rediscovered her voice as a romance writer. She’s living out her real-life love story in beautiful Miami, Florida, with her soulmate, and their four rambunctious boys.

Need You Now, a romantic suspense, is her first novel and the first in the Love’s Paradise series.

Dei is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Social Media Links:

Facebook

Twitter 

Website 

Goodreads author page

Buy Links:

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

Kobo

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GIVEAWAY  

Dei Araujo will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book tour & giveaway – All Inclusive by Farzana Doctor

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All Inclusive

by Farzana Doctor

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GENRE:   Literary Fiction, LGBT, magical realism, multicultural

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BLURB:

A story about an all-inclusive resort, the ghost of an unknown father, and the tragedies we can’t forget.

What’s it like when everyone’s dream vacation is your job? Ameera works at a Mexican all-inclusive resort, where every day is paradise — if “paradise” means endless paperwork, quotas to meet, and entitled tourists. But it’s not all bad: Ameera’s pastime of choice is the swingers scene, and the resort is the perfect place to hook up with like-minded couples without all the hassle of having to see them again.

Despite Ameera’s best efforts to keep her sideline a secret, someone is spreading scandalous rumours about her around the resort, and her job might be at stake. Meanwhile, she’s being plagued by her other secret, the big unknown of her existence: the identity of her father and why he disappeared. Unbeknownst to Ameera, her father, Azeez, is looking for her, and they both must come to terms with the reason why he abandoned her.

A moving new work from award-winning author Farzana Doctor, All Inclusive blurs the lines between the real world and paradise, and life and death, and reminds us that love is neither easily lost nor found.

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EXCERPT:

Azeez

June 21, 1985, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

I’d been watching her for a full ten minutes. She sat at the table next to mine, reading a textbook entitled Understanding World Religions. It was the first day of summer and my second last in Canada.

She absent-mindedly played with her long auburn hair, her fingers moving like a magician’s, conjuring it into a single braid. She didn’t tie off the end, and her hair eventually resisted the arrangement and pulled itself free. I nibbled my honey cruller, and waited for her to notice me. For another ten minutes, I scripted my words. I was a chatty fellow back then, but it took immense bravery to speak to a woman I didn’t know. I chided myself: what did it matter if I sounded like a fool?

“That looks like interesting reading.”

She glanced up, and her cheeks blushed crimson. I loved when white girls did that. It just isn’t the same with brown girls; their pigment allows them to mute their embarrassment. The girl smiled and nodded and returned to her textbook, her lavender highlighter squeaking across the page. But I could tell she was no longer concentrating on the material.

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GUEST POST:

How A Sad Edit Became A Song

Have you heard the expression “kill your darlings”? It refers to the process of cutting out writing that you really love, but isn’t serving the overall project. It’s necessary, but brutal editing.

I snipped out a prologue I’d written for All Inclusive. Some early readers thought it was great, but my agent and editor worried it didn’t offer much and would turn off reviewers. And so I took a deep breath and got rid of it.

Here it is:

Azeez

For almost thirty years, a voice called me westward. It was a like a whisper, faint at first, but constant. Go back to Canada, it hissed.

I resisted the summons; I believed I shouldn’t be distracted by a world that was meant to be a temporary sideshow to my real life. No, I felt it was my filial duty to remain with my family in India.

I cast myself in the role of the good eldest son. Well, as best as I could, given the circumstance. I believed I was responsible for my family’s misery. If only I hadn’t been so selfish. If only I’d gone home a day, a week earlier. If only…

But now I know that no one can change the past. The future? Well, that’s debatable.

The sibilation became a buzz, like an old radio stuck between stations. The static wouldn’t stop.

Go back.

Go back.

Go back.

It felt disappointing to lose this section. A consolation was that my friend Vivek Shraya, who is a writer, musician and video-maker, used the cut material as inspiration to write the book trailer’s song, “A Song For Ameera”.

Listen to it here. Can you hear the ways the song speaks to the prologue?

Thanks so much for listening! I’d be happy to hear your thoughts and questions.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_AllInclusiveFarzana Doctor is the author of three novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement (which was a 2012 Lambda Literary Award and the 2017 One Book One Brampton winner) and the recently released All Inclusive which was a Kobo and National Post Best Book of the Year. Farzana was named one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now”. She is also a Registered Social Worker with a part-time psychotherapy practice. She curates the Brockton Writers Series.

Website: www.farzanadoctor.com

Twitter: @farzanadoctor

Instagram: @farzanadoctor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/farzanadoctor

Buy links:

Indie bookstore

Amazon

Book trailer

Book club guide

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GIVEAWAY 

Farzana Doctor will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner and a print copy of the book to 10 randomly drawn winners (US Only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book tour & giveaway – Across Two Novembers by David L. Faucheux

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Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile

by David L. Faucheux

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GENRE: Memoir/Journal

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BLURB:

Friends and family. Restaurants and recipes. Hobbies and history. TV programs the author loved when he could see and music he enjoys. The schools he attended and the two degrees he attained. The career that eluded him and the physical problems that challenge him. And books, books, books: over 200 of them quoted from or reviewed. All In all, an astonishing work of erudition and remembrance.

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EXCERPT:

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Blast from the Past

While in the waiting area at physical therapy prior to this morning’s session, I met a former coworker of mine on her way out. Just as I did, Quintina taught in the early 1990s at the Deaf Action Center (DAC). I liked working there, but it was very part–time, and I pursued other employment. The director of DAC was a great supervisor, and I wish I could have taken her with me to other employment situations. She had a genuine appreciation of her employees and was always professional and pleasant, even kind.

I have continued reading Madame Picasso.

I’m researching Louisiana’s early history. It wasn’t so great in the 18th century—no elegant riverboats and mansions, rather frontier–like.

Tonight I attended Novel Ideas on accessibleworld.org; we discussed Christina Baker Kline’s novel Orphan Train. I enjoyed the book, which dealt with the relationship between foster teen Molly and orphan train survivor Vivian Daly. Daly tells Molly of immigrating to America from Ireland in the early 1900s and being sent to Minnesota on an orphan train after her family dies in a New York City tenement fire. The novel is rather dark, as Vivian is exploited as cheap labor by several families.

Did You Know?

Speaking of reading books about Picasso and the art world, I learned while reading Color: Travels Through the Paintbox and doing research on Wikipedia that ultramarine refers to a pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. Ultramarine was the finest and most expensive blue used by Renaissance painters. It was used for the robes of the Virgin Mary, and it symbolized holiness and humility. It remained an extremely expensive pigment until a synthetic ultramarine was invented in 1826. The best lapis lazuli is said to come from the Sar–e Sang (or Sar–i sang) mines, in the Badakhshan region of Afghanistan. The turban of the Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Vermeer, is painted with a mixture of ultramarine and lead white, with a thin glaze of pure ultramarine over it.

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GUEST POST

Top Ten List:  Things That Make Me Happy

  1. Rain Drops on Kittens: The famous lyric is actually “rain drops on roses,” but a group with the dubious name of Negative Things did a parody version of “My Favorite Things.”  I like to laugh.  Music makes me happy.  Even a purring kitty.  I just wish I had ability to play an instrument or sing.  And yes, I had years of lessons back when, no ear.
  1. The Rain at Night: I mentioned this several times in my journal, Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile.  I love the sound, the rhythmic drumming, the soothing sounds of rain tap dancing on the roof.
  1. Telephoning a Friend on a Slow Sunday Afternoon: I also mentioned this in Across Two Novembers.  Sundays can run long for me.  Calling a friend helps move the day and my mood along.  It might be good for the friend, too.
  1. Exploring New Cuisines and Restaurants: Lemongrass anyone.  It’s a way to travel, to learn something, and to expand one’s senses.  At the moment Thai is one of my favorites as I describe in that journal.  I’m open to trying other cuisines: Ethiopian, macrobiotic, or even molecular gastronomy.  Let’s do lunch.
  1. Listening to a Long-Awaited Audio Book: As I was writing this, I was waiting for a friend to share a recently released audio book, The Confessions of Young Nero, by Margaret George.  She writes the kind of long historic fiction that I have always enjoyed, but that I fear is not done so much today.  Her The Autobiography of Henry VIII was reviewed in my journal.
  1. Trivia: If it’s not listening to “Jeopardy,” it’s learning facts to use in an online trivia game I host or finding just the right bit to incorporate into the ‘”Did You Know” sections of my journal.  My earliest memories of trivia-based game shows would be “The Joker’s Wild” and “Tic-Tac-Dough.”  Who knew that according to Keith Veronese, author of Rare, the element europium is used to create the color red in liquid–crystal televisions and monitors, with no other element or chemical able to reproduce the color reliably.  This bit about red is just one of some 20 bits in the journal to amuse the reader.  I sometimes still visit www.freerice.com.  The questions are fun to answer and it’s nice to know rice is being donated for every correct answer.
  1. Finishing a Major Project: Library school, my book, Book Reviews for Library Journal, …
  1. Preparing a New Recipe: It’s fun to tweak a recipe.  I like to change a favorite recipe for banana bread.  I might use brown or raw sugar, not white.  I might add walnuts or rum-soaked raisins.  I might use barley flour or banana flour to replace part of the unbleached flour in the recipe.  I might change the recipe and make date bread with orange zest and use xylitol for some of the sweetener.  I haven’t yet tried smoked sun-dried tomatoes and shredded cheese with a touch of basil – who says quick breads need be sweet!
  1. Collecting “Ology Words: Perhaps, this goes under trivia but then maybe not.  Have you heard of these mouthfuls: barology, study of gravity; campinology, study of bells; or museology, study of museums?
  1. Helping People Find the Right Book: Readers’ Advisory was my favorite course in library school.  Connecting the right book with the right person is one of the goals of my journal through the many book reviews and bits mentioned throughout.

Thank you for visiting.  If you’d like to see my entire ology list, do email me.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I’m pleased to take a moment to talk about myself and what makes me tick.  I’d have to say books, books, and more books.  Let me explain.  Braille and recorded books take me places and show me things I would otherwise never get to encounter.  They see for me by their descriptions, their vivid word pictures, and lyrical prose.  They befriend me when I’m lonely, educate me when I’m curious, and amuse me when I’m in a blue mood.  I have always known

I could pick up a book and for a time be in a better or at least A different place.  Books don’t judge, ignore, or marginalize us.  I remember long, hot, Louisiana summers that were perfect for curling up with a good book.  I have had to struggle some nights to put the book away because I’d not be able to get up for work the next morning.  That’s being a bit too biblioholic.

I have worked as a medical transcriptionist and braille instructor.  I attended library school in the late 1990s when the Internet was starting to take off.  I ran an audio blog for several years.  I have also served on the board of a nonprofit organization that attempted to start a radio reading service in the town where I live.  Since 2006, I have reviewed audio books for Library Journal.

http://www.dldbooks.com/davidfaucheux/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16933334.David_L_Faucheux

You might wish to view a segment about me done by a local reporter in February of this year.

http://www.katc.com/story/34517232/whats-your-story-episode-8-lafayette

Buy Links:

Amazon

BN

Apple

Kobo

Smashwords

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GIVEAWAY  

David will be awarding a library edition audio book (US only) or if an international winner, a $15 Amazon/BN GC, to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 a Rafflecopter giveway

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Book blast & giveaway – Hide and Seek by Desiree Holt

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Hide and Seek

by Desiree Holt

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GENRE: Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Anything can happen when you let your guard down . . .

After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life—until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard . . .

Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion . . .

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EXCERPT:

He wasn’t as much shocked by his physical reaction as by the fact that it happened at all. For a long time now, he’d managed to keep a clamp on his sex drive and take it out only when required, like taking aspirin for a headache.

“You’re a smart woman,” he congratulated her. “I didn’t know if you’d play along with me.”

She inhaled an unsteady breath and blew it out. “I took a chance. You could have been worse than they were.”

“Still, that shows brains and quick thinking. Good for you.” He studied the interior of her car. “Wow. They did a number with that window. Don’t move. There’s chunks and pebbles everywhere.”

She stared at him, studying his face. “You promise you aren’t the second wave? You know, like good cop, bad cop? The bad guys threaten me and you come along and win my confidence by helping me?”

“Nope. Scout’s honor.”

“I, uh, saw that you have a gun.”

“So did those jackasses. I wanted them to see it.” He smiled at her. “But I only use it as part of my job.”

