Book blast & giveaway – THE DEVIL ORDERS TAKEOUT by Bill A. Brier

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THE DEVIL ORDERS TAKEOUT

by Bill A. Brier

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GENRE: Mystery/Thriller

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BLURB:

A tax attorney with integrity…a powerful mobster determined to bend his will…

Grayson Bolt isn’t about to compromise his integrity to help a notorious crime boss escape the cross-hairs of the IRS. But there’s a steep price to pay for defying The Man–Grayson’s beloved wife and older son.

There’s only one way for Grayson to prevent his younger son, Jim, an innocent golf prodigy, from also being taken out: play a dangerous game of cat and mouse. And what will Jim be forced to do when the woman he loves gets ensnarled in a web of betrayal and deceit?

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EXCERPT:

“I’m afraid you’re going to get it hard, Mr. Bolt.” Costanzo had that fatherly tone of this will hurt me more than you. “Did you ever stop to think that there’s only one way of being dead, but many ways of dying?”

Grayson felt something cold touch his spine, all the way down. “I don’t follow.”

“Take your man Stockard. He killed two of your beloved family members, wife and eldest son. Isn’t that right?”

A strangling tightness gripped Grayson’s throat. “That— that’s right.”

“Wouldn’t you say a part of you died too?”

“What’s your point?” Grayson’s voice erupted in suppressed panic.

“You don’t have to die to feel dead. I’m going to kill your other son. That’ll be your punishment.”

The blood drained from Grayson’s face. Just like that. Most people held the basic principle that no man should be punished for the deed of another. Costanzo was not one of them. Grayson would be cut right to the bone, and his son would be the sharpest knife Costanzo could use. Costanzo had spelled out the thought in invisible brushstrokes. It was there and Grayson had tried not to see it.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Bill grew up in California and went to Hollywood High School, then served in the Air Force as a combat cameraman.

After hiring on at Disney Studios as a film loader, he soon advanced and moved on to other film studios.

He earned a master’s degree in psychology. A big help when working with Trumpish Hollywood producers. You’re fired!

During his more than twenty-five years in the movie business as a cameraman, film editor, and general manager, Bill worked on everything from the hilarious, The Love Bug, to the creepy, The Exorcist, to the far out, Star Trek and Battle Star Galactica.

Eight years ago, Bill switched from reading scripts to writing thriller/mysteries and driving racecars. After completing three award-winning novels, he signed with Black Opal Books. His first novel, The Devil Orders Takeout, is about a devoted father and husband who makes a deal with a real-life devil to protect his golf-prodigy son after his wife and older son are killed in a mysterious accident — and pays hell for it.

Bill’s second mystery, The Killer Who Hated Soup, is Book One in the 1950s The Killer Who series, and it launches this Summer. The Internet? Never heard of it. Smart phones? Who you kiddin’?

Energetic and eager to make his mark on what Time magazine called the next great boom town, Bucky Ontario leaves his daddy and little sister in Louisiana and rides a bus to Defiance, Oklahoma, a town not particularly adverse to murders, just the embarrassment of them when committed by high officials.

Book Two, The Killer who Wasn’t There, will be on bookshelves this fall.

Bill writes every day and golfs infrequently (that damn right knee!). His five children and eight grandchildren keep him busy going to birthday parties, and he never misses a one!

The Brier Patch is Bill’s wildly entertaining blog about his shameless early days in Hollywood. It’s on his website, billbrier.com, along with a contest linked to The Devil Orders Takeout, which will award the grand prizewinner $1,000.

Bill is a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Bill’s USA Today revealing interview

Bill’s website with blog

Goodreads

Facebook 

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GIVEAWAY

The author is awarding a randomly drawn commenter a $25 Amazon/BN GC:

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

 

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Book blast & giveaway – The Call House by C.P. Stiles

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The Call House

by C.P. Stiles

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GENRE:  Historical Fiction

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BLURB:

A war on vice In Washington, DC—a city constantly awash in scandals? Hard to believe, but it really happened.  Only not exactly the way it’s told here.

All Mattie Simon knows is that she wants adventure and her hometown doesn’t have any. She wants independence, maybe some romance.

All Andrew Stevens wants is to do his job as a newly-elected congressman.

But Washington has a way of changing people—even when they get what they want.

Fast-paced and funny, The Call House takes you back to a time of relative innocence, when people flocked to the nation’s capital to do good works and instead got caught up in sex, money, and politics. What else would you expect?

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EXCERPT:

IN the mornings, the bathroom was crowded with the sweet smells of lavender soap, gardenia perfume, and lilac dusting powder, with the bright colors of pink-red lipsticks and near-orange rouge, with drying stockings and still damp lingerie. With five women in one apartment, even an apartment as grand as Flo’s on the top floor of the building on Connecticut Avenue, mornings were hectic.

Awake early but unsure what to do, Mattie ended up being last in line for the bathroom. She wasn’t used to waiting.

She’d grown up with only her mother; her father had been wounded in the last war, his lungs badly damaged by gas. She barely remembered the man who died when she was four, but his absence lingered in the white clapboard house. Upstairs, her mother kept always to one side of the bed and lived so quietly, Mattie almost felt as if she’d grown up on her own.

