Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Amy Reece #RRBC #amreading @AReeceAuthor


RWISA TOUR

 

This month the Rave Writers-International Society of Writers is highlighting a few of the talented authors who belong to this wonderful organization.

Today’s guest is Amy Reece. Welcome to the blog, Amy! By the way, you have the coolest website!

 

Amy Reece

 

Hi! My name is Amy Reece and I live in Albuquerque, NM with my incredible husband and two ridiculous mutts, Greta and Sodapop. When I’m not writing, I teach high school English and social studies. I’m a voracious reader and dream of becoming a world traveler. I’m hoping to need many research trips for future writing projects. I write YA and have a 4 book series published with Limitless Publishing.

 

CRAZY CAT LADY

by Amy Reece

 

 

CAT SITTER NEEDED

$50 CASH—One Night ONLY

Apply in Person

653 Silverwood Ln Apt B

 

 

Rita looked from the folded newspaper to the small adobe duplex in front of her. Well, here goes. My chances of getting murdered or sold into a sex trafficking ring are pretty good, but I need the fifty bucks. Need might be overstating it, but she wanted to go to the concert and she didn’t have the money for the tickets. Her meager paycheck from her work-study job didn’t stretch much farther than covering the bare essentials. If she wanted any fun money, she had to find other ways to acquire it. She’d done it all: research studies, selling her plasma, modeling for art studio classes. Answering a jinky ad in the college newspaper was nothing. She had left a note in her dorm room telling her slumbering roommate where she was, so at the very least maybe they’d be able to recover her body. She shook off the dark thoughts and approached the house.

A tall, thin elderly woman answered the door. “Yes? How can I help you?”

Rita held up the ad. “I’m here about the cat sitting job.”

“Oh, my dear, yes. Well, come in.” She opened the screen door and stood back to allow Rita to enter.

The living room smelled musty but looked tidy, with sagging, old-fashioned furniture covered with bright, hand-crocheted afghans and doilies. Several cats raised their heads from where they snoozed on the cushions, then lowered them disinterestedly. A tray with a flowered china teapot and matching cups was set on the coffee table.

“Have a seat and I’ll pour you a cup of nice hot tea. It’s so chilly out this evening, isn’t it?”

Rita sat and accepted the cup of steaming tea while she frowned at the woman. “Were you expecting someone else?”

“Oh, no,” the woman said breezily. “I was expecting you.” She smiled as she sipped her tea. “Or someone like you. I put the ad in the paper and I knew someone would be along presently.” More cats of every color had wandered into the room. There had to be nearly fifteen cats winding their way around her feet, perching on the back of her chair, and leaping into her lap.

“Oh.” Rita nodded dumbly and fumbled with the handle of the delicate cup, spilling tea into the saucer.  “So, when exactly do you need the cat sitter?”

“Well, tonight, of course. I need to go visit my sister in Santa Fe. I’ll be back soon after breakfast tomorrow. Now, let me show you where I keep their food.” She reached forward to set her cup on the table.

“But, but,” sputtered Rita, “don’t you want to know about me? About my qualifications?”

The woman laughed lightly. “It’s only feeding a few cats, dear. It’s not rocket science. Come along.” She stood, shooing the cats from her lap, and led the way into the kitchen. “The dishes are here.” She pointed to a row of small ceramic bowls lining a dish drain. “And the food is in this cabinet. They like to eat around nine and then you can wash up.”

“Okay.” Rita nodded and counted the bowls. There were only six. “Do they take turns eating? Should I refill the bowls after the first group eats?”

“I think you’ll find one round is more than enough. Most of these are ghost cats, of course. Poor dears.”

Rita stared at her blankly. “Ghost cats?”

“Yes. They seem to be drawn to me. They just can’t move on quite yet. They’re not like dogs, you know.”

Rita didn’t know. In fact, the only thing she was sure of was that this woman was obviously insane. Ghost cats? What the hell? But fifty bucks was fifty bucks, and if she had to placate a crazy woman to get it, she was glad to. “Great. No problem.”

“Now, feel free to help yourself to anything if you get a little peckish.” She led the way back to the living room, where she picked up a small, old-fashioned train case Rita hadn’t noticed before. “Be sure to lock up after me. Have a good night and I’ll see you early tomorrow.”

Rita stood in the middle of the living room and watched her leave. “Wait! How do I—” she wrenched the door open to ask her final question, but the woman was gone. She stepped onto the porch and looked upon and down the street, noticing red taillights at the stop sign at the far end. She must have had a cab or an Uber waiting. She shrugged and closed the door, locking it as instructed. Then she turned to address the room. “Well, cats and kittens, I guess it’s just us for the rest of the night. At least she keeps this place clean. With this many of you it could really reek.” She’d eaten an early dinner at the cafeteria so she wasn’t hungry. The remote was on a side table, so she grabbed it up and found a cat-free cushion to sit on. The woman didn’t have cable, but Rita managed to find a rerun of a show she enjoyed and sat back to while away the hours until feeding time. The cats, for the most part, minded their own business and left her alone. A few finally crept close enough to sniff her, but then stalked away. She’d never been much of a cat person, so she took no offense. Feeding time went off without a hitch and the woman had been correct: the six bowls were more than enough. Cats came and nibbled, but none cleaned out their bowls. Many of the cats simply came and stared at the food without touching it. Weird. Maybe they are ghost cats.

She got hungry around midnight, but found nothing but a few stale crackers in the cabinet. She took them with her to the couch, pulled one of the crocheted afghans over her legs, and fell asleep watching an infomercial.

The key in the lock woke her the next morning. She sat, rubbing sleep from her eyes.

“Good morning! I’m sorry I woke you. How did everything go last night?” The woman set her train case by the door as she walked in.

“Um, fine. Yeah, everything went great.”

“Oh, good.” She rummaged in her purse for her checkbook and a pen. “Now, I’ll let you fill in your name. Here you go.” She handed her the check.

Rita glanced down at it, noting the spindly handwriting, but satisfied that it was indeed for fifty dollars. Sweet. Easy money. She sat up and folded the afghan and laid it across the back of the sofa. “Thanks. Well, have a nice day.” She waved awkwardly as she let herself out of the apartment. I’ll just swing by the bank and cash this, then stop to buy the concert tickets on my way home.

“Can I help you?” The voice came from the house next door. “What are you doing?”

“Huh?” Rita turned as the woman marched down her front path to confront her.

“Were you in that apartment? How did you get in? That door is supposed to be locked! Oh, I’m going to kill my husband! He never checks!”

“Excuse me?”

“What were you doing in there?”

“No-nothing! I mean, I was watching that lady’s cats for her.” She realized she’d never asked the woman’s name. “She paid me. See?” She held up the check for the other woman.

The woman glanced at the check and frowned. “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but you better get out of here before I call the cops!”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t do anything wrong! I answered an ad in the paper to come and watch that lady’s cats for the night. She paid me fifty dollars. See?” She showed the check to the woman again.

The woman snatched the check from her hand. “Nobody lives there! The woman with all the cats died two years ago! We’ve had a heck of a time getting renters to stay because they swear it’s haunted or some nonsense! Now, if you’re not here about renting the place then I’m going to ask you to leave. Now. Before I call the police.” She glanced down at the check, laughed briefly, and handed it back to Rita.

