Celebrating a Milestone- Realizing a Dream #Romance #Writer #eNovAaW


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Celebrating a Milestone

Five years ago, I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. You see, I’d recently moved away from home and was lost and lonely.

But, I had a dream.

One I’d carried in the back of my mind for years. I wanted to write a book. Deciding the genre was the easy part. Romance. I was an avid reader of romance novels. They took me to faraway places, fed my spirit and thrilled my heart.

Yep, romance it was.

Okay, now what?

I had a computer that I used for my bookkeeping, but had no idea how to use it as a writing tool. I needed to learn though, my lefty handwriting was atrocious- that wouldn’t work.

I searched online and found RWA® Romance Writers of America, a group of thousands geared toward helping authors better their craft. I also managed to find a local writing group and gathered up the courage to go to one of their meetings where I immediately felt at home. I joined both and began to take classes to learn the art.

It took time (I’m still a work-in-progress) but finally, FINALLY I published my first book in September of 2014.

Pride.

I could barely contain the excitement blooming in my chest to see a book with MY name on it for sale. But then came the realization. People were going to read it. My heart and soul on those pages and they were all out there– I felt sick.

The reviews trickled in, some good, some not so much, but the addiction was born. I loved to write!

This week I’m celebrating that momentous moment by sharing my first book with you- free!

Jan 11-15

Click the picture to go to Amazon

Excerpt

Nick jogged through the early morning streets, Jake trotting by his side, enjoying the peace and quiet before the town woke for the day. Little songbirds greeted him as he passed a cedar hedge on his way to the park. The air was fresh and cool at this hour. He was glad his strength had returned, his breathing even and stride long. It’d been an uphill battle. For a while after the ambush he’d shut down. Closed everyone out. He wished now he’d made it his business to keep in touch with all his old teammates. The faint sounds of a dog’s bark had Nick looking down at Jake, loping alongside. He’d healed up well, and only flinched at sudden loud noises these days. His hip had taken the brunt of the damage. When the explosion had thrown them, Nick worried he’d need to put him down, but he’d pulled through. Tough mutt.

After his run, he would head over to Sara’s and have a look at those files, see what they were looking at here. Nick had a bad feeling that Tommy boy was into some heavy shit. They needed to solve that first, before there could be a chance for him and Sara.

A sudden sharp pain stabbed him behind the eyes, causing him to falter. Jake whined, sensing his distress. Squinting through slit eyes he spotted a nearby bench, and slumped onto the seat. He pushed a shaky hand through his hair, and then using his thumb and middle finger squeezed in towards his nose, relieving the pressure. “It’s okay, boy. I’m fine. Let’s just take a little break, hmm.” The doctor had explained in excruciating detail while he lay in that hospital in Germany, how lucky he was. The explosion had hit him and sent him flying right up against the stone wall of a nearby house. Shrapnel had gouged a deep line on his forehead, right above his old bullet wound. A centimeter farther to the left and it would have been lights out, of the forever kind. Unfortunately, it’d taken his short-term memory away from him. He’d been told it would come back in dribbles, or one big slam––or maybe not ever. Nice. It angered him that he couldn’t break through the fog to discover the truth of what happened to him and his team. There was something there he could feel it.

He supposed he should be grateful he could remember his childhood, though those memories he could have lived without. Years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of his old man had sent him down nothing but a path of trouble during his high school years. Alcohol, substance abuse, vagrancy, you name it he tried it. His motto had been if you’re not living on the edge, you’re just taking up space.

Then he’d met Kendra in one of the few classes he’d decided to show up for and they’d fallen in love. She’d been the only child of lawyer parents, sweet and innocent. The odds had gone against him when they’d had unprotected sex on a hot summer’s night. She’d gotten pregnant. At least he’d done the right thing and proposed. And though her parents of course hated him, they agreed the marriage should take place. Maybe if they’d stopped it, or if he’d just walked away, Kendra and his son would still be alive today.

They’d been too young, and in the end, it tore them apart. He couldn’t even recall what the fight had been about––no doubt his lack of a ‘respectable’ job. He’d been working at a local garage at the time––all he did remember was getting up to answer the door, only to see two uniforms on the other side. Devastated, blaming himself, he spent the next couple of months shit-faced drunk. Coming out of an alcohol-induced daze one day he saw a poster for enlisting in the marines. Not caring much whether he lived or died at that point, he’d signed up. They sent him to Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, where he met Jake. They’d been inseparable ever since.

The searing pressure eased enough for him to open his eyes. Jake sat with his head cocked to the side, his ears laid back in commiseration. Nick nudged him with his knee and gave his sides a good hard rub, Jake groaning his thanks. “Okay, big guy, what do you say to finishing our run?” He’d learned a long time ago that pushing through the pain was often the best medicine.

He had that in common with Sara. She’d gone through both a physical and a mental trauma that would have crushed most. She was doing great, but he bet a violation like that was something from which no woman ever fully recovered.

It humbled him that she had trusted him enough to allow him to make love to her last night. Nick would never hurt a hair on her head, but there was no real way for her to be sure of that. He hoped and prayed no one would ever crush her again, and swore to do everything in his power to make sure of that, starting with Sheridan. If those files contained half of what Sara had intimated they did, he’d need some help. Checking to make sure no one was around, he pulled his cell out of his sweats and made the call.

“Hey, Chief, how are you? It’s Nick, Nickolaus Kelley. Long time, sir, too long. Shit, I’ve missed the team. How’s the whizz kid?” A big grin split his face as he listened to Frank describing Jared’s latest and greatest.

“No kidding, trust Martin to take the term, Land of opportunity, to a whole new level, right?” He laughed. Man, it was good to talk to the chief again. Why did people always let the important ones in their lives fall to the wayside, while they went about the business of life?

He could well believe Jared had almost shut down the strip; the man was scary good with electronics. “I understand that you’re out of the loop these days, sir, but I was hoping I could ask you, and Jared if he’s still with you, for a helping hand. I have a situation here and could really use your input.”

Relief coursed through his veins at the quick response to his plea. “I’ll tell you all about it when you arrive. Tomorrow then, and thanks—Frank.”

#Writing like a Beast #Romance #mgtab


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Have you ever been up against a deadline and the words won’t come? Yep, welcome to my world.

 

I have a holiday novella due by the end of September and it’s kicking my butt. Some people thrive under stress- I’m NOT one of them, lol.

I’ve been staring my climatic moment in the eye for weeks now and it just won’t cooperate. My vision for this story is a sort of cross between Beauty and the Beast (not the Disney® version but the 1987-1990 television series) with a sensitive, lonely ‘Beast’ and the beautiful kind-hearted woman who draws him out of his shell.

 

 

And the Hallmark® Christmas movie, The Mistletoe Inn featuring an aspiring writer 🙂 who signs up for a writing retreat after being dumped by her novelist boyfriend.

 

 

 

 

 

I took these two concepts and came up with my hero, Noah Kincaid, a scarred, lonely man (though he thinks he’s fine) in need of a new publicity partner after the recent death of his aunt, and the young and pretty single mother who takes the job.

Molly McCarty is used to tough challenges. Divorced and raising a five-year-old boy is no easy task, especially when she’s surrounded by her ex’s friends and family who all want to help get them back together again.

