Fury of a Highland Dragon by Coreene Callahan #mfrwauthor #mgtab #PNR @coreenecallahan


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Fury of a Highland Dragon

by Coreene Callahan

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance

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BLURB:

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Trapped by a future she refuses to face…

Accused of cyber espionage by the United States government, ethical hacker Ivy Macpherson is now on the FBI’s most wanted list. Out of options, she runs, desperate for time to prove her innocence. When fate takes an unexpected turn, bringing her face-to-face with Tydrin, she must decide—trust a man more dangerous than the hunters on her trail to keep her safe. Or risk capture by a covert agency well known for ruthlessness.

Condemned by a past he doesn’t want to remember…

Cursed with a terrible temper, Scottish dragon-warrior Tydrin struggles to atone for a mistake that took innocent lives. Unable to forgive himself, he returns to the scene of his crime in hopes of finding absolution, but discovers a woman in need of his help instead. Intervening in the nick of time, he whisks Ivy to safety, only to realize the daughter of the family he wronged is the one destined to steal his heart.

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Excerpt:

Feet rooted to the ground, Tydrin stared at the female. He blinked to clear his vision. Nothing. No change in his visual field and—bloody hell. It couldn’t be. He must be seeing things. Must be imagining the impossible. But no matter how many times he forced himself to refocus, nothing changed. She remained front and center, kneeling in the dirt, head bowed, hands resting on her thighs. The submissive position drew him tight, messing with his ability to think for a second.

Tydrin shook his head.

The movement knocked brain cells into motion and…Good Christ. Unbelievable. She was real. He wasn’t imagining her. Or the radiating warmth frothing around her like sea foam. Glowing bright blue, the female’s aura lit up the space around her. Her bio-energy hummed and his dragon half woke, setting off a dangerous chain reaction. Bone-deep hunger punched through. His body came alive. His mind dulled, blocking out everything but her. Long red hair pulled into a messy bun, she shuffled closer to the headstone. Mumbling another apology, she cleared debris away from the granite base. The task was one he usually preformed. On this date, every year when he visited. Right now, though, he didn’t care about his mission.

Or about paying his respects.

Struck stupid by her, only one thought registered—a high-energy female here…in middle the of Aberdeen.

Tydrin frowned. Holy shite. He was in trouble. Neck deep and sinking fast without any idea how to control his reaction to her.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Growing up as the only girl on all-male hockey team, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write characters inspired by them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics, but whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked, good fun.

After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, she finally gave in and returned to her first love: writing. Her debut novel, Fury of Fire, was a finalist in the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest in two categories: Best First Book and Best Paranormal. She combines her love of romance, adventure and writing with her passion for history in her novels. She lives in Canada with her family, a fun-loving golden retriever, and her wild imaginary world.

http://www.coreenecallahan.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coreene-Callahan/173981189346509

https://twitter.com/coreenecallahan

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5321960.Coreene_Callahan

http://www.amazon.com/Coreene-Callahan/e/B006NAHH48/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1444769072&sr=8-1

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Coreene will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

The Evans Trilogy by Jennifer Collin #mfrwauthor #mgtab #ChicLit @CollinJennifer


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The Evans Trilogy

by Jennifer Collin

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GENRE:  Chick Lit

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BLURB:

 

Book 1: Set me Free

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Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.
But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.
Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

Book 2: Open My Eyes

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Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you’re stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister’s best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she’s determined to put it behind her and move on. She’s walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn’t have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can’t move on.

Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it’s the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He’s even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he’s done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.

But Emily can’t avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben’s world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.

Book 3: Bring Me Back

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Andy Evans is on the move. For six long, lonely years, he’s been running from his past, leaving his family and his life as a drug-addicted rock star far behind. His latest move takes him to the sleepy seaside town of Oamaru, New Zealand, to sell cigar-box guitars to tourists. The only running he’ll need to do will be training for the half-marathon in nearby Dunedin. But when Andy sets eyes on Steampunk HQ, Oamaru’s main tourist attraction, he realises his days of running might not be over, especially if a certain Steampunk fan from his past catches up with him.

Annie Martin is on the cusp of great success. Her career as a Steampunk academic is about to take off, as long as she can convince one disagreeable, New Zealand-based Professor to sign up to the anthology she’s putting together. Thankfully, Annie is a master at maintaining her poise and few people, no matter how nasty, can rattle her. Not any more. In fact, it’d been a good six years since anyone had gotten under her skin, after her best friend’s brother had vanished into thin air.

When Annie finds her future career on a collision course with her secret past, Andy Evans is the last person she expects to find tangled up in the mess. With a vengeful drug-dealer or two hot on his heels, and a vindictive academic determined to ruin her credibility, can Annie bring Andy back to his family before it’s too late? Annie and Andy are used to being alone, but if they don’t work together, there’ll be much more at stake than her livelihood and his sobriety.

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Book 2 Open My Eyes

Excerpt:

 

Eventually, the midwife turned her magnificently fake smile on her.

‘Hi,’ Emily croaked, and then cleared her throat with an indelicate ahem. ‘I’m Emily, and I’m 28 weeks,’ she said.

‘And are you here alone today, Emily?’ asked the midwife, going straight for the elephant in the room.

It took Emily a little by surprise. ‘I’m … my …’

‘Her partner is late,’ said Ben, from the door of Clinic Room B. He made his way around the tables, and dropped himself into the chair next to her.

Emily’s brain switched off, and she forgot about everyone else in the room. She stared at him, wanting to poke him, or pinch herself to see if he was real. And if he was, so help her, she wanted to kiss him.

She drank him in. He’d cut his hair – his hair was cropped short, ponytail gone. She wanted to touch it, to feel the bristle of the strands between her fingers. The texture might prove he was really there. She couldn’t stop herself from staring.

‘Sorry, honey,’ Ben said loudly, kissing her on her temple. An audible sigh rustled through the room, reminding Emily they weren’t alone.

‘Play along,’ he whispered into her ear, before sitting back in his chair, snatching her hand in his and introducing himself. She noticed he was wearing a pair of denim jeans and a chocolate brown T-shirt, which fit snugly across his chest. She could count on one hand the number of times she’d seen him in anything other than black.

He turned to her again. ‘Close your mouth,’ he whispered.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat.

She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn’t necessarily let them sleep.

Links

http://www.jennifercollin.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7105090.Jennifer_Collin

myBook.to/setmefree  (Amazon buy links)

https://www.facebook.com/JenniferCollinAuthorPage?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/CollinJennifer

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Jennifer agreed to answer some questions on her writing method:

 

 

What do you write?

My books are definitely romances, with strong heroines rather than vulnerable ones and guys next door rather than alpha males. I write with subtle, ‘small smile’ humor. There are so many sub-categories of romance, I find it hard to determine where I fit. My first book, Set Me Free, is a romantic comedy, but the humor is subtle rather than laugh-out-loud. My second and third books, Open My Eyes and Bring Me Back, deal with some heavy issues – depression and drug addiction. They’re not heavy books, but the comedy definitely takes a back seat. Open My Eyes is more women’s fiction / contemporary romance and Bring Me Back is romantic suspense, but both have hints of humor to lighten them up.

What genre do you favor?

I’m a rule-breaker, so I don’t easily sit within a genre. Because I work with light-hearted humor, I thought I was writing chick lit, but chick lit is often first person slapstick humor, and more about the main character’s growth than the romance. My books are definitely about the romance. I thought it might be contemporary romance, but my characters swear and are comfortable with sex, so I’m not sure they meet every reader’s expectations there. And because I deal with heavy issues, they could be considered women’s fiction, but the romance is probably too central to the story for them to fit there.

 

After much deliberation, I’ve created my own genre, which I call “chick lit with grit”. I think this conveys that the books are light with a bit of edge to them.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

In the second grade I wrote a story about picking up a glowing rod from the pavement on the way to school and being transported to an alien planet. I remember being really excited writing the story and then, when my teacher wrote me a little “excellent work” comment, I just knew I’d discovered my calling.

 

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

The best book would be Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, but most people would say that. As far as blogs go, I follow a few helpful ones. But what helps me more than Stephen King or those blogs is a Facebook-based writers group I’m part of. It’s a really well administered group, very disciplined and very supportive. It’s where I go when I need advice on crafting, covers, promotion and the occasional pep-talk.

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

I’m self-published and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love having complete control over my story and my cover. Sure, I don’t get the exposure traditionally published writers get, but I’m still reaching my audience.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I like romantic comedy and a bit of steam. I also need a fast pace to keep me turning the pages.

 

Favorite author?

Don’t make me choose! Ok, if I have to… Jenny Crusie’s gorgeous rom coms are sexy and fast paced – I love them. And of course I love all of the authors in my writer’s group! This includes Geralyn Corcillo and Whitney Dineen, who are hysterically funny; Jennie Marts, who writes a great cosy mystery; and Clodagh Murphy, who steams it up nicely.

Do your characters talk to you?

Not so much talk to me, but they have conversations between each other in my head. They steer the story as well, sometimes taking me away from the path I’ve mapped out for them, which means a LOT of redrafting…

How do you approach starting a new book?

I use tricks I’ve picked up from working in an office environment. I love doing big mind maps on butcher’s paper, particularly for character development. For plotting, I write scene ideas on post-it notes, stick them on a wall, and rearrange them until I have a story. I like to have a fairly solid framework for the book before I begin, but I don’t always stick to it, thanks to those pesky characters developing minds of their own.

What is your writing process?

Once I’m done planning, I just start the churn. I try to get as much out of my head as quickly as I can, which makes it pretty messy. There’s a lot of redrafting during my first draft, and a lot of going back and forth to weave in new elements when the characters decide we’re going down a different path.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

I have children, so “relaxing” is a forgotten art in my household! I do like to take them travelling though. I’ve always loved it and I want them to see as much of the world as possible. It’s quite the challenge from down here in Australia, because most of the world is a long, long flight away! So far they’ve seen England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, and closer to home, New Zealand and Vanuatu. I’m hoping our next trip will be Canada and the US.

What was your best date ever?

My first date with my husband. We’d been friends for a long time before we dated and when we finally decided to test out the romance, we didn’t want any of our mutual friends to know what we were up to. We went to the local casino, the least romantic place in town, where we knew we’d never run into any one we knew. It was fun though. We drank margaritas and lost small amounts of money on a few tables. When we got married, we dragged our wedding guests there for the after-party.

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Navy SEAL. I grew up around cowboys on my parent’s farm. There’s no mystery for me there.

Chocolate or chips?

Chocolate. I am a total sweet-tooth.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

Time-travel, so I could fit more hours into my days to write.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Fancy restaurant. There’s too many bugs outdoors.

Beer or wine?

Wine, now I’m older and more subdued. Beer, when I was younger and always willing to party.

Smooth or hairy?

Smooth.

 

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Jennifer Collin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

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

Goddess Fish Promotions

Adding Real Life Issues In Our Novels #MFRWauthor #mgtab #RSsos #DiabetesSucks @jacqbiggar


Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of FromSandToGlass

Sometimes real life issues can leave us feeling as though we’re drowning. Whether it’s health related, monetary concerns, trouble with family, or work, it sometimes seems more than we can handle.

This year my seven year old grandson was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, type 1 Diabetes.

Life-threatening.

Think that over for a moment.

Our happy, healthy little boy suddenly ended up in hospital for a week of testing, poking, and learning the routine surrounding his treatment. Blood checks every two hours, twenty-four-seven, all done to his poor little finger tips. Learning how to count carbs, fifteen for snacks, sixty for a meal, and believe me, that’s as tough to maintain as it sounds.

On top of that we had to learn to give him insulin shots before every meal and at bedtime. If you’re picturing a human pincushion about now, you’re getting close to understanding how we feel.

Strawberry_pincushion

 

This is from the American Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

 

 

And this, from the Canadian Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Without insulin, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

Your body produces glucose and also gets glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit.