A tall girl, with soft ash-blond curls, walked past Mattie waiting in the hall.

“You’ll have to learn to be pretty fast around here if you want to get in the shower while we’ve still got hot water.”

“That’s all right,” Mattie said. She’d never showered in hot water back home. Her momma hadn’t wanted to trouble anyone to fix the water heater after it broke. She didn’t like troubling anyone for anything, so when something broke, and it couldn’t be fixed by prayer, it stayed broken. Mattie thought her momma’s whole life stayed broken after her daddy died.

“I’ll show you how it’s done,” the tall girl said.

She banged on the bathroom door. “Vera, there’s exactly one of those jelly donuts left. If you want it, you’d better come grab it fast.” She had to step back, the door opened so quickly.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

C.P. Stiles is a fiction writer living in Washington, DC. This is her first novel.

From the Author

I’ve been writing all my life.

When I first heard the story about the best-known, high-priced call house on the East Coast located right in the middle of a nice residential neighborhood – I was intrigued. I’m still not sure why. Even after spending a few years researching and many more years writing. Maybe it’s the idea of having something sort of shady going on right down the street and none of the neighbors had the faintest idea. (Warning: No sex or even steamy scenes)

Websites

C.P. Stiles

The Call House

Twitter

Kindle buy link

Bacon Press Books

Website 

Blog  

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GIVEAWAY

The author 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

 

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Blurb blitz & giveaway – Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat by Keith R. Fentonmiller

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Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat

by Keith R. Fentonmiller

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GENRE:   Magical Realism

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BLURB:

Berlin hatmakers threatened by a veil-wearing Nazi known as the “stealer of faces” must use the god Hermes’ “wishing hat” to teleport out of Germany during Kristallnacht. They won’t be safer in America, however, unless they break the curse that has trapped them in the hat business for sixteen centuries. Set in the Jazz Age, Nazi Germany, and World War II Detroit, Book One of the Life Indigo series is a family saga about the fluidity of tradition, faith, and identity. It will appeal to fans of Everything is Illuminated and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

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EXCERPT:

Klaus circled behind her chair. Isana set down the glass and sat stock-still. Only her growling stomach and the electric whine of the overhead lights broke the silence. Suddenly, an empty leather glove landed on the table. Seconds later, cool fingertips touched her neck and gently worked into the base of her skull.

“You are tense.”

“I wonder why.”

Klaus pressed harder into Isana’s flesh. His fingertips warmed, radiating heat into her muscles. As much as Isana resisted, she couldn’t deny his deft touch felt good. The stiffness in her neck melted in seconds.

No, she told herself. Don’t relax. Don’t let your guard down.

Isana tried to clench her muscles, but Klaus’s heat had already penetrated deep into her spine. He seemed to have latched onto her nerves, holding them like a marionettist would grasp puppet strings. Isana should’ve felt panic, relinquishing her volition to this monster, but his touch had suppressed that reaction as well. She was sleepy and light. Her body had lost substance. She had dissolved into the hot, stale air, or evaporated into the overhead lights. She was nothing at all.

When Klaus unhanded Isana, her corporeal nature returned. In her bewilderment, she momentarily worried her chair might give way under the weight of her body.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Version 2

Keith 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 short story, Non Compos Mentis, was recently published in The Stonecoast Review and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His short story Exodus was just published in the Running Wild Anthology of Stories.

 

Find Keith Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Purchase At:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Keith R. Fentonmiller will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble 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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Book tour & giveaway – Harbingers by Ellis Morning

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Harbingers

by Ellis Morning

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GENRE:   Science Fiction/Fantasy

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BLURB:

The Quest Continues To Stop A Killer “Curse!”

Dame Jessamine is a knight errant with a spaceship for a steed, a woman of science in a galaxy rife with superstition. Follow along as she continues her mission for truth within the barony of Nidaros!
A mysterious crop-withering blight spreads through the barony’s soil. The court magicians have blamed two siblings of spawning the crisis through witchcraft. Convinced of their innocence, Jessamine has rescued and now secretly harbors Verahl Naustvik aboard her spaceship. Meanwhile, his sister Thordia flees to the Harbinger, a crashed space station from the distant and more enlightened past.

Approaching the Harbinger is an act punishable by death, but Jessamine won’t let that stand in the way of a second rescue. Thordia, and the Harbinger’s surviving technological secrets, may be Nidaros’ only hope against the blight. Jessamine prepares to embark—only to be betrayed and set upon by vengeful court magicians.

Now, one wrong word or gesture will lead to deadly charges of witchcraft. Jessamine must protect the Naustviks and brave the Harbinger, all while striking a balance between ritual and reason. If she can’t maintain the peace long enough to discover a cure for the blight, the entire barony will starve—unless its far-off masters decide to “restore order” with military action first!

Harbingers is Book Two of the Sword and Starship series of science fiction/fantasy adventure.

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EXCERPT:

Minutes after I’d fallen asleep—or so it seemed—distant, unsettling noises nagged me from the fringe of consciousness. Crashes of wood on wood, doors opening and closing, agitated voices.

