Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Win a Book: A Bodyguard of Lies by Donna Del Oro


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Donna Del Oro will be awarding a copy of A Bodyguard of Lies (a print copy for a US winner or an ebook for an international winner) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on he tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The past and present collide as FBI analyst Jake Bernstein is recruited to go undercover and investigate an elderly American grandmother, currently on a tour of England and Ireland with her granddaughter, who is suspected of WWII war crimes. Jake joins them and runs into complications when his growing attraction to the granddaughter challenges his obligation to remain emotionally detached. As the investigation intensifies, a neo-Nazi group tries to prevent him from learning the truth and achieve justice for all concerned. Danger mounts, and Jake struggles to stay alive long enough to either prove the old woman’s guilt or exonerate her.

Despite Meg Larsen’s mounting passion for the stranger who has joined their tour, she suspects he’s not who he claims to be. When she realizes her grandmother is the target of the man’s investigation, her first instinct is to protect the woman who raised her. Eventually, however, Meg must face the possibility of her grandmother’s lifetime of lies while forced to trust a man who has become both their nemesis and bodyguard.

A Special Note from the Author


My new FBI series, INTERNATIONAL RELEASE-JUNE 8th, is the Jake Bernstein FBI series--A BODYGUARD OF LIES, Book One. If you love a genre that's chock full of danger, suspense, crime drama and a heavy dose of sizzling romance, you'll LOVE THIS SERIES! FBI agent Jake Bernstein is my epitome of a hardy, justice-seeking federal officer who combines good looks, a sense of humor and unyielding courage. He knows how to investigate as one of the Bureau's best undercover agents, but he also knows how and when to bend the rules for the sake of true human justice.

The idea for this book, A BODYGUARD OF LIES, struck me when I was tipping a pint with fellow tourists at an Irish pub. There on the wall was an old, WW II photo of Irish dockworkers sharing their pub with German U-boat sailors. That started me wondering about the role that Ireland played during the war, its uneasy relationship with Nazi Germany and the German spies who infiltrated Ireland and England. Lots of research followed, which led me to a contemporary story about an FBI undercover agent who investigates an elderly, naturalized American grandmother, wanted by MI6 for war crimes. Little ol' Mary McCoy Snider, a dangerous WW II Nazi spy who caused the deaths of thousands? Even Agent Jake Bernstein finds that an unbelievable stretch. The granddaughter whom Jake finds himself falling in love with also disbelieves MI6's allegations.

Until his investigation draws him into the middle of a dangerous, secret neo-Nazi group that'll stop at nothing to protect one of their own. And then Jake must choose, the old woman and her lovely granddaughter. Or justice!

Enjoy an excerpt:

Twenty minutes to go and they’d be boarding the motor coach. The fog was even soupier now it had been an hour ago. The coach passengers were finishing lunch and some were already stirring in their seats. God help him, he’d never sat in one place so long in his life as during this tour. Even at his desk at work, he was up and about once every hour. This sedentary coach tour was making his butt itch.

Of course, having Meg close by and unable to touch her made another part of him itch. His previous undercover assignments, when one of his duties was to schmooze a woman in order to get intel, were a kind of playacting. Playing the role of womanizing seducer. A ladies’ man, or player.

It was a job. If you had a certain look and background that fit the job, you were expected to do your duty. Typecasting, maybe, but he’d been rewarded with promotions as a result. Grandpa Nate had said once, right after Jake had joined the FBI, “You haf gifts, Yakov, you use dem. Yust like anybody else.”

This time, however, he wasn’t acting. His mind was crowded with thoughts of her, yearnings to hold her, talk to her, even just to sit next to her and feel her thigh rubbing against his. Thoughts of her crowded his mind, filled his every waking moment. Juggling his emotions and loyalty to Meg with his duty and loyalty to the FBI was—well, he hated to admit it but it was driving him to distraction.

The FBI might fire him for insubordination if MI5 got wind he’d alerted Meg to MI5’s arrest warrant. Major Temple and his team would throw him to the dogs.

And rightly so.

About the Author:
Donna is a retired high school English teacher and is finally able to fulfill her dream of writing fiction. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing novels, she’s singing with the Sacramento Valley Chorus or traveling with her husband. Life is good and she feels very blessed.

Website ~ Facebook ~ The Wild Rose Press Author Page


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Monday, June 27, 2016

Win a $25 GC - Summer Star by D.J. Davis


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

What went into the writing of SUMMER STAR?


Thank you for having me. That’s one of those onion questions—layer upon layer. First and foremost, my love for the mountains of Colorado where I live. Once the drama and serenity of the wilderness seep into your soul, there’s no getting them out. For some of us, the mountains are a magnet that won’t let go. The high country became the setting for SUMMER STAR.