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. It is not caused by eating too much sugar, and is not preventable. The current thought is that type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living-with-type-1-diabetes#sthash.sk13bM7C.dpuf

 

 

This will be a lifelong learning process for our family and it’s taught me to let the little stuff go, because compared to your loved one’s health- the rest just doesn’t matter.

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Update:

Since writing this post we received some great news. Our grandson was approved for the Omnipod Pump. The omnipod is a cordless pod that attaches by adhesive to the body wherever you would normally give an injection. A remote reads his blood glucose and sends a wireless message to the pod which then feeds the insulin into his body. The pod gets replaced every three days so instead of four injections a day = twelve in those three days he’s down to one!!

 

THE PARTS

The small, discreet Pod holds and delivers your insulin while the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) wirelessly manages your insulin delivery.

The Pod

THE POD

A small, lightweight and discreet Pod you’ll hardly know is there.

  • Tubing-free design that doesn’t tie you down
  • Adheres securely to most places you’d give an injection
  • Precise insulin delivery that’s easy to manage
  • Internal reservoir, insertion components and pumping mechanism are right in the Pod
  • Inserts automatically at the push of a button, with no injection needles in sight
  • Waterproof so there’s no need to disconnect for bathing or swimming*
  • Now smaller, slimmer and lighter, but still holds up to 200 units of insulin
  • Stores personalized basal settings — so PDM can be out of range
  • Pink slide insert provides added confidence that the cannula has deployed

* The Pod is waterproof to 7.6 m for up to 60 minutes (IPX8 rating). Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) is not waterproof. It should not be placed in or near water.

The PDM

THE PDM

A wireless Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) that helps put you in control.

  • Insulin on board (IOB) is calculated based on correction and meal boluses
  • Wireless PDM works up to 1.5 m away from the Pod
  • Simple, intuitive sentences guide your use of the OmniPod® System from automatic priming and insertion to bolusing
  • Large, colour screen for the information you need at a glance
  • Integrated FreeStyle® blood glucose meter automatically incorporates your glucose levels into suggested bolus calculations and history records
  • Can be stored in your pocket, purse or backpack
  • Conveniently downloads data into easily understandable reports and charts
  • Customizable ID screen helps you easily identify your PDM

http://myomnipod.ca/

 

This will give him so much more freedom and is a huge relief to his family.

Type 1 Diabetes has no cure at this time, but with breakthroughs such as the Omnipod parents can breathe a little bit easier. 🙂

 

 


In my novel, The Rebel’s Redemption, Jared Martin returns to his hometown of Tidal Falls, Washington to make amends for wrongs of the past. Instead he finds his mother had been ill and was slowly recovering from a diagnosis of Diabetes. And if that wasn’t enough his old friend, Annie Campbell, had a son. His son.

Rebel's Redemption
Rebel’s Redemption

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town of Tidal Falls, can Jared Martin overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew, or will it be too late for redemption?

BUY LINK:

AMAZON

 

 

Excerpt:

Jared’s world narrowed down to the little black barrel of the gun pointed at his chest. Funny, in all the years of being in the SEAL teams he’d never been in this situation. Not to say he hadn’t dodged his share of bullets. It’s just they’d always erupted like a hailstorm, out of nowhere. This was somewhere. The back alley of his mother’s freaking café in freaking America to be exact. What the hell?

If he wasn’t so pissed off at himself for getting into this situation, he might have laughed. Eight years overseas off and on, and he was going to get shot in his own backyard. How’s that for ironic?

“Look man, why don’t we talk about this?” Jared forced his gaze to focus on Sergei’s steely gaze instead of the muzzle of the semi-automatic.

“The time for talk is past,” the Russian said. “You ignored my advice and instead made a fool out of me with that stupid trick you performed.”

“Advice? You call beating the livin’ shit out of me, advice?” Jared ground his teeth together, and fought to keep a level tone. “You can’t blame a guy for wanting to retaliate.” A crash by the garbage caused both men to crouch into a fight stance. A tabby cat raced away. Jared straightened, his heart knocking against his ribcage, as desperate to escape this mess as the animal. He needed to defuse the situation before someone came upon them; please God not his mom.

“Okay, you’re right. I shouldn’t have set off alarms or caused those slots to pay out. But seriously dude, you can’t go around acting all KGB, we’re in the good old USA now.” Jared kept a careful eye on the guy’s trigger finger and cursed his loose tongue. What part of defuse couldn’t he figure out?

Sergei tipped his felt hat back on his bald head like an old time gunslinger. His hand holding the gun never wavered. “You have big mouth.”

Yeah, I’ve heard that a time or ten.

“Why don’t we handle this like two adults? I’ll call your boss, tell him I screwed up and it’ll never happen again…” There was no doubt on that, if he ever went near a casino again he’d kick his own ass. “And then you can go back to ruling your little kingdom far, far, away.”

Click.

The sound of the hammer cocking reverberated with frightening clarity in the small alley. There wasn’t even anywhere for him to take cover. The garbage can was at least ten feet away. Jared’s jaw cramped from the tension. His skin crawled as if overrun with fire ants. Where was his team when he needed them?

He’d just decided the only alternative was to rush the son-of-a-bitch when the alley erupted with the screams and laughter of children. Two kids rounded the corner at full speed on pedal bikes, racing each other to an imaginary finish line.

Fuck.

Sergei seized the opportunity, stepped between the bicycles and scooped the kids off their seats. The bikes, wheels still turning, fell to the ground in front of him creating a barrier. The kidsGod, it was Chris and little Jessicashrieked until Sergei shook them, then they froze, eyes wide and frightened, hanging under his arms like rag dolls.

“Let them go, you motherfu…” Jared’s voice came out low and lethal. Every muscle in his body prepared itself for the moment of attack. His breathing slowed until he could count each heartbeat as the blood coursed through his veins. Waiting. Watching.

Barnikov laughed. Laughed. The prick.

“Now it my turn to play game.” Jared made a slight move and Sergei’s smile flat-lined. He dropped Jessica to the ground in front of him but kept his forearm wrapped around her neck. The gun nestled the side of her head pointed straight at Chris dangling from his other arm. “Move and I shoot.” He shuffled the trio back towards the mouth of the alley. “We’ll talk again, my friend.”

And then he disappeared around the corner, leaving nothing but the slowly turning tire on a bike and Jared’s heart as it shattered.    

 

 

Have you or your loved ones faced something you thought you couldn’t handle? What happened? How did you overcome and move on? Any advice you could share?

 

Don’t forget to check out the Giveaway page. There is a windfall of books and prizes up for grabs 🙂

Autumn Harvest Giveaway

https://jacqbiggar.com/giveaways/

Up And in by Deborah Disney #mfrwauthor #mgtab #Romance @deborahdisneyau


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Up and In

by Deborah Disney

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GENRE: Women’s Fiction

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BLURB:

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Distinctly middle-class parents, Maria and Joe have committed every bit of available income to giving their daughters Kate and Sarah the best education possible, which to them means attending the most exclusive girls school in the state. But when Kate befriends the spoilt and moody Mirabella, Maria finds herself thrust into a high society of champagne-swilling mother-istas she hasn’t budgeted for. Saturday morning netball is no longer a fun mother-daughter outing, but a minefield of social politics.

While the increasingly neurotic Maria struggles to negotiate the school mum hierarchy, Joe quietly battles a midlife crisis and Kate attempts to grow up as gracefully as possible (without having her life ruined by embarrassing parents).

For every woman who has ever felt she may be wearing the wrong shoes, this is a book that will remind you – you’re not alone.

Fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins are sure to enjoy this debut offering from new Australian author, Deborah Disney.

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Excerpt:

There it was again. That damned full stop. How does so much passive aggression fit itself into such a tiny punctuation mark?

Fine with me.

‘Fine with me, full stop.’

‘Fine with me full stop, no x.’

‘Fine with me full stop no x, no way am I ever going to let you think you are in any way deserving of the lathered-up, flattery-filled, signed-off-with-a-kiss kind of email I always send to everyone else on this email list.’

And there you have it. That is what she was able to say to me with one little full stop.

Of course, if any of the obsessively-stroking-and-simultaneously-self-aggrandising netball mums on this email list ever decided just to hit ‘Reply’ instead of ‘Reply all’ to the coach’s weekly email, I probably wouldn’t know that this little full stop means that I am absolutely, categorically, no longer in the fold. Unfortunately, because I am still on the email list, every week my inbox fills with messages ending with ‘x’ – not emails addressed specifically to me, just a plethora of inappropriately ‘Reply all’ emails sent to every woman with a daughter in the Red Rockets Under 10 Division 1 netball team. Every ‘x-ending’ email I have read over this netball season has served to reinforce the knowledge that if I were the object of Bea’s contrived affections her response to my offer to organise a group gift for our daughters’ netball coach would instead have gone more like this:

(Reply all)

Oh Maria, you are always so thoughtful. Of course I had been planning to find Linney the perfect gift – she has done such a stellar job with the girls this season! Sadly, I am just run off my feet this week. With putting the finishing touches on the gala, and having the nanny taking time off for her final exams, I just haven’t had a chance to even think! You are a life saver! Truly. I can’t wait to see what you choose – you have such impeccable taste! By the way, where did you get those absolutely to-die-for wellies you were wearing last week? I absolutely covet them. I just have to have some. Anyway, I must press on, I have a hundred emails to get through. I see another one just popped up from the Governor’s Office. Did I mention that the Governor and his wife will be joining us at the gala? I have known him forever, of course. Just adored his Christmas card last year! Remind me to tell you about it. Thanks again for organising the gift. You are an absolute gem! Bea x

I guess, in a way, ‘Fine with me full stop’ is in fact a lot easier than the alternative. Back when I actually gave a damn what Bea thought of me, the alternative would have filled me with insecurity. What kind of ‘perfect’ gift would she have chosen for Linney? Did she really like my wellies? Would she ever choose them over her Louboutin ballet flats to go to an Under 10’s netball game – even when the grounds were covered in mud like when I wore mine the previous week – or did she really just plan to sit them on the porch by way of decor at her thousand-acre ‘hobby’ farm up the coast? How would I confess that I actually bought them at Kmart? And shit, shit, shit, the Governor is coming to the gala? It was bad enough that I had to hide from Joe that it was costing us $500 a head just to be at the gala, but now I would have to somehow convince him to pay a grand for a decent new dinner suit as well?

I have to wonder, though, if it was really such a relief to open up her fine-with-me-full-stop email, instead of receiving one of the phoney rambling prop-ups she sends to all the other netball mums – the ‘lower-case beas’ – then why did it feel like I had just had my face slapped?

Admittedly, I cared a hell of a lot less than I once would have. Before I realised that my name had been wiped off the Bea-list, ‘Fine with me full stop’ would have spiralled me into days of tortured analysis. What did I say that I shouldn’t have? Is she upset that I invited Lauren’s daughter for a play with Kate instead of asking Mirabella? What is it? What did I do? Did she wave to me in traffic and I missed it? Did Kate do something to upset Mirabella? Is it because Kate got a better score than Mirabella at the eisteddfod?

After being off the Bea-list for almost six months now, though, I have started training myself to see things differently. When I think about what got me wiped off the Bea-list in the first place, my reaction to her flagrant snubbery is now more a mixture of amusement and incredulity, rather than feeling any sense of self-recrimination.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

AuthorPic_UpandIn

Australian author, Deborah Disney, grew up in the regional city of Toowoomba and now lives in Brisbane with her husband and two school-aged daughters. Deborah has a BA/LLB from the University of Queensland and practised as a solicitor for a number of years prior to having children. She chose to specialise in litigation law as that seemed like the best preparation for what is now her looming battle – mothering her daughters through the teenage years. Deborah’s first novel, Up and In, is a satirical look at the interactions of school and sporting mums.

https://twitter.com/deborahdisneyau

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deborah-Disney-Author/732526246801668

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8511300.Deborah_Disney

Buy link:  http://www.amazon.com/Up-Deborah-Disney-ebook/dp/B00LZB9FFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441052511&sr=8-1&keywords=deborah+disney&pebp=1441052515110&perid=1PJ28AN5QKKZ4JVYT6PA

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I was able to get together with Deborah and interview her on her writing process.  Here’s what she shared:

 

 

What do you write?