“We have a right to our prisoner!”

“‘Prisoner’ now? Whose word is that, yours or Ormyr’s?”

“Adept Knorr’s blood is on her hands!”

“Then mayhap he shouldn’t have tried to kill her. What do ye want from us, anyway? She’s not here.”

“Impossible! We’re not leaving until we’ve searched everywhere.”

“Captain? Captain!”

The voices became louder and more spiteful with each volley. Then came a series of sharp, desperate taps that were louder still, practically in my ear.

“Sister? Sister!” a hushed voice pleaded.

Sigrid?

I flew up to a seated position and opened my eyes. My hair, loose from its braid, fell around my shoulders. This was still my room in the barracks. Ahead, the door stood closed. Behind, early sunlight peeked through the slats of the shuttered window beside my pallet.

The tapping returned, followed by rattling. Someone outside the window was testing the shutter. “Sister, come out here. Hurry!”

A large object, like a table or chest, crashed to the floor just outside my room.

I gasped. Someone, probably an adept, was tossing the barracks in search of me. And Sigrid was—wait, how the hell had Sigrid broken out of her room? Hadn’t Ingvar locked her in? My own window’s shutter looked sturdy, but not indestructible. She must’ve busted out that way—just like I’d have to if I wanted to escape. 

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GUEST POST

Ellis Morning: 10 Things That Make Me Happy (In No Particular Order)

  1. Coffee. I have two mugs a day, and switch to iced coffee during the summer. My brain just isn’t the same without it!
  1. Family. My husband and cat are the best supporters I could ever ask for.
  1. Seeing a big project through to completion. Novels are an obvious example. Knitting and cross-stitch projects fall under the same umbrella. There’s a wonderful sense of triumph from knowing you stuck with something in good times and bad, and eventually saw it through.
  1. Sunshine. There’s nothing like a sunny day to make me feel awake and productive. I have a hard time getting my brain in gear when it’s gloomy out.
  1. The Library. I’m constantly borrowing books, both physical and ebook format. Funny enough, I mostly read nonfiction these days! Everything from ancient history to the latest neuroscience.
  1. Mystery Science Theater 3000. I grew up with this show, and I still throw episodes on regularly. It’s funny and comforting at the same time.
  1. Music. My taste is all over the map, from 90s grunge to movie and video game soundtracks. When I write, I stick to music without lyrics. It helps me concentrate better.
  1. Video games. I played Sega Genesis growing up (I can beat all the Sonic games blindfolded), then took to the PC for Tomb Raider, Quake II, and other classics. Nowadays, I’m more into turn-based games like Civilization. (But Skyrim is another big favorite.)
  1. Star Trek. I like The Original Series and The Next Generation best. There was a strong current of optimism in both that seems to be missing from popular fiction nowadays: mankind will get over its barbarism, and technology will solve our worst problems.
  1. Me! As a quasi-Buddhist/Stoic, I hold that happiness depends most upon my own outlook. The outside world may inflict pain on me, but I don’t have to inflict pain on myself. I can control how I react to things.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave me questions and comments, or read more at my blog: http://www.ellismorning.com/blog

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author_Harbingers

Ellis has always loved staging adventures in her head before going to sleep each night. When she was twelve, she started putting these adventures on paper.

For the next twenty years, she wrote with varying degrees of seriousness, but always as a hobby. In that time, she fell in love with Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, the original Star Trek series, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Science fiction became her favorite domain to work in, but she also enjoyed reading fantasy, horror, Western, and detective stories, and incorporating their elements into her work. One of her favorite things to do was make people laugh.

Ellis denied being a writer for decades. But then she sold articles to The Daily WTF, and a short story to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. After quitting her full-time job to finish her first novel, it was time to own up to writing as her calling. She’s currently an editor at The Daily WTF, and having the time of her life penning novels and short stories.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+EllisMorning

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/EllisMorning

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7871892.Ellis_Morning

LINKS FOR BUYING THE BOOK:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZA1BP3

Nook (B&N): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harbingers-ellis-morning/1125466299?ean=2940157321758

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/harbingers-2

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1194116553

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GIVEAWAY 

Ellis Morning will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book blast & giveaway – Solo by Lauren E. Rico

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Solo

by Lauren E. Rico

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GENRE: Contemporary New Adult Romance

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BLURB:

When graduate student Katherine Brenner walked into my class, I couldn’t stand her—all perfect skin and big, blue eyes—just like the woman who broke my heart.

If it wasn’t for that blizzard, if her car hadn’t broken down outside my house, if she hadn’t looked amazing by the firelight, I never would have kissed her. No matter how hard I try, every excuse I make not to see her comes up flat.

I can’t stop thinking of her lips. Or the way her curves fit perfectly in my hands. There’s a million reasons why this won’t work. I’m her professor. It’s against university policy.

And if this gets out, I could lose everything.

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EXCERPT:

I’m melting into him. For the first time, I’m not fighting against Drew Markham. I’m moving toward him, with him. It happens slowly for the first few seconds as we’re hesitant in our actions and unsure of one another’s intentions. But somewhere within those inches we both draw the same conclusion. I lurch toward him and he catches me in his arms, both of us falling backward onto the couch. Our lips connect with a ferocity that is jarring.