Desperate for some breathing room, Molly searches the web for opportunities and comes across the position of innkeeper in Christmas, Michigan. Her curiosity about the town named after a famous holiday leads her down a road filled with possibilities.

If only she can break through her partner’s tough shell.

 

 

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Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

Here’s a short exclusive excerpt

Molly hurried to keep up as Leo wove in and out of the evergreens on display, the air tinted with the scent of pine and balsam. His childish laughter warmed her heart. He’d was unhappy leaving Alberta and his family behind. She couldn’t blame him, she’d been feeling down herself. Ever since her divorce from Jason, she’d been coasting, searching for… well, she wasn’t really sure. She just knew it wasn’t in Edmonton. That was her past, Christmas was her future.

Or, so she hoped.

“Leo, where are you?” she called, half laughing, half worried. The fairy lights strung in graceful arcs across the large gazebo-type structure were pretty, but they didn’t make finding a little boy in a dark jacket easy. Nearby couples glanced in her direction, then joined in the search. It wasn’t that big an area, but there were a lot of hiding places a mischievous little boy might discover.

“I’ve got him.” Noah strode out from between two thick conifers with Leo in his arms. He looked like an outdoor magazine model with his lived-in face and burly shoulders. Molly heard the appreciative sighs from the women around her and her heart stuttered. He really was a handsome man.

She thanked the searchers and shook her head as Noah reached her side. “He was there one minute and then he was gone. You seem to be making a habit out of coming to our rescue.”

He gazed at her with those dark eyes, his hair ruffled by the chilly breeze, and she had the strongest urge to reach up and kiss those uncompromising lips. He’d probably think she was crazy. She’d have to be to try, he hadn’t given any sign of a mutual attraction, and besides, they barely knew each other.

“He was just chasing after a puppy. I’m sure he’s sorry he worried you.” He nodded to Leo. “Better apologize to your mother, now.”

Leo looked at her, excitement sparkling in his eyes. “Mommy, you gotta come see. The puppy is so cute. He’s as white as snow and has blue eyes. Can I have him, Mommy. Please.” He kicked his booted feet, narrowly missing Noah’s groin. Noah winced and set him down.

Molly gave him an apologetic glance, then crouched beside her son. “Honey, you need to calm down. First, Noah is right. You should say sorry for disappearing the way you did. That’s a dangerous thing to do, and I don’t expect you to do it again. Capisce?”

Chastened, Leo scuffed his feet in the snow. “Capease.”

 

 

I’m close. I just have to rip out their hearts so I can hand them back again.

Easy, right?

You can pre-order the boxset below. I promise I’ll get it done!

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Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 25 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.

 

 

 

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And don’t forget to enter our $50 Giveaway!

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Celebrating a #CoverReveal with a #Free day! #mgtab


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Celebrating a New Cover!

 

If you’re an indie author, like me, you know there’s a lot more to creating a successful marketing plan than writing the book. While an engrossing story is important, it doesn’t do you any good if no one knows about it.

Editing, beta reading and critique groups are a good start and a necessary set of steps in order to make your book baby look the best it can (on the inside.)

But what do you do after that?

 

GET A PROFESSIONAL COVER ARTIST!

 

I can’t say how many times I’ve been turned off of what could have been an award-winning story because of a weak cover.

One of the first things any potential buyer is drawn to, whether online, a library, or in a brick and mortar store is a standout cover. It is critically important that YOU, as a hard-working writer, DO NOT skip this important marketing step.

Okay, you have your masterpiece and the perfect frame for it, now what?

I recommend creating 5-6 memes that you can switch out in your social media posts. Try Canva or Covers Sell Books, both are great. Yes, you need to play nice on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

Seriously though, having a strong social media presence is crucial if you want to get the word out about your books.

Next, set up a newsletter–you’ve been building up subscribers at the same time you’re building SM contacts, right? :)–and send it out with the big news. It’s recommended not to push your sales, so take the time to be personable. Your followers want to know you, share a piece of you and they will respond, trust me!

We’re doing great!

Books are selling, reviews are trickling in, but then as time goes by the initial excitement wanes, now what?

 

 

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

 

Placing your book on sale is a good marketing strategy. Not only do you regenerate interest in the product you’re promoting, but it often gains you readers for the rest of your backlist, as well.

Again, this is where your growing social media connections can count. Rather than shoving the sale in their faces though, use those pretty memes you made and share them on Twitter and Facebook group pages in your chosen genre.

I also like to book professional sites to share my sale, such as ereader News Today, Book Gorilla, and ebook Discovery, to name a few. Just make sure to decide on a budget beforehand, and stick to it. Keep in mind that while on the dace of it, your sale book may not pay out the cost of the fees, subsequent sales on all your books will continue for days or weeks after as your name moves up in Amazon (or other retailers) algorithms.

Another choice you can make is upgrading to a new cover. Maybe, for whatever reason, the old cover isn’t doing its job of catching the attention of new readers. This is a guessing game, of course, but sometimes a cover with brighter colors, or a stronger image can make all the difference.

I’ve decided to take that course of action with my 1950’s murder mystery, Missing: The Lady Said No. The title was clunky, so I dropped the Missing and added An Augustus Grant Mystery subtitle to define the series.

The original cover was dark and moody, and didn’t explain the era as well as I wanted it to.

 

Missing The Lady Said No eBook

 

The new cover is flashy, using a bright, bold color palette and an eye-catching image that does a much better job of hinting at the genre and storyline.

What do you think?

 

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In celebration of this cover, which I love, The Lady Said No is Free one day only, Saturday, Sept, 1st.

Get your copy here!

 
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Finding Your Voice #Writertips #amwriting


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When I first began my writing career I took a LOT of online classes on craft, editing, revision, grammar, technique, and the one thing that kept coming up was the need to discover your voice. The unique something that distinguishes your work and keeps your readers coming back for more.

But how?

What do the experts mean by voice anyway?

Do you have a favorite author? One whose pages you could read without seeing the cover and you’d STILL be able to say without a doubt, yes, that is definitely their book?

I thought so 🙂

That’s voice!

 

It’s a distinctive style that sets the writer’s work apart from anyone else. Some use setting, such as bestselling and award-winning author Louise Penny. Her books are set in and around the scenic mountain town of Three Pines, Quebec. If a fan were to read a brief passage from any of her books they would know who wrote the novel.

Other writers have a certain way with characterization that’s a dead giveaway, such as Jill Shalvis. Her writing style is part sass, part angst, and a whole lot of heat!

 

 

One of the best styles of voice comes with deep POV (point of view).

Military romantic suspense author Suzanne Brockmann does this better than most. Deep point of view is when the character acts, thinks, or talks and there is no need to add a name tag because we know this character. He/she is as real as if we were watching them on our favorite television series. Suzanne does this by creating distinct mannerisms that we immediately associate with that person. She does this so well, she can write entire passages without a name/ and frequently does, and yet it’s easy to know who is talking at any given moment.

Voice is something a writer gains with time. It can’t be forced, but for readers it’s that magic thing that will make them your fans. If you have a backlist take another look, you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

I’m currently working on a summer romance set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. A theme that runs through my stories is the value of family, and this one is no different.