 

I write books for women, about women, and primarily about the friction-filled relationships they have with one another.
What genre do you favor?

 

As a reader? I generally like to read Women’s Commercial Fiction, but I also like thrillers. I have loved the overlap of the two in books like Gone Girl … and clearly a vast portion of the book buying public does too.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

 

I have always loved writing. It was only a few years ago that I decided I would like to do writing as a career.

 

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

 

The way that gets your book in front of the most people. I think a combination of print and digital is best.

 

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

 

Oops – I already answered that in Q2. The answer you probably needed to see up there was just Women’s Commercial Fiction (being the genre I write in).

 

Do your characters talk to you?

 

Absolutely. Only other authors would understand this, but characters really do take on a life of their own. Sometimes they just do things you (as their creator) would not expect them to do. Sometimes there is something almost spiritual and trance-like that happens when a writer becomes just like a tool for getting a story out. I remember reading something Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about this and I felt relieved that it wasn’t just me.

 

How do you approach starting a new book?

 

Ideas for the plot and characters come gradually and I write them down as I think of them. Then a lightning bolt of an idea comes to me that makes me think ‘YES, that is how this can work’ and then from there I write bits and pieces that I rearrange and put together to make the whole story.


What is your writing process?

 

I do not write chronologically. I write scenes. I then need to work out how to present them together in a way that makes sense to the reader.
What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

 

I am a little ashamed to say I have not studied or researched my craft at all. I just do it. But I have seen a few talks by Elizabeth Gilbert that I have found helpful.


What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

 

  I like designing – at the moment we are designing a new house and I am always working and re-working the floor plan and little design features for it. Funnily enough, when I was little I used to spend my spare time writing and designing house floor plans. Why as an eight year old I was spending time drawing houses and floor plans I have no idea. And it’s interesting to me that that is what I spend a lot of my time on now. Up until the last few years I have not considered myself to be a creative, but now I realise that I always have been – I just took a while to apply my creativity in a career sense.

 

What was your best date ever?

 

All the ones with my husbandof course!

 
Navy SEAL or cowboy?

 

Pass

 

Chocolate or chips?

 

Tough call but … chips.

 

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

 

Mindreading. I spend a lot of time trying to work out people’s motivations. It could save me that time.
Fancy restaurant or picnic?

 

Nope – can’t choose – I love both and it would just depend on the day. Today I would pick picnic.

 

Beer or wine?

 

Wine

 

 

Favorite author?

 

This changes but currently Liane Moriarty

 

Smooth or hairy?

 

My legs or are we talking about Navy Seals and Cowboys again? My legs – currently a bit hairy – need to go fix that.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Deborah will be awarding an eCopy of Up and In to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Woo Me by Karina Bliss #mfrwauthor #mgtab #Romance #BookReview @BlissKarina


Woo Me

Woo Me

by

Karina Bliss

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Can true love overcome a bad hide day and a series of unfortunate events?

Disillusioned in love, Jen Tremaine is done with men. So when her best friends dare her to wear a cow costume to their reunion at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, she’s all over it. Who would have thought dressing as a heifer would make her irresistible to a bunch of lasso-twirling, drunken cowboys?
Maybe you should have thought this through, says the sexy security guard who keeps finding her at the center of trouble. Even though Jen’s always dismissed soul mates as a load of bull, the sizzle between them is making her wonder: What if you met The One while wandering lonely as a cow? Would you find the courage to become a believer?
When ex-Special Forces soldier Logan Turner is roped into helping out with security at the B&S ball, he isn’t expecting to find love – but after months in all-male company he sure is hoping for lust. He certainly isn’t expecting to fall for a feisty, funny, trouble-making Cowderella. Only problem is, she’s leaving Australia tomorrow. Convincing Jen they can still have a future together may wind up being the toughest mission of his life.

Woo Me is Book 2 in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series. Don’t miss out on Book 1 – Win Me by Joan Kilby and Book 3 – Wait For Me by Sarah Mayberry.

Buy Link:

Amazon

Karina Bliss

New Zealander Karina Bliss’s debut, Mr Imperfect, won a Romantic Book of the Year award in Australia, and three of her thirteen books have won Desert Island Keeper reviews at likesbooks.com. Her last release, RISE, continued the story of Zander Freedman, who first appeared as a villain in Karina’s bestselling title, What the Librarian Did – a book that made DearAuthor’s Best of the Year list in 2010. Two of Karina’s books have also featured in Sizzling Book Chats at SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.
In October 2015, she released Woo Me as one of a three-novella anthology – The Outback Bachelor Ball – with Joan Kilby and Sarah Mayberry.
Find out more at www.karinabliss.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarinaBlissAuthor
Twitter @BlissKarina
Newsletter & Email: karina@karinabliss.com

My Review:

Karina has long been on my auto-buy list. She made me a die-hard fan with Rachel and Devin’s story from What The Librarian Did. If you haven’t read the book yet, I highly encourage you to give it a try, you won’t regret it 🙂

She carries on with her impeccable style in Woo Me, a story based around three women and a cow costume. Yes, you read this right.

Jen and her two friends decide to get away together after going through disastrous relationships. What follows is a comedy of mishaps culminating with Jen getting rescued from hunky Logan Turner.

This story was in turns funny, sweet, and poignant.

Favorite line:

He kissed her. Claimed her. And then she moved and claimed him.

This book is a quick read that romance lovers are bound to enjoy.

I give Woo Me 4 lovely stars

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Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler #mfrwauthor #mgtab #bookReview #RomSus @leslie_tentler @Barclay_PR


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No Matter How Far You Run, The Past Will Find You

Leslie Tentler is back with another story of romance and suspense…this time in a small Southern beach town called Rarity Cove. What happens when a woman on the run has her dangerous secrets finally catch up with her? Find out in Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler…

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About BEFORE THE STORM

Six years earlier, Trina Grissom disappeared, on the run for her life. Now living under an assumed identity—as Samantha Marsh—she still struggles with the dark secret she harbors and the fear she might one day be found. When she moves to the coastal town of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to open a café, a handsome widower begins to chip away at the walls she’s built to protect herself.

Mark St. Clair lost his wife two years ago in a tragic accident. Head of the grand St. Clair resort, he distracts himself from his lingering grief by running the family business and caring for his troubled young daughter…until a beautiful restaurateur sets up shop in town. Before meeting Samantha, Mark was convinced he could never be drawn to another woman. But as his attraction to Samantha grows, the mystery surrounding her deepens.

As the two begin a hesitant courtship, double perils emerge. Someone from Samantha’s lurid past comes calling, threatening to expose her. And a powerful hurricane is forming in the Atlantic with the small beach town in its path. Trapped in the storm by the brutal man who wants vengeance on Samantha, she and Mark must fight for their lives.

On Sale in Digital and Print: October 20, 2015

Amazon       B&N      

   Kobo       iBooks

BEFORE THE STORM — EXCERPT:

The Sea King Motor Court sat off the two-lane highway heading inland out of Rarity Cove. A good four miles from the beach, the one-story, painted cinderblock structure was outdated and somewhat run-down, with a small swimming pool surrounded by a chain-link fence next to the parking lot. Samantha walked past the unoccupied, darkened pool, clutching her purse that contained Lenny’s payoff.

Room six. She stood outside it and reminded herself to breathe. But her courage felt shattered, like so many broken shell fragments washed up along the shore. The porch light beside the door had either burned out or been purposely extinguished. If not for the moon overhead and the iridescent, droning orange of the motel signage, she would be in eerie darkness.

Nearly choking on dread, Samantha knocked. As she waited, her fingers roamed inside her purse until she felt the handle of the kitchen knife she’d brought with her from Café Bella. If Lenny tried to take more than the money, if he grabbed her and tried to force her…

Samantha shivered despite the evening’s humidity. Jittery, she knocked again, louder this time.

The muffled blare of a television came from another of the guest rooms. But the one in front of her remained silent. Samantha glanced at her wristwatch, checking the time again. Five minutes past eleven. An eighteen-wheeler pulled into the parking lot, its big tires crunching over gravel. It came to a stop at the far side of the motel. A driver wearing cowboy boots, jeans and a baseball cap climbed down from the cab. The man approached and nodded politely at her as he traveled past, then disappeared inside one of the rooms.

Samantha knocked again on Lenny’s door, this time with the flat of her hand. Her palm smarted with the effort. But again there was no response. What kind of game was he playing?

Weak with pent-up fear and growing frustration, Samantha moved to the window and tried to peer between the slit in the closed curtains. But the room’s interior appeared dark. She sagged onto the white plastic lawn chair next to the air conditioner vent. A thin trail of water leaked from the unit across the grimy concrete stoop, reaching her leather thong sandals. She hadn’t worn the requested stripper heels.

She wondered what to do. Keep waiting? For how long? She squinted at a line of plastic flamingos planted in the motel’s patchy Bermuda grass. They called attention to a sign urging passersby to inquire about weekly rent specials.

Lenny wasn’t home, apparently. Samantha rubbed her hands over her upper arms, confused. Had he forgotten it was his payday?

That didn’t seem possible.

 

Add BEFORE THE STORM to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

Check out other books from Leslie Tentler!

Midnight Caller
Midnight Fear

Edge of Midnight
Fallen

Author Bio:

Leslie Author Photo

Leslie Tentler is also the author of FALLEN as well as the Chasing Evil Trilogy (MIDNIGHT CALLER, MIDNIGHT FEAR and EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). She was a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012, and is a two-time finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Award of Excellence.

Leslie is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Novelists, Inc. A native of East Tennessee, she currently resides in Atlanta.

Connect with Leslie:  Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

My Review:

The first thing that caught my attention with Before The Storm was the cover. This cover with its dark grey clouds, storm-tossed seas, and lonely looking woman made me want to open the book and find out her story.

I’m so glad I did.

Samantha Marsh has moved to the small coastal town of Rarity Cove in search of a new life. She opens a specialty bake shop and slowly integrates into the community. Then she meets a handsome man at the country fair with his sweet little girl who hasn’t spoken since her mother died in a horrible car accident. Samantha never had a good experience with men so she’s surprised by her instant connection to Mark St. Clair.

Slowly a bond forms between the two of them.

When trouble shows up from Samantha’s past she tries to distance herself from Mark and his daughter before they get hurt.

Is it too late?

This story is written with plenty of emotional highs and lows guaranteed to keep the reader turning pages.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

I give this book a well deserved 5 lovely kisses

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CELEBRATE THE RELEASE WITH A GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: $25 Amazon or B&N gift card

Two runners-up will receive their choice of an ebook from Leslie’s backlist 

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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All I Want by Jill Shalvis #mfrwauthor #mgtab #Book Review @jillshalvis


All I Want

All I Want

by Jill Shalvis

Genre: contemporary romance

From the “awesomely, incredibly talented”* New York Times bestselling author of Still the One, comes a sexy new Animal Magnetism novel set in Sunshine, Idaho, where the sky is the limit when it comes to love.

Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler.

Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes with a shock that it’s Parker who gets her engines going…

*New York Times bestselling author, Jaci Burton

About the Author:

Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit http://www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
www.facebook.com/jillshalvis
www.twitter.com/jillshalvis
www.instagram.com/jillshalvis
http://jillshalvis.tumblr.com/
or email her at contact@jillshalvis.com

Buy Link:

Amazon

My Review:

There’s just something about a Jill Shalvis book. She has a knack for creating quirky characters we find impossible not to fall in love with.

Her heroes are alpha men who know what they want and don’t have any problem going after it, that is until they butt up with the funny, sexy, sassy women they can’t control.

Then the fun begins 🙂

One of the best at writing male points of view, Jill creates heroes we as readers can’t help but fall for.

Her wonderful use of dialogue makes me laugh and wrenches my heart at the same time.