My hands are under his shirt, feeling the smooth plane of his back, absorbing his warmth through my skin. We’re both gasping and panting, pushing and pulling. And then he stops. I nearly fall off the couch when I no longer have the resistance of his body to push against. I pull back and look up at him, confused.

“W-what? What is it?”

His eyes are closed and he’s shaking his head. His face is a mask of regret.

“Drew?”

“I can’t. I’m sorry, Katherine. You…me…”

He gestures toward the four empty bottles of wine on the coffee table. “We’ve both had way too much. You’re still not a hundred percent well. I’m your professor. You’re my student. There are a million different reasons why we need to stop this. Why I need to stop this. Right now. Right. Now.”

I take a deep breath and extricate myself from what’s left of his embrace.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he’s muttering, more to himself, than to me. “What’s wrong with me? I know better.”

With a sigh, I wonder the same thing about myself. We hate one another. Don’t we? Apparently not. But even I, with my limited knowledge of psychology, recognize that there’s a very fine line between love and hate. Not that I love him or anything. But I certainly wouldn’t mind another one of those kisses.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Lauren Rico was going to be principal French horn of the New York Philharmonic. That was HER plan, anyway. The New York Philharmonic had no idea of her intentions, and that’s probably a good thing, since she wasn’t an especially good French horn player!

Lauren was, however, an exceptionally good classical music radio host. Calling herself a “Classical Music Reanimator,” she has made a career of demystify classical music for her audiences by taking it off a dusty old pedestal and putting it into a modern context.

It’s only been over the last couple of years that Lauren has discovered a passion for writing, which she’s managed to combine with her love and knowledge of the classical music world.

You can hear Lauren Rico on SiriusXM’s Symphony Hall Channel; on WQXR and WSHU-FM in the New York City metro; WSMR in Tampa/Sarasota, FL; WDAV in Charlotte, NC and KMFA in Austin, TX

More at http://www.LaurenRico.com

Links:

www.LaurenRico.com

www.Facebook.com/LaurenRicoAuthor

https://www.goodreads.com/LaurenRico

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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GIVEAWAY 

Lauren 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

 

Book tour & giveaway – Lake Of Sins: Hangman’s Army by L.S. O’Dea

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Lake Of Sins: Hangman’s Army

by L.S. O’Dea

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GENRE: YA, Dystopian Fantasy

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BLURB:

A rebellion is brewing in the world of the Lake of Sins while Hugh Truent sits in prison days away from his execution.

After taking his findings about the genetic similarities between the classes to the Supreme Almighty and the Council, Hugh had been arrested for treason and all his evidence had vanished as if made from smoke.

To protect his family, he cut off all contact with the outside world while he sat in prison for over four years waiting for his execution. He has no idea that some of his reports were leaked to the other classes and that civil war looms on the horizon.

Trinity and her friends have no hope of winning the war unless they can unite the classes. In order to do that, they need someone everyone will follow. They need the one person all the classes trust and believe in. They need Hugh.

That means they have to break him out of a maximum security prison and convince him to lead their army, but that won’t be easy because Hugh wants revenge and he’s not going to let anything get in his way especially mouthy, attractive, know-it-all Trinity.

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EXCERPT:

Hugh

“What do you suggest we do?”  From this position, the next tree was quite a distance away.  The River-Men waited in the water below.  He didn’t want to go back but he didn’t think they had a choice.

She went farther out on the branch toward the other tree.  “Do you think you can jump?”  She turned toward him, her golden eyes searching his face.  “Don’t lie.  If you miss, you die.”

“I’ll never make that jump.”  There was no room for manly bravado in this situation.

She stared at him for another moment and then leapt.  The River-Men dipped below the surface and then back up as she landed safely on the other tree.  His heart thudded in his chest.  She wasn’t leaving him.  She wouldn’t do that.  He had faith in her.  He trusted her, but his stomach knotted.  He’d trusted before and had been betrayed.

She tied the end of the rope around the trunk of the tree.  “Do you think you can cross on the rope?  If you don’t, I’ll come back, but then we’ll have to backtrack and that means sleeping in the swamp tonight.”

His arms and back ached and his hands were a bloody mess, but he could do this.  He had to do this.  “Throw me the rope.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”  He wasn’t sure at all but they didn’t have time to go back.  He caught the rope and tied it to the trunk of the tree, making sure it was tight-really, really tight.  Then he grabbed the taut rope and wrapped his ankles over the top of it.  Hand over hand, he moved away from the safety of the tree.  He glanced down.  The River-Men were swimming faster, excited and anticipating a meal.

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GUEST POST 

The Things (Oh so many things!) I Wish I Knew About Being An Author I Didn’t Know Before

I have a degree in English Creative Writing so I have some background in writing.  Even so, before I started my first book I took a writing class with Writer’s Digest.  I hadn’t written anything (not counting notes, emails, etc) in about twenty years. I definitely needed a refresher.  However, none of that – NOT ONE LITTLE BIT – prepared me for being a published author.

