Thursday, March 05, 2015

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC - Pretty Poison by Lynne Barron


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

What’s an American heiress to do when a pair of britches, a plunge into a pond in the dead of winter and a broken betrothal force her to set sail across the ocean to an arranged marriage with a fortune hunting Englishman?

With her hopes and dreams sinking to the bottom of the sea like so much lost treasure, Emily Calvert falls into the pretty poison she finds in a little blue bottle.

Can Nicholas Avery, a charming aristocrat with a faulty memory for names and a family in dire need of financial salvation, convince the wounded lady that the blessed oblivion she finds in his arms is sweeter than opium?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Emily plopped down onto a chair in the corner of the hall and tugged off her muddy boots while the guests began to retreat into the front parlor. She watched as Lady Bernice looped her gloved hand through Nicholas’s arm and laughed up into his smiling face before they disappeared behind the others.

Well, that was surprisingly easy. Nicholas hadn’t even looked at her, not once since he’d seen the lady standing in the hall surrounded by the welcoming throng.

Suddenly weary right down to her bones, Emily rose and made her way slowly up the long curving stair case and down the quiet hall. She found Tilly in her room bent over a hot iron.

“You’re back,” Tilly exclaimed. “Hurry, you must dress. We’ve another guest and she’s a pretty thing, for all that she’s a giant.”

“Yes,” Emily agreed.

“You’ve seen her then?”

“She’s quite impossible to miss.” Emily fell back onto her bed with a groan.

“What are you doing?” Tilly demanded. “Luncheon is in an hour and you need to bathe and I’ve to do something special with your hair. I thought this fine lavender dress would do nicely, makes your bosom look bigger.”

“Oh Tilly, are you thinking to dress me up to compete with that amazing creature?”

“What? That bovine is no competition for you! Get into the bath,” she nodded to the open door across the chamber and the steamy bathing room beyond.

“I’m tired. Just have a tray brought up.”

“And let that one steal your man right out from under you?”

“He is not my man and she’s welcome to him.”

“You listen to me, Emily Ann Calvert,” Tilly ground out between her teeth as she marched over to the bed. “You get your skinny butt into that bath.”

“All right, all right.” Emily held her hands up in surrender as she climbed off the bed. “Good Lord, child, when did you become a harridan?”

“When you lost sight of your wits.”

“I assure you I lost sight of my wits months and months ago.”

“Don’t I know it,” the girl muttered as she whipped off her mistress’s guernsey and went to work on the buttons of her shirt. “And enough is enough, miss. You’ve been wallowing in self-pity all these long months.”

“I have not.”

“Oh boo hoo, my worthless fiancé dropped me flat as a flapjack.” Tilly pushed Emily’s breaches down her legs, drawers and all.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Oh woe is me, Da dragged me across the ocean to marry a stranger.” Tilly herded her into the bathing room and into the tub.

Emily laughed at the ferocious frown on the girl’s caramel-skinned face.

“Poor opium addled me, I’ve gone and stabbed myself right through the heart.” Tilly dunked her head under the water.

Emily came up sputtering and coughing water.

“Oh, it’s just so unfair, I’ve got a big strapping handsome man wants to marry me.” Tilly rubbed lilac-scented soap into her hair, digging her little fingers into her scalp.

“It’s my fortune he wants to marry,” Emily ground out.

“So what?” Tilly demanded before she dunked her head once more.

“Stop that,” Emily sputtered, water dripping into her eyes. “Are you trying to drown me?”

“Who cares if you use your fortune to catch him? The real trouble is you don’t think you can keep him once you’ve landed him.”

Emily had no argument. It was true. She did not believe for one moment she could ever hope to keep Nicholas Avery. And she would not share him.

“When did you begin to doubt yourself?” Tilly gently rubbed a soapy linen square over her mistress’s back, down her long arms. “You were always so sure of yourself, Em. As long as I’ve known you, my whole life, you never thought there was one thing on God’s green earth you couldn’t do. No matter who told you otherwise, no matter that maybe you shouldn’t ought to be doing them things. You always knew you could.”

About the Author: Write About What You Know.

Every Creative Writing Teacher and College Professor said these words to Lynne Barron in one form or another. But what did she know?

She knew she enjoyed the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels whenever she could find time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother.

She knew quite a bit about women's lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college.

She knew precious little about romance except to know that it was more than the cliché card and a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day.

Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew.

Passion, Love and Romance.