She caught her lower lip in her teeth. “They just came at me out of nowhere and ran me off the road. Then they boxed me in and smashed the window.”

“Later I’ll want all the details. Right now let’s get you out of here.”

“Do you know who they are? Those men?”

“No.” His voice hardened. “But I know other garbage like them.”

She swallowed. “So who are you, anyway?”

“Oh. Sorry.” He winked at her, and the tension in her body visibly eased. “Logan Malik. Savior of women in danger.”

“Devon Cole.” She dug up a smile. “Woman in danger who needed saving.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_HideandSeek.jpgDesiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published author of erotic and spicy romance. A graduate of the University of Michigan with double majors in English and History, her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.

She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, a USA Today Bestselling author and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast,

USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Learn more about her and read her novels here:

Website

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Google

LinkedIn

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GIVEAWAY 

Desiree will be awarding a Kindle Fire 7 with Alexa to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a Kindle Fire 7 with Alexa – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book tour & giveaway – Saison for Love by Meg Benjamin

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Saison for Love

by Meg Benjamin

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Liam Dempsey isn’t long for Antero. The bar where he’s been working is going downhill fast, and it’s time for him to move on. Even if moving on means moving from Colorado to Utah and leaving his sister and fledgling brewery behind. He’s not interested in forming any attachments before he leaves in a month, but after a sexy hook-up with his sister’s friend, he finds himself unsure where his future stands.

The last thing Ruth Colbert needs is something else on her plate. She has a restaurant to run, a chef to replace, and a cranky twelve-year-old to raise, but a steamy night with Liam was just what she needed. The only problem is, now she wants more, if only she could find the time for him. Just when things seem to be working out and she can see a possible future with Liam, someone from her past shows up to throw another wrench into everything.

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EXCERPT:

He leaned toward her slowly, so slowly that she had to fight the urge to grab hold of his shoulders and pull him close. His lips touched hers in a faint brush, the tip of his tongue slipping in to taste her.

She did take hold of his shoulders then, holding him steady while she turned her head to let him plunge deeper. He slid one arm around her waist, pulling her closer so that her breasts pressed against his shirt. Her fingers glided into his hair, letting the smooth strands slip across them like silk.

Heat gathered in her belly, and her hips moved against him, feeling the swell of his arousal. Should she slow this down?

He seemed to be thinking about the same thing, pulling back to look at her. “Is this okay? I don’t want to push you.”

She licked her lips. “Sure. But I’m not really… This isn’t something I do much.”

He drew back a little farther. “It’s all right. We won’t do anything you don’t want to.” He gave her a tentative smile, probably trying to gauge just how skittish she was feeling.

She took a deep breath, centering herself. “But that’s just the thing,” she said slowly. “I do want to. Do it, that is.”

Maybe she shouldn’t. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea. But she really did.

Liam’s teeth flashed white as he grinned. “Good. So do I.”

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GUEST POST

Top ten things that make me happy

  1. My family—I mean I’ve got to start with them, naturally. My two sons live in another state, which means we have to make special plans to visit them (or come up with ways to entice them here), but every time I see them I’m happy. I’m also a grandma to twins and watching them over FaceTime or on YouTube videos is a special delight. It’s hard to be gloomy when you hear a two-year-old laugh.
  2. The Colorado mountains. I’ve had people ask me if I get used to seeing the mountains every morning when I drive off to the grocery store or the dry cleaners. The answer is nope. Being surrounded by such magnificence never gets old. I’ve tried to take pictures of the mountain view from our block, particularly when they’re covered with snow, but it never works. You have to see it—and let yourself be blissed out.
  3. Being an author. I didn’t set out to do this. In fact, I didn’t start writing fiction until I retired from my teaching job. Like a lot of writers, I’m still amazed that I get to do this and that people read my books. Telling stories is great, and knowing other people read those stories is even greater.
  4. Visiting a new restaurant. I’m a bit of a foodie (there’s a lot of eating and drinking in my books), and I really enjoy going to a new place and trying new food. Denver and Boulder are great places to do this, given the number of cuisines in the area and the enthusiasm in the local restaurant scene. And you never know when you’ll stumble into a tiny mountain town only to find a terrific chef who’s left some big city to kick back at 7,000 feet.
  5. Cooking for my family. I didn’t start out as much of a cook, given that my mom, terrific lady that she was, wasn’t much of a cook either. But I taught myself how to get around a kitchen and now I really enjoy it. These days you can go to a farmers market and find something exotic (Jerusalem artichokes? Black chickpeas?) and locate a likely recipe on the internet as soon as you get home. It’s a huge relaxer, or at least it is for me!
  6. Road trips. I don’t care much for flying (too much stress), but I love driving around the back roads with my hubs—looking at scenery, hiking around, trying out new restaurants (see above), occasionally visiting Points of Interest, and listening to great tunes either on my iPod or Sirius. A couple of days on the road can brighten up your life.
  7. Snowshoeing. This is a relatively new thing for us, but over the last couple of years we’ve come to love it. It’s way less expensive than skiing or snowboarding, but you get the same effect from being outdoors in the snow. And in many ways it’s even more enjoyable since the trails are less crowded than the ski areas—you only run into other snowshoers and cross-country skiers. Believe me, you don’t know what quiet is until you crunch along a snowy trail with only a couple of people around.
  8. Americana music. I started listening to Americana when we lived in Texas and I could actually see people like Joe Ely at Gruene Hall, which was just up the road. We have fewer opportunities to see live performances in the Denver area, but I still love to listen to Americana music that spans the range from Blues to Zydeco, with all kinds of stops in between.
  9. Visiting wineries and craft breweries. It’s not the drinking (honest). It’s the opportunity to talk to people associated with the drinking. Hearing how a hard-working winery owner came up with that pinot gris, maybe finding out where he bought the grapes (the guy down the road? The vineyard two mountains over?) is just a lot of fun. Brewers love to talk about their beers, too and how they came to try blueberries in that particular batch of wheat beer. It’s just a fun way to spend an afternoon.
  10. Reading romance. Really, what’s better? Curling up with your favorite author, knowing the couple will end up together even though they’re going to go through some bumps along the way. I couldn’t write a genre I didn’t love, and romance fills the bill.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her newest series, Brewing Love, is set in the Colorado craft brewing scene. Meg’s Konigsburg series is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Salt Box trilogy is set in her new home, the Colorado Rockies (both are available from Entangled Publishing). Along with contemporary romance, Meg also writes paranormal romance, including the Ramos Family trilogy from Berkley InterMix and the Folk series to be published by Soul Mate Publishing in 2018. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers, and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers. Meg’s Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin/), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1). Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at meg@megbenjamin.com.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36119685-saison-for-love

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saison-for-love-meg-benjamin/1127026469

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GIVEAWAY  

Meg Benjamin will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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Book tour & giveaway – Jane Austen Lied to Me by Jeanette Watts

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Jane Austen Lied to Me

by Jeanette Watts

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GENRE: Humor

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BLURB:

What college girl doesn’t dream of meeting Mr. Darcy? Lizzie was certainly no exception. But when Darcy Fitzwilliam comes into her life, he turns out to be every bit as aggravating as Elizabeth Bennett’s Fitzwilliam Darcy. So what’s a modern girl to do?

Jeanette Watts’ satire pokes loving fun at Jane and all of us who worship the characters who shall forever be our romantic ideals.

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EXCERPT:

This afternoon I got further confirmation that I’ve been seeing an awful lot of Michael.  I was wandering back to the apartment, when Lon hailed me from one of the couches inside the lobby doors.

“I have a message for you from your boyfriend,” he said, kind of stiffly.

I looked at him stupidly for a moment.  “My what?”

“Your boyfriend was here.  He said his phone was dead, so he couldn’t call or text you to tell you that he can’t stick around for dinner tonight.  He has a late meeting with a new client and he had to rush back to the office.”

I was still having trouble with the boyfriend thing.  “Wait – do you mean Michael?”

“If that’s the guy you’ve been seeing the last couple of months,” Lon said with a shrug.  “The one you’re always having dinner with.”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” I protested.  “He’s an old friend of the family.  We grew up together.”

Lon’s head was back at his computer screen.  “Boyfriend, friend.  The guy who kisses you goodnight all the time after he takes you out for dinner.  He’s not coming tonight.  I’ve delivered my message, that’s all I’ve got.”

Right then Allie walked up.  “Hey, Lizzie!  Waiting for Michael?”

“No, he’s not coming tonight.”  I headed to the elevator with her.

“That’s a shame.  I know how much you enjoy having dinner with him, even if he does aggravate you a lot.”

“Yeah.  It’s kind of a love-hate relationship,” I agreed.

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GUEST POST

Jeanette Watts: Why I write the kinds of books I do

Because I must be an undiagnosed ADHD, or bipolar, or something that makes me just a bit squirrely…

Let me elucidate…

So far, I’ve published 2 historic fiction novels, a textbook on waltzing, and now I am releasing a modern satire that Hollywood will want to turn into a romantic comedy. I’ve also written another historic fiction that isn’t “ripe” yet, screenplays for a romantic comedy and a costume drama, and I have two ideas for children’s books that I want to do. One is about the guardian angel who lives downstairs, the other is called “Secret Agent Bear.” It’s about my teddy bear. Because we all know that stuffed animals can move when we’re not looking.

While my brain won’t let me focus on only one sort of genre, I will say my first love is historic fiction. I love history. Biographies are my favorite reading material, I have spent the last 17 years learning and then teaching historic dance, when I travel one of the first things I seem to find in new places is the local historic mansion that gives home tours. I also have an extensive library of images on historic costume, since I am an avid costumer. Some people would call that research, but those are just my playgrounds.

I do love the research part. Part of it is because I want my books to feel real. As I explained to one friend about why I emphasize the historic as much as the fiction, “What does it smell like? What does it feel like? What does it taste like?” Until I can answer those questions, I don’t know enough. But it means that when I say something, you can trust my history. When I describe the railroad riots of 1877 in Wealth and Privilege, I am using the eyewitness accounts from the newspapers of 1877. If I say it’s December 3, 1883 and it’s snowing out, that’s because I read it in the almanac or newspaper.

There’s another fun part to the research; each question is like a mini mystery to solve. For example, in both Wealth and Privilege and Brains and Beauty there are cameos by Andrew Carnegie, his mother, his younger brother Tom, and Tom’s wife Lucy. Now, it’s common knowledge that Andy named his first blast furnace Lucy after his sister-in-law. This is interesting. He named the Edgar Thomson Steel Works for his former boss – and biggest client for his products. He was very shrewd, and he never did things without a reason. Why would he name the blast furnace after his sister-in-law? Was he appeasing her? Describing her – did she have a hot temper? He named things to curry favor with people. Why or how did he need to curry favor with his own sister-in-law?

There is not a lot of information on Lucy Carnegie. Or her husband Tom. I looked. I could tell you where her grandchildren ended up living, but I didn’t find much about her, personally. Finally, while reading my third or fourth or maybe fifth biography on Andrew Carnegie, I found the answer. One of his biographers knew it. Lucy has a blast furnace named after her because she was prolific. She and Tom had a lot of children, and Andy named his blast furnace after her for luck. He hoped to bless his furnace with as much productivity as Tom’s wife.

This entire search ends up being one or two sentences in one of the books. But it was worth all the work. I really wanted to know.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Jeanette Watts had been writing historic fiction when the inspiration for Jane Austen Lied to Me hit her on the drive home from the Jane Austen Festival. The idea was simply irresistible, and she put aside other writing projects in order to focus on writing a satire, thinking it would be a “mental vacation.” It turned out to take every bit as much research to write a modern story as it does to write a historical one.

She has written television commercials, marketing newspapers, stage melodramas, four screenplays, three novels, and a textbook on waltzing.  When she isn’t writing, she teaches social ballroom dances, refinishes various parts of her house, and sews historical costumes and dance costumes for her Cancan troupe.

Links:

Webpage

Facebook

Facebook

Twitter

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GIVEAWAY 

Jeanette Watts will be awarding a doll dressed in Regency clothing, handcrafted by the author (International Giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Enter to win a doll handcrafted by the author – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Book tour & giveaway – Diving In by Kristina Mathews

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Diving In

by Kristina Mathews

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

The sweetest revenge . . .