Sure, with my background, I proofread my own work and I’m pretty good with showing and not telling, but I was completely unprepared for the marketing that is required of authors today (both Indie and traditionally published).

You need a website and ISBN’s (do you buy your own or use ones from a service?), a book cover and a blurb.  Let me tell you that writing a good blurb is a lot different than writing a good story.  My stories are very good, my blurbs not so much.  If you want to go the traditional publishing route instead of indie (there are pros and cons to each) then you’ll also need a bio, a summary, a synopsis, a tag line, a usp (unique selling point), just to mention a few things.

So, you spend time and get all that done.  Whew! Tiring but you’re ready to publish your book.  Are you going to go wide or just publish on Amazon (again pros and cons to both)?  Are you going to publish in both paperback and ebook format (no reason not to that I can think of)?

You made those decisions.  You have everything done and you believe – truly, truly believe–(we all do) that your book is going to fly off the proverbial ebook shelves, but it doesn’t.  You need to make people aware of your book.  You need to get the right Amazon keywords (there are classes on this subject) and you need to advertise – but how?

You can book a blog tour (they are fun and work well), you can promote through email marketing (of course all the better ebook marketers require a minimum number of reviews that you can’t get until people notice your book and leave a review), you can hire a publicist (never tried that myself), you can promote on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc—do podcasts, go to conventions, etc.

Then there is the one that I’m focusing on now, building your own email list of people who like your books.  This is very important because we all get busy and even though someone may really like my books, they may have no way of knowing when a new one is released.  The newsletter is the key.

So, with all that being said, if I could only pick one thing to tell new authors, I’d tell them to put links to their other books inside each book.  It seems obvious, but I never thought to do it and probably lost readers.  We need to make it as easy as possible for readers to find our work and that’s one way.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_HangmansArmyL. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself). Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.

Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue.  She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother.  She stood tall and recited the letters of her name:  L-E-M-O-N   H-E-A-D.

She’s pretty sure she has her siblings to thank for the demons that lurk in her mind, whispering dark and demented stories.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Join Readers’ Group and Get the First Two Books in the Lake of Sins Series for FREE

email: lsodea7@gmail.com

Buy Links:

This book is the third in the series–and the series should be read in order.  The first two books is the series are FREE.

Amazon:

escape 

secrets 

hangman 

draft2digital:

escape 

secrets 

hangman 

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GIVEAWAY

The author will be awarding a Kindle Paperwhite to a randomly drawn winner (International winner) during the tour.

Enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite

goddess

Book blast & giveaway – Rachel’s Dream by Lisa Jones Baker

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Rachel’s Dream

by Lisa Jones Baker

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GENRE: Inspirational Romance  (Amish)

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BLURB:

Rachel Kauffman and Jarred Zimmerman seem to have nothing in common.  She’s the outgoing youngest of a large, close-knit Amish clan, while Jarred is a young veterinarian who trusts the animals he heals far more than he trusts people.  However, when Rachel’s horse falls ill, Jarred’s struggles to save him show Rachel he’s a man who cares deeply.  And the respect he feels for her gentle warmhearted ways soon becomes an irresistible bond. When Rachel tries to help Jarred reunite with his parents, it’s an unexpected blessing..with one complication.  If he takes this chance to put his past to rest, it could separate him and Rachel for good.  Now, with prayer, love…and her hope chest’s small miracles, Jarred and Rachel must find the courage to reconcile their wishes into a joyous life together.

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EXCERPT:

He didn’t know Rachel well, but his instincts were usually right on target.  His keen sense of reading people had kicked in at an early age.  So had his lack of trust.  By contrast, the Kauffman girl was unusually open and honest.  Without a doubt, Rachel represented everything he’d yearned for growing up.  When he was with her, an unprecedented sense of comfort and security filled his heart and soul.

But he had reciprocated her sentiment.  And to his surprise, he’d confessed to her that his parents hadn’t raised him.  It was the first time he’d ever told anyone, but she was a good listener, and the sad story of growing up without his own mom and dad was something he’d carried on his shoulders a long time.

He stood and paced to the living room to glance at the picture of his brother.  At that moment, he knew to stay realistic about this sudden adoration for the beautiful Amish girl.  Although she was of the Christian faith, the Amish way of life differed greatly from his own, so his feelings he had for Rachel could only lead to a dead-end street.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lisa Jones Baker is a multi-published author with Kensington Books.  Her debut book of THE HOPE CHEST OF DREAMS series, REBECCA’S BOUQUET, won a Publishers Weekly starred review.  A former teacher with a BA degree in French education, Lisa has been on 5 out of 7 continents, is a dog lover.  She enjoys positive thinkers , volunteering in her church’s food pantry, and strong female characters.

Facebook

Website

BN

Kensington – Print

Kensington – eBook

Amazon

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GIVEAWAY 

Lisa 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

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Book tour & giveaway – Seven Days to Goodbye & Starting Over by Sheri S. Levy

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Seven Days to Goodbye & Starting Over

by Sheri S. Levy

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GENRE:   Young Adult- coming of age

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BLURB:

Thirteen year old, Trina has chosen to raise service dogs and have puppy after puppy. But during her seven day beach vacation, Trina struggles with having to return Sydney at the end of the week and worrying about her best friend changing into a stranger. To complicate the week, Sydney, meets a young boy with autism and the girls meet his two older brothers. Tension is raised over the guys, and Trina fears she’ll lose more than her service dog. Will Trina’s lose her best friend, also?