Rita took the check and looked at it to see what could have made the woman laugh. Her eyes widened as she saw it was not a check at all; it was nothing more than a piece of torn newsprint. It fluttered to the ground as she ran, the woman’s laughter echoing behind her.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Amy Reece’s RWISA Author Page

Watch RWISA Write Showcase Tour with Lynn Hobbs #RRBC #amwriting @LynHobbsAuthor


RWISA TOUR

 

This month Rave Writers- International Society of Authors is celebrating the amazing talent in this group by highlighting some of our writer’s work with you.

Today’s spotlight is on Lynn Hobbs. Here’s a little bit about Lynn:

 

Lynn Hobbs

 

The Texas Association of Authors awarded Lynn Hobbs 1st place in Religious Fiction for 2013 for her book Sin, Secrets, and Salvation…and 1st place in Religious Fiction for 2014 for her book River Town…also 1st place in Religious Fiction for 2015 on her book Hidden Creek. Lynn’s latest book, “Lillie, A Motherless Child” won first place in Biography 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors. The AuthorShow.com named Lynn Hobbs as a winner in their 2013 “Fifty Great Writers You Should Be Reading” contest, and a finalist in 2012 where she was interviewed on their national radio program in the Christian category. Worldwide Who’s Who awarded Lynn “Professional of the Year 2012 in Authorship.” While inclusion in Worldwide Who’s Who is an honor, only a small selection from their 500,000 members are chosen for this distinction.

Lynn is also a National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo) 2011 winner having completed the task of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
She is a member of #RWISA (Rave Writers Int’l Society of Authors), a member of #RRBC, (Rave Reviews Book Club), Jerry Jenkins Writing Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, Texas Association of Authors, North East Texas Writers Organization, past treasurer (2011-2012) of East Texas Writers Association, and a Lifetime member of Worldwide Who’s Who.

 

Not Interested, by Lynn Hobbs

“Cordell.”

A booming voice called his name above the chatter of the crowded café. Cordell perched sideways on a swivel stool.

“What’s up?” An older man approached, narrow reading glasses sliding on his nose. His bald head glistened.

“Mr. Moore.” Cordell stood, and they slapped each other on the arm. The older man towered over Cordell’s lanky frame.

“Look at you.” Mr. Moore stepped back, cocked his head to the side, and scanned the younger man. “What’s with the beard?”

“It’s growing.” Cordell gave a half- smile, and motioned toward the stools.  “Lunch is on me. Glad you could make it. This hot weather isn’t healthy, is it?”

Mr. Moore chuckled. “No, but summer heat is part of Texas.”

Both ordered the lunch special with iced tea. He glanced at the young man.

“Heard some talk…heard you divorced Twyla.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Pretentious female, and all about herself. Guess you know that now.”

“I know it well…and I should have trusted your judgment… not my hormones.”

“Cordell, sometimes no one can tell anyone anything. They have to experience it firsthand for themselves.”

“Oh, it was an experience. I did everything for her.” He frowned at his older friend. “It was never enough, though.”

Mr. Moore grimaced.

Conversation ceased while the waitress set their food on the counter.

“Anything else I can get you?” She yanked two straws from her pocket placing them near their iced tea glasses.

“We’re fine, thank you.” Mr. Moore focused on his friend as she left.

Gazing at the heavy laden plates, Cordell appeared lost in thought, and slowly cut into his chicken fried steak.

“I’m here for you, man.” Mr. Moore spoke in an easygoing manner. “You may have graduated high school three years ago, but I will always be your mentor.” Blending gravy into his mashed potatoes, he waved his fork at Cordell. “Tell me about Twyla.”

Cordell’s shoulders slumped. He glanced at the other customers, and one couple looked in his direction.

“Twyla.” He paused, lowered his voice, and made eye contact with his mentor. “Twyla would not cook. I’d buy something after work, and bring it home. I heard one lie after another. She’d say she didn’t feel good.  I didn’t know she stayed up all night, and slept all day. She wouldn’t wash dishes or clothes, wouldn’t pick up after herself…she always had an excuse. After I washed or cleaned, she’d get out of bed and act sleepy saying she felt a little better. Then on weekends, she’d go out with her friends feeling great.”

“Cordell, there is an old saying for your marriage.”

“What?”

“That’s too much buck for a little sugar.”

“I did try hard to please her…and for what? She never did anything for me.”

The older man gently bit his lip. Leaning forward, he looked straight at Cordell. “Ever consider it was your will to have Twyla, and not God’s will?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Had it been God’s will for you to have Twyla, she would have been a blessing, not a lesson.”

“Wow. What a powerful statement, Mr. Moore.”

“Same principal applies to your money, and your budget. Is it something you want, or something you need? What happens if you over spend on something you want? Something you need in an emergency might not be affordable.  You could be broke by then, or your credit rating could hold you back.”

The young man nodded.

“Hear me out, Cordell. I pray for God’s will and guidance in my life. It is as important to me as is the choice between a good life, and an evil one.”

“I appreciate you, Mr. Moore, and I intend to pray like you do.”

“Wonderful. Thank the Lord. I’m happy Twyla is gone.”

“No more women for me. I’m done.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.”

“Nope, not interested.”

“See our waitress taking drinks to the corner table? I think she’s close to your age. Don’t you think so?”

“I guess.”

“Her face glows when she talks to customers. Seems genuine, and friendly.”

“She doesn’t know anything about them. Give her time, she’ll be manipulating.”

Mr. Moore flashed Cordell a wide grin. “Easy on assuming, now. They aren’t all like that.”

“Maybe, but I’m still not interested.”

“Here she comes, behave.”

“Sir, may I get you anything else? Would you care for dessert?”

“No, thank you, we are done. I’ll take both tickets.”

She scribbled on the order pad, and handed Cordell two slips of paper. “Hope you enjoyed the meal.”

“It was delicious.” Mr. Moore beamed.

She smiled, hurrying to the other end of the counter.

“So… what did you think about the waitress while she was here?” He pivoted to face Cordell.

“I wondered if I’d ever find a bag of rotten potatoes gooey on her kitchen floor…”

“Shame on you.”

“I found that on mine and Twyla’s kitchen floor, scooted against the wall.”

“Not everyone is nasty. Most are clean.”

Finishing their meal, each rose, and veered toward the cashier. Cordell paid while his mentor stuffed a five dollar bill into the tip jar. They meandered through the crowded café, and Cordell opened the exit door. The outside heat engulfed them.

“Mr. Moore, thanks for meeting me here today.”

“My pleasure.”

“Let’s do this again, same time, same place next week.”

“Cordell, I’ll look forward to it.”

They strolled in opposite directions to their vehicles when the waitress came barging out of the café. She raced toward Cordell.

“Sir, you left your phone on the counter.”

Recognizing his phone she waved high in the air, he stopped.

“Why, thank you.” For the first time, he gave her his full attention noticing her warm, caring eyes. “Thank you, indeed.”

He felt her skin flush as she slipped the phone into his hand. Whirling about, she hastened back inside.

He opened and closed his mouth realizing he didn’t know her name, and knew he’d return.

Sprinting to his car, he drove off with a glance at the café while the waitress lingered on his mind.