I am fascinated by the history of this state and enjoy exploring remote, forgotten places. I often find things while hiking. Pieces of weathered leather and broken china. Rusted out cans with soldered seams. Cast off items from lives long gone. Sometimes these relics are miles from the nearest…anything, and I wonder how they came to be there. The desire to know led to my main character, Troy Hart, with his ability to touch certain antiques and see their past.

Colorado has its share of buried treasure legends. One of them, the story of the Jim Reynolds gang, likely has more truth behind it than most. Enough so that people are still searching for the treasure today. The gang, with a posse hot on their trail, buried $65,000 worth of stolen loot above the present day town of Conifer. This legend led to Troy’s nemesis: a fictional member of that gang, now a ghost who has a score to settle and forces Troy to fulfill his dying wish.

Troy, a loner and the black sheep of his family, finds love in the mountains. His heart is no longer his own, as happens with all of us when that one special person comes into our lives. And with that person comes the fear of something happening to them, of losing them, and we wonder what we would do in order protect them. Now that Troy has someone to lose, how far will he go to save her? How far would any of us go?

Loner and history buff Troy Hart gets more than he bargained for when his psychic connection to the past leads him to the mountains of Colorado. The legend of buried treasure is nothing new, but falling in love is—and that’s the last thing Troy wants.

Troy’s visions of the old west are all fun and games, until the ghost of an outlaw forces Troy to fulfill his dying wish. To save his own life, and the life of the woman he loves, Troy must follow the trail of greed, betrayal and revenge on a treasure hunt for lost Civil War gold.

Now the fun is over and the game is survival as Troy battles the elements, a dead man, and his own heart deep in the remote high country.

Enjoy an excerpt:

As the last light crept out of the sky Troy asked the truck for a little more. It skidded over rocks, jolted over roots. He rammed it through the creek and parked in front of the cabin. The hissing radiator and antifreeze pouring on the ground confirmed it. They’d be hoofing it from here on out.

Troy sprinted to the cabin. He threw his canteen, a few bottles of water, beef jerky, and candy bars into his pack. He added two flashlights, batteries, and Eric’s hardhat. He rushed to the tipi for a denim jacket and the map. The piece of oiled canvas, made to be laced over a sleeping bag in bad weather, caught his eye. He pushed it down on top of everything else.

He shined the light into the trees, hoping beyond hope to see Eric’s tent. It was gone, all that remained was a smooth spot on the ground. Troy put a hand on Dean’s shoulder. “Wait here.”

“Screw that. I love her, too.” Dean put his own hand on Troy’s shoulder and squeezed it hard. “Let’s go get her, bro.”

Troy gave Dean the second flashlight and set off at a grueling pace. It wasn’t long before he could no longer hear Dean behind him or see Dean’s light bobbing in the dark timber. His jaw hurt and a stitch nagged in his ribs. His bear-bit hip joined the chorus. He thought of Summer in crazy Charlotte’s jealous clutches and pushed himself harder. Troy Hart ran for her life.

About the Author:
DJ Davis is a Colorado native and the rugged high country sets the scene for her stories. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, photographing the wildlife, or camping with her husband. A Great Dane runs her life.

A portion of each sale of her novel "Courageous Cain" will be donated to Big Bones Canine Rescue in Windsor, Colorado. Help us help big dogs in need.

Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Facebook


Buy the book at Amazon, Champagne Books, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, All Romance eBooks, or Kobo.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Win a $25 GC - Claws for Alarm by T.C. LoTempio


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

Can a Cat be Inspirational? Oh yes, especially if his name is ROCCO….
By T. C. Lotempio


I have always been an animal lover, especially of cats. When my calico died a few years ago, I went to my local Animal Shelter and adopted a handsome tuxedo cat named ROCCO. It soon became apparent that he is the “boss” of my family, which includes three other cats! But never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever expect him to be the driving force behind our blog or end up as the star of his own mystery series!

Well – to clarify – the series isn’t named after ROCCO. He was just the inspiration for one of the main characters, a feisty tuxedo cat named Nick. Nick’s a cool cat, one with a sharp mind who likes to play SCRABBLE, and spell out clues so his human, Nora, can solve mysteries! Here’ a brief synopsis of book one, Meow if it’s Murder, taken from the cover back:

Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them… Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.


In Book two, CLAWS FOR ALARM, out now, Nora’s investigation into the disappearance of Nick’s former owner takes a backseat when she’s sidetracked by her sister being arrested for the murder of her art professor! Will Nick and Nora ever solve the mystery of the PI’s disappearance? You might have to read Book 3, out December 6, to find out….