He’s the Swift brother who got left behind, the son abandoned by his father. Now Kyle Swift is a man determined to destroy the whitewater rafting empire built by the half-brothers he never knew, the Swift sons who got the life—and the love—he was denied. Seducing Fisher Jones isn’t part of his revenge, but sharing a bed with the beautiful whitewater instructor is the one bright spot in his otherwise dark plan. That is, if he manages not to fall for the sad-eyed beauty . . .

Fearless when it comes to facing even the most daunting river rapids, Fisher never takes chances with her love life—until the night she gets swept away by a sexy stranger. But when her one-night stand unexpectedly shows up in her whitewater class, Fisher faces her greatest challenge yet: keeping her heart safe from a man determined to put an end to the family business—and the life—she holds dear. . .

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EXCERPT:

When it was his turn, Kyle was determined to make a good impression. On his fellow students, but mostly on his instructor. He wouldn’t be too cautious or too cocky. He would show that he’d been paying attention, soaking in Fisher’s words of encouragement and instruction.

He gave the commands. “Forward paddle. Stop. Left back.”

His crew did exactly as he instructed. The raft was perfectly positioned. Except the current was faster than he anticipated. They were headed straight toward the rock in the middle of the rapid. He used his paddle to make a correction, but he dug in a little too deep and he managed to spin them three hundred sixty degrees around. They hit the rock dead on, and the front of the boat lifted in the air, almost vertical, and everyone went flying into the river.

Well, not everyone. Kyle felt himself being jerked backward and tossed to the floor of the boat like a fish. He scrambled to a sitting position and found Fisher was maneuvering the raft through the rapid.

“I’m sorry. I guess I screwed up.” Kyle couldn’t remember the last time he’d admitted to a mistake. He’d made plenty, but never admitted them. But for some reason, he knew Fisher already knew he was in over his head, and she’d call bullshit if he tried to deny it.

“Help pull the crew back in,” she commanded as they came alongside the swimmers. “We’ll talk about it when everyone can benefit.”

Leia was the closest and Kyle was able to get her aboard; then she helped pull Brett into the raft while Fisher grabbed Nolan.

“Well, that was interesting.” Nolan shook his head and ran his fingers through his wet hair.

“Kyle has just demonstrated the dump truck move.” Somehow, Fisher kept her cool. Made it almost seem normal. “And the important thing is that he was able to account for all the passengers.”

What a loser. Instead of impressing her, he nearly drowned his fellow students.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPic_Diving In

Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.

While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books. She proudly tells her students that she writes romance novels that they can read when they’re older.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors, and throw out the first pitch for the San Francisco Giants.

Social Media Links

www.kristinamathews.com

www.facebook.com/kristinamathewsauthor

https://twitter.com/KristinaMathews

https://amazon.com/author/kristinamathews

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7870884.Kristina_Mathews

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kristina-mathews

Buy Links:

Amazon

iTunes

Google play

Kobo

B&N

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GIVEAWAY  

Kristina will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Blurb blitz & giveaway – A Model Engagement by Charlotte O’Shay

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A Model Engagement

by Charlotte O’Shay

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer. With her savings gone, she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.

Though dazzled by Lace y, Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. His gut tells him to help, and he hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job, and Connor has put a bandage on a family crisis.

When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down—no matter what the consequences. Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?

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EXCERPT:

Lacey took twenty minutes to decide which pasta she wanted to eat. Then they both devoured their entrees in about five silent minutes.

“I love a girl who enjoys her food.” Connor mopped up some of his spaghetti sauce with a chunk of the right-off-the-grill Italian bread.

“I did scarf that down fast.” She shrugged, not in the least embarrassed. Then she waved her wine at him. “Hey, save some of that bread for me.”

She grabbed a piece from the basket between them and ripped it into small pieces before popping each of them into her mouth with abandon.

The restaurant occupied the first floor of a charming old world 1880’s brownstone. Mellow piped in mandolin music was just the right volume to cover but not overwhelm private conversation. Much later festive live music and dancing in a small open space on the burnished old pine floor would usher in the New Year.

But Connor didn’t know how long Lacey would want to stay. He had to be content with this moment.

He’d chosen this secluded corner table with care. Lacey hadn’t been recognized and right now the night was a win. Was his luck beginning to turn? Was she starting to relax with him a little? He wanted—damn he wanted so much but he wouldn’t rush her.

Don’t screw this up, Devlin.

“Okay so what’s your pleasure for dessert? Tiramisu? Tartufo? Cannoli?”

He watched as she poked her tongue out and perused the menu. In that silver dress she looked like the angel on top of his Christmas tree. And right now she might as well be perched that high and far away.

Because she had to be the one to decide to resume their sexual relationship—or not. And yeah, the waiting sucked.

“You may’ve noticed I’m wearing this tunic dress.” She gave a little shimmy in her chair and the loose fabric glittered and sparkled. “It was skillfully chosen,” she waved a hand, “because as you can see,” she shimmied again, “there’s no waistline. I can have two desserts if I feel like it.” She tilted her head and winked.

“Didn’t you wear that on Thanksgiving?”

“Very observant, Mr. Devlin. Give this man another drink.”

Lacey in teasing mode was something he hadn’t yet experienced. And he liked it. Oh man, he liked it a lot. And he had another reason to despise Bixby seeing how much of her vibrant personality was hijacked by her dealings with that asshole.

Now he could see how constrained she must have felt, how her obvious natural buoyancy was squashed as the victim of a predator and a blackmailer. If he ever came face to face with that piece of crap…he shut that thought down. Because tonight he had everything he wanted right in front of him and he wasn’t wasting a second thinking about anybody but Lacey.

Lacey was in a teasing mood and it was New Year’s Eve.

Thank you, God.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_AModelEngagement

NYC girl Charlotte O’Shay was born into a big family and married into another big family.

The drama! The noise! The inspiration!

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte gladly traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters set in and around NYC.

When Charlotte isn’t reading or writing steamy contemporaries featuring heroines in crisis and swoony heroes, she’s on the hunt for that perfect pair of sunglasses. She loves to hear from readers.

Find her at:

Web charlotteoshayauthor.com

Twitter @charlotte_oshay

Instagram charlotte_oshay_author

Facebook Authorcharlotteoshay

The City of Dreams series are all standalone books linked by the wedding that takes place in The Marriage Ultimatum.

Book 1, The Marriage Ultimatum ~ Sabrina & Vlad

Book 2, A Model Engagement ~ Lacey & Connor

Book 3, An Illicit Affair ~ Honey & Jake

Buy links for A Model Engagement:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Nook

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GIVEAWAY:

Charlotte O’Shay will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Book tour & giveaway – Behind The Door by A. Gavazzoni

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Behind The Door

by A. Gavazzoni

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GENRE:   Psychological and erotic thriller

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BLURB:

When Lara dies at the hands of a Manhattan lawyer during a sex game, his defense attorney, Carl, hires Simone, a psychiatrist, professor and author of books on sexual behavior to help him buttress his argument that Lara’s death was accidental. To help his defense, Carl’s client has written a detailed account of his steamy, year-long relationship with Lara. Carl gives the text to Simone for analysis. While evaluating the presumed killer’s writing, Simone continues to receive psychiatric patients with sexual disorders and unusual fantasies, and to research strange sexual behavior for her next book. Meanwhile, Simone’s clinical partner, friend and research colleague, Edward, is working with the police to capture a serial killer who is torturing and killing women. From hot and unusual sex and interesting psychiatric patients, to the swing houses of New York and Paris, this fast-paced page-turner is a blend of mystery, suspense, humor, romance and erotica.

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EXCERPT:

He seemed shy. She sensed it in his sweet smile, the one only shy people use when they want to be accepted. That was her mistake—she believed in the assurance the shy pass to others that they are gentle, calm, agreeable and pose no risks.

“The question I tried to ask before was what is normal sexuality and what is not?”

The way he spoke showed great interest. He looked her right in the eye while awaiting her response and reaction.

“I think I know where you want to go. Who defines normality? Who has the authority to do it? You don’t have a medical background, do you? You’re apparently unfamiliar with diagnostic standards. Is that correct?”

His little smile said “bingo.” Then he said, “Your diagnosis is right on the money. I’m a lawyer. I really don’t have the slightest idea about diagnostic standards.”

This truly surprised her. A lawyer? At a sexology workshop, she would have expected a psychologist or a therapist or a gay person trying to understand himself. But a lawyer?

“And what brings a lawyer to a sexual disorder workshop?”

“I’m here because I need to build a defense in a case involving sex games that led to a woman’s death. I need to understand the subject better so I can do my job.”

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GUEST POST

Authors interview with one of the characters

Interviewer – Dr. Bennet, why did you decide to be a psychiatrist?

Simone Bennet – Because I always wanted to take care of people, and the human mind always intrigued me.

Interviewer – And why specializing in Paraphilias—strange sexual behavior?

Simone Bennet – early in my profession, I discovered sexuality plays an enormous role in people’s lives, and the consequences of distortions in their sexual lives have a deep repercussion on their emotions.

Interviewer – How about you, Doctor, do you have a paraphilia of your own?

Simone Bennet – Why don’t you read my story to discover the answer to that question?

Interviewer – Are you in love, Dr. Bennet? Have you ever been in love?

Simone Bennet – I don’t know much about love, but yes, I thought I was in love before, but I believe I’m too judgmental to fall in love again.

Interviewer – But would you like to?

Simone Bennet – Yes, who doesn’t? I just don’t trust it is going to happen… We’ll have to wait and see.

Interviewer – Who is the person you most admire in your world?

Simone Bennet – Doctor Edward, he is the most loyal and adorable friend I have.

Interviewer – Who is your favorite patient and why?

Simone Bennet – She is not my patient, but as I have to work on her story, I would say Lara; she is the most complex person I’ve ever studied.

Interviewer – a last question doctor: any advice for people who think they are different?

Simone Bennet – Different, how?

Interviewer – Sexually different…

Simone Bennet – Respect yourself, try to understand your reasons, change what you think can change, and accept the way you are.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_BehindTheDoor

Gavazzoni is a Brazilian author. She just won The Golden Book Award 2017 – Readers Choice for her first novel Behind The Door and also an honorable mention at Paris Book Festval 2017. Adriana is a lawyer, a former professor of law and a writer of novels and legal books, but she is also a voracious reader. She speaks four languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. When she is not practicing law or writing, she enjoys many interests and is a very active person. She loves to dance (Tango) and workout. She loves to travel, loves good wine, and has been studying astrology for fifteen years. She paints and loves to cook. She has two poodles – Gaia and Juno – and loves all animals. She is an aunt of four nieces who enjoy to paint and cook alongside their aunt. She lives in Brazil and is in the process of writing her next novel.

LINKS SITE www.agavazzoni.com

BLOG www.agavazzoni.com/blog

TWITTER @a_gavazzoni

INSTAGRAM adri_gavazzoni

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/A-Gavazzoni-513404948849469/

E-MAIL adriana@adrianagavazzoni.com

Buy on Amazon

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GIVEAWAY

A. Gavazzoni will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway 

 

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Book blast & giveaway – Desiree Holt’s Omega Team Kindle World by Desiree Holt & Various Authors

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Desiree Holt’s Omega Team Kindle World

by Desiree Holt & Various Authors

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GENRE: Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Former Delta Force team leader Grey Holden came from a long line of military leaders who believed the important thing was getting the job done, not boosting your ego. They called themselves Omega Men. Athena Madero left the police department angry at all the restrictions she faced as she tried to fight crime. Grey and Athena collided, literally, when both were working a covert investigation, the resolution of which resulted in the birth of The Omega Team. Others will join them as the agency expands its scope of activities to range from hostage negotiation and rescue to industrial espionage to fighting drug cartels to threats to national security. They will be led by Grey and Athena, whose passion for their work is only rivaled by their passion for each other. Welcome to a series that combines high danger with intense passion and heady romance.

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Kindle Worlds is a publication platform featuring Worlds which are really extended series where authors can write in a particular licensed World. Although they are open to everyone, it works best when the author who owns the World invites authors she believes will be a good fit. Each World has 3 launches per year and many include repeat authors. Often authors write a series within a series-their now 3-story arc within the Kindle World. You can see them all here:

https://kindleworlds.amazon.com/?ref_=kww_how_nav_0

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His Pryze to Claim by Aliyah Burke         

A wedding, a car crash, and more heat than they know what to do with.

Liz Pryze is attending her cousin’s wedding where she meets the handsome best man. Sparks fly immediately but she’s determined to be on her best behavior and not proposition him. Not an easy task especially with the looks he’s been giving her all night.