Here’s the blurb for Sweetheart Cove:

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

 

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Exclusive excerpt

Josie wasn’t sure how she got through the next few days. She must have acted reasonably normal because no one questioned her absentmindedness, even when she set the puppy’s food in the refrigerator instead of the pantry where it belonged. Jacob’s kiss lived front and center in her thoughts, and his hard, masculine body encompassed her dreams. A moody, short-tempered grump who made her pulse skyrocket.

How could she feel this way about him when she’d been hours from marrying another man a month ago? She added fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to the picnic basket she’d prepared and glanced down at the pup sitting quietly at her feet. “If you’re looking for handouts, you’ll just have to wait. No offence, but I don’t trust your stomach in the car.”

“Is it time yet?” Jane wheeled into the kitchen, her face expectant. The dog, thinking it was playtime, crouched, nose on his front paws, butt in the air and tail wagging a mile a minute. He let out a couple of excited yips, then raced around the room and jumped against Jane’s short-clad legs. “Ow, Mischief, that hurts,” she cried, then stopped in shock and stared at the red marks already fading from her skin. “It hurt,” she whispered.

Josie pushed the dog out of the way and crouched at the little girl’s side. “Honey, this is great. I’m so happy for you. We better tell your father, so he can get you into the specialist for a checkup.”

Jane shook her head and gripped Josie’s wrist. “No. Can we keep it a secret? Please, Josie? Just for a while. I want to get better and surprise Daddy by walking. Please?”

Her pleading eyes undid Josie. How was she supposed to say no to that? She nodded. “Okay, but if you have any pains at all, you tell me, understand?” She patted Mischief’s silky head. “Guess your dad knew what he was doing, getting you a dog. Maybe we should name him Miracle instead of Mischief.”

Jane giggled. “It’s not Mischief, Josie. It’s you. You’re the miracle.”

 

 

I’d like to think I’m gaining a voice, but you the reader are the only ones who can tell me whether I’m right. What do you think? 🙂

Help, my secondary character is taking over the book! #amwriting #Romance #mgtab


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Have you ever started to write a book and had a secondary character try to take over the story? It doesn’t matter how hard you work at putting them on the sidelines, they keep popping up at the most inopportune times.

I’ve found it’s better to go with the flow and see where it takes me– usually into another book and thereby creating a series I hadn’t actually planned on writing!

When I was working on The Rebel’s Redemption, book two in the Wounded Hearts series, the hero’s best friend stepped up and insisted I do his story at the same time! I had a lot of fun with those two and the side benefit was interlocking stories that practically wrote themselves. I wish it was always that easy, but truthfully, most books take a lot of blood, sweat and lots of CHOCOLATE before they begin to take shape.

 

Maybe it’s because I’m a pantser. I never know what’s going to happen until it does, and then I say, “That’s brilliant!” lol. Sometimes, it’s a great first line. One of my favorites is from The Beast WithinHer skin was tender as the belly of a kitten. And just as fragile.
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And other times, it comes from a picture I’ve seen:

 

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Like this one I used as inspiration for Missing: TheLady Said No, a mystery set around the Kentucky Derby.

 

And then there’s the ones that emerge from a cover you fall in love with. This one was made by Michele Hauf.

 

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This is Sophia Shaughnessy’s book. She first showed up as the cute sister of Matthew Shaughnessy in Hold ‘Em, but her character became important to the story and readers connected with the young woman desperate to prove herself in a man’s world.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Sophia lightly flirted with Rico—as they’d done all their lives—and pretended not to watch every move Tony made. She absolutely didn’t notice his tough farm hands closing into fists when Rico grasped her waist, or sense the tension emanating from his powerful body as he watched the two of them acting like frisky colts. She’d feel guilty, except the big jerk should know there hadn’t been anyone but him for her since she’d reached puberty.

Damn him.

“I thought I’d take Cleopatra out for a ride,” she said to Rico, making a conscious effort to ignore Tony’s glower. “Do you have time to join me?”

“Sure.” Rico nodded. “Just give me a few minutes to finish these stalls, bueno?”

“Weren’t you supposed to exercise the yearlings today?” Tony growled. “Just because the princess deigned to visit, doesn’t mean the ranch is on holiday. Get to work, Juarez.”

Rico bristled. “I can do that later, they aren’t going anywhere.”

Tony took an aggressive step forward and Sophia hurried to step between the two men. “Stop it,” she hissed. “It’s my fault, I wasn’t thinking.”

She turned and forced a smile for Rico. “I’ll meet you later and we’ll catch up. It’s been too long.” She squeezed his arm in reassurance. “See you at dinner?”

Rico glared at his boss, then gave a slow shrug and dragged his attention back to her. “Yeah, sure. It’ll be like old times, ?”

Sophia saw his intentions in the mischievous glint of his eyes. She braced herself for the fallout as he leaned in and gave her a big, smacking kiss on the lips before jauntily wandering away with a tip of his hat. She’d get even with him, the tease.

She glanced up at Tony and cleared her throat, subduing the instinct to rub suddenly sweaty palms on her pants. “I didn’t mean to create problems, I know this is a working ranch.” That much was true, anyway. She’d tried so many times to insert herself into the business, to be a valued member of the team, but her ideas were brushed aside as the dreams of a young idealist. After a while, she’d given up trying.

Tony met her gaze and sighed. “I probably overreacted. I tend to do that a lot around you,” he admitted. Sophia didn’t have time to enjoy the warm glow his words wrought, before he added, “But you should know better than to come down to the barns dressed like that. You’re distracting my men.”

She wasn’t sure which rose faster, outrage or pleasure. She went with outrage, it was safer. “I’m wearing blue jeans, they’re hardly haute couture. And most of your men have known me since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, you’re exaggerating my appeal. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see my horse. At least she doesn’t judge me.”

She’d stomped past three stalls, the horses within staring at her with inquisitive eyes, before Tony caught up to her. “It’s been a long time since you’ve been on much of a ride, I don’t like the idea of you going out alone.”

Sophia huffed out a strangled laugh. “I was born on this ranch, I’m pretty sure I know my way around it. Besides, it’s your own fault I don’t have a companion, you got rid of him, remember?”

Tony grabbed a couple of bridles on their way past the tack room. “That idiot would be too damn busy showing off to protect you,” he snapped. “And I wasn’t worried about you getting lost so much as getting bucked off and, if you were lucky, landing on that delectable keister. I’ll go with you.”

“No.” She swung around to face him. “I want a fun, relaxing ride. You’ll just mess with my Zen.”

“You want to go, princess, then I go too. End of story.” He opened the stall for his bay and entered, mumbling sweet nothings to the horse while he swung the bridle over the gelding’s head.

Oh, yay.

 

 

I have a secret; I love secondary characters. They have a sense of mystery about them. You need to find out their story and they leave all sorts of possibilities open for future books. 🙂

Crazy Little Thing About Love releases Tuesday, May 15th. I hope you’ll buy a copy and see if you can pick out the next character who needs his/her story told.

What about you? Do you have a thing for secondary characters? It’s okay, I won’t tell 🙂

The last surviving light of the Revolution… My Dear Hamilton by @StephanieHDray and Laura Kamoie #Historical #Read @InkSlingerPR @LauraKayeAuthor


 

 

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest for a More Perfect Union

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

 

Order your copy of MY DEAR HAMILTON today!

 

 

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A Founding Father’s wife…

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

 

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I fell in love with my son that spring. In truth, I fell in love with the entire world. Because with the war nearly over, everything seemed new. And in my baby’s eyes, everything seemed possible.