And she began to write.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Exclusive Excerpt: The Second Lie by Anna Richland


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Christina came to the London wine auction to unravel a fraud that might ruin her business. The man claiming to be her employer Geoffrey Morrison is a liar and a mystery, but that’s only the beginning of her problems.

He brought the glass to his lips. His jawline was firm and square, not a hint of softness around his chin. All of him would be that honed, she suspected. His throat worked when he swallowed, the only movement in their tableau.

Intellectually, she knew he was deliberately distracting her, just as she was trying to do to him. She cursed herself for letting his pheromones send her into the same softening craving other women at the preview had displayed. Like them, her body had become putty.

Unlike the rest, she knew he was a liar and a fraud.

She shivered. The cave was colder without other people, and as a female she was beginning to feel like the prey of a much larger hunter. Time to hit hard and leave. “You counterfeited dozens of my wines, didn’t you?”

His grin was lazy and slow, as if he couldn’t or didn’t want to abandon the tension that had been flowing between them a moment ago, even as fake as it had been. “Check the labels. Corks. Capsules.” He shrugged. The movement emphasized how perfectly fitted his clothes were, because they moved with him like skin. “Call a glass expert if you wish.” One hand gesture encompassed the wall of bottles behind him. “Taste them. I guarantee not one of these will fail whatever examination you choose.”

“You’re too smart to pour a substitute at Bodeby’s, I’ll give you that.”

“Then what will you do?” His grin made her back teeth hurt.

“I’ll prove it.” She had her records, and the director was on the other side of these walls. She could unwind his scheme in five seconds.

“Will you? With expensive tests that show the world Morrison and Mancini sold Spanish tempranillo doctored with oak essence as premier Napa cabernet?” He held out the mostly full glass. “Or will you use a handful of flimsy receipts signed by the disgruntled employee I recently sacked?”

The pinch of her fingernails digging into her palms only made her angrier. He’d ruin her business. She’d never have her down payment for a vineyard, never make her own wine, if he didn’t pull the bottles. “You can’t sell fakes.”

“I have paperwork to prove they’re genuine. Signed by Christina Mancini. Some of it signed by Geoffrey Morrison.”

“There is no Geoffrey Morrison!” She’d said it.

“I beg to differ.” One-handed, he reached inside his tuxedo jacket and retrieved a flat rectangle with the familiar wavy gold color scheme of a California license. Geoffrey R. C. Morrison. His face on the blue background. An address on First Street in Napa, above her store and café. “Here he is. Did I get any of it wrong?”

Her mouth opened, she thought, but she couldn’t speak. He’d used the shop address. What else had he done?

“Sorry to be presumptuous with your little creation, but Geoffrey needed middle initials. I chose Robert and Charles. Three names sounds more English, don’t you think.” It wasn’t a question.

“How could you?” She stumbled two steps backward until her hip bumped a shelf. “How?”

“You provided excellent credentials. The internet did the rest.”

“You’re an imposter. A liar.”

“Miss Mancini, so are you.”

About the Author:
Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

To sign up for Anna's newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at www.AnnaRichland.com, her Facebook page, or her Goodreads page.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, or Chapters/Indigo.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Win a $20 Amazon/BN GC - Q&A with MK Schiller, author of Variables of Love


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding three separate prizes: a $20 Amazon or B/N GC, a $10 Amazon or B/N GC, and an ecopy of Variables of Love, to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to My World of Dreams and thanks for stopping by to visit with us. Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters’ lives / lifestyles?

Variables of Love is a multicultural love story that deals with a girl struggling between arranged marriage and the hot as sin math major who steals her heart. Yes, it’s a nerdy love story, full of angst, bittersweet moments and a strong kick of spice.

It is a very personal story for me. It’s what happens when cultural expectations and personal convictions collide. I’ve borrowed from my own life experiences and culture to create this novel. It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for some time, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to share it. Believe it or not, my search engines were all over the place. I did research into Stanford University, mathematical theories, swans, arranged marriages, small towns, and even artist’s canvas.

What would you consider the best book you ever read?

I’m not sure but The Velveteen Rabbit has always been special to me as a child and the first book I read to my own children so I’m going with that.

Who inspires you?

This is difficult because there are so many. I’ve always been in love with the idea of love. I suppose as a romance writer that’s par for the course. I am and will always be a reader first. I don’t have favorites per say, but here are a few of my recommendations. I’m thrilled to have read the works of these great ladies.