Cullen O’Rourke is enamored by the bride’s cousin. Determined to get her alone, he offers to drive her when she’s recalled to work. The trip doesn’t go as planned when they’re rammed off the road and hunted. After she gets out of the hospital, together they figure out who’s after one of them and why. Being locked up with her in a cabin is the perfect time for him to claim his pryze.

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Bio: 

Aliyah Burke is an avid reader and is never far from pen and paper (or the computer). She is happily married to a career military man. They are owned by four Borzoi. She spends her days at the day job, writing, and working with her dogs. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached here.

If you would like to be kept abreast of what’s going on in the world of Aliyah, please join her newsletter: http://aliyah-burke.com/newsletter.htm         https://www.amazon.com/Aliyah-Burke/e/B007PQRFOQ

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/aliyah-burke

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/263660.Aliyah_Burke

http://www.aliyah-burke.com/

https://www.facebook.com/aliyah.burke.5

https://www.facebook.com/AliyahBurkeAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/burke.aliyah/

http://aliyah-burke.com/blog/contact/

http://www.aliyah-burke.com/newsletter.htm

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GIVEAWAY  

The authors will be awarding a prize basket including  Omega Team mug, Desiree’s 3 books in the Omega Team series, Omega Tote Bag, and I love to read T shirt. (US only for physical prize; international winners will receive an alternate prize) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a special gift basket – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Book tour & giveaway – Seven Days with You by Hugo Driscoll

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Seven Days with You

by Hugo Driscoll

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GENRE: YA Romance

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BLURB:

Sean Johnson’s life as a small-town farmhand has been nothing but predictable, but when he meets Sophia Hillingdon at the local animal sanctuary, she gets him out of an eighteen-year rut, away from the mundane existence on the farm, and a grieving, drunken father.

Sophia is the first person who understands him and makes him believe that he might get out of their small town, who tells him, he has the potential to be whoever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do.

But as their relationship unfolds, it is the most devastating of news that will change both of them forever.

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EXCERPT:

I hadn’t been anywhere, but my mind had been everywhere. That’s how I felt that summer. Or more precisely, that’s how Sophia had made me feel by the time summer neared its conclusion. The months of July and August had followed identical patterns to June in that we rarely spent a day apart. We rode with Violet across the Suffolk countryside, sometimes for miles on end, often stopping by at local pubs. Then it would be Saturday. That was the best day of all for there was no work on Sunday, which meant dancing with Tom and Jessica until our bodies could no longer stand. We drank, we laughed, and most nights after, we made love as we tip-toed up the stairs of my father’s house. I was obsessed with everything about her. Yes, Sophia Hillingdon, the girl I’d known for barely a few months was the girl I now wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And though we often drove each other crazy, we soon laughed and made up as if nothing happened. It often puzzled me as to why Sophia found our fights so amusing seconds after we were hot from the exertion of spouting obscenities at each other. Red-faced, she’d often say, “You drive me mad Sean. But, you know something? That’s just how I like it.”

“Why?” I’d ask.

“Us,” she would say. “I love how angry you make me because…. Well, I’m obsessed with you… even our arguments sound oddly beautiful.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Hugo Driscoll is a 25-year- old British journalist and content writer for an online publication in London.

When he’s not working, you can usually find him writing in the basements of cafes or lamenting the unfair treatment of millennials in overcrowded London bars.

You can also find Hugo on Twitter, Facebook, and his personal blog, which he updates regularly.

Seven Days with You is his first novel.

https://www.facebook.com/hugodriscollauthor

https://hugodriscollwriting.com/

Buy Links:

Amazon

Publisher

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GIVEAWAY:

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Book tour & giveaway – The Chocolatier’s Wife & The Chocolatier’s Ghost by Cindy Lynn Speer

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The Chocolatier’s Wife &

The Chocolatier’s Ghost

by Cindy Lynn Speer

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GENRE: Fantasy Mystery

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BLURB:

The Chocolatier’s Wife: ROMANCE, MAGIC, MYSTERY…. AND CHOCOLATE

A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

When Tasmin’s bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn’t have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William’s own family, who all resent her kind – the sorcerer folk from the North — she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose – and he is intent on ruining William’s family at all cost.

The Chocolatier’s Ghost: Married to her soul mate, the chocolatier William, Tasmin should not have to worry about anything at all. But when her happily ever after is interrupted by the disappearance of the town’s wise woman, she rushes in to investigate. Faced with dangers, dead bodies, and more mysterious disappearances, Tasmin and William must act fast to save their town and themselves – especially when Tasmin starts to be haunted by a most unwelcome ghost from her past…literally.

The Chocolatier’s Ghost is an enchanting sequel to Cindy Lynn Speer’s bestselling romantic mystery, The Chocolatier’s Wife.

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EXCERPT:

Chocolatier’s Wife

Murder. Funny, how the idea of one’s future husband killing someone made headaches go away. It was not that she could not conceive that he was a killer; anyone who read the shipping information at the back of the newspaper, listing, among other things, the manifests of pirate ships that had been taken and destroyed, would know William was quite capable of killing. But, she reasoned, that was hot blooded killing, it was not murder. Poisoning someone with chocolate required coldness and cunning.

She moved at last, only enough to take her hair down. She stared at the pins in her hands. No. She could not believe that William was capable of cunning. He was smart, aye. But practical smart. Not without imagination, of course, you could not accuse a man who wanted to make chocolates of a lack of imagination, but he was also not the sort of man to go around blithely killing people with the very product he hoped to sell. She could not believe it.

After a while, the surprise wearing off, she tried to imagine the two paths her life might take. She thought of being at the university. She had trained there, and so she had friends as well as colleagues among the staff. Eventually she would have the seniority to teach only the advanced students, perhaps even ascend to the Circle, as her mother hoped. A life of teaching and learning how to use herbs, divining the secret meanings hidden in the wind, the rain, and the veins of leaves was hers. She was no master wizard, but she was very, very good, and she knew her life was mapped out for her here, a scholarly life of respect and decent wages and wanting for nothing. It was, clearly, a good life, which was why her family wanted it for her.

Then there was William. She tried to imagine him, blurry in her mind, by her side. A life of children, shop-keeping. It did not seem as glamorous or interesting, though she trusted she would be able to continue her studies and believed that William would provide for her, but her fame would be as his wife alone. No one would remember her save their children.  Still, it was not without its appeal, the idea of having someone who was all yours, someone to curl up against in the winter. It was harder to imagine the future, here, for she knew so little in comparison. The unknown could hold pain as well as joy.

She sighed, and went to bed, in a restless attempt at sleep for what remained of the night.

When she came down the next day she had two cases in her hands, and she was wearing her best traveling clothes. Her family looked up at her from their breakfast, as she put the heavier of the two down, her hands switching the other bag back and forth, nervous and moist on the hard, wooden handle. “You see,” she said by way of good-morning-and-here’s-my-explanation, “the problem is that I rather like him.”

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INTERVIEW 

What are four things you can’t live without?

Electric Blankets.  I love being warm, and they make my knees feel better.

Something to write on or with, because I love telling stories and because I have the memory of a deranged goldfish.

Tea.  Mostly black or flavored black.  I drink a lot of tea to keep me sane.

Books.  I need to feed my soul with good stories.

What is your favorite television show?

I don’t know.  I love Marvel’s stuff, I especially loved Jessica Jones and am eagerly awaiting the Defenders.  Both Sherlock and Elementary make me happy for different reasons, but The Musketeers was the one I bought immediately on DVD.   Interesting characters and swordiness?  How can I resist?

If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?

I always had a secret desire to play Lady MacBeth.  But I would not want to be her, because things don’t go so well.  I think maybe I would like to be Tasmin – I know that sounds a bit cute, because she’s my character, but to me she has a lot going for her.  She has a good person as her spouse, interesting people as friends, and she’s getting to pursue her dreams.  (Mostly.)   I think I would like that.  Her mother in law?  Not so much.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

Next year I hope to have The Key to All Things out.  It is unrelated to The Chocolatier’s series (though I throw a couple of Easter Eggs in for my readers, little AHA moments) and is about a lady who serves as a double agent.  Everyone loves the great love story between the Captain of the Guard, Edward, and the Queen of the Fae – except for Avril, who knows it is all a lie.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Barbara Hambly – I love how she writes characters and settings (and really, everything.)  Neil Gaiman — his short stories inspired me and taught me so much about that form.  I use George F. Kunz’s Curious Lore of Precious Stones way too much as a reference.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_Chocolatiers

Cindy Lynn Speer has been writing since she was 13.  She has Blue Moon and Unbalanced published by Zumaya.  Her other works, including The Chocolatier’s Wife (recently out in an illustrated hardcover to celebrate its 10th anniversary) and the Chocolatier’s Ghost, as well as the short story anthology Wishes and Sorrows.  When she is not writing she is either practicing historical swordsmanship, sewing, or pretending she can garden.  She also loves road trips and seeing nature.  Her secret side hobby is to write really boring bios about herself.  You can find out more about her at http://www.cindylynnspeer.com, or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).

https://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Lynn-Speer/e/B001JOVNP2

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GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

 
Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Book tour & giveaway – A Mortal Indiscretion by Barbra E. Ross

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A Mortal Indiscretion

by Barbra E. Ross

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GENRE: Romance Paranormal/Suspense

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BLURB:

One night changed everything for bachelor Justin Bertolli. A womanizer at heart, never quite ready to settle down, he meets the woman who would change his life forever. Ambra Taylor is that woman, but is she all that Justin bargained for? When Justin discovers the truth about who and what she is, will he still love her? Will he still want her? Find out, as their hearts collide in this epic tale of love.

The sequel, MARZIO’S REVENGE, is now available.

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EXCERPT:

“Justin, please, don’t leave!” I heard her yell.

“Why the hell not? You are playing me for a fool!” I yelled back.

“No! I am not. I love you!” she yelled.

“I am not stupid Ambra! I know something is going on here.”

“Nothing is going on! Please believe me!” she cried.

“Oh yeah? An empty closet? You, running away every morning, working every single day. Even God took a day off Ambra,” I said, smartly.

“I cannot tell you! I cannot!”

“Then we are done. Finished. Over.”

I opened the door and went out in the hallway. I pushed the button over and over again for the elevator. I was on fire. I heard her come into the hallway. I looked up at the glowing numbers, waiting for them to count up to her floor. She stood in her doorway and I heard her sobbing. I glanced over at her and she looked so sad. I felt badly for second and quickly snapped out of it. I knew I was being played.

“Justin,” she whispered.

“I’m done talking,” I said and noticed the elevator was close now. Finally.

“Please. I am begging you to change your mind,” she said and I heard the ding of the bell. The door slid open and I put my hand on them to stop them from closing.

“Give me one good reason why I should. I don’t like being lied to. I have never lied to you Ambra,” I told her, still holding the doors.

“Because, I believe you are the only man I will ever love. I knew it the second I saw your face, and I believe that you feel the same way about me,” she said, still crying. I let go of the doors and they slid shut.

“Then tell me the truth,” I said. “Or I am gone.”

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GUEST POST

Barbra E Ross: Why I write the kinds of books I do…

I have always been a romantic. It is not like I sat down one day and decided to write paranormal romance stories. In fact, I did not even know that was a genre. But I had this idea, and it started. A way to make the unnatural seem natural. To bridge the worlds or reality and make believe.  By taking a normal man, and giving him out of this world experiences with the love of his life, a vampire. Thus, began my romance series.

I believe that books take us on a journey. They are a way for the reader to experience things that they may never actually get to experience in their own lives. But they are so much more, that I did not understand until I began to get feedback from my readers. A reader contacted me how much she enjoyed my series. I was thrilled and asked what was it that she liked so much. She explained that her child has special needs and that my books were a way to escape from the demands of her life. I was touched beyond words.

I had imagined creating stories for entertainment. I know they have brought me tons of laughs and tears while I was writing. But I never imagined how much more they could mean to some people. There is nothing more moving then realizing your words have made an impression. The paranormal genre allows me to delve into fantasy worlds and try to make them believable. It is forgiving and kind, when you want to write about vampires and extraordinary worlds.

So, I will keep on writing. I won’t say that I will limit myself to a one genre, but the paranormal is near and dear to my heart. It has given us many good tales that I cherish to this day. So, go grab a book and get lost in a timeless, wonderful world of imagination and fantasy.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Barbra E Ross lives in Michigan and is a nurse by day, lover of fiction at night. When people ask me what my book is about, I pause a moment because it is not so simple to describe. It is a vampire romance, I say and then, I pray that doesn’t scare them away. Because what are books really? I believe that books are a way to escape the daily routines of life.