 

Philip was as sunny a child as ever lived. One who so commanded my heart that I could refuse him nothing. And I knew my indulgence was not to be remedied by the influence of a stern father. Because in those delightfully domestic months, one might be excused for thinking that—like Ben Franklin and the lightning rod—my husband had invented fatherhood.

 

Fractured by our son’s every cry and transported to heaven by every gurgle and smile, Alexander doted, day and night. Staring into the cradle, he boasted, “Philip is truly a very fine young gentleman. The most agreeable baby I ever knew—intelligent and sweet of temper. Don’t you agree?”

 

“Yes,” I agreed, with a laugh. “Of course.”

 

Sensing condescension, Alexander turned in mock outrage. “It’s true! He’s handsome and his eyes are sprightly and expressive. And he has a method of waving his hand that announces a future orator.”

 

A future orator. Such grand plans he had for our boy, before he was even out of swaddling.

 

But having been abandoned by his own father, it made sense for my husband to draw so close to his infant son. For him to feel not only the natural bonds that draw a parent to a child, but also the desire to make up for what he’d lacked. It was as if Alexander thought to somehow tip the scales of cosmic justice by giving his son all the love he hadn’t received.

 

“How entirely domestic I’m growing,” Alexander later said, bouncing our little Philip on his knee at Papa’s dinner table. “I sigh for nothing but the company of my wife and my baby, and have lost all taste for the pursuits of ambition.”

 

Kissing our father atop his head as she slipped into her seat, Angelica gave a delicate snort. “You without ambition? Betsy, call for a doctor. Hamilton must be sicker than we knew.”

 

The whole family laughed, because she wasn’t wrong to doubt him. Especially when his desk in the upstairs hall was piled with leather-bound, gilt-edged law books. Tory lawyers would no longer be permitted to practice in state courts, which left an opportunity for men like my husband to step into the vacancy, and Alexander had designed an ambitious plan to condense his study of the law and start his own practice.

 

Though he seemed content to live in my father’s house—and Papa was very happy to have us—I knew Hamilton yearned to make his own fortune. Late one night, he returned from his duties as a tax collector, and settling into a chair next to our sleeping baby, he opened a law book and whispered, “Go on to bed, love. I will now employ myself rocking the cradle and studying the art of fleecing my neighbors.”

 

Tax collecting by day, studying law by night, and somehow managing, in the midst of it all, to conspire with my father to build this brave new American world.

 

The Articles of Confederation had made less a new nation than a loose alliance of states. Hamilton and my father dreamed of something grander. And oh, how it filled my heart to see them together each night, talking through ideas, my father’s wisdom tempering my husband’s more passionate arguments—I took great pride in realizing that I’d given my father more than a son and my husband more than a father; I’d given both a trustworthy friend.

 

We were happy. I was never happier, I think.

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie’s MY DEAR HAMILTON – Blog Tour Schedule:

April 2nd

Book review Virginia lee – Excerpt

Books A-Brewin’ – Excerpt

Brandy Paige Roberts Blogger page – Excerpt

My Girlfriends Couch – Excerpt

April 3rd

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents – Excerpt

It’s All About the Romance – Excerpt

My Book Snack – Review & Excerpt

Smexy& Fabulous – Excerpt

April 4th

Always a happy ever after –Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Excerpt

Movies, Shows, & Books – Excerpt

Quirky Lady Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Stephanie’s Book Reports – Excerpt

SJAT’s Books and More – Review & Interview

April 5th

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

Literature Goals – Excerpt

Reviews by Tammy and Kim (Rachel & Jay) – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

April 6th

Books After Fifty – Excerpt

History Undressed – Review & Excerpt

Under the Covers Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

True Book Addict – Excerpt

Zili in the Sky – Excerpt

April 7th

3 Degrees of Fiction Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Books According to Abby – Excerpt

Evermore Books – Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review & Excerpt

April 8th

BookCrushin – Interview

Liz’s Reading Life – Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews – Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt

April 9th

Book Bug Blog – Review & Excerpt

Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Just One More Chapter – Review

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

April 10th

Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt

My Fictional Escape – Review & Excerpt

Oh, for the Hook of a Book – Review & Interview

April 11th

Bound By Books Book review – Review

Sofia Loves Books – Review & Excerpt

April 12th

Denny S. Bryce – Review & Excerpt

Good Drunkard – Review & Excerpt

Ruth Downie – Interview

Margie’s Must Reads – Excerpt

The Voluptuous Book Diva – Excerpt

April 13th

A Bookaholic Swede – Review

Creating Herstory – Review & Interview

Historical Fiction Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Kris Waldherr Art and Words – Excerpt

April 14th

Book Nook Nuts – Excerpt

Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt

Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne – Review

Leigh Anderson – Review

Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Teatime and Books – Excerpt

Two Girls with Books – Review & Excerpt

 

 

About Stephanie Dray:

Stephanie Dray is a New York Times bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into multiple languages, illuminating women of the past so as to inspire the women of today. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital.

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Dray Website |Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | Dray & Kamoie Website

 

 

About Laura Kamoie:

Laura Kamoieis a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, and the author of two nonfiction books on early American history. Until recently, she held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction under the name Laura Kaye, also a New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels.

 

 

 

 

Laura Kamoie Website |Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | Dray & Kamoie Website

 

The BadReadHead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge #BookReview #WriterTips @RachelintheOC


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THE SINGLE BEST TOOL every writer needs NOW to build, boost, and grow their author platform.

Unsure how to market your book or feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of author platform options out there (or not even sure what the term means)? Ever wish someone could break it down for you in simple steps?

Then this is the book for you!

Over the course of one month, Rachel provides you daily challenges containing a wealth of information, and easy to follow assignments to help energize your book sales. If you haven’t released your book yet, this book will help you set the stage necessary to build the strongest foundation possible for success.

Topics include:
* Twitter secrets
* Facebook page must-do’s
* Social media ideas you might not know or haven’t thought of
* Promotion, giveaways, and other book marketing secrets
* Website, blogging, and SEO tips designed just for authors

All writers, bloggers, and small businesses can benefit can benefit from this guide.

 

 

 

About the Author

Site: RachelintheOC.com
Twitter: @RachelintheOC
Facebook: facebook.com/RachelThompsonauthor

Rachel Thompson is the author Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival and Los Angeles Book Festival and 5/5 Readers Favorite), and the multi award-winning and best-selling Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She is humbled to be part of two gorgeous Feminine Collective poetry anthologies. Her final Broken book, Broken People, will be released Winter, 2018. She’s also currently finishing up the next BadRedhead Media book, the 30-Day Twitter Challenge. Look for both very soon!

She released the BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge in December 2016 to rave reviews, where it has remained in the top #100 on three lists and is a 5/5 Readers Favorite. She released an updated version late 2017 with many new tips and tricks.

Rachel founded BadRedhead Media in 2011, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader, FeminineCollective, BookMachine, BlueInk Reviews, and TransformationIsReal.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the blog-sharing hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, the weekly live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish (Tuesdays, 6pm pst), and #BookMarketingChat (every Wednesday 6pm pst) to help writers learn how to market their work.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. A single mom, Rachel lives in California (with her two kids and two cats) where she daydreams about Thor. And sleep.