 

The End

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Lynn Hobbs RWISA Author Page

Spotlight Tour: Last Night by John W. Howell #amreading #RRBC @HowellWave


RWISA TOUR

 

A few months ago I joined a fantastic writer’s group, Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) and from that I’ve met some amazing authors such as Mae Clair and John Howell, who is also a member of the Rave Writers- International Society of Writers, a division of RRBC.

Today it is my honor to spotlight John and his work:

 

John W. Howell

 

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 completes the story. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Port Aransas, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

 

 

Last Night by John W. Howell © 2017

 

So, with nothing better to do, I figure I’ll stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple of drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crapload of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a Friday and close to Saturday, it may be packed, but not as crazy as Saturday. It’s the kind of place where everyone minds their business. They’re there for a good time and will likely not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop, and have a look around, trying not to make eye contact. I hope that the ball cap and large coat will keep me from getting noticed.  The bar holds a weekday crowd, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and make out four guys near the pool table, and what looks like a couple of girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but it seems like they’re all taken.

A guy bumps into me as I stand here. I say excuse me, and he looks me in the face. “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.

“I don’t think so.” I make to turn away.

“Yeah, you’re the sports hero who lost all his money. I saw you on TV.”

“Naw, people always say stuff like that. I’m not him, buddy; trust me.”

He gives me a puzzled look but doesn’t want to push it, in case he has it wrong. I turn away and continue to look for a seat.

Straight ahead lies the bar, and it has a place right in the middle. I move in the direction of the empty place and look over to the other side of the room. The tables look full of happy drunks. Buckets of empties line the bar top, and the barmaids trying to sell more. She doesn’t have much luck since most of these people just spent their last five bucks on this outing. Upon making it to the stool, I hoist myself up and lean on the bar.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. “Whadda you have?”

“Evening, Jerry. I’ll have a Gin on the rocks with a water back.”

“Comin’ up.”

I like Jerry’s no-nonsense way of handling things. He doesn’t like small talk and gets right to business. My eyes smart from the smoke, and I wonder how Jerry gets away with letting people kill themselves, when clearly, it’s not supposed to be allowed in this kind of establishment.

“Here you go. Want me to run a tab?”

“Yeah, I would appreciate that. I intend to have another drink and then a burger.”

The guy who thinks he knows me grabs my shoulder from behind. I almost fall off the stool.

“You’re Greg Petros, the big fund manager. I knew I’d seen you on TV. You took a beautiful career in football and ran it into the ground.”

Jerry leans over the bar and lays his hand on the guy’s shoulder. “Move on, my friend. You made a mistake. This guy is nobody. Go sit down and let me buy you a drink.”

“You sure? You called him Greg.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get a table, and I’ll send someone over.”

The guy looks at me one more time but does as Jerry suggests. He believes Jerry’s wrong, but the idea of a free drink lets him get away without losing face.

“Thanks. I didn’t mean for you to have to jump in.”

“No problem. Gimme the high sign when you’re ready for another drink.”

“Will do. Thanks.”

“For you buddy, anything.”

I should mention that Jerry and I go back aways. When I fell on hard times, he became the only one that seemed to give a shit. I take a sip of my drink and wait for the burn in my throat, which signals the good stuff. Here it comes. I take a swig of the water and almost believe life is good. The Gin needs to get to the brain before making any honest judgment.

While I wait for the warmth to go from my stomach to my head, I check out the folks seated on either side of me. They both have their backs turned to me and sit engrossed in some discussion with their neighbor. I figure it’s just as well since I don’t want to go through that old “don’t I know you?” bullshit again. Also, I don’t figure on staying the night, so no use in getting into any long discussions about life.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband, either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still, and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but, I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that, too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

 

END

 

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

John Howell:  RWISA Author Page

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

Harness the power of Hollywood… Storytelling Made Easy by @Michael_Hauge #BookReview #Writertips


HARNESS THE POWER OF HOLLYWOOD STORYTELLING MAGIC

 

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Renowned Hollywood story expert Michael Hauge’s Six Step Success Story formula gives your potential clients and buyers the emotional experience of success—and will move them to take action.

 

 

 

 

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MICHAEL HAUGE is a script consultant, story expert, author and lecturer who works with writers, filmmakers, marketers, business leaders, attorneys and public speakers, both in Hollywood and around the world. He has consulted on projects starring Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon, and for Overbrook Entertainment, where he consulted on the scripts for (among many others) I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, THE KARATE KID, SUICIDE SQUAD and BRIGHT, which is currently in production.

Michael is the best selling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read, as well as the 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book Writing Screenplays That Sell.

Michael has presented seminars, lectures and keynotes in person and online to more than 80,000 participants worldwide. According to Will Smith, “No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.”

 

My Review

I’ve been hooked on Michael Hauge since taking an online video conferencing course with him a few years ago on the art of storytelling.

He is friendly and charismatic and knows how to get his point across without ramming down your throat.

This book confused me at first as it seemed geared more toward toward entrepreneurs than authors, but I recommend persevering as there are many invaluable nuggets of information here to benefit everyone.

This will be a re-read for me!

I give Storytelling Made Easy 5 lovey kisses

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You Are My Sunshine #LazyDaysOfSummer #amwriting #mgtab


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I don’t know about you, but when the warm winds and indigo blue skies of summer appear on the horizon, the last thing I want to do is sit in a chair forcing myself to fight past the sticky middle of my current WIP (work-in-progress).

It’s literally like pulling teeth.

I’d much sooner have my hands buried up to the elbow in fine black planting soil, or daydream on the end of a water hose watching the hummingbirds and butterflies play in the breeze.

 

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But, I also realize if I want to take this writing career seriously, and I do, I need to sometimes make sacrifices.

One thing I’ve learned is better time management. I’m a late riser, mornings are not my thing :), so I usually sit at the computer with my coffee and go through the social media platforms sharing and promoting.

Then I spend an hour or two visiting my mom next door before FINALLY waking up enough to begin my day!

I take the computer outside to our gazebo where I can work on my story while watering the flowers, and occasionally catching a glimpse of a friendly hummingbird or two.

 

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Sometimes, I don’t get much writing done, but that’s okay. It’s a WIP, just like me 🙂

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to lately, you can check out the new anthology written by members of my critique group to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary!

 

My Baby Wrote Me A LetterA family's brush with the past will threaten the fabric of their lives.

 

Dreams and Promises

Dreams and Promises includes six short stories and novellas written by authors who live in beautiful British Columbia.

It’s our way of honoring Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

Some of Canada’s major cities were founded in the seventeenth century, but July 1st 2017 marks 150 years since our country became a Confederation.

Our stories range from the era of the fur trade, to a commercial enterprise that opened up the Canadian and American West, to present day James Bay, a thriving neighborhood in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia.

Universal link: http://books2read.com/DreamsandPromises

 

Amazon: 

 

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35387646-dreams-and-promises

 

 

 

OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy by #NYTimes @barbarafreethy #RomSuspense #amreading @InkSlingerPR


 #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy  which offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.  We are excited to bring you all three covers today! 

PERILOUS TRUST, is releasing on AUGUST 1, 2017 and is a standalone.

Look for Reckless Whisper & Desperate Play to release in 2018.

 

 

 

In PERILOUS TRUST, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.

It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…

Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.

The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.

When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…

Get the complete trilogy!