I wanted to take an ordinary man and put him in fantastic situations. To bring a bit of fantasy down to reality. It is a love story at its heart. If I can take the reader on a journey and give them a laugh, cry, or simply bring a smile to their face, then it is all worth it. This story helped me through rough times in my life, and I can only hope it will do the same for the reader.

Facebook 

Twitter

Website

Goodreads

Amazon US

Smashwords

Nook

Ibooks

Kobo

Blog 

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GIVEAWAY  

Barbra E. Ross will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Blurb blitz & giveaway – Somewhere My Lady by Beth Trissel

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Somewhere My Lady

by Beth Trissel

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GENRE:   Paranormal romance/time travel

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BLURB:

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.
Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.

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EXCERPT:

Chills crawled down her spine and stood the tiny hairs at the back of her neck on end. The last thing she expected on this June day was a visitation from beyond, and certainly not by merry dancers.

She shrank noiselessly against the wall, pinching her pebbled arms to be certain she was awake.

Could she dream she was pinching herself?

What about the strong scents? The pungency of tobacco smoke and flowery perfumes wafted around her. Were odors a part of dreams? And sounds?

Dear Lord, how was any of this possible?

Uncertain if she were dreaming or haunted, she gaped at the animated figures. Wait. There. Him.

Her attention riveted on one young man in the gathering. He’d spun by earlier. She’d swear he gazed over his shoulder in her direction, then promenaded up the hall. His expert steps returned him again to the entryway.

Unlike the other dancers, he was fully corporeal. No partially seen legs or torso. Fitted blue breeches and silk stockings encased his long muscular legs. He wore his own chestnut brown hair pulled back in a queue at his neck, free of powder, while most male heads were wigged and white. The deep blue suit tailored to his tall figure complemented his deft steps in the English country dance.

Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Beth Trissel

Married to her high school sweetheart, Beth Trissel lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by her human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, her love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into her work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of her inspiration. She’s especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And she loves a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, she also writes historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

For more on Beth visit her blog, One Writer’s Way, at: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com

Connect with Beth on Facebook: Author Beth Trissel

At Twitter: https://twitter.com/BethTrissel

Visit Beth’s Amazon Author Page where all her books reside: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V/

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GIVEAWAY:

Beth Trissel will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

goddess

Blurb blitz & giveaway – Weddings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

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Weddings at Promise Lodge

by Charlotte Hubbard

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GENRE: Inspirational (romance)

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BLURB:

When Bishop Monroe is forced to confess the truth about his relationship with young Leola before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will allow him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine.

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EXCERPT:

“You look lovely in that deep red dress, Christine. It was all I could do to keep my mind on marrying Amos and your sister.”

When Christine turned, Bishop Monroe was standing so close she nearly bumped into him. She smiled up at him a little nervously, for he was tall and broad and extraordinarily handsome—and his dimples had come out to play. “Mattie wanted Rosetta and me to have new dresses with some color to them,” she explained. “And since Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago, we decided this red would be more cheerful than, say, the usual dark blue or gray or teal.”

“Mattie’s a wise woman—with admirable taste in color and husband material, as well,” he added. He held her gaze with his glowing green eyes. “May I have the honor of sitting with you at dinner, Christine? And spending the rest of the day with you, as well? Once we’re alone, I’d like to discuss some important decisions.”

Christine wondered if Monroe could hear how rapidly her heart was beating. Was her face as red as her dress? “I’d like that a lot, Monroe,” she said breathlessly.

The crowd around them seemed to disappear as he offered her his elbow. All Christine could see was Monroe’s attractive face, framed by wavy brown hair and a neatly trimmed beard—and those deep green eyes that focused so intently on her. What decisions could he possibly want to discuss with her? Did she dare hope he wanted her to become a permanent part of his new home, his new life at Promise Lodge?

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

WEBSITE    

Facebook     

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GIVEAWAY  

Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

goddess

 

Blurb blitz & giveaway – His To Have by Devon Birchley

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His To Have

by Devon Birchley

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GENRE:   New Adult Romance

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BLURB:

His to Have is a very steamy new adult romance with a perfect HEA.

“Fifty Shades of Grey for the Girls generation.”
Reagan

There’s a whole bunch of things I need right now—to feel at home in this big, lonely city. To stop working my ass off. To find myself a nice, normal guy. One thing I sure as hell don’t need is Adler Montgomery crashing into my world and telling me what I need.

Cock-sure, tattooed, moneyed, too sexy for his own good. Not my type, at all. And yet…

When his hand tightens in my hair, suddenly, all I need is him.

He opens my eyes to a whole new world, possesses me in every possible way, sets me on fire with his sweet, filthy words. And then he pushes me away. I know I should run, keep my heart safe, but that turns out to be the hardest thing of all.

Adler

She thought I was giving her a line. And that’s probably for the best, because the truth is dangerous. No-one’s eyes have ever looked so vulnerable, made me want to break all my rules. They make me chase her when I know I shouldn’t. They make me cruel; they make me soft. But more than that, they make me feel. And I don’t like that.

I tell myself she’s only a sub, that I’m helping her to discover her dark side. But the more I listen to her smart, feisty voice and the more I see she doesn’t take any crap from anyone, the deeper I fall. I’ve never met anyone like Reagan Lockhart before, but letting her in could mean ruin for both of us.

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EXCERPT:

It’s bone-chillingly cold, but for once I’m grateful for it. It takes the heat out of my mood. No one in my entire life has made me feel as angry and irritated and turned on at the same time as this man.

“Who the hell does he think he is?” I mutter to myself like a crazy person. I can’t stand the type of people who make a judgment about you, based on nothing at all, then can’t wait to share it with you. It’s one of my pet hates. I reach the entrance to the subway and cling to the handrail, accustomed to the slippery mush at the top of the stairs.

“Reagan!” comes a deep, sexy voice from behind me. Adler’s striding toward me in an expensive-looking navy wool coat. He looks commanding, purposeful, and against my will, my body responds again. The world slows down as he comes up to me, puts his hands on my waist, and crushes his lips against mine. They’re so warm, his tongue so velvety and agile as it slides into my mouth. It’s a passionate, passionate kiss that leaves me dizzy.

“I shouldn’t have left without kissing you,” he says, keeping his face close to mine. And then he turns and carries right on, striding along the sidewalk. People are staring at me, girls in their twenties with naked envy plastered across their faces.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_HisToHave

Devon Birchley writes wild romances with a dirty twist. Her stories are full of sexy, dominant men, forbidden adventures, guilty pleasures and spine-tingling happily ever afters!

Subscribe to Devon’s mailing list and be the first to know about new releases, promotions and giveaways http://eepurl.com/cSebqD

Devon loves to hear from readers – please connect with her here:

www.facebook.com/DevonBirchley

www.facebook.com/DevonBirchleyAuthor

www.twitter.com/DevonBirchley

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/His-Have-dark-romance-novel-ebook/dp/B0734W3GQS/

His to Have will be $0.99 during the tour.

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GIVEAWAY:

Devon Birchley will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

goddess

Book blast & giveaway – Withhold by Andrea Pearson

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Withhold, Mosaic Chronicles Book Nine

by Andrea Pearson

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GENRE:  Fantasy

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BLURB:

In the ultimate battle between good and evil, Nicole is in a race to stop Keitus before he achieves his plans. If he succeeds, he will crush everyone who has opposed him and enslave Earth and countless other planets. Unfortunately, he is only minutes away from his goal.

With so much at stake, Nicole and her friends must approach Helen, a volatile and dangerous spirit who will probably destroy them regardless of whether she gives them what they want. And the chances of her helping them are slim.

Fast-paced and epic magical fights, exciting plot twists, and non-stop action and adventure await. So sit down, buckle up, and hold on for the explosive, much-anticipated conclusion to the award-winning and bestselling Mosaic Chronicles.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Andrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo, and loves putting together musical arrangements. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.

Andrea graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels (the Kilenya Series and Mosaic Chronicles) and several novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life – it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her family and close friends is where she’s happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

Website 

Blog 

Facebook fan page 

Facebook Profile

Twitter

Goodreads

Pinterest

Amazon profile

Newsletter signup bonus (receive two books free (Discern and Praxis) when joining Andrea’s Readers Group)

Direct newsletter signup

The author is offering a download bonus to readers who download WITHHOLD the day of the book blitz.  The bonus includes the first two books in the series, free books by other authors, illustrations, maps, and more.

Purchase links:

Amazon

Nook

iBooks

Kobo

Goodreads

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GIVEAWAY 

Andrea will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC

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Download bonuses:

Forward proof of download (a confirmation email or a screenshot) to withholdbonuses@gmail.com to receive the following:

Discern and Praxis (first two books in the series), Hope(less) and (Mis)fortune by Melissa Haag, other titles by other authors, bachelor of science degree from Katon University, coloring pages, word search, fantasy illustration by Andrea’s husband (James E. Curwen, professional illustrator), maps illustrated by Andrea and her husband, etc.

Information on pricing:

Withhold will be $0.99 through the pre-order period, and until the end of release day, July 18. On July 19, it’ll rise in price to $1.99. On July 21, it’ll rise in price to $2.99. On July 22, it’ll go to full price ($3.99).

 

goddess

Book tour & giveaway – A Convenient Risk by Sara R. Turnquist

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A Convenient Risk

by Sara R. Turnquist

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch. Or the rancher.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang. What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?

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EXCERPT

“Are you unwell?” Brandon moved toward her.

She stepped back, bumping into the counter. “No. I am well enough.” Amanda pulled her hands around her back.

Was she frightened of him? He halted his progress, and she seemed to breathe easier.

He opened his mouth, but the right words wouldn’t come. Floundering for a moment, he closed his lips and swallowed past a lump in his throat.

Couldn’t he just reach out and take her in his arms? Wouldn’t that make everything better? But that was not the answer.

She bit at her lip, but held his eyes. “I…was just looking for something to eat.”

Brandon nodded. She had missed dinner. “Are you better?”

Nodding, her face turned in the direction of the floor. Her hair fell in waves to both sides of her face. Did she not usually gather it in a braid for bed? His face warmed at the realization that he knew something so intimate about her. At length, he spoke into the silence, “I was worried.”

She met his gaze again. Was that moisture in her eyes? Had he made her upset?

Brandon took a step forward. “Please.” He held out his hands. “I know we haven’t always had the best of understanding between us. But I wish…” Pausing, he looked off to the side. Then secured her eyes again. “Tell me what’s wrong?”

Amanda appeared as if she were ready to climb on top of the counter to escape him somehow, but after some moments, her shoulders relaxed. And then a tear fell.

He held his breath, praying she would speak.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Sara is originally from Middle Tennessee. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Middle Tennessee where they currently reside. Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. She enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara’s great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write clean Historical Romance. Sara has made several trips to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also the author of The General’s Wife, Off to War, Hope in Cripple Creek, and A Convenient Risk and a member of ACFW.

Website/URL: http://saraturnquist.com/

Twitter: @sarat1701 – https://twitter.com/sarat1701/

Facebook: AuthorSaraRTurnquist  – https://www.facebook.com/authorsararturnquist/

Pinterest: SaraVTurnquist – http://www.pinterest.com/saravturnquist/

Buy Links:

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Sara-R.-Turnquist/e/B010VHFAQ0

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GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

goddess

Book tour & giveaway – Funny Fairy Tales Series by Reut Barak

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Funny Fairy Tales Series

by Reut Barak

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GENRE: Short Stories, Fairy Tales, Humor

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BLURBS

CoverSW

You know this story… or do you?

How about a little twist?

Read the story of Snow White as never told before!

With the vicious queen Anagrola, the confused and sarcastic mirror Shraga, and the most gifted seven men you’ve ever met.

Let the tale begin!

BUY LINKS:

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  Barnes & Noble

CoverCinderella

You know this story… or do you?

How about a little twist?

Read the story of Cinderella as never told before!

With the mysterious blue fairy godmother, the cunning step-sisters, and a woman, who for the life of her, just can’t stop cleaning!

Let the tale begin!

BUY LINKS:

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  Barnes & Noble

CoverRRH

You know this story… or do you?

How about a little twist?