My Review
This is an easy to follow course on upping your social media presence. It has daily exercise links to guide you through the maze of SEO, blogging, making a good headline into a GREAT headline, and so much more!
I found some really great information here and plan on going through it a few more times. It’s one of those books every author should keep next to their laptop!
I give The BadRedHead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge 5 lovely kisses- A Must Read!
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What if your superheroes had Regency-era doppelgangers? The Mercenary Pirate by Katherine Bone #historical #NewRelease @katherinelbone


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What if your favorite superheroes had Regency-era doppelgangers? And what if a group of them were recruited by the Duke of Wellington to gather intelligence for him during the Napoleonic Wars while they protected their own parts of the realm?

 

You’d get The Heart of a Hero Series.

 

Wolfgang, one of Lord Wellington’s craftiest spies, is a fighter, an indulgent loner who is cunning and bold enough to go where others do not dare. He hates distractions and complications, especially those involving the fairer sex, and his instincts have always fueled him and kept him on course, mission after mission. That is, until his talents steer him toward a destiny he didn’t know he had and a search for the brother he barely remembers. And when he comes into contact with a brave young woman disguised as a boy, the urge he feels to protect her might just lead him on the biggest adventure of all.

Selina’s wedding day did not go as planned. Instead, she was kidnapped by pirates and ransomed for an exorbitant sum. Her diabolical captors didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, however, and kept her imprisoned even after their demands were met. More clever than her kidnappers expected, she managed to escape and disguised herself as a boy. Forced to lie, cheat, and steal in order to stay alive, she loses hope of ever returning to the man she intended to marry. Desperate, she agrees to become a handsome and compassionate sea captain’s cabin boy to gain passage back to Cornwall, but the captain endangers the one thing she cannot afford to lose—her heart.

 

Buy Amazon

 

The Mercenary Pirate is the final book in The Heart of a Hero Series. Wellington’s spies, kidnapped bride, betrayal, greed, espionage, superheroes reimagined, corsairs, a heroine disguised as a cabin boy, and plenty of action and adventure make this last book in The Heart of a Hero Series one epic thrilling ride!

Grab your FREE copy of No Rest for the Wicked, the prequel novella TODAY! (Included in the back of the book, you’ll get the first chapters from the entire series.)

No Rest for the Wicked by Cora Lee, Prequel novella

Only a Hero Will Do by Alanna Lucas, Book Two

Once Bitten by Aileen Fish, Book Three

Lightning Strikes Twice by Jillian Chantal, Book Four

No Hiding for the Guilty by Vanessa Riley, Book Five

The Marquis of Thunder by Susan Gee Heino, Book Six

The Good, The Bad, And The Scandalous by Cora Lee, Book Seven

The Archer’s Paradox by Ally Broadfield, Book Eight

The Missing Duke by Heather King, Book Nine

The Mercenary Pirate by Katherine Bone, Book Ten

 

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National best-selling historical romance author Katherine Bone has been passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat turned officer’s wife. Who knew that an Army wife’s passion for romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose Alma Mater’s adage is “Go Army. Beat Navy!” Now enjoying the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south where she writes about rogues, rebels, and rakes—aka pirates, lords, captains, duty, honor, and country—and the happily-ever-afters that every alpha male and damsel deserve.

 

Katherine’s Ports of Call:

Website  / Katherine’s Official FB Fan Page  / Twitter 

Amazon Author Page   / Goodreads  /  Katherine’s BookBub Page

 

Thank you for sharing my book release today! Huzzah!

Blessings,

Katherine

I Can See You Now #inspiration #amwriting #MFRWauthor


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Did you ever wonder how authors manage to visit all the places in the world they write so eloquently about?

Believe me, if I could travel to exotic locales I would (not so sure about different worlds though!), but most of us have to make do with researching the areas we’re interested in placing our characters into.

Whether it’s a castle in England

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or the vineyards of Italy

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We can get real-time views thanks to modern day search engines like Google. With Instant Street View simply type in any address and you’re instantly transported there with a complete 360 picture of the area.

Another great search tool for authors is Pinterest. You can find just about anything you’re looking for on subjects ranging from fashion to settings, and of course inspiration 🙂

My upcoming release, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, is set in the Texas hill country. I had visions in my head of what the area should look like, but needed to make sure of some facts such as what sort of flowers are prevalent in the open ranch fields? I did an online search and came up with this lovely field of bluebonnets:

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Perfect for my scene! Here’s a little taste of what I wrote:

Cassandra stared at him, bemused. The sun had decided to peek out from behind the clouds, turning his hair antique gold in the streaming light. Their clothes were soaked, but on him, it was a good look. His shirt plastered to his torso highlighted strong shoulders and a well-defined chest. One she wanted to rest her head against.

Startled out of her trance, she jerked her gaze out across the most beautiful valley she’d ever seen. Bluebonnets and healthy green grass waved back and forth, teased by a playful breeze. An old log cabin, its roof sagging and covered with moss, crouched by a babbling brook shaded by a giant cottonwood. And just to finish the fairytale, a multi-hued rainbow cast its benevolent glow over the entire picturesque area as though daring the rainclouds to return.

“Wow,” she said. “You weren’t kidding. This place is fantastic.”

A deer broke cover and slowly made its way down to the brook, testing the air every few feet.

Cass grabbed Matt’s arm, intensely conscious of the coiled strength that lay just under the skin. She cleared her throat and pointed, “Look, Matt, it’s a Bambi.”

Matt gazed at her instead of the animal, the quirk of his mouth causing a heart-palpitating dimple to appear. “What is it with women and Disney creatures?”

She laughed and dropped her hand, uncomfortable now with his sole attention. “Are you telling me you never had a favorite character from a movie when you were a child?”

He lifted his head and eyed the deer, his profile reminding her of a proud animal. When he turned back the humor was gone. “We should get down there before the weather decides to break again. You ready?”

Curiously sorry she’d ruined the moment, Cassandra nodded and they started out for the valley floor. The deer took one look at them and bounded away, disappearing into the woods on the far side of the clearing.

“What is this place?” she asked, lagging along in his wake, her hand brushing the top of the grass as they walked.

Matt glanced back, then kept going, his body cutting them a trail. “It was my great-grandfather’s first home. Dad used it as his fishing shack when he wanted a break from ranching.”

Cassandra gazed upon the valley with new eyes. She imagined an adventurous young man with Matt’s face riding across the Texas plains until he happened upon this magical land. Easy to see why he decided to stay.

If you’d like more of my vision for this story, check out my Pinterest board here

What about you? How do you research your settings? Any tips or tricks you’d care to share?

Hold ‘Em releases August 15th, I hope you give this funny, heartwarming book a try!

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In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.

Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.

Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

http://a.co/9OJfSea

International Link: http://books2read.com/HoldEm

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34682965-hold-em

Operation Camp Navajo: A Jonathan Stone Mystery Short Story #Mystery #Writer @jimhbs


 

Operation Camp Navajo: A Jonathan Stone Mystery Short Story

 

Camp Navajo Weapon Station near Flagstaff, Arizona is robbed and Jonathon Stone and fellow agent Dale Oak are dispatched to the area to insure that CIA weapons stored at the site are intact. Upon arrival he finds the FBI has taken charge and has quickly caught the thieves.
Case closed. After a drive through the area and listening to the details of the crime from the FBI, things just didn’t add up. A complete search of the facilities finds explosives are missing and Jonathon is tasked with finding them before they are used.