Perilous Trust #1

Reckless Whisper #2

Desperate Play #3

 

PRAISE FOR BARBARA FREETHY BOOKS

“Powerful and absorbing…sheer hold-your-breath suspense.”– NYT Bestselling Author Karen Robards on Don’t Say A Word

 “A fabulous, page-turning combination of romance and intrigue. Fans of Nora Roberts and Elizabeth Lowell will love this book.” NYT Bestselling Author Kristin Hannah on Golden Lies

“This book has it all: heart, community, and characters who will remain with you long after the book has ended. A wonderful story.” — NYT Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber on Suddenly One Summer

“I love The Callaways! Heartwarming romance, intriguing suspense and sexy alpha heroes. What more could you want?” — NYT Bestselling Author Bella Andre

 

 

PRE- ORDER TODAY

Apple iBooks  | Amazon Kindle  | Kobo 

 

 

Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble.

Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL’S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME.

For more information, visit her website at www.barbarafreethy.com

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | YOUTUBE | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

I’m participating in this @BookSweeps promo! Enter to win 100+ mysteries and thrillers, and more! bit.ly/cozy-mys-azbb-may17 #BookSweeps


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I’ve teamed up with over 100 fantastic mysteries and thrillers authors to give away a huge collection of novels, alongside 12 bookstore gift cards, PLUS a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet to the Grand Prize winner!

 

You can win my novel Missing: The Lady Said No, plus books from authors like Gemma Halliday and Adrianne Giordano.

 

Gus followed the stiff-necked manservant to the door of the den, though his emotions were tugging him back to Rebecca like a starved man to a banquet.He couldn_t believe how beautiful

 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: bit.ly/cozy-mys-azbb-may17

Good luck, and enjoy!

 

Missing: The Crown Jewels by Valerie Clarizio #NewRelease #ChandlerCounty #Romance @VClarizio


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Missing the Crown Jewels

– Book blurb

After a devastating divorce, Peyton Crown is finally surfacing from a dark hole of despair. She finds herself hoping for a new life with Mason ‘Storm’ Starr, her brother’s best friend.

Storm’s intent is simple: hide in the quiet confines of his best friend’s family horse ranch in Kentucky. The perfect place to sort out his life after walking away from the Army, and fight his internal demons. His solitude is interrupted by his buddy’s little sister. The chemistry between them is off the charts, and he willing surrenders the battle.

The Crown family begins receiving threats, just weeks before the Kentucky Derby. The overprotective men in Peyton’s life vow to keep 24/7 tabs on her and the family’s prize horse—Prince Bourbonville—a hopeful for the next Triple Crown. Circumstances arise that threaten to keep Peyton and Prince away from the derby, but Storm and her brother Coach are determined they’ll attend, no matter the sacrifice.

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Genre:  Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

Publisher:  VJC Books

eBook Price: $2.99

ISBN: 9781386822585

ASIN: B06WRN6N8Y

Buy Links:

Amazon:  Barnes & Noble:  Kobo:  iTunes: 

Excerpt:

Storm sat at the end of the bar near the kitchen door. His usual spot. It had the best vantage point. Both the front and back doors were in perfect view allowing him the advantage of seeing trouble the second it walked through the entrance.

At this moment, the spot also served as the prime location to keep an eye on things—on her, Peyton Crown, his best friend’s little sister. The woman who’d infiltrated his dreams more times this past year than he could count.

On the rare occasion she’d actually talked to him, she hardly ever looked him in the eye, but when she did, he’d lose himself in those dark irises—so dark they were almost black. In the beginning, it bothered him to no end that she never made eye contact with him when they spoke. He couldn’t help but wonder why. But as time went on, he’d come to realize she didn’t make eye contact with any man except her dad and brothers. Storm’s hands fisted on top of the bar. He’d like to ring the neck of that jackass of an ex-husband of hers for shooting this bright, beautiful woman’s self-esteem all to hell. He never met the guy but heard enough from her brother to know the guy was a real piece of work.

Peyton didn’t see him when she walked in with her friends, but he saw her immediately even through the crowd of regular, Friday night patrons. In the small town of Bourbonville, there wasn’t much for entertainment. The three bars on Main Street were about it, so they were always busy, especially on the weekends.

The front door swung open, drawing Storm’s attention from Peyton. Warner stepped through with another man—a stranger. Maybe it was Brittiany’s boyfriend. She went through them pretty quickly.

Lauren waved the men over to their table. Being a lawyer, Warner was a pretty good dresser, and the stranger’s suit looked like one Warner might wear—expensive. Why would a guy be wearing a suit like that in the Bourbonville Pub on a Friday night? It’s not like they were at a country club or anything.

Warner stepped up to Lauren and gave her a peck on the cheek then he turned and gestured between Peyton and the stranger as if introducing them to one another. Peyton flashed a soft smile and shook the man’s hand. The guy returned her smile. Between his perfectly aligned white teeth, beach blond hair, and expensive suit, the man looked like he came off the cover of a magazine. Most of the females in the immediate area had their gazes glued to him.

Brittiany slid down a stool, and the stranger took her vacated spot next to Peyton. So, Brittiany and Lauren set her up on this date.

The way this guy carried himself, walked in with confidence and soaked up the gazes of the opposite sex, irritated Storm. He looked shifty, kind of slithered when he moved.

Storm took a long pull from his bottle of beer and set it back on the bar just as someone smacked him on his shoulder blade.

“Well, I know I don’t have to worry about her whenever you’re around, that’s for sure,” Peyton’s brother Coach said as he leaned over the bar to get the bartender’s attention.

Though Coach’s statement was true, he hated getting razzed about it. Even though Storm never admitted it verbally, his friend seemed to know he had it bad for Peyton. Coach was intuitive that way, always was. His intuitiveness came in handy when they were in the Army and on missions. But right now, his awareness was a pain in Storm’s side.

Coach took a slug of his beer but kept his gaze on his sister. “Who’s that slimeball talking to my sister?”

“I don’t know. He just walked in with Warner.”

“Well, I don’t like him.”

“Me either.”

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Congrats on your new release, Valerie!

Can you tell us a little bit about where you are from?

I grew up in a small farming community in Wisconsin and went to a rural high school.  After I graduated, I moved to a nearby big city–population 7,700 at the time.  The population is now just over 9,000.  LOL–Real big city, right?  Anyhow, my hometown is the heart of Door County Wisconsin.  You may have heard of it because Door County is a major tourist destination.  We get over 2 million tourists a year in our beautiful little county.

What does your writing desk look like? What would we find on it right this minute?

My writing area is kind of tiny and usually tidy.  I can’t work in clutter.  Right now you will find on the surface of the desk a cup of coffee and about six post-it notes detailing the things I need to get done this week.  Also, right now, you will find a bag of Tostitos, well, now it’s a half full bag of Tostitos.  I’d better get it off my desk before it’s an empty bag.

When and why did you begin writing?

The ‘want’ to write came to me about nine years ago.  I had just finished the course work for my Master of Business Administration degree and found I had a boatload of time on my hands.  I always held a full-time and part-time job while attending college at night, and suddenly I found I had nothing to do at night.  I was bored.