Granted, ROCCO wasn’t the only inspiration for the series – but he was and is a large part of it! And he reminds me, every day, in his own catly way…I mean, you would think HE wrote the book! Although….in many ways, I think he did. But let’s keep that OUR secret. ;-)

What are some things your pets do that inspire you to do different things? I’ll pick two of the most interesting comments and send the commenters a “MEOW IF ITS MURDER” bookmark! And you can visit ROCCO (and me too) at our blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com, where we interview authors and have giveaways every month!

“The purrfect sleuthy duo”* is back, and this time murder hits close to home for Nora Charles and her partner Nick, a stealthy little feline gumshoe groomed to solve a shocking crime.


Enjoy an excerpt:

I sat up straighter. “You think he vanished on purpose?”

“Who knows? I’m just saying it’s a possibility. Nick knows many ways to make himself scarce.” Ollie paused and then added, “Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.”

“Maybe so, but I’ve never been one to do what’s best.”

He sighed heavily. “Okay. I can see your mind is made up. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. And if you need help—any help at all—you call me, y’hear?”

“I hear. And thanks.”

I put down the phone and nibbled at my lower lip. Almost as if he knew I’d been thinking about him, Nick appeared, jumping into my lap with surprising ease for a cat of his girth. I rubbed the sensitive area behind his ears and whispered into his ruff, “You’d like to know what happened to your former master too, wouldn’t you?”

Nick raised his sleek black head. “Er-ewl,” he mewled as his little (debatable point) kitty claws moved up and down, kneading my lap.

“That’s what I thought.” I picked up the piece of paper on which I’d written the address Ollie’d given me. “St. Leo isn’t far away—as a matter of fact it’s only about two miles from Aunt Prudence’s house. We could conceivably kill two birds with one stone, say, tomorrow afternoon?”

His steady rumble made me smile. I gave his head a quick pat. “I thought you’d agree.” I reached for my cell phone. “Maybe I’d better warn Aunt Prudence we’re going to be stopping by, though. So she can prepare my sister.

” Nick’s eyes popped wide, and he leaned back on his haunches, pawed at the air.

I laughed. “Yes, she might find you charming, and then again . . . with Lacey, you can never tell. We—we’ve never gotten along all that well. I’m sure she’ll like you, though.” I leaned over to stroke his head, and I didn’t imagine the cat smile he gave me. As I reached for my cell with my other hand, it started to ring. I snatched it up, glanced at the number, and then hit the button. “Aunt Prudence. You must be psychic. I was just going to call you.”

“Oh, Nora, I’m so glad I got you.” My aunt’s voice was a high-pitched wail of distress. “The most awful thing has happened. “Your sister’s been arrested—for murder.”

About the Author:
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debutted Dec. 2, 2014. She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.

Blog ~ Website ~ Facebook
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Win a copy of THE ROYAL NANNY by Karen Harper


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy of Karen Harper's newest historical novel The Royal Nanny. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In 1897, a young cockney nursemaid takes her first train ride, leaving London for the lush and sprawling Sandringham Estate, private home to Britain’s royal family. Hired by the Duke and Duchess of York to help rear their royal children, Charlotte Bill is about to become privy to all the secrets families hide, and caught between the upstairs and downstairs worlds.


Enjoy an excerpt:

Truth was, I used to wish the widowed Dr. Edwin Lockwood, my former employer, would marry me, though I knew that was quite out of the question. But when I first went to work at his house as nursemaid, I was only thirteen and such a dreamer. People think I’m a no-nonsense person, but I still harbor flights of fancy in my head and heart, and to mean something to someone else is one of them.

But in the nearly ten years I worked in London, I knew it was not that I loved the doctor, but that I did love his two little daughters and hated to leave them, especially after I’d been promoted to nurse after five years there. Now his new wife didn’t want me about because her stepchildren doted on me. But the doctor gave me a good character, which the Duchess of York’s friend, Lady Eva Dugdale, had somehow seen. So here I was, headed to the Duke and Duchess of York’s country house to help the head nurse of two royal lads, one called David, nearly four years of age, the other, Bertie, a year-and-a-half; and a new baby to be born soon.

Beat down the butterflies in my belly and practiced saying, “Your Grace, milord, milady, sir, ma’am,” and all that. What if Queen Victoria herself ever popped in for a visit, for the duke was her grandson—well, there were many of her offspring scattered across Europe in ruling houses, but he was in direct line to the British throne after his father, the Prince of Wales. And since the Prince and Princess of Wales often lived on the same Sandringham Estate, so Lady Dugdale said, I wager I’d see them, right regular too, that is if the head nurse, name of Mary Peters, let me help her with the royal children when their kin came calling.