 

 

 

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James Moushon is a Mystery writer and a published writer in the electronic document field.

Starting over 15 years ago, he helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.

In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development.

He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published three books: Black Mountain Secrets, Game of Fire, The Cajun Ghost, a collection of short stories called: Operation Alpha Dog all featuring Jonathon Stone.

A Jonathon Stone Mystery Short Story Summer is being released as we speak:

Operation No Sanctuary (June 2017), Operation Camp Navajo (July 2017), and Operation Asian Tiger (August 2017). All featuring CIA Agent Jonathon Stone.

He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.

The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White #BookReview #Thriller #Montlake @Loreth


He surfaced two years ago. Then he disappeared.

 

 

The DG

 

 

But Detective Angie Pallorino hasn’t forgotten the violent rapist who left a distinctive calling card—crosses etched into the flesh of his victims’ foreheads. When a comatose Jane Doe is found in a local cemetery, sexually assaulted, mutilated, and nearly drowned, Angie is struck by the eerie similarities to her earlier unsolved rapes. Could he be back?

Then the body of a drowned young woman, also bearing the marks of the serial rapist, floats up in the Gorge, and the hunt for a predator becomes a hunt for a killer. Assigned to the joint investigative task force, Angie is more than ready to prove that she has what it takes to break into the all-male homicide division. But her private life collides with her professional ambitions when she’s introduced to her temporary partner, James Maddocks—a man she’d met just the night before in an intense, anonymous encounter.

Together, Angie and Maddocks agree to put that night behind them. But as their search for the killer intensifies, so does their mutual desire. And Angie’s forays into the mind of a monster shake loose some unsettling secrets about her own past. How can she fight for the truth when it turns out her whole life is a lie?

 

 

 

 

Loreth

Loreth Anne White is an award-winning author of romantic suspense, thrillers, and mysteries. She has won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Romantic Suspense, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall. In addition, she is a three-time RITA finalist, a Booksellers’ Best finalist, a multiple Daphne Du Maurier Award finalist, and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner. A former journalist and newspaper editor who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

Loreth loves to hear from readers. You can find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Loreth.Anne.White
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Loreth
Or connect with her via her website at:
www.lorethannewhite.com

 

My Review

Loreth Anne White’s books are NOT for the feint of heart!

They’re gritty, thrilling, page-turning suspense novels that will stay with you long after the last page is read.

Detective Angie Pallorino has seen the worst of human nature during her years on the sex crimes unit, but nothing can prepare her for the vicious killer stalking her city.

James Maddocks marriage ended due to the stress of his job as a cop, and his relationship with his daughter is floundering. He takes a demotion in order to move closer to her and finds himself caught up in a high-profile murder case with the officer he’d hooked up with in an anonymous one night stand.

Can they put their growing feelings aside in order to catch a killer before he strikes again?

White puts a boatload of intensity into her characters. They’re damaged, sometimes even unlikeable, but it’s impossible not to feel empathy for them and hope and pray for their emotional and physical well-being.

The scene-setting was as chilling as the storyline. Coming from Victoria, I could easily picture the areas described which added an extra WOW factor to the book. I won’t be going out alone anytime soon, lol.

I give The Drowned Girls 5+ lovely kisses and can’t wait until the next Angie Pallorino tale comes out this fall!

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Celebrating my first featured @Bookbub #Sale #mgtab


For an indie author, the tough job of writing a book, editing, choosing covers (all of mine are done by the fabulous Kim Killion), learning how to format (if you’re doing your own I highly recommend Vellum!) and uploading to your chosen vendors can seem overwhelming.

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Fortunately, there are many informative blogs, such as Kristen Lamb, Writer Unboxed, and Bookbub to guide our tottering steps through an unfamiliar territory.

One of the main pieces of advice I’ve heard over and over again is the importance of building a backlist. It only makes sense; how can you keep a reader’s interest if you only have one or two books to share with them?

To this end, I’ve been hard at work the past couple of years and just listed my ninth book, Missing: The Lady Said No for pre-order!

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Another tip I’ve learned thanks to the mentorship of two special ladies, Mimi Barbour and Anna Markland, is the importance of building connections in the writing world. One of the best ways to do this is multi-author box sets.

I’ve been blessed to be involved with some very fine authors in these sets and made friendships that I treasure. I can’t recommend this enough-if you get the opportunity to join a box set, go for it!

One caveat I have to make to this- do your research. I went into one set where I didn’t know the coordinator, but was familiar with some of the other authors. A few months later, after many unanswered emails and Facebook messages, we found she had taken our money and our manuscripts, and skipped out on her obligation to the group. It was only through the hard work of some of the other members we received our money and a legal letter that she would never publish our books in any part.

So now, how do you get the word out about your new book babies?

One way is to post on blogs like this. Another is to promote on the many Facebook reading groups and tweeting five or six times a day (yes, they recommend at least that much!), or you can apply to book promotional sites.

Some are easy and not too expensive, but they also don’t have the benefits you can reap from the granddaddy of advertising: Bookbub

There are many different rumors about the difficulty of landing an ad with Bookbub, and to be honest, I tried a LOT before they finally accepted me, yay!

One thing I can say, it’s NOT true that you need a bunch of reviews (I heard everything from 50-150) I have 5, yep, 5.

It’s also NOT true that you need to be on all vendors sites before they will accept you. I’m loyal to Amazon.

It IS true that a professional cover is critical. As is a good blurb- one without grammatical errors and isn’t five pages long 🙂

It IS true that Bookbub is expensive to advertise with, but then, they have hundreds of thousands of followers and almost always propel a book into the top hundred in Amazon (Fingers crossed!)

It IS true that you can advertise internationally for a minimal upgrade. (I did, hoping to gain a new readership)

I’ve tried to benefit from this promotion by booking some smaller sites before and after the big day. I also set one of my other books to #Free during that period, The Guardian.

#FREE Feb 5-9 2017

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And don’t forget the pre-order for Missing: The Lady Said No. The book doesn’t release until April 25/17, but I thought this would be a good chance to gain early interest 🙂

So, I bet you’re wondering what book made it through the rigid Bookbub criteria?

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Available for a limited time at just .99 pennies

BUY NOW!

And watch for it February 6 as Bookbub’s featured sale!

How about you? Any advice on writing or promoting you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you 🙂

She deserves a lifetime of happiness: You First by Stephanie Fournet #YouFirst #Romance @JenHalliganPR @Stephanie4net


You First Blog Tour | JenHalliganPR.com

Today, we’re spotlighting YOU FIRST, Stephanie Fournet’s newest contemporary romance. It released December 13th, so be sure to grab your copy! Learn more about YOU FIRST below, enter the $100 giveaway, and be sure to follow the blog tour for more entries!

You FirstYou First by Stephanie Fournet
by Stephanie Fournet
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Publication Date: December 13th, 2016

Driven. Private. Insanely talented.

Gray Blakewood is the most successful crime writer under the age of thirty—and he has a secret that could cost him his life.

He just wants to finish his latest novel before his world unravels, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful distraction.

Meredith Ryan, his new personal assistant, has seen more than her fair share of hard knocks. And, still, she’s the sweetest person he’s ever met.