Favorite lines:

“Was just going to call you,” the sheriff said before Parker could speak. “She’s her own woman,” Parker said. “She can go out with whoever she wants.” There. He’d said it. Now he just had to believe it. There was a long pause from Kel. Hell. “That’s not why you were going to call me,” Parker said, rubbing the sudden ache between his eyeballs. “Nope. But if we’re talking about Zoe, hell yeah, she’s her own woman. Did you really think I was calling you to ask permission to date her? And more importantly, why would

I call you to ask permission to date her?” “No reason.”

Shalvis, Jill (2015-10-06). All I Want (An Animal Magnetism Novel) (p. 170). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Readers who enjoy smiling while they read would like this book. 🙂

I give All I Want by Jill Shalvis 5 lovely kisses

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They Do, I Don’t by Susan Murphy #MFRWauthor #mgtab #Contemporary @smurphyauthor


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They Do, I Don’t

by Susan Murphy

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BLURB:

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Her once happy life in tatters thanks to a cheating husband, lacklustre career and a wrinkling face, Viv no longer believes in love and happiness. In fact, she hates them both. The problem is that as a marriage celebrant, gleeful love is what she has to deal with every day. With 10 hilarious and tragic weddings (and a funeral) to get through before she can give up being a celebrant, can she prove that love and happiness are the pathetic hopes of the naive, or will fate intervene and show her that what she secretly craves could be right in front of her?

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Excerpt:

Sticky and sweaty, I opened my eyes. The smell from the Shiraz that had spilled and soaked into my shirt was burning my nose. Sitting up, I blinked my vision clear and peeled the melted block of chocolate I had been devouring, from my chest.

My phone buzzed and vibrated. When I checked the screen, there was a stream of text messages.

Carrie: Viv, call me or I’m coming over there. Natalia says you’re wallowing.

Julia: Do you need anything? Haven’t heard from you since Friday. Call me.

Peter: Viv, call me. Have you thought about what I said?

I threw the phone onto the couch. God, I wish they would all just leave me alone!

According to my phone it was Tuesday. I’d barely seen poor Natalia, who was busy with work and study, but her absence had worked in my favour. It had allowed me to wallow in my misery. When she did come home, I would straighten up and look like I loved being alive. She was usually only checking in and heading back out, so I didn’t have to keep up the facade for long.

I rolled off the couch onto the floor, lying in repose as if I was a corpse in a coffin. I was beginning to like this misery, it seemed so much easier than trying to please everyone.

“Go away, I don’t want any company, or your lectures,” I yelled when the doorbell rang. I didn’t care who it was.

“Well luckily I’m not here for any of that then,” Tom called through the door. “I just missed you and wanted some company.”

I huffed, but felt slightly pleased that he actually still wanted to spend time with me, despite me being a drunken, washed-out hag.

“Have you eaten?” he asked, after I’d let him in.

I held up the melted, family size block of chocolate in response.

He shot me a look of disapproval. “Well, you need to eat something a bit more substantial. Go have a shower while I order some Chinese. I’ve brought a movie to watch.”

I groaned in protest, but followed his instruction. The shower had a strange cleansing feeling, not just on my body, but on my miserable mood. I had meant it when I said I didn’t want company, but now that Tom was here, I felt utterly relieved to have some.

“Did you order the entire shop?” I asked, pointing to the large array of dishes spread out on the coffee table, along with chop sticks, wine, and cushions on the floor. Thank God there was wine.

“I know I’ve been awful lately and I’m sorry,” I said. “But I can’t get myself together at the moment. I appreciate you being here though.”

He smiled. “What are friends for? Now eat up, and let’s get this movie started.”

Tom’s movie of choice was The First Wives Club. Perfect, only a man would think to get a recently dumped and traumatised woman a movie about a bunch of other women who have been traded in for younger versions. I wondered if it had been a random choice or if he’d deliberately chosen it, given that the women get their own back in the end. He was so enthusiastic that I didn’t question his motives. Instead, I settled back and drank some more, and at some point, after gorging on Chinese food and prawn crackers, I fell asleep.

Restless from the wine, but dozy and comfortable, I snuggled into the warm flesh beside me and leaned my face against the rough stubble of Peter’s cheek. I kissed him, just inside the nape of his neck, trailing his jaw line gently until my lips met his. I wrapped one leg over his and stroked his forehead, letting my fingers push through his hair. His hand came around me, finding the back of my neck. It stopped there for a moment and then trailed lightly down my back onto bare skin. My lips pushed harder against his before I remembered – Peter was gone!

“Tom, I’m so sorry.” I jumped off of the couch, losing my balance and landing on the floor.

“What?” He was half asleep and completely confused.

I got to my feet and backed away further. “I’m so sorry, I thought … I don’t know what I thought”. I buried my face in my hands, disgusted with myself. “I thought you were Peter,” I said, unable to meet his eyes.

Tom swung his legs off the couch and sat upright. “It’s fine,” he assured me with a big smile. “You’re under a lot of stress. Don’t go getting all upset and crazy. We were half-asleep, don’t worry about it.”

I turned away and walked into the kitchen. This is your best friend and now look what you’ve done. Why do I have the uncanny ability to screw everything up? I loved Tom, but I didn’t love him like that.

Tom followed me into the kitchen. I forced a smile, “Sorry,” I whispered.

“You’re being ridiculous, I don’t want you worrying about this. It was a mistake, whatever, it doesn’t matter. We’ve been friends a long time. Something as tiny as this isn’t going to change that.”

“I know, I know,” I lied as my stomach churned, but it wasn’t as simple as that. Our relationship had always been clear. Peter and I were married and Tom was my best friend. I just didn’t want this changing anything or coming between us.

“I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy it,” he joked and rubbed the top of my head. “You’re not bad when you’re delirious.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_TheyDoIDont

Susan Murphy is a civil marriage celebrant based in South Australia. With more than eight years experience, she’s had the pleasure and blessing of conducting  ceremonies all over the country including weddings, baby naming’s, commitment ceremonies, funerals and anything else that has been requested by a client. The stranger the better!

With a passion for words and a determination to one day (even if it was from the nursing home) become a writer, she made a fateful decision to attend a Masterclass with the amazing Fiona McIntosh, and from there ‘Confetti Confidential’ was born.

https://twitter.com/smurphyauthor

https://www.facebook.com/susanmurphyauthor

http://www.susanmurphyauthor.com/



Buy Link: 

http://www.amazon.com/Confetti-Confidential-They-Do-Dont-ebook/dp/B00OFDQK5M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438111983&sr=8-1&keywords=they+do+I+don%27t

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Susan will be awarding an eCopy of They Do, I Don’t to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a copy of the featured book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Husband Hunters by Genevieve Gannon #ContempRomance #MFRWauthor #mgtab @gen_gannon


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Husband Hunters

by Genevieve Gannon

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GENRE:  Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

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Clementine, a psychologist specialising in couples counselling, is reeling from the discovery that her boyfriend is married. Annabel, an ex-model, only seems to attract men who want her as a trophy. Daniela, a civil engineer, is stuck in the friendzone.

Abandoning the romantic notions of true love that haven’t worked out for them, the three decide to use their considerable professional skills to find a partner. this isn’t about hearts and flowers; it’s about being practical.

Warm and witty, Husband Hunters is about what happens when you try to engineer love. For fans of Zoe Foster, Lauren Weisberger and Mhairi Macfarlane.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

‘Oh!’ Amanda Ceravic was startled. She had been leaning into the mirror re-applying some lip gloss. She looked at Clementine, but didn’t say anything.

‘Sorry,’ Clem mumbled, and ran some cold water over her hands. Amanda kept staring. Clementine dried her hands, then inspected her face. It was flushed. She dabbed her eyes with a wet hand-towel and tried to ignore Amanda, who was still watching her reflection.

‘Do I know you?’ Amanda asked, arching a perfect eyebrow.

Clementine gulped.

‘You look familiar,’ Amanda said slowly. Clem held her gaze, terrified. Could she see his fingerprints on her skin? Could she smell her husband’s cologne lingering in her hair? Clementine took a step backwards.

‘I’m sorry, I don’t know. Perhaps you recognise me from the engagement party?’ she lied. She hadn’t gone — it was yet another event that had been sacrificed for a night with Jason. Guilt burned in the pit of her stomach. She put her hand to her cheek to hide the blush.

‘Perhaps.’ Amanda sounded unconvinced. ‘I never forget a face, though.’ She turned away from the mirror to look directly at Clementine. ‘How do you know the bride?’ she demanded.

‘High school,’ Clem squared her shoulders, but her mouth was dry.

Amanda took a step toward her. Up close she was even more beautiful than Clementine had first thought. Her blue eyes had a remarkable lilac tint that was both mesmerising and unsettling. Or perhaps that was just her expression as she looked down at Clementine. Her lip was curled ever so slightly into the most lady-like of sneers.

‘You do know me. I saw you looking at me and my husband before. I’ll figure it out,’ Amanda stated flatly. Clem’s pulse skipped to double time. But then Amanda softened. ‘I’m a journalist — it’s my job to remember people,’ she teased, smiling.

Clementine smiled back, stiffly. ‘Well, I’d better be getting back to my table,’ she said, and left before Amanda had the chance to reply.

She was rushing to her table when she collided with someone.

‘Clem!’ She looked up.

‘Jason—’

‘Why did you run off like that?’

‘I—’

‘Clem?’ Amanda was behind them. ‘Do you two know each other?’

Clementine opened her mouth to deny it, but nothing came out. Jason was paralysed, too. They were like a pair of possums caught in the headlight of Amanda’s stare.

‘Well, I, eh …’ Jason stammered.

The realisation hit his wife. She raised a finger and opened her mouth. Time seemed to slow down, as it did before a violent crash in a film.

In a flash a tall blond man appeared by Clementine’s side. ‘Darling,’ he said, throwing an arm around her waist, ‘I just sent Jason to get you. I’ve been looking everywhere.’ He smiled at her and winked. Then he turned to Amanda. ‘Mandy, I see you’ve met my beautiful new girlfriend, Clementine.’ He gently pushed her forward by way of introduction.

‘Clementine?’ Amanda said suspiciously, as if she didn’t believe this was her name. ‘Damon, I had no idea you were seeing someone.’ She paused. ‘Why aren’t you sitting together?’

‘We haven’t been seeing each other very long,’ Clem blurted. ‘Mirabella didn’t know we were an item.’

Amanda put her hands on her hips. The father of the groom clinked his glass with his fork to announce the next round of speeches.

‘We had better sit down,’ Jason said, putting a hand on Damon and Amanda so as to herd them to the safety of the sapphire table.

‘Come and visit us after the last speech, darling,’ Damon said. Then he took Clementine by the shoulders, pulled her to him and kissed her firmly on the mouth.

‘Damon!’ Jason cried. Everyone turned to look at him. ‘Um, have a little decorum, will you?’ Then they returned to the sapphire table.

‘Wow! Who was that?’ Daniela asked when Clem sat down.

‘His name is Damon,’ she said, touching her lips. ‘It’s a long story.’

Ha! Clem and Damon? If you two were a celebrity couple they’d call you Clemon.’

‘No danger of that,’ Clementine said as she gratefully reached for the pear tart waiting for her on the table.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Genevieve Gannon is a Melbourne-based journalist and author. She wrote stories for music and fashion street press magazines while at university before moving to Canberra to do a journalism cadetship. In 2011 she joined the national news wire, Australian Associated Press, where she covered crime, politics and entertainment. Her work has appeared in most major Australian newspapers including The Age, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

She currently lives in Melbourne where she is a court reporter. At night time she writes romantic comedies. Husband Hunters is her first novel.

https://twitter.com/gen_gannon

https://www.facebook.com/GenevieveGannonAuthor/timeline

http://www.genevievegannon.com/

Buy link: The book is currently FREE

http://www.amazon.com/Husband-Hunters-Genevieve-Gannon-ebook/dp/B00MLLK8SA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1440183051&sr=1-1&keywords=husband+hunters+Genevieve+Gannon

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Genevieve will be awarding an eCopy of Husband Hunters to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cowboy, Mine Boxed Set #mfrwauthor #mgtab #RSsos #Romance @melissa_keir


Cowboy, Mine… He’ll Leave You Breathless…

By the best-selling and award-winning authors….