“Ticket, please, miss,” the conductor said as he came through the carriage. I had a moment’s scramble but handed it to him and had it marked. When he passed on, I put it as a keepsake in my wooden box of worldly goods, which sat on the floor next to my seat. The carriage wasn’t too full, not to Norfolk with its marshy fens and the windy Wash my papa had described to me. Oh, I was so excited I could barely sit still. I was to disembark at a place called Wolferton Station where someone was to meet me. I was just so certain everything would be lovely, and fine and grandly, royally perfect.

About the Author:
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Karen Harper is a former university (Ohio State) and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. A rabid Anglophile, she likes nothing more than to research her novels on site in the British Isles. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for DARK ANGEL, and her novel SHATTERED SECRETS was judged one of the Best Books of 2014 by Suspense Magazine. The author and her husband divide their time between Ohio and Florida.

Website


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Monday, June 20, 2016

Win a $10 GC - Deadly Season by Alison Bruce


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alison Bruce will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Last month Kate Garrett was a Police Detective. Now she’s a Pet P.I.?

Kate recently inherited half her father’s private investigation company and a partner who is as irritating as he is attractive. Kate has been avoiding Jake Carmedy for years, but now her life might depend on him.

Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?


Other Books by Alison Bruce

Deadly Legacy
Under A Texas Star
Hazardous Unions (with Kat Flannery)
A Bodyguard to Remember


About the Author:
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. She is the Canadian author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. Three of her novels have been finalists for genre awards. Deadly Season is a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Awards - Best Novella.

Author and Business Website ~ Facebook ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest


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Friday, June 17, 2016

Win a $75 GC - Descended from Dragons by Tricia Owens



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tricia Owens will be awarding a $75 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Beneath the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas lies another city. A secret city in plain sight, full of warlocks and demons, shape-shifters and golems. A city that feeds off the chance magick that is generated by gamblers and which is ruled by mysterious beings called the Oddsmakers.

It is in this strange underbelly of the occult that Anne Moody runs a cursed pawn shop for the desperate, the curious, and the magickally inclined. Though the job is boring, it keeps her under the radar. None of her customers have any inkling that she is a dragon sorceress with a power that's been feared throughout history. However dragons are no help when a stone statue ends up in her shop that is more than it appears. The statue is a gargoyle named Vale, who is shrouded in mystery and secrets. When she learns that Vale is possessed, and that the person responsible for cursing him plans to take over Las Vegas with a horde of demons from Hell, Anne realizes it is up to her to defy the Oddsmakers and save the city, and possibly the world.


Enjoy an excerpt:

After silently parting the bead curtain I paused just at the threshold, listening. The shop was spooky enough without the lights on thanks to all the strange silhouettes, but knowing that half the objects were also cursed gave me another reason to shiver as I panned my gaze over the place.

Tick tick tick

I sent Lucky toward the sound. My dragon flew a loose circle around the left side of the room. That narrowed it down a bit, not that I felt comfortable putting my back to everything that was on the other side of the room. I displayed a few katanas and items that could be used as weapons there, but thankfully none of them were cursed with movement. At least, I hoped not. I guess I'd find out for certain when a spear pierced my back.

A fluttering sound, like the flapping of thick canvas, made me instinctively drop into a crouch. Lucky reared up, ready to attack. But nothing flew overhead. Breathing shallowly, I crawled toward the counter. I'd feel safer behind it and with the wall at my back.

As I rounded the counter, I realized I knew what had had made the noise. The only new thing in my inventory was the gargoyle statue. When I raised my eyes above the countertop, the gargoyle was gone from where it had sat. The cameos were quick to offer their opinions.

"You met the love of your life today…"

"…he'll try to kill you, Anne Moody."

"The cursed shall pay, Anne Moody!"

Yep, the damn gargoyle statue had come to life and was flying around Moonlight. Definitely a way to make me remember you, Christian.

About the Author:
Tricia Owens wants you to know that Las Vegas is actually a pretty cool place and you won't be eaten by a troll there. Probably. A former casino games dealer and cruise ship editor, Tricia has traveled extensively, visiting over 70 countries. She writes full time in several genres including urban fantasy and romance. Her favorite setting is her home town, the city of sin.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page


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Win a $25 GC - Pork by RS Anthony



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author 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.

High school is torture for Steven Walthurst, and home isn’t a whole lot better. The only place that offers respite is an abandoned tree house at the edge of town. But something lurks in the nearby woods, and the long line of elm trees has a clear message for Steven: keep out.

Then one day, Steven finds a little girl lying unconscious, perilously close to the woods. As the two get to know one another, Steven experiences real friendship for the first time—and gets closer than ever to knowing the darkness that skulks between the trees.