She deserves a lifetime of happiness—which he can’t offer.

But he can’t seem to stay away.

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You First by Stephanie Fournet | Teaser | JenHalliganPR.com

Stephanie Fournet | JenHalliganPR.com
Credit: Tammie Simon

About Stephanie Fournet

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester, Legacy, Butterfly Ginger, and Leave a Mark lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college or running. She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and stephaniefournet.com.

 

Interview at It’s All About the Romance

 

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

 

Neil Gaiman’s “Advice to Authors (http://www.neilgaiman.com/FAQs/Advice_to_Authors) is excellent, as is his commencement address to the University of Art Class of 2012 (http://www.uarts.edu/neil-gaiman-keynote-address-2012).  For him, and for me, writing is about writing.  It sound redundant and circular, but you have to keep writing in order to succeed.

 

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

 

I am a runner, and I’ve recently discovered a love of camping. It’s best when I can combine the two: camp and go on a nice trail run. Camping is so relaxing! Everything just stops—especially if you are somewhere without cell service.  At night, there’s nothing to do but watch the fire, pet the dogs, drink a ginger beer, and laugh.

 

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

 

Many, but some of them aren’t famous, so I’ll limit my response to the prominent ones. J.K. Rowling comes to mind first because of her commitment to her dream as well as her staggering talent.  I really admire Scott Jurek, who is a vegan ultra-marathoner (I am a vegan runner).  He recently broke the world record for the fastest traverse of the Appalachian Trail.  I guess I’m inspired by people who give their all to their passions and goals.

 

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

 

I don’t know if this is unusual or if it’s more eyebrow-raising, but I am a high school administrator. People I work with often tease me about also being a romance writer. I have an uncanny ability to spot a kid chewing gum (it’s my super power), and I guess some people have a hard time reconciling stuff like that with the fact that I can also write a toe-curling kissing scene.

 

What was your best date ever?

 

The summer before my daughter was born, my husband and I scraped our pennies together and went to London and Paris.  One night while we were in London, we got all dressed up, went to a lavishly expensive restaurant we could not afford, had a fantastic meal, and then went to see Miss Saigon. I was 26 at the time, and it was the first contemporary musical I’d ever seen on stage. I’ve had countless wonderful dates with my husband, but this was one I will never forget.

 

 

Tell us something you are really proud of.

 

I am ridiculously proud of my daughter, Hannah.  She’s brilliant, beautiful, talented, empathetic–you name it. My husband and I did an awesome job, if I do say so myself.

 

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

 

I totally wish I could sing! I love music, and I actually do sing all the time, but it’s pretty bad.  I’m not afraid of karaoke, but I should be.

 

Giveaway

One winner will receive a $100 Amazon OR Book Depository Gift Card (International). Three winners will win a signed copy of YOU FIRST (US only).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Monday, Dec 5th – Love in a Time of Feminism (Interview)

Tuesday, Dec 6th – Babbling About Books and More (Spotlight)

Wednesday, Dec 7th – Books, Dreams, Life (Guest Post)

Friday, Dec 9th – Jersey Girl Book Reviews (Review)

Monday, Dec 12th – A Chick Who Reads (Review)

Tuesday, Dec 13th – With Love for Books (Review)

Wednesday, Dec 14th – It’s All About the Romance (Interview)

Thursday, Dec 15th – Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! (Excerpt)

Friday, Dec 16th – Kendra Loves Books (Review)

Monday, Jan 9th – Kindle and Me (Review) & Crazies R Us (Review)

Tuesday, Jan 10th – Thoughts in Progress (Excerpt)

Thursday, Jan 12th – vvb32 reads (Review)

Monday, Jan 16th – Reese’s Reviews (Spotlight)

Wednesday, Jan 18th – Jeri’s Book Attic (Review)

Friday, Jan 20th – 2 Book Lovers Reviews (Review)

 

 

The Jake Bernstein FBI Series by Donna Del Oro #Mystery #Thriller #mgtab


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The Jake Bernstein FBI series

by Donna Del Oro

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GENRE:   romantic suspense

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BLURB:

A riveting blend of romantic thriller, mystery and WWII espionage that spans sixty years of lies. England’s secret service agency MI5 recruits Jewish-American FBI analyst Jake Bernstein to go undercover and investigate an elderly, naturalized American grandmother, suspected of being a notorious Nazi spy wanted for war crimes during WWII. Jake runs into a series of complications: This spy knows a secret that could endanger the British royal family; Jake’s attraction to the old woman’s beautiful granddaughter; a ruthless and violent Irish neo-Nazi group is tracking him; and a clever, cagey old lady stands in the way of justice. His priority shifts from finding the evidence to staying alive!

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EXCERPT:

 

Breakfast in the hotel dining room was to be served at 7 a.m.. Next stop: Cardiff, the capital of Wales, then their ferry ride to Ireland. He’d finally looked over the itinerary. The motor coach would be leaving that afternoon, after a tour and lunch in Bath. A quick perusal of the day’s agenda showed him they had the afternoon free to wander around Bath and do some shopping. Maybe he could invite Meg and her grandmother to spend some time with him.

Still drowsy with sleep, he looked over at the pillow next to his. Visualizing Meg lying there, her lush hair with all its variegated blonde hues fanned out, stirred him. The erection he’d awakened with grew harder; not surprising, he thought, considering his celibacy of late. Strictly his choice, despite the offers tossed his way.

The opportunities had been there and he’d ignored them, stubborn man that he was.  Even late last night, when the two New Jersey sisters had called and invited him to a private party in Hank’s room. He’d declined tactfully.

At thirty-two years old, he found himself holding out for more.

Stupid fool, he scolded himself. Or as the Brits would say, sodding wanker!  Or something to that effect. He should learn to take it when it was offered to him on a platter, free of charge.  All he had to do was be nice to a girl for a few hours, promise to call her, and then…

Ah, but as Grandpa Nate would say, “nussing is free in dis vorld”.

Dreams of Meg had plagued him—rather entertained him—all night. Even now, recalling how her small, plump breasts bounced up and down while she ran alongside him, how her long ponytail swung back and forth, filled him with unbridled lust. The one time they’d stopped at the Roman ruins, they’d let their arms brush together. Neither had pulled away. Just that light touch had flooded his insides with longing. She appeared to feel the same.  She’d flushed to the roots of her hair and after that, had touched him in some small way every chance she got. Each touch was electric, sizzling!

What he liked about her was her total lack of coyness or flirtatiousness. Meg was straightforward, without guile; she wasn’t playing games. He could read the honesty in her face when she told him about her breakup with the ex-fiancé and her distrust of men and their empty promises and vows. All lies, she’d mused with just a hint of bitterness. She’d finally come to accept the reality of men.

Or some men, she’d amended, adding quickly that she’d apologize if she was offending him. No, he’d said; I agree with you. Most men lie through their teeth. It’s a guy thing.

That admission had elicited a small, rueful laugh from both of them. And she’d let her arm brush his again, as if to reassure him. He was different, she was saying.

No, I’m not, he’d wanted to say. I’m a liar, an impostor. And you’re going to hate me when this is all over.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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

Visit her on Facebook or at www.donnadeloro.com

www.thewildrosepress.com/Donna Del Oro

Contact her: donna@donnadeloro.com

 

I was lucky enough to be granted a short interview with Donna and couldn’t wait to have a nice chat!