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EXCERPT:

Uh, oh. The wind lifted the Frisbee into the air. It looked as if the disc had sprouted wings, and disappeared up and over the jetty. Sydney halted, staring at me. He was used to chasing his toy. His eyes asked for permission as his body quivered pent-up energy. Letting him struggle for a minute, I giggled and said, “Okay, Syd. Find Frisbee.”

I did a slow jog towards the rocks and seconds later, Sarah called, “Wait for me.” I did a slow jog towards the rocks and seconds later, Sarah called, “Wait for me.”

I turned around and stopped. “Wow, you’re joining me! Come on. I’ve got to

find Syd’s Frisbee. It’s on the other side.”

We climbed over the jetty. The dogs used their four-legged drive and moved much faster than Sarah or me. When we reached the top of the mound, Sydney stood a distance away with his Frisbee at his feet, leaning close to a small boy. The boy continued to pat the sand in his bucket and turn it upside down, making a row of mounds.

My heart did a triple beat in quarter time. I started running. Sydney’s stub wiggled and jiggled as soon as the boy’s sandy hands rubbed his back.

“I’m sorry,” I said running ahead. I bent, face to face with the boy. “I hope he didn’t scare you.”

The boy never looked at me, only at Sydney and back to the sand. He said in a monotone voice, “Doggy, doggy.”

Sarah meandered up to us. I panted in fast spurts. Worried about the boy and Sydney, I never noticed the rest of the group. A little ways from the small boy, two guys around our age worked on a fort or it could have been a sand castle. The one who seemed to be the oldest, stood. He had long legs and was much taller than I expected. Using his hand, he shoved his longish brown bangs out of his eyes.

Oh, Sarah had definitely noticed. She smiled, pushed loose hair back into her braid and pulled her bathing suit in place.

I rolled my eyes. Okay. Here she goes.

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GUEST POST

Sheri S. Levy: Why I Write the Kinds of Books I Do

My favorite authors write contemporary novels with settings that create an image in my head, especially when the story takes place on the beach. I am pulled into stories which offer layers of interpersonal relationships, including issues of saving the environment, endangered species, and giving hope to people who need an extra hand. And to capture my heart, the plot should include a romantic affair.

While teaching special needs students, I discovered children living in unstable environments, children without support, and adults who cared too much. I read to my students every day. If the story had any type of animal character, the children identified with their problem. They related to abuse, loneliness, love, and comradery.  Sometimes, a child would open-up to me after I read. We’d have a discussion in a round-about way, and sometimes I uncovered issues that were holding them back from learning.

Over the years, I collected many memories. When I decided to write, my experiences flew onto the computer, but with newly invented characters. It is true about being careful with what you say or do when you are around an author. I can watch people and get ideas on actions or dialogue.

Seven Days to Goodbye let me reminiscence about my days on Edisto Island. My husband and I spent long weekends with our very close friends in a timeworn house on the island. Our friends owned a black and white Springer Spaniel, and we had a red-merle Aussie and a Black lab. The antiquated house environment brought many laughs and repulsive bugs.

After retiring, I walked my dogs every morning. During these relaxing moments, my thoughts gelled and my story grew. After completing a draft of what I first called, Dog Days of Summer, I had a critique from an author who writes about dogs and heartfelt stories. She advised me to omit my Lab. This added a stronger, emotional impact to the story’s ending.

Even though my memories included the four of us on the beach, I turned the characters into teens. It was fun using the issues of growing up at different speeds, and being able to include autism from my experiences. I became involved with a local service dog organization and did all of my research with PAALS, (Palmetto Animal Assisted Living Services). Their clients with autism, mobility issues, and PTSD shared how their dog impacted their lives, and let me create situations in my stories that mimicked their real world.

Seven Days to Goodbye, is set on Edisto Beach, South Carolina. The two best friends, Trina and Sarah, are on a week’s vacation and seem to have grown apart overnight. While Trina walks her trained service dog, Sydney, he makes a magical connection with Logan, a young boy with autism and throughout the week, encourages him to talk. Trina is the first to meet Logan’s older brothers, and Sarah gets jealous. The plot is layered with personal changes, and hope for the brother with autism.  Since teens are interested in romance, an innocent attraction with the guys and girls, bring in some fun and varying emotions.

Since I tend to read dramatic, or complicated love stories, I forced myself to change genres occasionally, and have enjoyed reading cozy mysteries. Those plots helped me add a little mystery to my sequel, Starting Over, due July 18, 2017.

Once again, memories helped write this next story. I never rode, but my daughter competed in Eventing. She trained in dressage, cross country jumping, and stadium jumping.