An avid reading friend of mine handed me a Janet Evanovich book and I promptly said, “No thanks.” The last thing I wanted to do was read anything.  I’d read enough text books to last me a lifetime, and up to this point in my life I had never read for pleasure.  She pushed the book toward me and urged me to read it.  I read that book in two days, and then I read every book Evanovich penned.  When I was done with her I moved on to JA Konrath and Leanne Banks.  I logged over 50 books read in the first year.  They were much easier reading than text books I was accustom to.  Anyhow, one night I dreamt up Detective Nick Spinelli and I thought to myself that he would be an awesome character for Evanovich to write.  After more thought, I figured I should just do it myself, and did.

At what point did you first consider yourself a writer?

It was when I received that first contract offer for the first novella in my Nick Spinelli romance mystery series.

Do you have a specific writing style? In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser?

I guess I’m more of a panster.  I always know how I want the book to start and end, but the middle takes me on an unknown adventure.

How did you come up with the titles to your book(s)?

I’ve only actually named two of my books, Family Forever being one of them.  My friends and BETA readers have named the rest.

How much of your book(s) have a bit of you in the characters?

I didn’t think any, but recently, a friend of mine told me that Detective Spinelli’s sarcasm seems similar to my own.  I took this as a compliment. I didn’t know I was that witty.

Do you write about things similar to your own life experiences?

Definitely.  Pieces of my life’s experiences show up here and there in every book.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Virginia McCullough. When I began submitting my first book to agents and publishers I didn’t understand why my book was being rejected, and I was on the verge of giving up when this this awesome lady, Virginia, from my writers group offered to take a look at it.  She critiqued the first few chapters and provided lengthy feedback in regard to POV, dialogue tags, pacing, etc.  Not only did I read her comments numerous times, I studied the corrections and suggestions she made in the document itself, and then I re-wrote the book based on her feedback.  I dare say, the re-write took twice as long as writing the book in the first place, but it was worth every painful minute once I saw that contract offer pop up in my email.

What are you currently working on? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Here’s a peek at the war travel book that I’m working on.  The main character has just been wounded in a Civil War battle.

Her soft, comforting gaze mesmerized him for the briefest of moments before the doctor twisted his arm sending a stabbing sensation through his nervous system. Blake gritted his teeth as the doctor’s fingers probed into him. A splash of alcohol followed. His flesh pricked with the intensity of being stung by a thousand wasps. As the sensation lightened, little picks and pulls to his skin took over. That, he could tolerate after the stabbing and severe stinging. The pick and pull continued as the doctor stitched him up. The stench of blood and rot permeated his nostrils.

The woman loosed her grip on him, dampened a cloth in a container next to the cot and rung it out, before pressing the cool material to his forehead. She repeated the process.

Without word the doctor rose to his feet and moved on to the next wounded soldier.

Blake stared into the caring woman’s eyes. He swallowed a couple times to moisten his itchy throat. “What is your name?” His voice not much more than a whisper.

“Ariel.”

A perfect name for a guardian angel. At the moment, that was what he felt about her, she’d saved his life.

Ariel patted his forehead again with a refreshed, cool cloth.

“Can you tell me what in the hell is going on now?”

She nodded. “Your dad didn’t tell you, prepare you, did he?”

“Prepare me about what?”

Ariel drew in a breath and let it out. “There’s no easy way to say this so here goes. You’re a time traveler. It’s a power that was passed onto you when your father died. He obtained it from his father, and so on.”

Blake pushed her hand away, and thrust himself into seated position. Pain ripped through his arm. Sweat dripped from his forehead and stung his eyes. “That’s crazy.”

Ariel lifted her hand, and palm up swung it around. “Is it? Take a look around you. You’re in the middle of a Civil War battle. In what year were you born?”

Blake glanced around the makeshift hospital, then returned his gaze to Ariel. “1967.”

Do you have any advice to offer other writers?

Write what you want. Write from your heart. Stick with it!

Clarizio Photo

Author Bio:

Valerie Clarizio lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.

Author’s Social Media links

Website/Blog: https://valclarizio.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Valerie.Clarizio/

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/valerie-j-clarizio

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VClarizio

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/100928949465109415957/posts

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/valerieclarizio/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bn6QoD

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Valerie-J.-Clarizio/e/B00A87RJVS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_8?qid=1476915213&sr=8-8

An interview with 2016 #RuBY award winner Michelle Somers #mgtab #Suspense @msomerswriter


I’m so happy to have this very special guest on It’s All About the Romance, my friend and awesome romantic suspense writer, Michelle Somers!

 

 

A funny thing happened on the way to publication….

 

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I discovered the best things in life come to us when we step outside our comfort zone and take risks.

My writing career has been a series of tentative shuffles over the thick, white line bordering a no-go zone of fear. From writing a book to sharing my dream of authordom with the people around me. From nervously showing my story to critique partners, entering competitions and sharing snippets via social media writing platforms. To sitting in front of agents and editors and pitching.

To wearing my heart on my sleeve and admitting to myself – to the world – that this is my passion. That this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

And facing the hard-edged truth that I may not have a say in whether that happens or not.

As some of you may know, in 2014 I achieved what many-an aspiring author dreams of achieving – I snagged a publishing contract with one of ‘the big five’ in publishing: Penguin Random House wanted to publish my story. Words can’t describe my feelings when I received that email.

But there’s more.

My editor pitched me an idea – Penguin wanted to launch a new digital-first line and serialize my story, releasing it in six snippets over a two month period. I was still ecstatic, but now ‘flattered’ jumped in and joined the party.

Wow. Just … WOW.

My dream had become reality.

The dream never faded, not once. Even knowing this would be a digital-first line and that it may never result in a print run of my baby. Even knowing I’d never hold a physical copy of that ‘baby’ in my hands. I was still jumping for joy inside. Through the edits; the covers – of which I had no say in; the launch – which I didn’t know had happened till I saw it on social media; and release day – one of six which gave me goosebumps – which still does – just thinking about it.

I’m so thankful to have achieved what most aspiring writers just dream of. Yet when it came time to launch my sequel, Murder Most Unusual, I decided on a second path.

I decided to leave Penguin and self-publish.

Why?

Good question. I’m glad you asked 🙂

One word.

Control. I wanted more of it.

Much as I loved the covers for Lethal in Love, they weren’t my vision. They weren’t representative of my story and the genre as a whole. I didn’t get to choose the length of the episodes, or have a say in how quickly they’d be released – all things I would have done very differently.

This time round I wanted to do things my way. And what better way of doing that than to self-publish?

Let’s go back to that big, fat line that is my comfort zone. Talk about leaps into the unknown! Yet, I’d be short-changing myself and my story if I published it any other way. I stepped into the deep, dark waters of the publishing world, determined that this time round, I’d have my control.

And where better to start than with the cover design? I had a vision, and my fabulous cover designer, Lana Pecherczyk translated that vision into reality. And what a fabulous reality it is!

 

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What do you think?

 

Next I spent the time formatting, for both digital and paperback editions, and collaborating on the back cover design. It was all bedlam and madness, and I loved every second of it. Even though, with each nudge past that thick white line and into the unknown, the butterflies in my tummy kicked up their heels. It’s both liberating and invigorating to be in charge of this release, and have a better sense of being in charge of my career.

It’s still scary. But what journey toward a dream isn’t?

What I have discovered along the way, is the amazing generosity of other romance authors. Their willingness – and should I say, eagerness – to help others in their journey, is unprecedented. This is where I send out hugs, kisses and big thanks to the members of Romance Writers America and Australia, and the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild. And the wonderful writing community I’ve cyber-friended through facebook. You are both my sanity and my saving grace. The connectedness and belonging I feel when I log on each day makes all those hours behind my keyboard – with only the cat for company – bearable.