Kathleen Ball, Krista Ames, Cheryl Gorman, Melissa Keir, Lyssa Layne, and D’Ann Lindun

Cowboy Mine

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-939590-99-2

BUY LINKS:

Amazon ebook:  http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Mine-Kathleen-Ball-ebook/dp/B016QYF6PM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1445033681&sr=8-2&keywords=Cowboy%2C+Mine

Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Mine-Kathleen-Ball/dp/1518613810/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1445033994&sr=8-6&keywords=Cowboy%2C+Mine

Texas Haven Kathleen Ball

Can love shine through the clouds of treachery and misunderstanding?

Advertising for a wife seems like the answer to all of Burke Dawson’s problems. He wants a wife and kids without emotional attachments, but he has no idea how much havoc one woman can cause.

Annie Douglas has her heart set on her hunky cowboy’s love and she isn’t about to stop until she gets it.

Take Me Home, Cowboy by Krista Ames

When tragedy strikes, will building tension and pride destroy a growing attraction or show them the way home?

Ally Kincaid returns to Rock Creek, Wyoming, to see her father after a two year absence. Anticipating a quiet family reunion, she finds herself butting heads with Matt Gentry—her father’s foreman—instead. The man’s arrogance and sexy drawl push all her buttons, making her wonder what he’s hiding beneath his cowboy swagger.

When tragedy strikes, will building tension and pride destroy their growing attraction or show them the way home?

Honeymoon Ranch by Cheryl Gorman

Can two reluctant partners ride off into their own blissful sunset on Honeymoon Ranch?

When wedding planner, Summer Conroy, discovers she has inherited half of Silver Creek Ranch, she is stunned to learn the other half is owned by sexy cowboy, Bryce Jericho. Her idea of turning the ranch into an exclusive wedding and honeymoon destination is met with a wall of resistance from Bryce who doesn’t want his ranch ruined with a bunch of wedding nonsense. He is determined to conceal his vulnerable heart that beats in fear of being betrayed again. Will this woman with dreams of happily-ever-after in her eyes transform his fear into love everlasting?

Chalkboard Romance by Melissa Keir

Will a One Night Stand prove to be their disaster or their salvation?

Lauren Walsh, a divorcee and elementary teacher, wants to feel sexy again after her ex tosses her aside for a younger woman. Her best friend encourages her to sign up for The Playhouse–a renowned dating agency. Forced to stay away from his young son, Mac Thomas lost the ability to trust. After the death of his wife, he returned to care for his son but his sister wants more for him. She sets him up with The Playhouse.

Passion ignites but Mac’s a parent of one of Lauren’s students. A teacher and a parent dating could cost Lauren her job and her chance at happiness. Will Mac be able to convince the school and Lauren, that love is the most important thing?

Until You Fall in Love by Lyssa Layne

Can a longtime friendship suddenly blossom into love?

Single mom Jordan Glastetter doesn’t know how she’d survive without her best friend, Abram Tomko. He’s the father her son never knew and he’s the rock she’s always leaned on.

When Abram’s father suffers a heart attack, it’s Abram’s turn to depend on Jordan, finally seeing her as the woman she’s become and not the little girl he grew up with.

Will they risk their friendship for a chance at love?

The Cowboy’s Baby by D’Ann Lindun

Cat wanted to keep her baby: Tanner insisted she give it up…can they find common ground seventeen years later?

Cat O’Brien left her heart in Granite, Colorado, seventeen years ago—her first love, Tanner Burke, and the baby girl she gave birth to at sixteen. Suddenly, both Tanner’s high school sweetheart and the teenage daughter they gave up for adoption are back in his life.

Cat is adamant their daughter keep her baby; Tanner isn’t as sure. Just like seventeen years before, he and Cat are butting heads over the fate of an unborn child.

Character Interview for Chalkboard Romance

Hello, I’m Mac Thomas and this here is Lauren Walsh. We’re the main characters in Chalkboard Romance. Thank you for having us stop by and visit with your readers.

*What was your first opinion of each other?

Mac- I saw her and was instantly attracted.

Lauren- Was that before or after I fell on my face. That’s the last time I let Melanie talk me into Ferragamo shoes.  *smiles*

Mac- I thought you looked like a filly- all legs and frisky. *winks at Lauren*

*What kept you from acting on that attraction?

Mac- Who says we didn’t act on it. The elevator ride to our room was amazing.

Lauren- *blushes* No comment.

*What’s the best thing about the two of you together?

Lauren- He gives me the strength to stand up for myself. I have a new self-confidence that I’ve been missing for a long time.

Mac-She gives me insight into my son that I never had. I’m calmer and more loving.

*What song title best describes your relationship track record: “Nothing but a Good Time,” “Turn Me Loose,” “Shot Through the Heart (You Give Love a Bad Name)”, “Money Talks/Material Girl”, “Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places”?

Mac- My former wife was a “Material Girl”. Maybe “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” fits her best. She only wanted the money.

Lauren- “Shot Through the Heart” fits my ex-husband. He put me down and taunted me.

Mac-Now our new song is “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. Lauren is my treasure and I don’t deserve her.

Lauren-Aww. That’s sweet but so not true. You’re my treasure and you’ve brought Todd into my life full time. *she bends over to kiss Mac*

*What are you most looking forward to as a couple?

*Lauren- I’m looking forward to being a parent to Todd and growing old with Mac. I sense a lot of humor in my future. Mac keeps me laughing.

*Mac- I’m looking forward to more children or at least the practice making them. *winks at Lauren*

*What’s your ideal romantic evening?

Lauren- My ideal romantic evening is to recreate our first date. I’d love to return to the Lotus Hotel and enjoy all the hospitalities the hotel offers. It was where I knew you were going to break through to my heart.

Mac- I’d love to take her for an evening ride through my folk’s property and have a midnight snack and swim at the fishing hole, then sleep under the stars.

Lauren- That sounds nice too. But why do we have to have only one romantic evening? Let’s do both!

*What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift?

Mac *bends over and whispers to me*- I got Lauren her own horse this year for Valentine’s Day. She’s going to love her.

Lauren- What are you whispering about? Mac Thomas, you know I don’t like secrets. Now I’m going to be wondering all night…and bugging you. *smiles*

Mac- Thank you for having us. We’d better get going. I have a feeling this is going to be a long night!

Excerpt:

Chalkboard Romance by Melissa Keir

Will a One Night Stand prove to be their disaster or their salvation?

Mac’s decision to romance Lauren left her very little time for her friendship with Melanie. She missed having her friend around to bounce ideas off of, and to be silly with, or talk to about men. So, she made plans for drinks after work.

They drove across the street to their favorite Mexican restaurant. After selecting a high-top table in the bar, the girls flagged down a waitress and ordered drinks and chips before beginning the gabfest.

“You’ve been seeing a lot of Mac. How are things going?”

“We are spending almost every day together. Last weekend we went on a picnic to the zoo with my family. They adored him. Mostly we do family type things, cooking dinner or hanging out at his parent’s house.” Lauren felt giddy with excitement. “Mac told his parents we would marry on our first date to their farm. Isn’t that cute?”

Melanie snorted and margarita shot out of her nose.

“Oh, Mel. I’m sorry. I should’ve warned you.” Patting Melanie on the back, Lauren signaled the waitress for more napkins.

Coughing and sputtering, Melanie looked like a drowned rat, but at least the flood of margarita from her nose had stopped. “I’m fine. What do you mean wife? Has he proposed to you? Are you engaged?” Lauren thought Melanie’s eyes might pop out of their sockets.

“Girl, I need deets,” she sputtered out.

Lauren wiped up the mess on the table as she composed her thoughts.

“Are you sure you’re okay? You look like a frog. Positively green. Calm down. He didn’t propose. His mom told me Mac’s dad acted the same way. Supposedly Mac’s dad proposed fifteen times before she agreed. I guess the Thomas men are single-minded when they decide they’ve met the one.”

“Have you met the one?” Melanie whispered. “You know James railed on how you looked, acted, well…everything. I don’t want you to leap with your eyes shut.”

“I’m not.” Conviction filled Lauren’s tone. “Mac’s the one for me. I’ve never been able to be myself more than when I’m with him. The sex….” A blush heated her cheeks. “It’s amazing. James thought I had the problem. I don’t with Mac.” Lauren leaned into Melanie’s ear. “We even had sex on the kitchen table.”

Melanie covered her mouth. Lauren pulled back and nodded. Her friend’s eyes grew gigantic once again.

“Okay, so sex isn’t the problem. What about Todd? Have you considered his reaction? How does he feel about you two dating?”

“I haven’t spoken with Todd. Mac wants talk to him, just the two of them. However, Mac and I make sure Todd feels included. We date as a family most of the time. He’s always happy.  You’ve seen how much he’s improved at school.”

“I have but Todd’s still your student. Mac—a parent. We can’t make the issue go away.” Melanie stared hard at Lauren.

“Mel, Mac wants Todd to be in our class. He’s seen how much we’ve helped him. Besides our school allows children to be students in their parent’s classroom. Todd’s situation is no different. I love Mac. I don’t know how or when my feelings changed. They just did. If he asked me to marry him, I would. Then anything about Todd being my student would be moot.”

“It’s not the same, now.” Melanie shook her head.

“Why would it be a big deal if we do get married? I know we haven’t dated very long. But Mac’s been perfect. We have so much in common. Besides, I’m allowed to remarry.” Lauren saw skepticism cross Melanie’s face.

“Still, Mac’s a parent of one of your students. We’ve gone over this before. People will talk…. In fact, I’ve heard rumors about your relationship. You know the gossip mill at work. Someone’s going to push the issue. You’ll be fired.”

“They can’t say who I date. What I do in my time off work is my own.” Anger tinged her voice. “Who’s talking?”

“I’ve just heard things. No one in particular. But Todd is our student. You aren’t his parent, yet. That’s a conflict of interest.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melissa Keir

As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and EPIC. Melissa is always interested in improving her writing through classes and seminars. She also believes in helping other authors and features authors and their books on her blog.

Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a movie reviewer, owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice—a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature “happy endings” and is often found plotting her next story.

 

Melissa loves hearing from readers!

www.melissakeir.com

http://www.facebook.com/melissaakeir

http://www.facebook.com/authormelissakeir(fan page)

www.twitter/melissa_keir

Myth And Magic by Mae Clair #mfrwauthor #RSsos #PNR #BookReview @MaeClair1


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Myth and Magic

by Mae Clair

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 *** SALE ***

.99 until Nov 4/15

BLURB:

BookCover_MythAndMagic

Love and danger intertwine

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.

After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

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Excerpt:

“Caith?” she echoed dumbly.

“Mind lowering the light?”

Veronica dropped the beam to the floor where it bounced off faded denim and brown work boots. She had a vague sense of his height, pinned between him and the shelving unit. He held a flashlight in his hand, smaller than hers, something that would easily fit into his pocket. Sidestepping, she swept her own light to both corners making sure there were no other surprises. “What are you doing in the basement?”

“I came in through the storm doors a while ago.”

“They weren’t locked?”

“Not when I got here.”

She frowned, disturbed by the idea of Caith snooping around without her knowledge. “You could have saved me three years of gray hair by coming through the front door like everyone else.”

“Sorry.”

She doubted he was.

Now that her eyes had adjusted, she could see him better. Wiry and lanky as a youth,

he’d developed the muscle and definition that comes with maturity. Tall, broad of shoulder, and narrow through the hips, he carried a trim, athletic physique. His hair was shorter, black as the raven he’d been named for, and tapered against his neck in a becoming cut. Piercing blue eyes held her gaze, causing her heart to hammer faster. The good-looking boy she remembered had grown into a thoroughly handsome man.

He frowned. “What are you doing in the basement in the dark?”

“The light doesn’t work.”

“I figured that out.”

Heat flushed her face. “So that private investigator’s license is good for something after all?”

Caith chuckled softly. “Maybe we should start over.”