He dedicates himself to keeping his new friend safe, but the tranquility of their fragile hidden world doesn’t last long. When an act of cruelty pushes Steven to his limits, his secrets—and those of the dark woods—come close to unraveling, threatening to destroy the one thing making his teenage life bearable. Can Steven save everything he’s built from crumbling under the pressure?


Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

When Steven reached the bottom of the tree, he crossed the clearing slowly, keeping an eye on the woods. Right at the edge of the creek, he stopped and looked around. The trees swayed in the wind as they always did. Steven shuddered. He wouldn’t be able to enter the woods without crossing the creek. He took a deep breath and slid himself down the bank, careful not to slip on the rocks. He chose the shallowest section of the creek and crossed it in two big leaps. His shoes got a little wet, but he wasn’t too concerned. What bothered him was his proximity to the woods. If his momma’s spy reached a hand out from behind the tree in front of him, he could easily grab Steven by the front of his shirt, and that would be the end of him.

He stood watching the tree line and the darkness beyond for a few minutes. All this chivalry had made his throat dry. He pulled out his water bottle from the side pocket of his backpack and as he took a huge gulp, he noticed a pair of red dots in the woods. Steven’s heartbeat sped up and his armpits grew sticky and wet. His forehead leaked sweat and he wiped it with a shoulder, sliding the water bottle back into his backpack.

He didn’t take his eyes off the two ominous dots. But when the bright red dots blinked in the dark, Steven screamed, turned around, and ran. He stopped screaming when he had crossed the broken bridge, but he didn’t stop running until he was at Sandy’s front door. Sweat coated every inch of his skin when he pressed the doorbell, panting and holding his knees. A minute later, a slim young woman opened the door. She had a big smile and red lips, and wore a black uniform. Her skin looked flawless under an inch of makeup. It had to be Nanny Gwen.

“Hello. Can I help you?” she asked Steven kindly.

“Hi, my name is Steven. I’m Sandy’s friend. May I see her, please?” he asked, still gasping for air.

“Of course. Why don’t you come inside while I get her?” Another pretty smile before she turned around.

“Thank you, ma’am,” he said and stepped inside a vast hall decorated in Victorian style. The air inside was cool and smelled like lavender. Pictures of Sandy, her parents, and grandparents lined the wall in thick, rich frames. A minute later, she came running down the winding stairs, her hand sliding along the wooden banister, and he was relieved.

“Steven? What happened?...”

About the Author:
Rosemary Anthony writes suspense fiction with a twist. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Science Malaysia and recently made the jump from writing official documents to writing fiction novels. Blessed with 17 nephews and nieces, she finds the world of young adults to be a thrilling source of inspiration for her books.

Rosemary lives in a small town in Malaysia and travels as often as possible to broaden her cultural horizon.

Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


Buy the book at Amazon (Free on June 21-23).

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Win a $50 GC - Friend of the Devil by Mark Spivak


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Character Creation


When it comes to creating characters, most writers will tell you to allow your characters to come alive and dictate their own destiny. I think this is basically correct, and it takes some getting used to, but some very surprising things will happen if you let them develop on his or her own. If you start out with a rigid concept and try to impose it on a character, it will show in the narrative: the story will seem artificial and stilted.

I believe the most important thing is to allow yourself to create a mental space that is part fantasy, part daydream, and totally devoted to your current project. I find it really useful to think about my characters right before I doze off to sleep. I also insulate that fantasy world during most of my waking hours. We don’t have a land line at home, I don’t own a smart phone, and I don’t send or receive text messages. I have the ringer turned off on my cell phone, and look at it once or twice each day to see if anyone called. The method of creating that mental space will vary from person to person, but I don’t believe it’s possible to nurture it if you’re staring at a phone all day.

When I’m working on a story, I let the characters reveal themselves through action and dialogue. I try to avoid description. Frequently I’ll come to the end of a first draft and realize that I haven’t even told the reader what the character looks like. You can always go back and add missing descriptive detail, but I think it’s crucially important to let the character emerge through action, dialogue, his or her private thoughts, and interaction with other characters.

For me, all of this tends to result in a story that is far more clipped and forceful than the average novel writer during the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th. I think that’s both necessary and desirable in the current era. Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to turn back the clock to an age without TV, movies or the internet. Writers may like to think of themselves as artists, and they may be artists, but the truth is we’re also competing with Facebook and The Real Housewives of New Jersey for the time and attention of readers. People want drama, action and stimulation, and if we don’t give it to them there are many other places they can get it.