I love Mia Sheridan because she creates unique heroes. I love Abbi Glines for her innocent and strong heroines. I love Colleen Hoover for creating that sense of emotion when it comes to first loves and the struggle of youth. I love Debra Anastasia for shining a beautiful light in dark places. I love EL James for making me interested in a different side of sex and creating a poignant story from that.

Do you have strange writing habits?

Sometimes I look like I’m in a daze and not paying attention. Snapping fingers in front of my face isn’t a rare event. But this is me coming up with a plot and story angle. I work it out in my head. Unfortunately, it also makes me look very out of it.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?

My time. I love writing. Even if the work doesn’t get published it provides a release for me. Unfortunately, it’s also time I don’t get to spend with my family.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Most definitely – I know it does because as a reader I admit, I judge books based on the cover. A good cover is very important to the buying process.

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I like them when they are well-done. They give great snippets into a story.

How did you come up with the title? Names?

In this book it seemed fitting as Ethan was a math major and very practical. There are many variables that go into a love story. Ethan and Meena experienced them all.

What was the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I’m a pantser and I’m the most creative when I’m disorganized (I knew that on some level but the writing really proved it).

What’s the worst job you’ve had?

I was a meat clerk at a supermarket. At the time, I was also a vegetarian…not a great combination.

Meena Kapoor knows what life has in store for her. She's in her senior year at Stanford where she'll graduate summa cum laude, and then she'll begin her interviews...her marriage interviews. Meena is Indian, and she's never questioned that she'll have an arranged marriage like all the generations before her. Not until she meets gorgeous math major Ethan Callahan. Ethan's sense of humor and free spirit stir feelings in Meena she didn't know were possible outside of Bollywood movies. It doesn't hurt that he's charming and has the uncanny ability to make math sound like poetry, but Meena knows their equation makes no sense in the real world.

Ethan finds himself intrigued by the mysterious, beautiful girl, whose big, brown eyes reflect great pain. His goals are small at first - to make her smile and then to laugh. But he soon wants more, and though Meena is adamant they have no future, he convinces her to share the present. Ethan believes every problem has a solution, but with cultural expectations and family duty among the variables, they will struggle to solve the ultimate equation to find happiness.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“It is kind of cool…the mating for life thing. There are so few species that mate for life.”

I turned and stared at him, feeling my heart flutter by his very close presence. His hand twitched a bit, like it wanted to grab mine. Was he feeling the same charge of electricity I was? I wanted to be honest with him. After I told him, he would probably rather hang out with a swan.

“That’s why I love them. They are just like me.”

He didn’t seem frazzled by what I’d said. He was quiet, soaking in my words. Rachael told me statements like this were the fastest way to get a guy to leave you alone, but Ethan didn’t even seem surprised. “You mate for life, Meena?”

“My people do”

“Economists?” he asked with an amused grin.

“Very funny.”

“Are you saying there are no Indian divorces?” His question sounded genuine.

“There are exceptions to every rule, but we do have the lowest divorce rate in the world.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“It’s culturally discouraged.”

He nodded. “Maybe, it should be here too. But is that really the only reason? It makes it sound like it’s very difficult to get yourself out of a bad situation.”

“It’s difficult, but usually not impossible. That’s not the only reason. I think the marriages, in general, are stronger and more stable.”

“What makes them stronger? Religion? Culture?” I was quiet for a moment, contemplating my response. “Come on, the answer to the Western woes of wedlock could be solved by this very conversation. Surely, you have a theory.”

“Two words—arranged marriage.”

His eyebrows shot up. I had finally surprised him, but he didn’t hesitate with his next question. “People still do that?”

“It’s not as common as it was, but it’s not uncommon either. Most Hindu marriages are the result of an arrangement.”

“I don’t know anyone who would want to get married like that.”

I sucked in a deep breath, but didn’t let my eyes waver from his. “Yes, you do.”

About the Author:
I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, reading or writing, usually with some tasty Italian…the food that is!

I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.

I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

I love hearing from readers so please write to me!

Website – http://www.mkschillerauthor.com/
FB author page - https://www.facebook.com/MKSchillerauthor?ref_type=bookmark
FB personal Page - https://www.facebook.com/mk.schiller
Amazon Author page - http://www.amazon.com/MK-Schiller/e/B00FE0FGDM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1407492789&sr=8-1
Twitter – @MKSchiller
Goodreads author page - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7223625.M_K_Schiller
Buy the book at the publisher, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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