Veronica opened her mouth to snap a reply. Before she could formulate a single pointed word, a shrill scream jarred her to the bone. She felt the blood drain from her face as the horrified shriek shuddered into silence, then started again, climbing in volume.

“Alma!” she cried.

Of one accord, she and Caith bolted for the stairs.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

AuthorPhoto_MythAndMagic

 

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net

Buy Links for MYTH AND MAGIC

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Myth-Magic-Mae-Clair-ebook/dp/B00ONTR96W/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423584597&sr=1-3&keywords=myth+and+magic

Barnes and Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/myth-and-magic-mae-clair/1120611664?ean=9781616507213

Kobohttps://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/myth-and-magic

iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/myth-and-magic/id936567892?mt=11

Kensington Publishing  – http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/31344

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Websitehttp://maeclair.net/blog/

Bloghttp://maeclair.net/blog/

Twitter (@MaeClair1)https://twitter.com/MaeClair1

Google+https://plus.google.com/+MaeClair/posts

Facebook Author Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Mae-Clair/219356774828949?ref=hl

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1394989729&sr=8-1

Kensington Books Author Pagehttp://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/29541

Goodreads   – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair

Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/maeclair/

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My Review:

I don’t often read spooky stories, much as I love suspense when the plot goes into the area of ghosts and things that go bump in the night, I tend to avoid them.

Mae Clair caught my interest with the amazing cover first and then the blurb for Myth and Magic.

Love and danger intertwine

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC

Then I opened the book and the first sentence was:

“Stone Willow hounded by dead dog.”

Okay, that doesn’t sound too scary. 🙂

I gave the book a try and am glad I did. The author uses many fresh turns of phrase and is a master at setting a scene.

I liked the interactions between Ron (Veronica) and Caith, but have to admit I fell for Caith’s never-do-well- brother, Merlin, who almost steals the show on more than one occasion.

The reader is left guessing who is committing the acts of vandalism that terrorize the guests of Stone Willow Lodge until the very end.

This book is a recommend to anyone who enjoys a good mystery romance with a paranormal twist.

I give this read: 4 lovely kisses

kiss2  


 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

 

Mae will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a choice of her contemporary romantic mystery, ECLIPSE LAKE (available in pdf or mobi) or her romantic adventure novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND (available in pdf or mobi), to a randomly drawn host.

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

 

Mae encourages herr readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/05/blurb-blitz-myth-and-magic-by-mae-clair.html

The Secret Letters by Abby Bardi #MFRWauthor #mgtab #Fiction @abbybardi


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The Secret Letters

by Abby Bardi

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BLURB:

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When thirty-seven-year-old slacker-chef Julie Barlow’s mother dies, her older sister Pam finds a cache of old letters from someone who appears to be their mother’s former lover. The date stamped on the letters combined with a difficult relationship with her father leads Julie to conclude that the letters’ author was a Native American man named J. Fallingwater who must have been her real father.

Inspired by her new identity, Julie uses her small inheritance to make her dream come true: she opens a restaurant called Falling Water that is an immediate success, and life seems to be looking up. Her sister Norma is pressuring everyone to sell their mother’s house, and her brother Ricky is a loveable drunk who has yet to learn responsibility, but the family seems to be turning a corner.

Then tragedy strikes, and Julie and her siblings have to stick together more than ever before. With all the secrets and setbacks, will Julie lose everything she has worked so hard for?

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Excerpt:

The casket was a double-wide, with painted flowers on the side like a circus wagon. Pam said it looked like hippies had scrawled on it with crayons while tripping.

“She’s at peace now,” one of our idiot cousins said to someone I half-recognized from when my mother used to drag us to West Virginia, where she was born. “Just a bunch of goddamn hillbillies in the Mountain State,” she always said, like she was Martha Stewart.

“Shut up,” Pam muttered in the cousin’s general direction, smiling like she was saying something nice. I hoped she planned to provide snark during the funeral, since I didn’t know how I would make it through otherwise. My other sister Norma was in the front pew sobbing. We were keeping our distance from her, not because of anything in particular, but because we always stayed out of her way if we could. It didn’t pay to try to comfort her, since anything you said would be the wrong thing.

The casket was closed, thank God. Our mother had left strict instructions about this and everything else when she was still conscious. Even while dying, she was a control freak, and amazingly vain for someone who weighed just shy of 400 pounds, even with terminal cancer. “You’re beautiful,” we always said to her in a Hollywood voice, “don’t ever change.” She knew we were just messing with her, but she always smiled and patted her hair.

“That’s a hell of a casket,” I said.

“Sure is purty.” Pam’s eyes were red. I hadn’t looked in a mirror since early morning when I’d slathered on eye makeup, but I’d been crying all day, too, and probably looked like a slutty raccoon. “Is Timmy here yet?”

“Haven’t seen him. It’s so crowded.” I scanned the room.

“Did any of these weirdos actually know her?”

“I don’t know. I bet those fat guys were football players at her high school.” I wiped my eyes, though I knew it was a bad idea, smear-wise.

“Oh, there he is.” Pam pointed to the back of the room and I spotted our older brother. He was wearing a dark suit that made him look like a Mafia don, talking to some blond guy. She tried waving, but he didn’t notice. His eyes were on the casket. He hadn’t seen our mother in almost a year, and I was sure it was hard for him to believe she was gone. Tough shit for him, I thought. He could have come here when it would have made a difference. Now it didn’t matter to anyone what he did.

“Is The Asshole coming?” I asked, referring to our father.

“No, he says he has a schedule conflict.”

“Probably golf. You’d think he could at least manage to show up for this.”

“At least he’s clean and sober.”

“So he says. He’s probably still banging down Zombies at strip clubs.”

“Try not to be bitter, Julie. It’s unattractive.”

“Bitter? You think I’m bitter?”

As the minister cut in and began to read the eulogy my mother had probably written for him, my mind started wandering like I was in grade school waiting for the bell to ring. I tried to concentrate, but I couldn’t. Every so often I’d tune back in and hear things that weren’t true. Her devotion to other people. Her service to the community. Her wonderful family life—I could just about hear her voice coming out of the guy’s mouth. I didn’t know where she found him, since she never went to church. I figured he was an actor she hired to play a minister, and made a mental note to mention this to Pam.

As he droned on in his phony actor voice, I closed my eyes and imagined walking through the woods on the hill behind our house. Most of it was gone now, bulldozed to make room for the townhouse development just over the ridge. I made a path through the old trees, and the dogs ran in circles around me. Ahead of me was the pond, though in real life it wasn’t there any more either, except for the hints that sometimes bubbled up in people’s driveways. I was going to dangle my bare feet in the water. I could hide there all day, and no one would know where I was. Then I would run back through the trees to our house, with the dogs behind me, and my mother would be there, and Frank, and Donny.

When I opened my eyes the minister was gone, and some cousin who hadn’t seen my mother in years was reading from a wrinkled piece of paper. She was stumbling over the words, maybe because it was Mom’s loopy handwriting, or maybe she couldn’t read. It was Mom’s life story minus all the bad parts and made going to high school in East Baltimore, meeting The Asshole, and having five children with him sound like an E! True Hollywood Story. Norma was born six months after the wedding, and it didn’t take a mathematician to figure out the facts, but the cousin glossed over that, and the ugly divorce, and finished with the happy ending, my mother finding true love with Frank and then having little Ricky. Ricky, on my left, burst into loud sobs. I put my arm around him and he cried onto my shoulder. I could smell he’d been drinking again. I would have pulled him onto my lap like I used to, but he was a big boy now. When I looked at him with his tattoos, dreadlocks, and piercings, I still saw that cute little blond guy

and felt how much we had loved him. We still loved him that much, but it was complicated.

Pam leaned across me and held his hand. “You’ll be fine, sweetie,” she whispered to him, though we were pretty sure he wouldn’t.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Version 2

Abby Bardi is the author of THE BOOK OF FRED. She grew up in Chicago, went to college in California, then spent a decade teaching English in Japan and England. She currently teaches at a college in Maryland and lives in historic Ellicott City with her husband and dog.

https://twitter.com/abbybardi?lang=en

http://www.abbybardi.com

Buy Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Letters-Abby-Bardi-ebook/dp/B00VPOCZ2G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438116811&sr=8-1&keywords=abby+bardi

 Interview with Abby Bardi:

What do you write?

I write mostly novels, though I’ve also written short stories. My stories have been published in several anthologies and journals, and I recently published a short-short in Monkeybicycle http://monkeybicycle.net/when-we-lived-at-the-y/ . For the past few years, I’ve been writing a lot of poetry, but so far no one has seen it.

What genre do you favor?

I don’t write in a specific genre, though right now I’m working on a novel that seems to be speculative or science fiction. I didn’t really intend it, but that’s how it’s working itself out.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been writing more or less constantly since I was first able to hold a pencil, but I didn’t decide I wanted to be a writer, professionally speaking, until I was about thirty and I started being able to finish novels I’d begun. Before that, I’d get about fifty pages in and then fizzle out. When I started finishing novels, I got to thinking maybe I could publish them, but that ended up taking a while. By the time I published my first novel The Book of Fred I was already on my third agent.

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

I’m not sure what the best way is, since things are changing so rapidly, but I have loved working with HarperCollins Australia in publishing The Secret Letters as an e-book. They’re been wonderful to deal with, and the whole process was incredibly efficient and smooth. And it’s fun doing a virtual book tour instead of actually traveling. I’m in my pajamas right now!

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I was a graduate student in English for a long, long time, and my favorite genre, if it is a genre, is nineteenth-century British literature. For the past few years, I’ve been kind of hooked on books that are sort of chick-thrillers, I guess you’d call them—Gillian Flynn, Tana French, novels with mysteries and atmospheric settings. I like books that are kind of plotty, which is why my favorite authors are Dickens and Shakespeare. You can’t beat their plots.

Do your characters talk to you?

Well, they talk, but they don’t seem to realize I’m listening. I feel like I’m eavesdropping on their conversations, as opposed to actually interacting with them. They talk a lot to each other.

How do you approach starting a new book?

For me, each book has begun with an image I can’t get out of my mind, and then, a first line. If I start writing and I get a tingling feeling, I continue. I write continual plot outlines and synopses from the very beginning, then deviate from them.

What is your writing process?

Because I teach, I can really only write in the summer. During the school year, I’m devoting all my energy to grading papers and avoiding committee meetings (kidding!), and I can’t seem to get into the “zone” of inhabiting a novel, where the novel starts to seem more real than my own life and I wander around talking to myself. They frown on this in a workplace. So every summer, I begin work on a novel on May 15. Sometimes I spend the summer break actually writing, sometimes rewriting, sometimes editing, and sometimes just wasting my time, but summer is when I get in the zone.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

For me, the best book on writing was not a book on writing at all: The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. It’s a twelve-step course in enhancing creativity and a magical journey through the creative mind.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

I belly-dance and walk my dog. Not simultaneously. Well, okay, sometimes it’s simultaneous.

What was your best date ever?

My best date ever was my first date with my husband. We went to an open mic where we both performed (we’re singer-songwriters) and then kissed. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Cowboy.

Chocolate or chips?

Chips.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

Invisibility. I think the “why” is obvious: so I could eavesdrop on people without their knowing.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Fancy restaurant. Stop, you’re making me hungry.

Beer or wine?

Beer.

Favorite author?

Tie between Dickens and Shakespeare.

Smooth or hairy?

I assume you mean dogs. Here’s a picture of B.B. Look at that sweet face.

Secret Letters Dog

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Abby will be awarding an eCopy of The Secret Letters to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a copy of the featured book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Starcrossed by Carla Caruso #MFRWauthor #mgtab #Romance #Suspense @carlacaruso79


VBT_TourBanner_Starcrossed

Starcrossed

by Carla Caruso

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

BookCover_Starcrossed

Fledgling romance author Simona Gemella is hoping the rugged wilderness of South Australia’s Kangaroo Island will help reignite her creative spark after her husband walked out on her (calling her a workaholic and filing for divorce).