 

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

That depends on the writer, I think. I like the editing/artistic/marketing support of a publisher and so I’ve always gravitated towards publishing houses.

 

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

My favorite is the spy thriller—absolutely eat them up! My favorite author is Daniel Silva.

 

Do your characters talk to you?

Yes, in my head. I hope they never stop talking to me.

 

How do you approach starting a new book?

I usually start with an idea or theme, then characters come alive, and then the beginning and end of the story. I fill in from there.

 

What is your writing process?

I write at the kitchen counter, close to my coffee machine. My first three novels, all sold, I wrote them long-hand, then I realized the great, time-saving advantages to composing at my word processor. Now I keep all the ideas in my head but I do a Zenn diagram for my characters’ details in order to keep them all straight. I put this Zenn diagram (which I used while a h.s. teacher) on a whiteboard and keep it handy.

 

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

I can’t name one. I’ve learned a lot about creative writing from a wide variety of sources.

 

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

I sing the soprano part in a large, award-winning barbershop chorus. In my spare time, I read voraciously and when we can, my husband and I travel.

 

What was your best date ever?

Chinese food and a movie.

 

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Navy SEAL, definitely. My hero, FBI agent Jake Bernstein, is a former Navy SEAL. They’re brave, disciplined and very intelligent.

 

Chocolate or chips?

With my fat genes, NEITHER!

 

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

One of my heroines, Athena Butler (Athena’s Secrets) is an artist and is also clairvoyant, meaning she can read minds. I’m very intuitive but to be able to read minds at will, WOW!

 

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Definitely fancy restaurant. I don’t like to cook so having someone do it for me is always a treat.

 

Beer or wine?

I like beer with Mexican food and wine most other times.

 

Favorite author?

Daniel Silva, spy thriller author extraordinaire!

 

Smooth or hairy?

My husband has a lot of head hair but a very smooth body. I like that!

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This tour is featuring the Jake Bernstein FBI Series LIES IN WAIT, Book Two of the FBI series will be out January 4, 2017, and the 3rd book will be attached a few months after.

 

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Amazon buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/Bodyguard-Lies-Jake-Bernstein-Book-ebook/dp/B01F0LGEFI

Barnes and Noble buy link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bodyguard-of-lies-donna-del-oro/1107226297

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Donna Del Oro will be awarding winner’s choice of ebook or print copy of A BODYGUARD OF LIES (print – US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

Can she survive the island? Barrier by D.C. Renfroe #Thriller #mystery #mgtab


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Barrier

by D.C. Renfroe

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GENRE: Romance Thriller

RELEASE DATE OF THE BOOK:  October 10th, 2016.

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BLURB:

When Claire Luna is kidnapped and taken to a remote island, her predictable life is torn to shreds. She thought she understood grief, loss and loneliness. But nothing prepared her for the island.

 

Tucker Knight had his world turned upside down when he was a young teen. He’d known love, security and normality. But things changed, and somehow he lost his innocence along the way.

 

Barrier takes you on a compelling, thrilling and sometimes brutal journey of Claire and Tucker, who in a bid to control their destiny, must learn about trust and submission. And also about love.

 

The island is under the control of Dr. Stephen Bell, a scientist obsessed with the secrets of humanity through genetic engineering. Claire is part of his obsession, and quickly comprehends Bell’s twisted intentions. She is forced to decide between submission and life-altering consequences. In her desperate attempt to survive, Claire surprises Bell and Tucker with her strength to fight.

 

But, can she trust Tucker? Is he her enemy or her savior? Claire understands that to surrender means to survive, but can she endure? Tucker can’t help but be enamored by the spirited and determined Claire, but to survive, he must face and overcome his haunting past. Up until Claire’s arrival on the island, he had never thought himself capable, or deserving, but perhaps this was his chance to finally do the right thing.

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Excerpt:

 

I dug my feet into the carpet. If I was to choose the path that surrendered me to this island, it would not be without a fight.

 

Tucker saw the defiance in my face, the change in my stance.

 

“Don’t do this, Claire.” He came closer. I didn’t respond. “Please, it’s just a few tests.” He was inches away. His voice was low. He shifted his eyes from me to the door.

 

I felt the betrayal I had on the beach, when I realized he was stopping me, keeping me here, like Bell.

 

He must have seen my skepticism. His expression twisted into hurt.

 

“I’m not your enemy, Claire.”

 

I braced myself for flight, poised like a cat ready to pounce. My knees bent slightly. I rotated to the balls of my feet for more sprint speed.

 

“Claire.” His voice was a warning.

 

I sprung. Toward the back of the house, where there were less guards.

 

He bolted after me. I was a tenth of a second faster than him. He made it to the door of the bedroom, just as I was closing it, his hands hit the door. I locked the knob. His fists slammed into the wood.

 

“Claire, don’t do this. Please, you don’t know him like I do.” He was talking about Bell. A painful burn filled my stomach. He was right. I didn’t know him like he did, which only reminded me he was the adversary. He was a part of the assemblage I was fighting against. He was who I was running from.

 

I pushed the window open, pushed the screen, and climbed out. My feet landed in the soft grass. I paused, looking in each direction.

 

The guards were at the front door, expecting me to emerge from the house with Tucker. Tucker’s pounding on the door would only give me seconds before they realized what I had done.

 

My knees bent and flung me forward. I ran toward the fence. If the barbed wired didn’t slice me to pieces, the tower guard would surely shoot me, but so be it.

 

I ran hard. My heart rate pounded in my ears like music, a rhythmic, steady, swift beat.

 

My hands landed on the fence, it clattered and sung from the impact. One foot lifted and fit snugly in one of the rungs of the fencing. My other foot lifted and almost made it into its place before strong hands flung me from my place. The hands hurled me to the ground. I thumped against the hard ground. I felt the air leave my lungs. Each breath was like sucking through a straw.

 

One of the guards was standing over me. He put one foot on each side of me and crouched down. He wrapped his hand around my throat. I closed my eyes. This was it, the moment I had prayed for since I had been snatched into that van. Surely he would kill me.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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I began writing many years ago and put it aside to raise a family. I put myself through college working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, which I have almost completed. I took every writing class that was offered and finally put pen to paper after dreaming of completing a novel for almost twenty years. In the meantime, I worked as a freelance journalist for a local newspaper briefly and wrote a personal blog while living in south Florida. I currently work as an Instructional Designer based in Austin, Texas. I am a mother of four and truly believe they are my greatest creation! Two of my children inherited my love of writing and I encourage them to write every chance they get!

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RESEARCH IS THE BACKBONE TO A GOOD STORYLINE


In order to maintain believability in your storyline, whether it be a romance or a science fiction novel, you need to do your research.

This is where the fun begins. Digging through dusty tomes at the local library, or surfing the net, research can lead you on a merry dance. From locations all over the world, to politics, and religion. From social class to working knowledge. The research you dig for defines your characters, and sets the stage for the story you will share.

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In my novel, Tidal Falls, I’ve researched dog handlers in the U.S. Navy and have gained a healthy respect for their heroism. Without these well-trained animals leading the way and smelling out explosives, many of our brave soldiers wouldn’t be with us today.

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How about you? Share some of what you’ve learned through research, we’d love to hear it.