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, cut a deal with the Devil to achieve fame and fortune. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Several years after the opening of Chateau de la Mer, the triumvirate of Avenzano, Walsh and Ross appeared to be one big happy family, although there were rumors of strains in the relationship. One night, at the height of the Festival of Champagne, there was an incident. Ross, a notorious womanizer, was sipping Cristal with a redhead at the restaurant’s corner table. His wife slipped through the front door of the mansion, unannounced. Walking slowly through the dining room, past the Medieval memorabilia and dramatic cast-iron griffins, she strolled up to Ross’s table, took a revolver from her evening bag, and calmly shot him through the heart.

The ensuing chaos did more to establish Joseph Soderini di Avenzano in the American imagination than his designer pasta, his Bedouin-stuffed poussin, his recipes transposed from Etruscan or Old Genoese, or his library of 10,000 cookbooks. This was more than a good meal, after all. This was sex and death in Palm Beach. Even more intriguing was the Chef’s refusal to comment on Ross after his death, except for informal and effusive eulogies in his famous baritone.

“Watch that Cristal,” David’s friend Bill Grimaldi told him before he left Manhattan to do an assigned story on the 25th anniversary of Chateau de la Mer. “It’s a killer.”

About the Author:
Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog. He is the holder of the Certificate and Advanced diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.

Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Barnes and Noble Author Page


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Win a $50 GC: How to Draw Cool Stuff by Catherine V. Holmes



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Catherine will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner, and another winner will receive a print copy of How to Draw Cool Stuff (international) both via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How to Draw Cool Stuff: Holidays, Seasons and Events is a step-by-step drawing guide that illustrates popular celebrations, holidays and events for your drawing pleasure. From the Chinese New Year to April Fools' Day, Father's Day to Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Eve - this book covers over 100 fun days, holidays, seasons and events, and offers simple lessons that will teach you how to draw like a pro and get you in the spirit of whichever season it may be!


Enjoy an excerpt:

This book evolved out of necessity. After exploring art catalogs and libraries and wading through the "how to draw" section of book stores, I found a few good resources but none that had all the qualities I was looking for in a drawing book. Some ideas were too basic and often insulting to my older, more artistic students. Other material seemed to serve as a showcase for beautiful artwork but lacked any concrete instruction.

As a "travelling" art teacher with a limited budget and limited preparation time, I need a single resource that is easy to transport and can be used to teach all levels of students from middle school to high school and beyond. This book was created to fill that need and I want to share it with teachers and artists in similar situations. These projects will allow you to bring interesting and informative lessons that offer clear objectives and foster achievement without the need for expensive/multi-dimensional supplies: a regular pencil and eraser is all that is needed (sometimes a ruler or fine pen). Fancy art pencils, costly paper or kneaded erasers are not required for success. All pages have been student tested and approved.

About the Author:Catherine V. Holmes is an art/ELA teacher and visual artist from historical Plymouth, Massachusetts. She studied at Boston University and at Bridgewater State College where she earned her BFA and MA in ED. She is currently working towards her second Master's from the University of Scranton. Catherine Holmes specializes in portraits, architecture and illustrations. Her art is inspired by her feelings, ideas, and experiences, whether they are found in nature, the media or in man-made structures. Catherine is also heavily influenced by the interests and suggestions of her students. "To see success through their eyes inspires me to be a better teacher and creator of art."

Facebook ~ Website
Buy the book at Amazon. Check out the books series, as well.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Win a $10 GC - The Girl Who Could Change Fate by Cassidy Ostergren


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cassidy will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lacey Joy White considers herself unremarkable in every way: she worries over choosing the right clothes, tries to maintain a D in chemistry, and spends nights creeping on her crush on Facebook. And she can alter the future.
Enjoy an excerpt:

“How did you guys know we were here?” asked Christian quietly.

Dawson dispelled his gaze from his dead friend. “Some drunken buddies of mine told me they couldn’t believe part of the party was making fireworks out of my barn. I came to check out what they meant when I ran into Brandon and Courtney. They called the police and the Regime right away.”

I gaped at him. Party? What party? And then it jolted me—Dawson’s Halloween shindig, where normal people were getting sloshed and making out with friends and not getting killed. Had that all really been a mere half an hour or so ago?

I knelt down and cradled my face in my hands. Trinity stooped to rub my back. But her motherly caressing couldn’t stop the silently spreading need inside of me…I wasn’t normal, no—not like Emily Boyle and her Creepe cronies and all those others. I had my gift, the one which I couldn’t help but seek to use…And did Christian undergo any of this when he exploited his Memory Shifting?

I glanced up at him, hoping to recognize any sign that he had enjoyed manipulating his power, savoring that untamed triumph, in that moment where he had control like no one else did. But he just stood there, defeated, shaking his head absently.