Read the story of Red Riding Hood as never told before!

With the hood that leads to fame and fortune, the mysterious wild wolf, and a grandmother so evil, she could rewrite the history of sin. Red’s not little anymore!

Let the tale begin!

BUY LINKS:

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  Barnes & Noble

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EXCERPTS

To see a sample of the book, check out the Amazon page

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GUEST POST

Interview with one of the characters
 – Shraga, the sarcastic mirror from Funny Fairy Tales 1 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

– Can you introduce yourself to everybody?

Hi everyone, I’m Shraga. I’m a magical mirror.

 – Wow, that’s really wonderful. Where do you come from, Shraga?

I come from a land called Funny Fairy Tales. I used to live with a kind old magician, on a beautiful, magical hilltop. That was so great.

– What happened?

(silence. No reply)

– Shraga, what happened?

I miss him. It’s awful here!

– What happened? Where do you live now?

I’m locked up in a castle. There’s a crazy witch queen, who keeps asking me the same question every night. Never tires of it!

– What question?

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

– Every night?

Yes.

What do you tell her?

“My dearest queen, you won’t delight, to find you are not fairer than Snow White!” Snow White is the King’s ugly daughter from his first marriage.

– Snow White is ugly?

Yes, but she’s super smart and everybody likes her. Except for the queen, of course.

– Tell us more about this magical kingdom you live in.

Well, there are a lot of special folk here. I once met a girl who can talk to wolves. The castle is very old and has emerald ornaments from the time of the great magical storm. There is gold and silver everywhere. They got a lot of good food. The queen gets a new gown every day. The gardens have a large maze and there are red roses in the spring. There are balls and late dinner parties. The richest lords and ladies always come here. They get flown in with expensive magic carpets.

– Sounds lovely. Do you like the castle?

I want to go home.

– Tell us a secret.

I want to kill the queen.

– How about something else? Can you tell us something about you that we don’t read in the book?

I used to be a shoe.

– Really? A shoe?

Yes. A glass shoe. I was broken by an evil stepmother and then the magician saved me and turned me into a mirror.

– That was very kind of him. So what do you think is going to happen to Snow White and the Queen? Do you think the queen is dangerous?

Yes, I think she’s going to kill Snow White. I hope she fails. I like Snow White. She’s a good kid.

– Well, we’ll have to wait and see what happens when Snow White grows up. That’s it for today, thank you for being with us.

No, wait! Don’t leave me here!

Meet Shraga in person

Funny Fairy Tales 1 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Funny Fairy Tales are a new type of book – It works like an app and feels like someone is telling you a story. They are also a very quick read, a bit like a snack, something fun you read on the plane or waiting for the train.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPicture

Reut Barak is a freelance journalist, previously published in National Geographic online. She has an MBA from the University of Oxford, and has worked and traveled internationally. This is her first book series.

Well, no not really… The true story is:

Reut was born in Camelot in the year 1201, following the famous explosion of the northern dragon tower.

She has a degree in fantasy and science fiction from the University of Atlantis and this record can be found in the central library, now twenty thousand leagues under the sea.

She likes phoenix riding, dragon fighting and painting the roses red.

More here: www.funnyfairytales.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReutBarak

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorReutBarak/

Teaser Trailer: https://youtu.be/T1swZS2k4-s

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GIVEAWAY 

Reut will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

goddess

Blurb blitz & giveaway – Ahe’ey by Jamie Le Fay

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Ahe’ey

by Jamie Le Fay

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GENRE: Epic Fantasy Romance

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BLURB:

Morgan’s feminist books didn’t prepare her to deal with the dashing Gabriel and the land of Ahe’ey . . .

Morgan is a dreamer, change maker and art lover. She is a feisty, slightly preachy, romantic feminist full of contradictions and insecurities. Morgan uncovers a world where women have the power, and where magic is no longer just a figment of her wild imagination. Sounds like a dream, but it may, in fact, turn into a nightmare.

The world of the Ahe’ey challenges and subverts her views about gender, genes, and nature versus nurture.

The strong and uninvited chemistry between her and the dashing Gabriel makes matters even more complicated. His stunning looks keep short-circuiting her rational mind.

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EXCERPT

Before she could process her actions, Morgan found herself walking towards the door, signalling the guards to follow her. Outside, the strange woman shouted.

“Where are the Ma’asai?”

“At the venue, in the Great Lawn in Central Park. We enclosed the perimeter and created some security checkpoints,” said the blonde man.

“You betrayed my direct orders, Bastian.”

“I received no such order my Sky. Please! We are already here. It’s just for a few hours. We don’t want another incident like the Met where he disclosed his skills to protect her. Let me prevent further—” The blonde man stopped talking as he saw Morgan and the security guards approach.

The woman wrapped her cinnamon-coloured cape around her body, fully covering her weapons and her unusual outfit.

How odd. They look like they belong in a sci-fi TV series, thought Morgan.

“Good afternoon,” Morgan said loudly. She flashed a theatrical smile, trying to defuse the situation. “Hey, nice outfits. Is this Comic-con weekend? I love Comic-con. Which character are you?” She looked up to meet the eyes of the imposing Amazon. The woman looked at Morgan with an expression of cold indifference.

For one moment, Morgan felt like she was looking into a mirror. She recognised the texture and the fire of that hair. How strange.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Jamie is an accomplished writer and speaker that focuses mainly on topics related to girlhood, feminism, gender equality, and the misrepresentation of minorities in media and marketing.

Links to all Book Sellers 

Website 

Goodreads 

Twitter 

Facebook

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EDITORIAL REVIEWS

“In this romantic tale, a champion of women’s empowerment stumbles on a hidden–and seemingly perfect–society. A bracing mix of emotionally and intellectually honest fantasy.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A compelling and creative work of paranormal romance. Le Fey takes her characters to places seldomly seen in fantasy fiction that readers will find empowering and prescient. Ahe’ey is a fairly polarizing book. As an example of feminist fantasy fiction, you won’t find much better than this. Ahe’ey is an impressively thought-out story, with many original touches and a fairy-like romance that will deeply satisfy readers of the genre.” Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★

“This book is a thoughtful look at empowerment for women. At the same time, it’s a rollicking trip into a fantasy world complete with dragons, love and strength, and ideas that really get you thinking. This book is highly recommended for all ages.” – HUGEOrange

“They’re flawed, real, and honest characters that can be easily related to. Ahe’ey is the kind of novel society needs to read, to create inspiration and to make people think. Ahe’ey is daring, complex, and honest. A must-read novel that tackles heavy and real topics with a mix of serious and humorous, charm and tragedy.” – Reader’s Favorite – ★★★★★

“Ahe’ey contains a richly imagined world that raises complicated and timely questions about our own. Jamie Le Fay’s Ahe’ey is an action-packed love story that puts forth a nuanced vision of gender stereotypes, body politics, and the dark side of seeking perfection.” – Foreword Clarion – ★★★★

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OTHER PRAISE

“Jamie is a fine writer with a rich imagination and is able to convey her strong feelings about women’s rights, feminism, gender equality and other important matters of injustice, primarily because she keeps us involved with the characters of her strong story.” – Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer, Vine Voice – ★★★★★

“As a liberal and committed feminist who is increasingly frustrated by the simplistic self-righteousness of my own side, and the belief that all that is needed is for a few smart people to start a revolution, I found “Ahe’ey” to be refreshingly multi-sided, while also maintaining its core beliefs.” – E.P. Clark, Author – ★★★★

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GIVEAWAY 

Jamie will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $40 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

goddess

Book tour & giveaway – A Stranger She Can Trust by Regan Black

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A Stranger She Can Trust

by Regan Black

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GENRE: Romantic suspense

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BLURB:

Outside a busy Philadelphia nightclub, a woman stumbles from her taxi. Beaten and bruised, she is an amnesiac who must rely on a handsome stranger to help her uncover her identity. Carson Lane—a paramedic with his own dark history—can’t help but bring this beautiful, vulnerable woman under his wing. As they begin unraveling who she really is, he realizes falling in love could be the biggest risk of all.

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EXCERPT:

“Would you like us to take you home or call a friend or family member for you?” Grant asked.

A fresh bolt of panic shot through her like white-hot lightning streaking through a dark sky. The sensation left her gasping. She knew what they were asking. She knew what it meant to call someone. She just couldn’t remember the numbers or names that would connect her to someone familiar. The concept of family made her feel marginally better and a thousand times worse, though the word didn’t induce quite as much dread as friend did. Alexander was the name on the matchbook, and Grant and Carson were here and had been kind to her. Those three names were the extent of her world.

She wanted answers as much as the men asking the questions.

“No. I guess not.” She studied the man named Grant sitting behind his desk. The hard jaw and thick build gave off an air of no-nonsense toughness, but his warm brown gaze didn’t induce any fear, and the gray hair salting his temples added a trust factor.

“I can’t tell you where I live. I mean, I don’t know the answer.” She fisted her hands in frustration, and her short fingernails bit into her palms. “I don’t know who to call. The names…” Her breath rattled in and out of her chest. How could her head feel so full and empty at the same time? “The names are just gone,” she finished in a hoarse whisper.

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GUEST POST

Regan Black: Top Ten List

Thanks so much for having me here today and helping me celebrate the release of A Stranger She Can Trust!

If people follow me on twitter or Facebook, they’ll see #happiness almost every day. Having been around long enough to realize life loves to throw curve balls, I believe happiness is more about our attitude than circumstances.

So here is my Top Ten List of Things That Make Me Happy (in no particular order):

  1. Great books that sweep me away as a reader and shut down my internal editor. Most recently that list includes books by Laura Florand, Lisa Kleypas, and Clive Cussler.
  1. Our greyhound Bandit. He’s the biggest greyhound we’ve ever adopted and yet he is the sweetest writing assistant. Plus he makes sure I get my daily dose of sunshine with romping time each morning.
  1. Surprises from ornery or gritty characters while I’m writing the story. Sometimes my imaginary friends can be so stubborn.
  1. Living in South Carolina. We have the coast, the mountains, the lush greenery and something blooming almost every month of the year.
  1. Fantastic movies that draw me in. From Skyfall to Enchanted, John Wick to The Man From Snowy River, my preferences are eclectic but I enjoy them all.
  1. Revising a writing project to make it a delightful experience for readers. I used to dread editing, now I embrace it as the opportunity it is.
  1. Snuggles from our rather odd and demanding cats. We have two, brothers rescued several years ago during my husband’s first overseas deployment.
  1. Our two children. They’re growing into lovely people and it’s a joy to watch them strive for their goals. (Plus they’re no longer embarrassed that their mom is a romance author).
  1. Wind in the trees in our backyard. The sound relaxes and rejuvenates me.
  1. My amazing husband of 26+ years. He’s my personal hero who laughs with me, soothes me, or throws chocolate – according to the current deadline situation.

Live the adventure!

Regan

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Regan Black, a USA Today bestselling author, writes award-winning, action-packed romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels featuring daring heroines and sexy heroes. Raised in the Midwest and California, she and her family, along with their adopted greyhound and two arrogant cats, reside in the South Carolina Lowcountry where the rich blend of legend, romance, and history fuels her imagination.

 

Website: http://www.ReganBlack.com

Newsletter: http://www.ReganBlack.com/perks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReganBlack

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReganBlack.fans

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/reganbauthor/

A Stranger She Can Trust on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Trust-Escape-Club-Heroes-ebook/dp/B01LX03GF1

A Stranger She Can Trust on BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-stranger-she-can-trust-regan-black/1124690528

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GIVEAWAY

Regan Black will be awarding a $50 Amazo/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Blurb blitz & giveaway – A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor

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A Suitable Affair

by Erica Taylor

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GENRE: Regency Romance

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BLURB:

Lady Susanna McCalister is young and beautiful, but her marriage prospects thus far have been rather lacking. Rather than living a life of spinsterhood, she decides a loveless marriage, to the dull and unromantic Lord Riverton, is better than none at all. One day while strolling through Hyde Park with her suitor, she is almost trampled to death by a rambunctious rider, Lord Westcott. Little does she know that this earl, who is as handsome as he is arrogant, would weasel his way into her heart. But the earl has demons of his own that threaten to complicate their secret romance, as he blames Lord Riverton for his sister’s death. Can Susanna tame this tormented earl and help save herself and other women from a deadly fate?

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EXCERPT:

“Susanna we have to stop,” he breathed heavily as he tore himself away from her lips.