She’s joined her best friend, Nessie, on a health and wellness retreat at a mysterious old manor on the island, run by an astrology guru.

Though Simona’s sworn off men, she can’t help being distracted by a darkly dangerous man with a scorpion tattoo – Denham Cobalt – who’s also staying at the manor. Then strange things start to happen, including uncanny accidents and even a possible murder.

It all culminates at a masquerade party on the night of a total lunar eclipse. Will Simona survive – with her heart intact?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

Simona woke with a start, her heart pounding. A dream featuring dark-eyed strangers and clawing scorpions had been interrupted by the sound of footsteps. Real ones. Growing closer. Not far from her bed. She could have sworn it. Although, the pitch black revealed nothing.

The noise had seemed to come more from the right side of the room, behind the wardrobe. Almost inside the wall. Which was ridiculous. She turned her head, peering into the darkness. 3:08 glowed in fluorescent green digits on the alarm clock radio.

Grasping the covers under her chin, Simona lay still, waiting for more, her ears pricked. Three glow-in-the-dark star stickers shone down from the ceiling. She imagined a travelling mum sticking them there to soothe their child, remind them of home. Unfortunately Simona needed more than that to placate her.

Aside from the occasional breathy snort from Nessie, though, silence reigned. Her friend had finally hit the pillow after kicking on to play pool with some backpacker. She had called Simona a stick-in-the-mud earth sign for leaving the pub early. Nessie always had a knack for making her feel dull.

Simona strained her ears. Still nothing. Her writer’s imagination had obviously conjured up the footsteps. Pity, as she had found it hard to get to sleep in the first place. Phone in her possession again, she had been kept up, mulling over a three-star Goodreads review from a writers’ group pal. Yup, three measly stars. Friends were meant to give you five stars, or four at least to look realistic. It was an unofficial rule.

But her supposed mate, who had hidden behind a code name (undone by the profile pic of her pet dog), hadn’t been so generous. She had written: I fell in love with the rugged hero and the unique story. The only shame was that some of the more intriguing plotlines weren’t further explored, sacrificed for the romance aspect of the book …

Um, it was a romance novel, hence, the emphasis on that particular component. Really. Of course, any criticism only hurt because she feared it was true: she was her own worst critic.

Then, just as Simona was drifting off, Nessie had crashed home, flicking on the lamp so that she could put on her so-called ‘lucid dreaming’ sleep mask. Another bizarre Nessie-style item. This one, she reckoned, helped encourage creative thinking. Though what Nessie needed it for, Simona didn’t know. Dreaming up more crazy holiday ideas? If anyone required it, it was Simona with her severe case of writer’s block.

And now? Now she was imagining things that went bump in the night.

Why oh why had she been fooled into believing going on holiday with a friend would be fun? It never was. She would have had more luck with inspiration striking at home. Where the internet was never far from her fingertips, and her thoughts weren’t clouded by no-good men.

Willing sleep to come soon, Simona unearthed an arm from beneath the doona and stretched to tap the bedside table three times. For luck — in case she wasn’t crazy and someone really was lurking about. Touching wood was a vice of hers. Nessie would probably say it had something to do with her being an earth sign and needing to be close to Nature. Really it just meant she was a tad OCD. Besides, the footsteps she’d heard before probably were just in her head — a symbol of her fear of being walked out on again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_Starcrossed

Carla Caruso was born in Adelaide, Australia, and only ‘escaped’ for three years to work as a magazine journalist and stylist in Sydney. Previously, she was a gossip columnist and fashion editor at Adelaide’s daily newspaper, The Advertiser. She has since freelanced for titles including Woman’s Day and Shop Til You Drop.

These days, she plays mum to twin lads Alessio and Sebastian with hubby James. Visit www.carlacaruso.com.au.

https://twitter.com/carlacaruso79

https://www.facebook.com/carlacarusoauthor

http://www.carlacaruso.com.au/

http://www.theunitalianwife.com/

Buy Link:   AMAZON

What is a blood moon?

Guest post – by Starcrossed author Carla Caruso, www.carlacaruso.com.au

I’ve always been fascinated by the stars, the moon and all things celestial.

Hence, it was only natural I’d one day write a book with an astrology theme – cue Starcrossed. It follows four girls (one who’s a romance writer!) on a cosmic retreat on South Australia’s rugged Kangaroo Island… where strange things start to happen. The book mixes contemporary romance, suspense and magical realism. Did I mention there’s also a hunky hero with a scorpion neck-tattoo in the mix? 🙂

The story culminates at a masquerade party on the night of a total lunar eclipse.

Here’s an excerpt from the book when the retreat leader, Astrid, is asked to explain what such an eclipse actually is…

Astrid’s eyes glowed. ‘A total lunar eclipse is quite an extraordinary event, in fact — especially being at the winter solstice. One can only occur during a full moon, and if the moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow, blocking the sun’s rays. It can be quite a striking sight as the moon often goes a vibrant red colour. Some call it a “blood moon”. It should bring a lot of lovely lunar energy about the place, which people can choose to tap into positively.’

Despite this, Simona shivered. ‘Blood moon’ didn’t exactly have the nicest ring to it…

And, from Starcrossed, on the night of the eclipse…

Looking up, Simona could see why a sudden hush had fallen over the crowd down below. A blood-red cape appeared to be being edged over the moon, as though swallowing it up, blotting it out…

On September 27-28 this year, people globally aimed their cameras at the sky in the hope of catching a real-life glimpse of a ‘super blood moon’ eclipse. Interestingly, ‘blood moons’ are actually a phenomenon that have been chronicled for, well, many moons – one’s even mentioned in a 19th century Thai manuscript. Such eclipses have often been interpreted universally as an omen of bad things to come. Thankfully, the world didn’t end last eclipse, though. 😉

So that concludes your Twilight-esque astronomy lesson for the day! And you thought NASA discovering liquid water on the ‘red planet’ of Mars was interesting stuff…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Carla will be awarding an eCopy of Starcrossed to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

 Enter to win a copy of the featured book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

eReader Daily Deals #Free #Books #Giveaway @Barclay_PR


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Scales by Dale Mayer #mfrwauthor #mgtab #RSsos #Suspense @DaleMayer @Barclay_PR


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Happy Release Week for Scales by Dale Mayer!

Check Out the Next Novel in the Broken, but Mending Series from Best-Selling Author Dale Mayer.

 

Healing comes in different ways at different times for different people.

 

The Broken but… Mending series is all about capturing the moment when breakthroughs occur. When love, the greatest healer, steps up and makes it happen.

 

 

Don’t forget to enter to win a $25 gift card from Amazon!

About Scales (Broken, but…Mending, Book 3)  

 

Scales

She thinks she escaped Justice.

He is still waiting for Justice to happen.

She’s afraid her day of reckoning is near.

He’s afraid his day of reckoning will never arrive.

Will love balance the scales of Justice?

Paris and Weaver’s story will out soon in this third installment of the Broken but…Mending series.

Can be read as a standalone.

 

 

Here is an exclusive excerpt from Scales

Justice?

Paris couldn’t stop the shaking that threatened to overtake her body. Was there ever a word that scared her more? She’d been cleared by the police; in fact, she’d been praised for her quick actions, her quick thinking. She’d saved her brother. But somehow inside she knew she was going to pay for what she’d done. It was a dark shadow that hung over her – all the time. Waiting for someone to know a miscarriage of justice had been done and finally take her into custody.

She didn’t think she could stand it.

And no amount of reassurance from police, social workers, or any of the numerous therapists she’d gone to removed the fear – she knew the truth. She was guilty.

And one day the specter in her life – Justice – was going to prevail.

And then there was Constable Barry Delaney. His words – his warning. Something she’d never forget.

“Justice is easy,” Weaver said, snapping her back to the present as he quoted. “There are no two sides to that coin. Black is black and white is white. Right and wrong are easy to sort out.”

Paris glanced over at him, still shaken by the conversation. Could he really be so naïve? Was anything in life that cut and dried?

“You’re spouting lecture notes of our esteemed Professor Marshal Henniker, I presume,” Jenna said with a laugh.

“You don’t believe him,” Weaver challenged, a glint in his eye.

“I know Henniker actively incites debates in his lectures, but he doesn’t believe it either. However, as a teaching tool, it is effective in gaining student participation.”

“I can imagine,” Paris muttered under her breath. At the sharp look from Weaver, she pinched her lips together and stared back.

“You don’t believe in justice?” he asked mockingly.

“Of course,” she said smoothly. “However, there are definite shades of gray in that argument.”

He gave a half snort. “Whatever.”

Jenna grinned. “So now you two can work out your project.” She stood.

“Wait, what?” Paris asked. “What project? You haven’t said anything about what we’re supposed to do.” She hated the panicky part of her that screamed for detailed instructions. Steps to follow, so she wouldn’t stray off the path or wander aimlessly and get nothing done. She didn’t need to be micromanaged, but she did need to know what was required of her.

The thought of not knowing made her sick to her stomach. She needed to have things laid out in front of her. Expectations clearly defined. So she didn’t do it wrong. So she didn’t end up in trouble.

So she didn’t fail.

Order this title at these online retailers:

Amazon  |  Nook |

Add it to your TBR today!

Check out the first two books in the series!                           

 

Skin

Scars

Author Bio:

Dale Mayer - Author Photo

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy, break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

Connect with Dale:  Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Angels Among Us @jacqbiggar #WIP #PNR #mfrwauthor @RSsosSisters


I’m excited to be working on something new and totally different from my Wounded Hearts series.

This is an excerpt from my #WIP, tentatively titled, Angels Among Us.

Lucas

CHAPTER ONE

Lucas Carmichael awoke to a blinding sense of panic. He sucked in a harsh breath. Everything was dark and filled with forbidding shadows. Noise seemed to rush him from all directions but he couldn’t see anything.

Even though he lay wrapped in some sort of a thin sheet, he was frozen. His body shivered and shook, heels vibrating on the table beneath him.

Table?

What the hell?

The thought no more than flitted through his mind than a white-hot pain hit him between the brows.

Ow.

He lifted his hand and rubbed his forehead with cool fingers. Except, wait. His palms were still on the cold metal of the table. He could feel them there. So, whose fingers…?

Adrenaline spiked and he rose in terror, arms straining to shove off the choking hold of the sheet. He threw himself to the floor and crouched there for a moment, every muscle tensed for attack. A high-pitched whistle ringing in his ears deafened him to danger. His heart pounded like a freight train. Goosebumps pebbled his naked body.

He squinted against the lights, blindingly bright after the darkness of the sheet. That’s why he couldn’t see before; some idiot had covered his head. It sure as he—heck wasn’t him. He hated tight places of any kind.

A man and a woman stood a few feet away behind another table with a blanket shrouded figure. Weird. They hadn’t even glanced up when he performed his acrobatic maneuver. Something strange was going on here.

“It’s too bad. She had her whole life in front of her,” the woman said as she took some sort of vise and lodged it in the poor sucker’s chest. “I heard they were headed from a party when it happened.”

The other guy in the white jacket shook his head. “These guys never learn. They think just because they’re the newest hot item and have more money than God, nothing’s ever going to happen to them.”

He reached into the cavity and carefully removed what looked like the heart and placed it in a pan resting on the corpse’s feet. “At least she’ll make a good research candidate.”

Holy shit.

He was in a freaking morgue. How the hell—ouch, there was that knife-to-the-head pain again—did that happen? Last thing he remembered was cruisin’ down the highway in his new 911 Porsche with the music blaring so loud he could barely hear himself think. His best friend, Scott, who had his younger sister, Natalya, on his lap in the passenger seat had just glanced over her blond head and smiled the quirky grin that had won him instant box office success.

Lucas remembered thinking they were so freaking lucky—to come from where they had, to where they were now? A miracle.

He’d laughed and lifted his beer in a toast, then turned back to the curves of the road. His eyes had widened in shock and the sharp tang of copper flooded his mouth as the beer fell to the floor between his legs. His windshield was filled with the terrified faces of the family in the van hurtling straight toward them. Shit, he must have swerved over the centerline.