The sequel continues with the same characters, the boy-girl issues grow stronger, and introduces a new character who has an unhappy family life. Trina dreams of being on a riding team and tries to perfect her riding skills with the barn’s schooling horse. Besides training her service dog, she works at the barn next door to help pay for her lessons. The new girl has never cared for her own horse and expects Trina to cater to her every need.  The carefree mood at the barn slips away until Trina decides enough is enough. She uncovers why the new girl is so angry and attempts to help, but gets pulled into her problems and suffers the consequences.

Training service dogs, guy troubles, and horseback riding becomes a crucial part of the entire series. The girls find their dreams and goals are changing.  Will they be brave enough to Start Over?

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto

Sheri, originally from California, moved to South Carolina with her husband, two children and a Siamese cat. Soon they adopted their first rescue dog who influenced their need to continue living with dogs. Sheri taught a multi-handicapped Special Ed class, and then a GED-parenting class, which included home visits. Because of her love of reading, Sheri found unusual ways to encourage children to read. After her rescue of a difficult dog, Sheri enrolled in dog classes to change his behavior. Her dream of writing, Seven Days to Goodbye, came from the culmination of her beach experiences, her understanding of behaviors, and from research with PAALS, a service dog organization.

Links:

Amazon

ISBN: 978-1-935460-74-9   EBook- 978-1-935460-75-6

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Twitter

Website

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GIVEAWAY 

Sheri S Levy will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blurb blitz & giveaway – A Mother’s Love by Charlotte Hubbard

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A Mother’s Love

by Charlotte Hubbard

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GENRE: Inspirational Romance (Amish)

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BLURB:

It’s been a year of tragic loss and difficult decisions for widow Rose Raber. She thought providing for her young daughter was the greatest challenge she faced. Until her dying mother revealed Rose was adopted—and her birth mother is someone with much to lose if the secret comes out. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith—and her troubling curiosity—outgoing newcomer Matthias Wagler is another surprise she didn’t expect. His optimism and easy understanding inspire her. And his prospective partnership with wealthy deacon Saul Hartzler promises a possible new life for them—together. But with this second chance comes yet another revelation for all involved.

When Saul’s wife unexpectedly turns up at Rose’s new job, their bond as mother and daughter is instant and unmistakable. It isn’t long before an unforgiving Saul discovers the truth, threatening Matthias’s livelihood and Rose’s future. Now with more than just their happiness at stake, Rose and Matthias must find the strength and courage to stand strong—and trust God’s enduring miracles of motherhood, forgiveness, and love.

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EXCERPT:

“I want three chickie legs and a big ole bunch of taters,” Gracie announced as she pointed to the food in the steam table. “Lotsa gravy, too—right, Matthias? Do you like lotsa gravy on your taters?”

“That looks like awesome gravy.” Matthias smiled at the women who were filling his plate. “If I could have some on my chicken as well as my taters,” he said, winking at Gracie, “that would be wonderful. Denki, ladies. This is a fabulous meal.”

As Rose gazed around the crowded greenhouse, looking for three empty chairs, she was very aware that folks were watching her—whispering about the man who followed her between the tables, carrying Gracie as though she were his. Rose wanted to announce, loud and clear, that Matthias Wagler was only here for the food.

But they’ll know that’s not true. Just like you do.

Rose’s cheeks tingled with heat. She hurried toward the last unoccupied table in the back corner of the big glassed-in room, not meeting anyone’s gaze. Settling into a folding chair, Rose sighed heavily as she gazed at the plate she’d filled. Why had she taken so much food when she had no appetite? Why had her attention wandered as she’d listened to Matthias’s voice and watched him hold Gracie against his hip as though he’d done that dozens of times? She smiled weakly at him as he gently set Gracie in the chair beside hers. Because she couldn’t think of a thing to say, Rose took Gracie’s hand and bowed her head in prayer. She heard Matthias sit in the chair on the other side of her daughter.

What have I gotten myself into, Lord? I’ve just buried my mother yet I’m allowing this man I’ve met only once to sit with me and to entertain my little girl. This feels so improper—and everyone else is thinking I’ve wandered off the straight and narrow, too.

Rose’s eyes fluttered open. Was God displeased with her behavior? Had she really lost her way? Now that she’d given in to Gracie’s fascination with Matthias, how could she tell him she wanted nothing more to do with him? She glanced at him and nipped her lip.

He’s still in prayer before his meal. Gracie has put her tiny hand on top of his big strong one. How can that be so wrong when it looks so right? So sweet.

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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.

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Buy links

Kensington (March 28, 2017)

ISBN-13: 9781496708441 •• ISBN-10: 149670844X

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Book Depository

B-A-M

Chapters 

IndieBound 

Powell’s

Ebook

Kindle

Nook 

Kobo 

iBooks

Google Play 

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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

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Book tour & giveaway – The Promise of Pierson Orchard by Kate Brandes

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The Promise of Pierson Orchard

by Kate Brandes

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GENRE: Women’s Fiction

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BLURB:

In the novel, Green Energy arrives, offering the impoverished rural community of Minden, Pennsylvania, the dream of making more money from their land by leasing natural gas rights for drilling. But orchardist, Jack Pierson, fears his brother, Wade, who now works for Green Energy, has returned to town after a shame-filled twenty-year absence so desperate to be the hero that he’ll blind their hometown to the potential dangers. Jack also worries his brother will try to rekindle his relationship with LeeAnn, Jack’s wife, who’s recently left him. To protect his hometown and to fulfill a promise to himself, Jack seeks out his mother and environmental lawyer Stella Brantley, who abandoned Minden—and Jack and Wade–years ago.