“Why is it you can kiss me when you’re foxed, but I can’t kiss you when I’m foxed?” she asked, watching the passion and torment raging war in his uniquely-colored eyes. “Your eyes are the color of a tempest, by the way.”

He laughed and kissed her again before setting her away from him, wiping his kiss off her lips with his thumb. “I am much better at handling myself while severely impaired.”

“I only had three glasses of champagne, Westcott,” Susanna said, slipping her hand into his evening jacket, and running her fingertips over his chest. “I’m not severely impaired.” He closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation.

“Apparently you are,” he said, pulling her hand down. “Three glasses of champagne and you’re drunk. Duly noted.”

“I’m not drunk,” Susanna said. “I’m merely . . . free.”

She gazed at him, thinking of his kisses, of his kindness and his jokes. He leaned down and kissed her again, long and drugging, enough to fill her senses.

“You are much too tempting for your own good, Susanna,” he whispered huskily against her lips.

“Then let me tempt you, Westcott,” she replied.

“Why will you not call me Ian?” he asked, softly, capturing her face in his hand, rubbing the pad of his thumb over her soft skin of her cheek. “You did so the other day.”

“When you are Westcott, you are detached from me, I have no claim on you,” she explained thickly, looking at him through her dark lashes. “When you are Ian, you are mine. And because you will not let me have you, it is too painful to call you Ian. Even though that is who you are to me.”

With a feral sounding growl he captured her mouth with his, pushing her back into the wall, completely hiding her from view. Her hands wound around him, lacing her fingers through his hair, pulling him closer, pulling him to her. His mouth was hot, and his roaming hands left a path of fire as he trailed them down her breasts and to her waist, cupping her bottom and pulling her against the hard bulge in his trousers. Moving on wanton need, she slowly lifted up and down on her toes, rubbing her body against his, the spot at the apex of her thighs burning as she pulsed against his erection. Susanna was lost, the heat of his mouth on hers, and his body so close, it drove her mad, stirring a desire deep within her she hadn’t known could exist. She was no longer in control of her actions, her hands, body and mouth moving on primal instinct as she returned his kisses, feeling freedom from the propriety that held her in check so often. True, she pushed the limits of what was acceptable, but she was fairly certain that wantonly kissing an earl who was not her husband was not socially acceptable. If someone found them…

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Erica Taylor.jpg

Erica Taylor is a mother of two and military wife married to her high school sweetheart. Raised in the mountains of Colorado, she holds a BA in History from the University of Colorado. Erica has been writing stories since she can remember. She picked up her first romance novel while on a beach vacation as a teenager, and fell in love with falling in love, sexy heroes, and the feisty women who challenge their lives. A self-confessed geek, Erica loves anything Harry Potter, Doctor Who or Star Wars, can spend hours in Target with a Starbucks, and truly believes a cat makes a home. Currently living in South Africa, Erica can often be found writing during soccer practice or piano lessons and is not afraid to let dinner burn if it means getting the story out of her head.

Website 

Twitter 

Facebook 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

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GIVEAWAY

Erica Taylor will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

goddess

Blurb blitz & giveaway – Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin

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Among the Branded

by Linda Smolkin

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GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

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BLURB:

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. She’s at first drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers. Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

Contemporary fiction with elements of suspense, Among the Branded explores family life, an unexpected friendship, and moral conflicts that make us wonder what’s more important: our livelihood, or our beliefs.

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EXCERPT

It all started with the Moo Shoo Chicken, wreaking havoc on one of the moms in the upstairs bathroom. I felt for Jane, but had no desire to wear the shaggy costume meant for her. Svetlana stood next to me while the kids ran around, some playing tag, others spilling punch on the kitchen floor.

“Hey, guys,” she said, “put down the juice boxes, or somebody’s going to get hurt.”

She grabbed a sponge and bent down to clean up the mess.

“Rockin’ party,” I joked.

“More like raucous. Put a bunch of four-year-olds together, and I’m having a love fest with the linoleum.”

Sveta, as I’d called her for years, stood up and gave me a mischievous look, as if she was about to share some juicy gossip about a neighbor on her cul-de-sac. Instead, she asked me to take Jane’s place and dress up as Ripsie the Retriever. She asked twice then begged. It brought me back to when we first met, and she insisted I tag along for a Thursday-night Happy Hour.

“Why can’t you wear it?”

“Because I’m reading the book. And you’re taller—it’ll fit better.”

I washed my hands and reached for some pretzels. “Uh-huh, great excuse.”

There wasn’t enough birthday cake to make me agree. I’m claustrophobic, I could say. I’m allergic to dogs, crossed my mind, even though I had my own version at home, a German Shepherd named Ginger. But the more I thought about it, I couldn’t disappoint Sveta’s grandson, Evan, on his fourth birthday. So on a Sunday afternoon, I became Ripsie.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an advertising agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. She’s the author of the novels Among the Branded (May 2017) and The Arrival of Elsa (March 2018). When not in front of the computer, she’s behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog.  She grew up on the East Coast and currently calls Virginia home.

Twitter

Website

Among the Branded on Amazon

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GIVEAWAY  

Linda will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

goddess

Blurb blitz & giveaway – Sharing Rachel by SS Hampton, Sr.

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Sharing Rachel

by SS Hampton, Sr.

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GENRE:   Erotic Romance

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BLURB:

Burt and Rachel Markham are ordinary small business owners of a seed & feed store in a small Kansas farming and ranching community. Many years before, as young university graduates eagerly anticipating exciting overseas employment, a lifetime in Kansas was the furthest thing from their minds, particularly Rachel who was raised overseas and dreamed of going back. By July 2013 their twin 18-year old daughters, having graduated high school several months before, go east to attend a university. Burt and Rachel settle into their new life of an empty house and a predictable and unchanging routine that threatens to stretch far into the future. One summer evening Burt has an idea—but will Rachel accept the idea? If she does, will the idea add new excitement to their marriage, or destroy it?

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EXCERPT:

 The storms passed and the humid summer heat returned. The feed store remained busy. The trains rumbled past Four Corners, past their home, as they had done for the past two decades. Burt always thought that the late night train whistle that echoed across the moonlit prairie was one of the loneliest sounds he ever heard…

…Rachel announced she was going for a swim. She poured a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for herself and picked up a CD player. She usually listened to classical music, waltzes, and operas when floating in the pool. There was a chakra wind chime hanging near the pool for the times when she felt like floating in near silence except for the chimes and the sound of the prairie wind.

A few moments later Burt followed with beer in hand. Maggie trotted behind him, rawhide bone in her jaws. Classical music floated through the night; fireflies played hide and seek among the neatly trimmed hedges along the perimeter of the yard. Others drifted in and out of the nearby cornfield, while the insects of the night droned on in disharmony…

A thought was born.

A surprising thought…

“Dammit,” Burt whispered to himself in disbelief…disbelief and excitement. And trepidation. What would her reaction be? What would she say? Could he even find a way to suggest it?

“Burt?”

He returned to the poolside. Her eyes were open. Moonlit water droplets on her beautiful face sparkled like tiny diamonds.

The thought wouldn’t let go. It took root…

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_SharingRachel

Stan Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a published author, photographer and photojournalist. He retired in 2013 from the Nevada Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army, and the Army Individual Ready Reserve (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War). He enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom, with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a multi-media exhibit. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.

In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. He has been studying at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with in a double major in Art and English. However, he is presently spending a cold, rainy Spring 2017 semester studying at a university in southwestern France in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains.

But, after 16 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters.

Hampton can be found at:

Barnes and Noble

Dark Opus Press

Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing

Melange Books

MuseItUp Publishing

Amazon.com Author Page

Amazon.com. UK Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Facebook Author Page

The book will be on sale for $0.99.

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GIVEAWAY

SS Hampton Sr will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

goddess

Book tour & giveaway – Running Wild Anthology of Stories: Volume 1 by Various Authors

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Running Wild Anthology of Stories: Volume 1

By Various Authors:  Sarah Smith Ducksworth, Elaine Crauder, Luanne Smith, Keith R. Fentonmiller, Lisa Montagne, Ann Stolinsky, A.J. O’Connell, Aimee LaBrie, Kristan Campbell, Jack Hillman, Bill Scruggs, Joshua Hedges and Gary Zenker

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GENRE: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry (narrative)

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BLURB:

This gripping collection of stories – fiction, nonfiction, and narrative poem – will make your imagination run wild! Featuring stories by Sarah Smith Ducksworth, Elaine Crauder, Luanne Smith, Keith R. Fentonmiller, Lisa Montagne, Ann Stolinsky, A.J. O’Connell, Aimee LaBrie, Kristan Campbell, Jack Hillman, Bill Scruggs, Joshua Hedges, Gary Zenker. You will travel alternative planets, run away away like teens in search of adventure, solve a murderous mystery, come to grips with your fears, and much more.

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EXCERPT:

“Susan winks at me as she says to her mother, “We’re going to the playground. We’ll be back in a couple of hours.” “Don’t be too late. It looks like rain. Come home at the first sign of drops, OK my girls?” Her mother gathers us in an embrace. Her mother is tall and massive. I’ve heard people call her “zaftig.” Her many folds of skin almost choke me as she puts her fat over my face. I kiss her face as soon as I can breathe again. I look at Susan, her blue eyes shine, her mouth pursed in a conspiratorial smile. Her copper red hair bounces as she shakes her head, and puts her finger to her lips. She cocks her head into her mother’s plump side as she mouths, “don’t tell.” Susan’s my friend, my best friend. I know she’s lying to her mother, yet I say nothing. I believe we’re going to the playground like I believe I’ll be 6’ 5” when I grow up. At 12 years old and 4’10”, with parents who barely top 5’1”, the answer is the same, fat chance.”

From Ann Stolinsky’s “Don’t Tell”

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SPECIAL EXCERPT from Exodus by Keith R. Fentonmiller

Amparo

You feel so cool on my fingertips this afternoon, Papacito. Do not fret. The sky is clear, and the sun has risen high. You will be warm soon. The carrots are nearly in. Another week, I think. The beans look good, too. But I must ask you about the okra. They are pale and small. Are you not tending them? Have you grown tired? Have you lost hope? Do not despair. I am still here. Soledad is still here. She has grown so much since you left. Even from this distance, you can see how big she’s gotten. She rides that old Kelvinator box like a toboggan. She has her mamacita’s smile, her papacito’s curly hair. Oh mi. She should slow down. There is so much twisted metal and splintered wood at the bottom of the hill, ever since the bulldozers trampled the soft sage and the chapparal that we used to run through barefoot. Out of my way, Ferdinando. I cannot see Soledad. Cabra estúpida! Oh Ferdinando, you are skin and bones. Why am I surprised? The bulldozers have trampled the grasses too. Forgive me, stupid goat. Come. I’ll dig out a carrot. It is not yet ripe, but what do you care? Good. Eat. One less vegetable for Papacito to tend. Now go away.

Who is that on the dirt road between Soledad and the junk pile? A man. He does not see her, and she cannot control her cardboard sled. He carries a briefcase. He wears a suit. His skin is white, whiter than mine. I know, Papacito. This is still a sore subject for you, but can you not let it go? You are a hero. You gave yourself to that faraway place with the strange name—Guadalcanal. No matter they didn’t let you lie in Arlington because your skin was too dark, your name too Mexican. So your ashes rest here in the dirt, feeding the earth that feeds me. I often wish you had not been so much a hero. If you had been a little more of a coward, you might be here, really be here, with me. You would call me me pocha and güera, teasing me about my fair skin and perfect English. I cannot deny these things. That is how my father wanted it, and his father before him: marry the lightest person who’ll have you; learn to speak like Abraham Lincoln, not Emiliano Zapata. But you know all this, Papacito. My forefathers were shallow, shallower than the LA River in mid-summer. I just thank Jesus my Spanish was good enough to talk to the handsome chico pruning the hedges at the Armory. You were skin and bones then, having just arrived from the other side. No, Ferdinando. I am not talking to you. Go away before I swat you with my cane. You were skinny, Papacito, but not everywhere. Your forearms were strong and thick. Shoulders wide, face full of kindness. I would marry this man, I told myself. Father said that marrying a moreno was marrying down. To hell with my father.