They were going to crash. Time simultaneously slowed to a crawl and jumped to warp speed. The man trying frantically to turn the wheel and avoid the collision, the woman’s horrified face staring accusingly at him for a suspended moment before she turned to the back in a vain effort to protect her babies. Those images would haunt him for the rest of his days.

A litany of prayers Lucas hadn’t uttered since he’d been a young child rattled off his lips while Scott’s “What the fuck?” vibrated with fear. He felt more than saw his friend bracing for impact.

Then there was a horrendous screech of metal on metal. His chest slammed into the steering wheel with bruising force, knocking the breath from his lungs. The momentum propelled the car to skid sideways and collide with the van again, this time from the rear. The collision sent his body smashing against the driver’s door. Natalya’s scream reverberated and then was abruptly cut off. His head cracked hard against the window. The last thing he remembered was the suffocating sensation of the deployed airbags.

Lucas rose and backed away from those bloody gloved hands doing God knows what to whoever was on that table. He bumped into another tray filled with instruments of torture and cringed at the resultant clang. He froze, his hands covering his privates, and met the startled gaze of the doc. Except she looked right through him, her pretty green eyes narrowed with suspicion.

“That’s not funny, Hank. I told you I don’t like your games.”

The man, Hank, threw his hands up in the classic ‘hold on there’ pose. “Hey, it wasn’t me this time, I swear.” He moved closer to the tools, as though ready to defend himself with a scalpel or something, the idiot.

The woman’s eyes pierced the shadows, only marginally relaxing when she thought the room was empty. Well, except for the stiffs and him of course. Lucas had a very bad feeling. The only reason for those two not to be able to see him was if he were invisible. And since he was reasonably sure a radioactive spider hadn’t bitten him, he must be a… ghost.

No sooner did the thought flutter wraithlike through his mind than Lucas’ feet lifted from the tiled floor, pulled up by a brilliant white light encircling his body. He groaned, the heat a benediction on his aching bones. So it was true, there was another realm after death. He’d always believed when he died, that’s it. He’d become just another shit-stain on the fabric of mankind. It’s how he lived his life, no harm, no foul. But, this. This felt… divine. If there really was a heaven, Lucas was sure he didn’t deserve a spot. Not after everything he’d done.

It seemed like only seconds later the beam transported him to a textured surface sort of like the topping on his favorite dessert, lemon meringue pie. There were hills and hollows all in creamy shades of tan and white as far as the eye could see. It made him queasy, almost seasick.

He looked around but didn’t see another soul, living or otherwise. Ha, nice to know he hadn’t lost his rather dubious sense of humor when he died.

Christ.

He was dead.

If any of you have a good title I can use, I’ll gift you a copy when it releases and add your name to the dedication. 🙂

I joined a blog hop today where we’re all sharing pieces of our paranormal stories. Check out the other authors here:

Paranormal Love Wednesdays

Love By The Numbers by Sara Donovan #mfrwauthor #mgtab #Romance @sarasbooks


VBT_TourBanner_LoveByNumbers

Love by Numbers

by Sara Donovan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

BookCover_LoveByTheNumbers

How to Fall in Love with Someone YOU Choose. (Why not, if you have a broken man-picker?)

Choose an available compatible guy-friend who doesn’t turn you off and rewire your brains for a hot and heavy romance.

  1. Get emotional while watching a sad movie.
  2. Share a major adrenaline rush.
  3. Be competent at something cool, but don’t make a big deal out of it.
  4. Have him provide food from the hunt (a good restaurant will do).
  5. Eyegaze until it doesn’t feel weird.
  6. Fulfil each other’s primary fantasies within reason and without judgment.
  7. Sleep together like stacked spoons.

Repeat the above until love and lust click in. Then send your love brain chemicals into overdrive by not seeing each other. That’s when things really get cooking.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

‘Nip it in the bud and run like hell,’ he read from my notepad after I’d had a rant about my suspected limerence problem. ‘Hard to nip something in the bud when it’s already a forty-metre gum tree.’

‘It’s not a forty-metre gum tree. It’s slightly less than that. And anyway, what about you and Holly? You’re almost as bad as me.’

Holly was my high school classmate, flatmate of two years and soccer team-mate. She was our team’s starting striker and I was sweeper, which pretty well sums up our relationship, despite it being the off season. I was sure Nathan was somewhere on the limerence spectrum when it came to Holly — which was probably the real reason why he’d suggested going back to my place when we were on the phone.

‘Well despite the Ryan-labelled box of condoms in your ensuite cupboard which is a bit obsessive,’ (not fair of him to bring this up. I was half drunk watching The Secret and visualising my goals at the time), ‘I think you’re taking this OCD thing too seriously. If we’re obsessive, then half the people in this bar are as well.’

‘Really?’ I had a quick look around. ‘They don’t look obsessive to me.’

‘No one does from this distance.’

I sighed and looked out the window.

‘So, how would you get over Brian?’ Nathan asked gently.

‘Well, according to the experts,’ I said, putting down my New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and taking the textbook I’d borrowed from the uni library out of my bag, ‘all I have to do is have an intimate relationship with him so I can find his flaws and kick him off the pedestal.’

‘That could be problematic,’ Nathan said. ‘What are your other options?’

‘No contact or total rejection, which isn’t so easy to get unless you try to get it, so the book says.’ I threw the book back in my handbag.

‘I’d go for no contact,’ Nathan said.

‘I can’t. We work for the same company.’

‘That only leaves rejection.’ Nathan’s eyebrows knit together. ‘You’re not going to try to get Brian to reject you, are you?’

‘Of course not! I just have to find a way to stop thinking about him.’

Only I was thinking about him again already.

‘So your only real option is to make a list of his fatal flaws and kick him off the pedestal without being his girlfriend. You have put him on a pedestal, you know.’

I gave Nathan a resigned smile, then tried to list Ryan’s shortcomings in my head. Within seconds, I was back at the wine bar with him, having our third imaginary drink.

‘Tell me your deepest, darkest faults,’ I said as I leant towards him.

‘Only if you tell me yours first’, Ryan replied, making me laugh.

What was I doing? How could I be having another Ryan fantasy already?

‘So you have to do an assignment, right?’ Nathan said, picking up the handout that was in my notepad.

‘Yes.’

‘So you do it on curing love addiction and write twenty pages on Brian’s flaws.’

‘Very funny.’

‘Or maybe you’ll get a lucky break and he’ll be retrenched tomorrow.’

The thought of never seeing Ryan again suddenly sent a chill down my spine, despite it being the one sure way I could get over him.

‘Odyssey won’t retrench him. He makes them too much money,’ I said. ‘But if I survive the restructure, I’ll use my obsessiveness to get over him, not into him. I have to. Otherwise it won’t just be Gran’s ring I’ll be accidently throwing away — it’ll be another year of my life!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sara Donovan is a corporate facilitator and instructional designer who delivers training programs in neuroscience and communication skills. She draws inspiration for her writing from psychology, science and her accidental romcom life.

https://twitter.com/sarasbooks

https://www.facebook.com/saradonovanbooks

http://www.saradonovan.com/

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Numbers-Sara-Donovan-ebook/dp/B00ID2UX8Q/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1438448681&sr=8-6&keywords=Love+by+numbers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sara agreed to let me grill her about her writing process 🙂

What do you write?

 I like writing stories that explore meaningful issues in a way that is light and fun. I also like creating characters and plot points that are a bit sideways to what’s expected.

 

What genre do you favor?

My favourite genre is romantic comedy.

Being in love with someone, then trying to find out who they really are and create long term intimacy with them is complicated, difficult, funny and utterly compelling in my experience. There’s so much room for drama and comedy in that – not to mention the opportunity to learn something.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

 Whenever I watched a TV show or saw a movie I really loved when I was a kid, I wasn’t envious of the glamorous movie stars who acted out the story, I wanted to be the person who made up the story.

It even kind of confused me watching the Oscars why it was that there was so much focus on the actors, when they’d be nowhere without the writer who’d created their character.

My love of other people’s stories led to a love of creating my own stories and by the time I was half way through high school I realized I wanted to be a writer

My struggle to understand the “rules” of getting consistently good marks, coupled with my feelings of vulnerability about being evaluated, meant I chose to avoid anything subjective for a career. I spent years studying the most objective subject I could – science. I worked in medical research and then in business, the whole time feeling that there was a book in me that needed to get out.

I nonetheless managed to actively avoid writing for years, until eventually it was more painful not to write, than it was to write. It’s been a long process….

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

 I think that the best way to publish is to follow the path of least resistance. For me, the path of least resistance was via the fantastic team at Harper Impulse. For friends of mine, it’s been via the self-publishing route.

I’m sure this isn’t new information, but you do need to be prepared to have your own marketing strategy and to be your own publicist whichever path you take. There’s significant overlap even if the paths might be different.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I love a story that makes me care about the characters, feel emotion, not be too violent and teaches me something. That can span several genres really. Drama, romance, historical, sci-fi, biographies….

Do your characters talk to you?

My characters don’t talk to me right away. In fact, it’s not until I’ve written about a third of my first draft that my characters show up and little by little start telling me what happens in the story.

By the end of my first draft, my characters are well and truly running the show. It’s so great when that happens and so hard to start a new project because it isn’t happening.

Without your characters taking over, the possibilities of what could happen are endless, which is kind of daunting!

As they say in the movie Field of Dreams – ‘Build it and they will come’. And just like in the movie, it takes faith to get in and start building a story before your characters move in.

How do you approach starting a new book?

I think about whatever makes me feel deeply embarrassed, or fully alive or is fascinating to me. Then I think of how I could further deepen and explore and resolve the feeling via a story.

The creative leap is going from the feeling to the story.

What is your writing process?

    1. Come up with an entertaining hypothesis I want to test about whatever embarrasses me, makes me feel alive or fascinates me
    2. Work out what kinds of personalities would best allow the premise to be explored in its extreme
    3. Plot the entire story and even every scene
    4. Apply bum glue, sit down and write
    5. Let the characters run amok and create their own story (despite my plotting)

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

Stephen Kings “On Writing” is my writing bible. I dip into it when I need encouragement and it never disappoints.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

Reading, hiking, playing music and doing hot yoga.

What was your best date ever?

Going on a hike, followed by a picnic, followed by a wonderful romantic, sexy foreign movie (Like Water for Chocolate), followed by dinner. Neither of us wanted the date to end.

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

A cowboy who used to be a Navy SEAL.

Chocolate or chips?

Dark chocolate with sea salt flakes.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

I’d like to be able to utilise 100% of my brain power – like Bradly Cooper in the movie Limitless.

That would give me enormous capacity to solve big problems – my own and maybe even some of the world’s big problems as well.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Gourmet picnic.

Beer or wine?

Wonderful Australian Shiraz.

Favorite author?

Margaret Atwood.

Smooth or hairy?

Smooth – but not too smooth.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Sara will be awarding an eCopy of Love by Numbers to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a copy of the featured book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goddess Fish Promotions

A New Library In Town: One Stop For Writers #MFRWauthor #mgtab #RSsos @onestop4writers


If there’s one thing all writers agree on, it’s that writing is TOUGH. The road to publication twists and dips as we learn the craft, hone our abilities, create stories we’re passionate about, fight discouragement, educate ourselves about the industry…and then start the process all over again as we realize there’s room to improve. But you know what? If you are like me, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yet, sometimes it’s nice to get a helping hand.

Finding a good writing book, a helpful blog, a mentor or critique partner to share the journey with…these things are gems along the writing path.

And guess what? Maybe there’s another resource waiting just up the road called One Stop For Writers.

 

 

One Stop For Writers is not writing software, but rather a powerful online library that contains tools, unique description collections, helpful tutorials and much more, brought to you by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus and Lee Powell, the creator of Scrivener for Windows.

Could One Stop For Writers be the writing partner you’ve been searching for? Visit Writers Helping Writers this week and see, where Angela, Lee and Becca are celebrating their venture with prizes and some pay-it-forward fun.