About the Author:
Cassidy Ostergren was born and grew up in the DC metropolitan area. She attended Roanoke College in Salem, VA, where she majored in Creative Writing and English, and published several of her works in both the college and local magazines. She is currently a full-time novelist of YA fiction and lives on Oak Island, NC, where she enjoys taking walks on the beach with her dog and composing her newest stories.

Website ~ Creativa Author Page ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Buy the book at Amazon.

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Monday, June 06, 2016

Win a $10 GC: The Sheik's Desires by Elizabeth Lennox and Leslie North


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Buy the bookset for only $0.99!

Get four breath-taking sheik romances from two of your favorite authors - all in the same boxset!

The Sheik’s Challenge by Elizabeth Lennox

When she sings, she sounds like a cat in heat…but Ana, a brilliant mathematician, stuns and surprises Najid del Sabur, Sheik of Safir. Her bright eyes defy him and her smiles sooth him, while her body makes him lust for her. But can he catch her? Can he convince her that her past won’t hurt their future?

The Prince’s Challenge by Elizabeth Lennox

She can’t sit still. She’s beaten every nurse and doctor on her floor at cards. And she’s achingly beautiful. But is she friend or foe? Having been caught in the line of fire by a bullet meant for his brother, Prince Jual del Sabur, Minister of Defense for Safir can’t decide if the lovely Sonya was part of the assassination attempt or innocent and just caught by bad timing. All he knows is that he is definitely caught by her startling eyes and her soft sighs as he explores that question.

The Sheikh's Untraditional Lover by Leslie North

Ultra-traditional and devastatingly handsome Prince Zafar Tadros thinks a business/sports complex is not what is needed for his country—but he believes in helping his family. With the region increasingly doing more business with Western companies, his father Sheikh Ahmadi has ordered this new business/sports complex to be a mix between West and East cultures.

Zafar has decided he will work to integrate as much traditional elements as possible, but Belle Mooney, an innovative American architect has taken her direction from Zafar's father and is going for innovations. The two clash over designs—and only one can win.

The Sheikh's Stubborn Partner by Leslie North

With the deadline fast approaching, playboy Prince Adyan Tadros must supervise the only construction company that will take on the job of building the business/sports center in less than six months. The meticulous Edna Abbey has taken over her father's construction company while he recovers from a stroke, and the last thing she wants to do is rush the project. But with attraction between her and the Prince growing everyday, she may be glad for the distraction...


Enjoy an excerpt from The Sheik's Untraditional Lover by Leslie North:

Belle Reynolds could feel her cheeks warming. How did she get herself into these things?

It was obvious that Sheik Zafar hadn’t been told that she was to be the lead architect. It was equally obvious Zafar wasn’t happy about it, but his dad seemed more than pleased.

Sheik Ahmadi looked a lot like his son—both tall men, lean and handsome. Zafar was a touch taller than his father with dark hair that curled slightly on the ends and golden eyes that reminded her of a lion. A little too much like a lion since he left her feeling like a fat zebra he was watching with a mixture of animosity and calculation. He was watching her with a mixture of animosity and calculation. Well, if he thought she could be intimidated, he was wrong. She wasn’t going to be a zebra, she’d turn herself into one of those ugly wildebeests who could best a lion. She had to stifle a snort at the idea.

Zafar shot her a narrow-eyed glance, as if he disapproved of levity, but he turned to the sheik. “Father, it is good to see you so early in the day. You don’t often take breakfast.”

“We don’t often have such a charming guest in residence.” The sheik seated himself. Zafar filled a glass with coffee from a carafe, and Belle sat down again, too. She was still trying to figure out the dynamic here.

Zafar Tadros was one of the most gorgeous men she’d ever met. He had a classic profile—straight nose, strong jaw and high cheekbones. Hollywood would love him and those dark, brooding good looks. One glance at him and her heart had started pounding like she was a high school girl gazing at her first crush. She’d told herself to get it together, get over it and get to work. Work was what mattered—she had a chance to prove herself here and she wasn’t going to blow it.

She took a short breath now, smiled, and ate another date even thought she didn’t really like them—too sweet and sticky. She also gave Sheik Ahmadi a long, assessing glance—he was going to be her supporter, even if Zafar looked like he wanted to pack her bags and ship her home on the next flight out. “I’m ready to get to work right after breakfast,” she offered, hoping that would get her mind back where it was supposed to be. On work. Not on Zafar and the muscles she could see under that tight T-shirt of his.

Sheik Ahmadi rubbed his hands together. “Excellent. We should talk about some preliminary ideas and schedules. I think a week is good for you two to come up with initial sketches. Old and new. That is what I want to see. We want a complex that is so compelling even movie firms want to film there—it must become an icon of all that is good in Scaran. Our traditions and our future!”