When LeeAnn’s parents have good reason to lease their land, but their decision leads to tragedy, Jack must fight to find a common ground that will save his fractured family, their land, and the way of life they love.

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EXCERPT:

Jack looked back at them only once. The baby and LeeAnn, slick with blood and afterbirth, the cord still connecting them, as though they’d both been born of the swollen creek and washed up on its banks.

The sight of LeeAnn with her arms around the child pushed Jack to move faster. He raced back the way he’d come. The ground was soaked and slippery. He fell several times, blindly grabbing onto rocks and trees, pulling and pushing anything that could move him forward. When he reached the cones across the road, his chest burned and his hands bled. Headlights came toward him and he stepped out into the middle of the road with his arms raised. The car slowed. Gabriel jumped out.

“Jack! I heard about the bridge and came right away. What’s happened? You okay? Where’s LeeAnn? I got no answer on her cell or at her apartment.”

“Call nine-one-one. We need an ambulance. She’s downstream, along the shore, straight ahead.” Jack pointed the way. “Stella and the baby, too. They’re alive, but there isn’t much time. The baby’s more blue than pink. I’m going back to wait with them.”

“Take this,” Gabriel said, removing off his coat and handing it to him after pulling his cell from its pocket.

Jack hurried. By the time he got to LeeAnn he could already hear the sirens. LeeAnn was awake, her skin as chalk white as the sycamore in the moonlight. Her lower lip bled.

“Hold on now, LeeAnn. Help is coming.” The rapid, shallow rhythm of the baby’s breath didn’t seem right even to his untrained eye. He wrapped them both in Gabriel’s coat and then went to Stella. When he shook her, her eyes flickered open. “Just lay still for now. Medics will be here in a few minutes.”

He moved back over next to LeeAnn, stripped off his shirt, and lay down under the coat beside her and the baby, wrapping around them to offer what body warmth he could. “Your dad’s waiting for the ambulance. They’ll be here very soon,” he said, kissing LeeAnn’s forehead. “I’m here with you. That’s all I’ve ever wanted,” he said, muttering it over and over, hoping she heard.

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GUEST POST

Kate Brandes: 10 Things That Make Me Happy

I’m a long believer in the power of gratitude. My life has been extra busy lately. Busier than I prefer and it’s in the especially crazy moments, when ticking off to myself all that I have (a wonderful family, a home, good health, food, friends, etc.) is as important as it is transformative.

Besides all the foundational good things in my life, there are also smaller things that make me happy. I thought I’d share some of those (listed in no particular order):

  1. Early mornings. All my life, even as a college student years ago, I’ve been an early riser. I’m up before dawn. I love the quietness of early mornings and seeing the world slowly wake around me as the sun rises.
  2. This is essential, given the early morning thing.
  3. I love them all. I’m particularly enchanted with wildflowers growing in the forests in my part of Pennsylvania and I go on long walks looking for them, particularly in the spring.
  4. Making stuff. I like to do some painting and textile art. Right now I’m working on a paper quilt project.
  5. Deep conversation. I’m not opposed to chitchat, which is what makes up most of my daily interactions with people. But my favorite conversations are those from the heart.
  6. See’s Candies Dark Peppermints. Peppermint cream covered in dark chocolate. Yes, pleaseJ
  7. Well, I need to qualify this one. I wouldn’t say running make me happy while I’m doing it. But I’m very happy to have run when it’s all over. This is the way I feel about writing, too.
  8. Spring Green toenail polish. It’s my current favorite color, because it’s spring!
  9. Bogs waterproof boots. I love to pull these boots on for walks with my dog through the cornfields near my house.
  10. My first novel, The Promise of Pierson Orchard. It debuts on April 22, 2017.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author_ThePromiseOfPiersonOrchard

An environmental scientist with over 20 years of experience, Kate Brandes is also a watercolor painter and a writer of women’s fiction with an environmental bent. Her short stories have been published in The Binnacle, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Grey Sparrow Journal. Kate is a member of the Arts Community of Easton (ACE), the Lehigh Art Alliance, Artsbridge, the Pennwriters, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Kate lives in a small town along the Delaware River with her husband, David, and their two sons. When she’s not working, she’s outside on the river or chasing wildflowers.

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Buy Links

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-promise-of-pierson-orchard-kate-brandes/1124473300

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GIVEAWAYS 

Bookclub Giveaway:

In celebration of my upcoming book launch, I’m offering 8 signed paperback copies, 8 small prizes, a $25 Amazon gift card and a list of book-related discussion questions to one lucky book club member to share with your club. All you have to do to enter is tell one person about the book and sign up here: http://katebrandes.com/books/the-promise-of-person-orchard/ Contest runs through my book launch date, April 22, 2017. The winner will be announced the following day! Good luck!

Book tour giveaway

Kate Brandes 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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