 

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Who knows where this direction will take me, or where I’ll go next. That’s the beauty of taking control of your destiny and walking on the wild-side of your comfort zone.

So, a funny thing happened on the way to publication …

My dream stayed the same, but my journey changed. And I discovered the world outside my comfort zone can be a pretty amazing place.

 

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MICHELLE SOMERS BIO:

Michelle Somers is a bookworm from way back. An ex-Kiwi who now calls Australia home, she’s a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she’ll put them through one hell of a journey to get there.

Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making. Her debut novel, Lethal in Love won the Romance Writers of Australia’s 2016 Romantic Book of the Year (RuBY) and the 2013 Valerie Parv Award.

 

MURDER MOST UNUSUAL BLURB:

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she writes.

he watches… he waits… he kills…

Romance novelist Stacey Holland doesn’t believe in love; marriage to a manipulator taught her as much. So she hides away in her fictional world, penning the perfect romance, intertwining the perfect crime. Excitement is for her books – worlds where the mortality of her characters is governed by a tap on her keyboard and the heroine always gets her happy ever after.

Homicide detective Chase Durant’s cases are real and gritty and one wrong move could be his last. The force is his life – he doesn’t have room for more. Love and relationships hold no place for a man whose fate is predetermined by the genetic roll of a dice. With uncertainty on the horizon, he won’t promise a future he can’t guarantee.

Then a sadistic killer breathes Stacey’s gruesome murders to life and the pair are thrown together in a sick game of murder and lies.

When tempers flare, and the murders get personal, can author and detective fight their growing attraction all-the-while fighting the killer determined to destroy them both?

Murder Most Unusual is a thrilling seductive suspense set in Melbourne, Australia.

‘Wicked murders, witty one-liners and totally satisfying romance.’

JUANITA KEES

‘Michelle Somers doesn’t just paint a picture, expecting readers to fill in the blanks – she immerses them in a high definition, surround sound movie experience. A must-read author.’

AMAZON REVIEW

 

 

Murder Most Unusual:

BUY LINKS:
Murder Most Unusual:
iBooks: http://apple.co/2jtM1DZ
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iGjZEu
Amazon Aus: http://amzn.to/2jSDur9
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iB9Vcw
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/murder-most-unusual-1
Nook: http://bit.ly/2iGhqCq

 

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Lethal in Love:
iBooks: http://apple.co/2j2YLyo
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jZhcbv
Amazon Aus: http://amzn.to/2jiFkCQ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/lethal-in-love-the-complete-book
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2jiIdTY

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 🙂

Carol Ann Baker #CrimeNovels #Thriller #mgtab @XpressoReads @LissaPelzer


No More Birthdays
Lissa Pelzer
(Carol Ann Baker, #1)
Publication date: August 31st 2015
Genres: New Adult, Thriller

At a film festival in a small mid-western city, runaway teenager, Lilly has come looking for old boy, Bobby. He’s a dangerous man with powerful connections, but he owes her money and she’s desperate enough to come looking for it. In this Southern Ohio based crime novel, everyone’s got secrets. But Lilly’s about to find out, the worst type of secret its the one you keep from yourself.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Dead Memories
Lissa Pelzer
(Carol Ann Baker, #2)
Publication date: December 19th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Thriller

Don’t you wish sometimes that you could just close your eyes and start again? With two counts of murder under her belt and Detective Davis after her, teenager Lilly Lessard has done just that. She’s taken her dead friend, Janine Kenny’s ID and scholarship and she’s off to California.

But when a traffic accident leaves her with amnesia and only Janine’s ID in her pocket, things take a turn for the surreal. Her caseworker wants to know why her memories don’t match her history. The hospital candy stripper has noticed her hair appears blonde at the roots when it should be black. And who is this man who wants to help her get to California, who is willing to sneak her out in the dead of night? Can he help her get back some of her dead memories?

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Lissa Pelzer is a Crime Novel and Short Story Writer.

She lives in Germany with her husband and young son.

She’s lived all over the world and is on a mission to write a crime story based in each one.

It might take a while….

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

Lissa stopped by the blog for a quick chat so I thought I’d tag her for an interview while I had the chance 🙂

Welcome to the blog, Lissa!

 

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

Alan Turing. He was a British computer scientist who broke the German enigma code and ended WWII by more than two years. This saved over fourteen million lives. I find this single action of one person mesmerizing. But his is a sad story, rather than becoming a hero he was prosecuted for being gay and shortly after committed suicide.

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

At university, I worked for a surveillance firm in London, physically following people to see if they were cheating on their partners, selling company secrets, stuff like that. I once got chased off a golf course with a 9-iron after someone found me hiding in a bush. I also worked in a hostess club in Tokyo for 6-months – the less said about that, the better. But the worst job I ever had was working for a charity that called up old ladies to ask for monthly donations. It was a real rip off. People would agree to $5 a month and then the company would use that $5 to harass them on the phone to ask for $25 a month. After training, I lasted one week. I hated the idea that your $5 didn’t go to the cause you supported but to a call center company.

What was your best date ever?

I went on a week-long date to Valetta, Malta once and it has to be the best date ever. I had bought tickets and planned to go with a long-term boyfriend for Christmas but found out he was seeing someone else shortly before the time came to go. Rather than go alone, on impulse I asked a guy I liked if he felt crazy enough to take the other ticket. It was really nerve-wracking asking him and first off all he said was, ‘I’m not sure.’ Then came back 5 minutes later and said he’d consulted his friends who told him to go. It was an incredibly romantic week of exploring the city, taking swims in the cold sea and a candle lit dinner every night. True to the first date philosophy, nothing happened while we were there but once we got back…

Tell us something you are really proud of.

My husband and my son. I’m always surprised by how smart they both are. My husband is German and very tech minded and I can barely use a TV remote, so he’s my hero and my son is two and a half and already I can ask him what certain words are in German when I forget.

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

Writing, running, snowboarding, German, waking up in the morning. Really, the list is endless.

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Cowboy! Got to love a man who can ride and horse and look good in jeans while doing it.

Chocolate or chips?

Both. Esther Price chocolate covered Mike-Sells Potato Chips are a reason alone to go to Dayton, Ohio.

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

Flight. I’m a terrible introvert and the ability to just fly away whenever a situation gets too intense is a reoccurring dream feature of mine.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

It depends on the definition of ‘fancy’. I’ve been to a couple of very fancy restaurants that were at the same time so chilled out that I never wanted to leave. But I’ve also been to some where I skipped desert just to get out of there. I guess it depends on who’s sitting on the other side of the table or the blanket.

Beer or wine?

Again depends on the beer, the wine and the location. There’s actually something in Stuttgart, Germany called a wine walk. Basically, you buy a small glass and strap it around your neck and then walk up into the vineyards and along a hillside for about 6 miles. There are 10 stops along the way where you can get a refill of the wine growing there. Naturally, there’s a big party at the end. I highly recommend it! However, Stuttgart is also famous for having tons of street festivals and there are also tons of local beers to try. It would be rude not to give them all a go…

Favorite author?

Patricia Highsmith. She wrote the Tom Ripley books.