Belle watched Zafar’s face go from suppressed anger to calculating. When she met his gaze again, she saw a look in his eyes that sent a shiver down her spine. He was plotting something—and he’d just dismissed her as any kind of problem.

Well, this problem would not be easy to solve.

About the Authors:

Leslie North

Read FIVE full-length, highly rated Leslie North novellas for FREE! Sign up for free books here.

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women's contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren't afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don't hesitate to contact her via email.

Twitter ~ Website ~ Facebook


Elizabeth Lennox

USA Today (c) bestselling author Elizabeth Lennox writes contemporary romance novels featuring sheiks, business tycoons, royalty, and other sexy rich men. Her male lead characters are smart, driven and determined, but can still be sensitive and vulnerable. Elizabeth's female lead characters come from a variety of backgrounds. They are strong, intelligent and independent, while still feminine and caring.

Although Elizabeth wanted to be a romance novelist since the eighth grade, that dream only became a (paid) reality for her in 2009 and a full time job in 2012. Along the way, she received a BS in History and held different jobs in the real estate, government consulting, and financial industries. All during that time, though, she was always writing, using her personal experiences, dreams, and travels throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean as backdrops for her stories. To date, she has written over 80 books and sold over 1.7 million copies. Her free novellas have been downloaded over 2.9 million times since 2013.

Elizabeth lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. Their home is just outside of Washington, D.C., and many of her novels are set in this area.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest


Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, or Kobo.

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Friday, June 03, 2016

Win a $30 GC: Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lauren will be awarding $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

These are the facts: My name is Callie Sinclair. I am seventeen years old. I live in San Francisco. I love my boyfriend, Charlie. I work for a secret governmental agency. I am a psychic spy. This romantic, action-packed twist on the classic spy novel is perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Embassy Row series or for any reader who enjoys cinematic writing and stories of romance and intrigue.

At seventeen, Callie is the government’s youngest psychic spy, trained to track dangerous people and weapons in her visions. When another young—and handsome and witty—psychic joins the agency, Callie’s personal and professional lives get messy all at once. If she can’t find a way to change the events she’s seen in her visions, she could lose the people she loves most . . . and her mind. Literally.

Richly painted against the backdrop of San Francisco and Berkeley, Lauren Sabel’s enthralling novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

I linger in front of the door to my building the next morning, enjoying the appearance of being a normal college freshman. Since my office looks like any other redbrick building on the Berkeley campus, sometimes I pretend I’m a student here. For a moment, I imagine that my worst fear is failing my English exam instead of being unable to stop a dirty bomb from hitting US soil.

But as soon as I pull the building’s front door open, I sink back into this reality, the one that stars me as the youngest psychic viewer ever to work at Branch 13, a private company that contracts with the CIA. When Indigo found me over a year ago, he explained to me why it was essential that no one knew about my job as a psychic viewer.

“If the criminals we are chasing think someone we love could have some information about our missions, they’ll stop at nothing to extract the information from them.”

So even though I knew it was wrong, I forged my mom’s signature on the documents that said it was okay for me to work at Branch 13. Indigo would never know that my mom didn’t know, and I would still be protecting her from harm by keeping her in the dark.

The front door closes behind me, sealing me into the small space in front of the X-ray machine. Other than the whirring sound of the conveyer belt and the ever-present sound of National Public Radio, the lobby is silent.

“Hello?” I call, knowing that Anthony won’t be able to hear me on his hourly smoke break. Anthony’s our security guard, but he’s about as protective as a three-toed sloth, and just as fast. His beer belly is as round as his balding head, and he couldn’t run if his feet were on fire; but worse than all that is his insistence on talking about himself in third person.

While I wait for Anthony to return from wherever it is he’s disappeared to, I listen to the radio. The reporter is talking about a satellite that was just shot into space.

“It will enter a ring of satellites twenty-three thousand miles above the earth’s surface,” the reporter says. “Regarding the recent solar activity, NASA says—”

“Anthony’s back from the dead,” Anthony announces, returning to the front desk. He whistles under his breath. “And no one better to bring me back to life than you.”

About the Author:
Lauren Sabel lives in the quirky dark spaces of her mind, and she tries to shed light on these spaces in her books. After publishing VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD in Summer 2014 with Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, she confronted her lifelong fear of being psychic by writing LIES I LIVE BY. Since in this YA thriller, teenage psychic spy Callie Sinclair works undercover for the government, forced to hide her real identity from everyone she loves, Lauren is now certain she’s on the CIA watch list.

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


Buy LIES I LIVE BY at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or IndieBound
Buy VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD at Amazon

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