You gave me Rafael and Romeo. I was happy. I thought you were happy too, but you itched for more. I heard what my father told you. “A real man doesn’t trim the Navy’s hedges. He fights in the Navy.” His words stuck in your belly like a grain of sand in a clam shell. For years, they poked and prodded and tickled at your insides. They spilled out in your dreams, anguished mumbles soaking into your pillow. While awake, you tried singing over those words, drowning them out with our lovemaking. But the words did not quiet. You mulled them over and over in your gut, until they filled you, until they came to define you as the pearl defines the clam. You put down the hedge trimmers and enlisted. How handsome you and your dark skin were in the white uniform. You promised to come back, and you did, but transformed. Of little use, except in the garden. No, say nothing, Papacito. I am not crying. Please. Just tend to the okra.

Look! Soledad has collided with the yankee. He has fallen into the dirt, and Soledad falls on top of him. They do not move. Are they dead? No. She rises, then he. He dusts the knees and elbows of his dark suit. He pulls a piece of sagebrush from her hair. He picks up his briefcase. He is saying something to Soledad. She points in my direction. The yankee nods a thank you. He is coming our way. I must get to my feet. Where is my cane? Did that stupid goat walk off with it? Ah, here. Help me up, cane.

What does the yankee want with us? The city men stopped coming long ago. I wouldn’t sell, not for any price. They made me sell anyway. But I didn’t sign anything, like you told me, Papacito. The sheriff says it doesn’t matter that I didn’t sign. Eminent domain, he called it, when he delivered the eviction papers. They’ll have drag me out of the house in handcuffs, I told him. Do not worry, Papacito. It will not be today. This yankee is no sheriff or deputy. He is wearing a baseball cap. You heard me right. A baseball cap with a suit. He is lost, that one. What, Papacito? No, it is not too early for a smoke. Do not worry. My head will stay clear, clear enough to dispense with this lost yankee. You certainly have become a nag in your old age. The okra is calling. Leave me be. He is here.

The yankee says hello. I say nothing. He asks if I am Amparo Puga. Si. He says his name. Howard Lederman. Lederman. Why does that name sound familiar? How could it? He is a Hebrew. I am a Mexican. He hands me a business card. He is a lawyer. He works for Señor O’Malley, the yankee who steals our land for his baseball team. I slip up and call Señor Howard a yankee. Maybe the smoke has clouded my head a bit. Señor Howard smiles and says he is not a yankee but a “Dodger.” He points to the “B” on his baseball cap and laughs. I do not understand his joke. My bones ache. I must sit. I invite Señor Howard inside for tea and piloncillo bread. He takes my elbow and opens the door for me. While the poleo tea steeps, he notices the garlic hanging over the kitchen sink. He asks if it’s Rocambole. I say it’s whatever we’ve grown here for a hundred years. It is not like anything he could buy in a store because it grows only in our soil, fed by the flesh and ashes of our people. He asks about the poppy pods dangling next to the garlic. He asks if it is Elephant Garlic and if it would taste in a good in a brisket. What is a brisket? Something his grandmother used to make. I remind him of her, he says. I have the same walk. “Maybe we’re related,” I joke. He doesn’t laugh. I shrug and tell him to sit at the marble table. I relight my pipe and join him with the cups of tea and the basket of bread.

Señor Howard places a paper next to my tea cup. Señor O’Malley is offering me $15,000. This is twice what the city paid. I tell him the house is already sold, but he knows this. He misspoke, he says. The $15,000 is for “moving expenses,” as long as I leave Chavez Ravine on my own. After that, the sheriff will return and arrest me for trespassing. My face will be splashed across the newspapers, and I will get nothing. Señor Howard says it is better for everyone if I sign the paper and take the money. I do not sign. I offer him the bread, but he declines. It is Passover, he says. I ask him to explain. His enslaved Hebrew ancestors left Egypt so quickly, there wasn’t time to let the bread rise. I say I’d happily give up bread forever to stay in my home. He says nothing. I tell him that my ancestors were the first to settle Chavez Ravine. Their children and their children’s children were all born here. Their umbilical cords are buried in the garden that grows the garlic and the herbs that he is drinking. Señor Howard coughs and then sets down his cup. I tell him my husband died in the Pacific Ocean and my Rafael died in Korea defending the soil in that garden. The “Elephant Garlic” pipe smoke drifts into his face. He coughs again. I tell him he, a member of the Hebrew tribe, should understand our connection to land, that the only price for a true home is blood and sweat. Tierra y Lybertad! He is thinking of something, or someone.

I look at the business card. I am certain I know that name. Lederman. He has been in this home before. We have shared tea. Many times. But it is not possible. Ah, my head has gotten so cloudy. Si, si, Papacito. Your warned me. There. I’ve set the spent pipe on the marble table top. Are you happy? Ah, the pipe made a loud clinking sound. That sound is trying to tell us something. Señor Howard says he’s from New York. He is very sad about the Dodgers moving off their land in Brooklyn. But, in a way, the situation has brought Señor Howard home. His ancestor, Joseph Lederman, was a leather worker in Germany. He settled somewhere in Los Angeles. He raised cows and made belts and chaps for the rancheros while his children went to school and became professionals. One child, Señor Howard’s great-grandfather, took the railroad east.

That is it! We know Joseph Lederman. Shush. My head is clear on this point. Joseph Lederman has been at this very table. Ah, you made me spill my tea. It is soaking into the tablecloth. I’ll have to fetch a fresh one. There he is! Joseph Lederman. The etched letters are faded and worn, but “Jo…Leder…” is still readable. I remember now, Papacito. You found the stone buried under the hedge at the Armory. You brought it home, thinking it was an old boundary marker. You said it would make a fine table. For years, we took our tea and drank our tequila from this gravestone. No wonder Jesus took you and Rafael so soon. No wonder the yankees take our land. You brought death into this house.

Señor Howard traces the letters with his fingertips. I tell him that his very people once lived and died on this land. He touches the proof. But he says it is a coincidence, that the stone spells a different name—John Lederson, maybe—or even if it is Joseph Lederman, it belonged to a different person with the same name. But I think he knows otherwise. I think he feels the chill of death. His family lives in the soil, just like you, Papacito. He knows that he cannot evict these spirits any more than he can evict himself, not even for $15,000 in moving expenses. He excuses himself. He stands and looks out the window. He looks at his wristwatch. I have seen that look before, Papacito. In my own face, reflected back at me on the night that the Navy men were walking toward our house. The look that said, “I thought I’d have more time.”

Señor Howard takes off his ball cap and scratches his head. He must go. He is not feeling well. I go to the kitchen and pull down four bulbs. I tell him to dump the seeds and grind the skins up good and then smoke them or infuse them into a tea. That will make him feel better. It will make him feel at home. He says he didn’t know you could smoke Elephant Garlic. This Elephant Garlic, you can, I say. I laugh a little. He laughs a little. Finally, we both find the same thing funny. He puts the bulbs in his pocket and heads out the door. He walks up the snaking road leading out of the ravine. He tosses his ball cap on the junk heap. Ferdinando sniffs the hat and then makes a feast of it.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

https://www.facebook.com/runningwildpress/

Elaine Crauder’s fiction is also in Cooweescoowee, The Boston Literary Magazine, The Eastern Iowa Review , and Penumbra. Another story received the Westmoreland Short Story Award. Eleven of her short stories have been finalists or semi-finalists in contests, including finalists in the Tobias Wolff and Mark Twain House contests. ”The Price Of A Pony,” under the title”Christmas the Hard Way,” was a semi-finalist for both Ruminate Magazine’s  short story prize and for the Salem College Center for Women Writers Reynolds Price short fiction award.

Richard D. “Ky” Owen is a lawyer with Goodwin & Goodwin, LLP, in Charleston, West Virginia. He earned a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University in 1981 and a J.D. from Hamline University in 1984. Coming from a family of writers, he considers himself a “writer by birth.” He is the author of

None Call Me Dad and he blogs about parenting and Michigan State sports on his website, http://www.nonecallmedad.com.

Keith R. Fentonmiller is a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he toured with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy at colleges in the Mid-Atlantic States. His Pushcart-nominated short story was recently published in the Stonecoast Review. His debut novel, Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat, will be published March 20, 2017 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Based in Southern California, Dr. Lisa Montagne currently divides her time between writing poetry and prose, teaching writing to (mostly) willing college students, and overseeing educational technology projects and support at Fullerton College. She is also a Swing, Blues, and Argentine Tango dancer, host, DJ, and instructor. She likes to drink Champagne in as many places as she can, including Europe; to read poetry aloud to anybody who will listen; to cook for anybody who is willing to sit down long enough to enjoy her food; to dabble in drawing, painting, and photography; and to read anything plopped in front of her, ranging from D.H. Lawrence to Vogue magazine. She also likes to watch television and movies, and to imagine how much better she would have produced them herself. She lived in Las Vegas at one time, so she likes to tell people that she was a stripper there. She was really just a graduate student and high school teacher, but it’s more fun to let people wonder. Although rumored to be a direct descendent of Oompa Loompas, Lisa is actually the offspring of a college professor and a circus dwarf. You can find some more of her writing at archive405.com and lisamontagne.com, and see evidence of her adventures @lisamlore on Instagram.

Ann Stolinsky is a Pennsylvania-based word and game expert. She is the founder and owner of Gontza Games, an independent board and card game company, and three of her games are currently in the marketplace:

“MINDFIELD, The Game of United States Military Trivia”; “Pass the Grogger!”; and “Christmas Cards.”

Check out her website at http://www.gontzagames.com. She is also a partner in Gemini Wordsmiths, a full-service copyediting and content creating company. Visit http://www.geminiwordsmiths.com for more information and testimonials. Ann reviews books for Amazing Stories Magazine, an online sci-fi magazine which can be found at http://www.amazingstoriesmag.com, and is an Assistant Editor for Red Sun Magazine, http://www.redsunmagazine.com. Her most recent publishing credit is a poem in the Fall 2015 issue of Space and Time Magazine. She is a graduate of the Bram Stoker award-winning author Jonathan Maberry’s short story writing class.

Lisa Diane Kastner is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery. She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. (www.pennwriters.com). She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award. Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey she migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously engage in little sparks of anarchy.

Aimee LaBrie works as a communications director at Rutgers University. She earned her MFA in fiction from Penn State, and her MLA from University of Pennsylvania. Her short story collection, Wonderful Girl, was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction and published by the University of North Texas Press in 2007. Her second collection of stories, A Good Thing, placed as a finalist in the BOA Short Fiction Contest. Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Pleiades, Minnesota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Permafrost, and other literary journals. In 2012, she won first place in Zoetrope’s All-Story Fiction contest. You can read her blog at http://www.butcallmebetsy.blogspot.com.

Kristan Campbell is a short story writer born in Washington, D.C. but has only visited her grandmother there during some of the summers of her childhood. She’s more familiar with Philadelphia, New York City, and Paris than her native city and aims to weave her experiences in those places into tales based on places and people that are out of the ordinary. She studied Journalism at Temple University (what seemed like a practical approach to writing at the time) and Comparative Literature at Hunter College (which seemed like a fun idea at the time) before accepting that she should have been an English major all along. Kristan completed her B.A. in English at Temple University in 2010 and an MFA in Fiction at Fairfield

University in 2016. She’s currently attempting to eke out a living doing freelance editing with the help of her cat, Fishy, who manages her desktop printer with enthusiasm.

Bill Ed Scruggs spent his younger years meeting the Southern mountain countryside and exploring the people, taking time out as needed for work in various occupations. He lives (temporarily) in Connecticut and has one child, a psychiatrist. Presently he is reconstructing his memories and imaginings in a series of novels and short stories (Facebook page Foothills Fiction – Bill Ed Scruggs) Warrensburg is a fictional photo of a country village in the illumination of fireflies.

Joshua Hedges is a debut Science Fiction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Computer Science. When he’s not writing stories or code, he ventures outdoors with his wife and three-year-old son to hunt dragons in the forest.

Gary Zenker is a marketing professional whose days are filled with creating business and marketing plans, and writing ad copy and media content. By night, he applies his imagination to flash fiction tales that cross genre and focus on revealing various facets of human nature. He is the author of Meetup Leader, a book on running successful groups; is editor and publisher of 19 books in the rock & roll Archives series; and co-author of Says Seth, a humorous collection written with his then six-year-old son. His work has earned a dozen marketing awards and placed in four writers’ contests, including a first place recognition from Oxford University Press. He founded and continues to lead two writers groups in southeastern PA, assisting others to develop their skills and achieve their writing goals. http://www.zenkermarketing.com

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