 

#Holiday #Recipe Easy Peach Cobbler by @pat_preston


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#Holiday #Recipe Easy Peach Cobbler by @pat_preston

 

1 c. self-rising flour

1 c. milk

1 c. sugar

1 stick butter

1 can of sliced peaches (lite or heavy syrup)

 

Heat oven to 350 and melt butter in baking dish

Mix flour, sugar and milk together with whisk.

Pour this on top of melted butter in baking dish.

Open can of peaches and pour on top of mix.

(I use lite peaches and the cobble is always sweet enough.)

Put in oven and bake about 25 minutes or until top is

golden brown.

 

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IT STARTED WITH A FLING…

Six years ago, ambitious med student Marla Grant gave into temptation with a gorgeous man. Now a busy doctor and a loving single mom, the past comes back to haunt her when she learns the powerful, persuasive man of her long-ago fling and the unsuspecting father of her child is cutting off the charitable contributions to the community clinic where she works.

Billionaire Carson Blackwell has never forgotten bright, beautiful Marla. When he discovers that she runs the clinic his grandmother’s foundation funds, it’s the perfect chance to put an end to his ongoing infatuation and use his leverage to cement a new business deal. He needs a fake girlfriend for one week in Hawaii, and Marla is just the woman for the job. It’s a win-win situation, until they realize the attraction between them isn’t feigned, and the heat has never died down. Only the secrets they’re both keeping stand in the way of a future together and a love that could last a lifetime.

 

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Read Chapter 1

Christmas Sale  99¢ !  Nov 27 to Dec 31.

 

Links:

Amazon   http://amzn.to/1SCo3li

Nook http://bit.ly/1VmaHru

Kobo   http://bit.ly/1Vma8Oe

iBooks http://apple.co/1W6y6l6

 

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Author Bio

 

Patricia Preston writes fun, spicy romantic novels with a feel-good atmosphere where love matters most. In her new contemporary series set in the fictional town of Lafayette Falls, Tennessee, romance creates havoc, heartache and humor for a cast of unsuspecting doctors until they realize love heals all. Besides contemporary romance, she also loves writing short comedies and historical romances set in New Orleans. Must haves in her writing cave include sweet tea and music. Besides writing, she loves bargain hunting, movies, taking country road trips, and anything containing chocolate. Her dream-come-true would be a townhouse in the French Quarter.

 

She welcomes readers to visit her at

www.patricia-preston.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pat_preston

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Patricia-Preston-Author-Page-127261867330755/

Unbreakable SEAL by Summer Lane #Thriller #amreading @XpressoReads @SummerEllenLane


Unbreakable Seal
Summer Lane
Publication date: December 9th 2016
Genres: Adult, Thriller

Chris Young has it all.

Elite training, undercover missions, and a life of adventure. As one of the best Navy SEALs in the world, he finds himself in the thick of some of the most violent situations on planet earth.

He’s a warrior.

But when his wife is murdered by terrorist assassins, everything he thinks he knows changes. For Chris Young, everything is about revenge, and finding the people who killed his wife.

He will assemble a team. He will come up with a plan.

He will make them pay.

From the #1 bestselling author of the Collapse Series, Bravo Saga and Zero Trilogy, comes this thrilling adventure novel about one man’s quest to avenge the person he loves most.

Goodreads / Amazon

SNEAK PEEK:

Chris leaned on the counter. He looked down at his hands, calloused and dirty. They were strong hands. Killing hands. The tools of his trade, and he was feeling strangely detached from life in Afghanistan today. His head still echoed with the sound of bullets and the screams of horses. He could still smell the blood and the death.

It was inside him—part of him. Like a physical thing, the blood and carnage of this place had wrapped itself inside his chest and hardened there, making it impossible to sleep at night or to walk from the barracks to the chow hall without resting his hand on his gun, waiting for the attack to come.

 

Author Bio:

Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 15 novels, including the books of The Collapse Series, The Zero Trilogy, The Bravo Saga, Collapse: The Illustrated Guide and the newly released Unbreakable SEAL. She owns WB Publishing, Writing Belle, and is an experienced creative writing teacher and journalist.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Fun Interview with #1 bestselling author Summer Lane

***

 

What was it like writing SEAL – and what writing methods helped you get it done?

Writing SEAL was crazy! I had a really tight writing schedule – impossible, almost – and I had only a few weeks to write the manuscript’s rough draft. I powered through it with lots of coffee (channeling my inner Lorelai Gilmore), tons of tea, and countless hours of hard work. One of the most helpful writing methods for me is to take a small break every 2-3 hours and to make sure office music is playing at all times.

What kind of music do you listen to while you’re writing?

Anything that provides stimulation. I love classical music, but when I’m trying to write a certain type of book and/or scene, I will sometimes switch the playlist up to something more upbeat for action, morose for sad scenes, sweeping and profound for drama, etc.

How do you stay focused?

Here’s the thing: a lot of people think that writing is basically just somebody sitting down at a computer and pounding on the keyboard, magically popping a bestseller out and working in fuzzy slippers. While I can’t deny the fuzzy slippers (oops), there’s a lot more to it than that, thank you very much. Just as you would be fired for continually failing to show up at any job, if I decided not to work, I pay for it, too. I stay focused by keeping myself in check, reminding myself how far I’ve come, and how far I’d like to continue to go. I break my massive goals up into smaller goals – you can accomplish ANYTHING if you do that. Don’t believe me? Try it! It’s possible, I promise! J

Favorite adventure movie of the moment, favorite song of the moment, favorite book of 2016 and favorite TV show?

Okay, here we go. Favorite movie of the moment would have to be Rogue One, even though I haven’t seen it yet. I just know it’s going to be great! My favorite song of the moment is still It Was Always You, by Maroon 5. It’s been my favorite song for over a year, so I think technically the “moment” has passed. My favorite book of 2016 was probably Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I honestly LOVED it, because it was fun and clever and it pulled me into its world. Either that or Puppies, Dogs and Blue Northers by Gary Paulsen (don’t even get me started on Woodsong). My favorite TV show is Gilmore Girls – the original series, not to be confused with the revival. I also really enjoyed Stranger Things. What great writing and originality! Daredevil was pretty incredible, too. I loved John Bernthal’s portrayal of the Punisher. And I’ll stop now, haha.
 

GIVEAWAY!

Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

  • Amazon Echo Dot
  • 5 Autographed Collapse Mini-Posters

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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

Romance Between The Pages presents @nytimes @USATODAY #bestseller @JasindaWilder #podcast #interview https://goo.gl/5Vs2L6


 
Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann’s new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through January. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!
This week’s incredible author is NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, WALL STREET JOURNAL and international bestselling author Jasinda Wilder.
Jasinda is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. Her bestselling titles include ALPHA, STRIPPED, WOUNDED, and the #1 Amazon and international bestseller FALLING INTO YOU. You can find her on her farm in Northern Michigan with her husband, author Jack Wilder, her six children and menagerie of animals.

Poppies for Christmas by Stacy Renee Keywell #HolidayRomance #mgtab @keywelluvsbooks


Poppies For Christmas
Stacy Keywell
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

A celebration of love without labels. It’s easy to be brave with you by my side!

Popular DJ Dexx finds himself positively smitten by the precociously pristine Poppy Paris. Too bad she’s already taken by an older boy, Declan Davies, a beautiful model with a thriving career, and a perfect family. By a dreamful stroke of chance, Dexx finds himself invited to spend Christmas at the Davies home by a gorgeous girl, granting him the opportunity to pursue the precious Poppy. But in his quest to win her over, he unlocks a world of imperfection and insecurity, where people are picked on for their disabilities, speech, appearance, and eccentricities. For Poppy and her friends, love trumps labels, and everyone deserves a brave friend to stand by their side. What gifts will Dexx discover this Christmas? Will he ultimately find true love, or will he discover something even greater?

You are invited to read a powerful story about living with autism, but not letting it define you, about being bullied, but carrying on with determination and grit, and about having dreams, but not giving up in the face of adversity. Come celebrate something beautiful with Poppies for Christmas.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Stacy Renée Keywell enjoys spending time misusing, mispronouncing, and misspelling languages, especially in her native tongue, English. When she is not stargazing or daydreaming she creates adventures for her family to conquer. Besides following her whimsical dreams, Stacy likes to sing to the music in her head, dance poorly, and compose non-sensical words. She is also the author of Forbidden Sky- Book One of the Dark Wing Series. Stacy resides in Michigan in a little house in the woods with her husband, and two daughters.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg was the most eye opening book for me as a young writer. It inspired me to keep a lot of the notebooks that I use when I write. Since I signed with Soul Mate Publishing, I’ve enjoyed their author blogs, newsletters, and online author group. They are a very supportive bunch. The Authors Publish magazine is a must-have online tool for authors who want to move beyond the dream of writing a manuscript, and dare to enter the crazy world of publishing.

 

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

I have so many hobbies it’s hard to have the time to pursue them all, but I do try! When I am not writing, I love to devour books. I will read several at a time to catch up the new releases, popular reads, and old classics. Traveling is my passion. Since I love to explore different cultures, when I am not traveling, I go to unique stores and restaurants in the area. I never stay put. Every weekend I visit different parks, botanical gardens, museums, see movies, or attend art fairs. I also don’t mind staying home and being a homebody. I enjoy cooking for my family, listening to music, and hanging out watching TV on the couch with a big bowl of ice cream.

 

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

In my life, my heroines are all of the strong women who follow their dreams. All of the women who raise a family, go to work, pursue their passions, and make time for their loved ones. I want to be that person for my daughters. I want to teach them about love, compassion, responsibility, hard work, and the chase! I want to be their greatest example, so that they go after their aspirations and chase those lucky stars. To me, the women that can do that are my heroes.

 

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

I’ve been an educator for over twenty years. Both of my parents were also teachers. As a little girl, I used my father’s lesson planners to teach my stuffed animals and dolls. Now, I teach French. I am also a certified social studies teacher. At school, I use stories, songs, pop culture references, and my passion for culture to instruct my courses.

 

What was your best date ever?

My best date ever was with my amazing husband. He knows I have a passion for Christmas decorations, food, wine, music, and a good old fashion stroll. In a town called Rochester, which is in Michigan where I live, they string Christmas lights on all of the businesses in the downtown area, and create a light show in December. One night, a couple of years ago, he surprised me with an evening out. He took me to a local wine tasting room where we had French cheese and crackers, and got to sip eight different samples of wine. Then he whisked me off to a delicious Japanese Steak House where we had a hibachi table top show, lots of sushi (my favorite food), and fun company with some friendly couples who sat at the same table. We meandered around the city in the snow to look at all of the beautiful lights, and decorations. Then, we ended the night at a cozy, little coffee shop where they froth the milk on the mocha lattes to look like little hearts, and have local musicians play music. It was the kind of romantic night good dreams are made of!

 

 

Tell us something you are really proud of.

I am very proud of my book, Poppies for Christmas. It is not my first novel, but it is something I wrote with my heart, and poured a lot of my soul into it. It took a lot of bravery on my behalf to pen such a personal journey. While it is not based on personal events (it is completely fictional, although I wish I could meet the Davies family and attend one of their parties), I found a lot of inspiration from individuals in my life. I am also very proud of my two children. They worked very hard at helping me create our own movement, Love Without Labels. We have a Facebook page. We donate to local charities, and do readings. I have a children’s book called Poppy and the Pesky Pudding Problem. It is the back story, and companion piece to Poppies for Christmas.

 

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

Oh my goodness, yes! Ha, ha, I can’t spell! It doesn’t matter what language, or what alphabet, it could even be phonetic, but my brain just doesn’t work that way! Everyone assumes that since I am writer, I can spell well. Nope! Surprise! I really stink at it. I keep a good dictionary with me when I write. But, I use my weakness as a learning tool when I teach. I like to show the students that they should use all of their resources when they learn, and that having a weakness should never stop them from following those dreams.

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Crime and Catnip by T.C. LoTempio #Cozy #Mystery #Interview @roccoblogger


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Crime and Catnip

by T. C. Lotempio

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GENRE:  cozy mystery

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BLURB:

 

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him…

 

 

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EXCERPT

 

“Yes, so you needn’t worry about anything, Nora, other than preparing your excellent food,” Nan remarked and then added with a twinkle in her eye, “unless you think the grimoire and its history might make a good story for that magazine you write for.”

 

“NOIR. It might. I’ll ask Louis.” Louis Blondell, the owner and editor of the online true crime magazine I wrote part time for, was always eager for any article that smacked of mystery – plus I owed him two articles already. I tucked the tip about previous theft attempts away, determined to do a bit of research on my own regardless of whether or not he’d be interested – although knowing Louis, I was sure he would be. “I can name some of the sandwiches and main dishes after the more popular characters in Arthurian mythology. I’ll just need to do some research on them – and I know just the person to help me.”

 

“Splendid!” Nan clasped her hands in front of her. “And several food critics will be there – they’re patrons of the museum – so it will be a wonderful opportunity for your shop, Nora. Why, you might generate more business than you can handle.”

 

“An increase in business is not a bad thing.” Violet glanced at her watch and rose. “We’d best get going. The exhibit manager is waiting for us back at the museum. Apparently there are many cases to unload. At this rate we may have to move the exhibit the Red Room.”

 

Nan shrugged into her fleece jacket. “We’ll give you a key to the kitchen, so you can just stop in anytime to look it over or whatever. You can pick it up later, and do let me know if there’s anything you’ll need.”

 

Nan bustled out the door, Violet trailing at a slower pace. She paused to lay her hand on my shoulder. “I hear you’ve become quite the sleuth. I heard what you did for your sister, and I read the account of the Grainger case. Very impressive. Like that sort of work, do you?”

 

“I do. Then again, I enjoyed tracking down leads when I was a true crime reporter so I guess it’s really not that much of a stretch.”

 

She nodded. “Well, then, when you’ve got a bit of time to spare, stop by my office. There’s a matter I’d like to discuss with you that the sleuth in you should find quite a challenge.” She looked at me, and I caught a glimmer of a twinkle in her eye. “It involves a disappearance, and there’s even the possibility it might also involve…a murder.”

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

 

Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog:

www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Website:

WWW.tclotempio.com

Amazon- Crime and Catnip

http://www.amazon.com/Crime-Catnip-Nick-Nora-Mystery/dp/042527022X?ie=UTF8&qid=1458231177&ref_=tmm_mmp_swatch_0&sr=1-1

 

Amazon: All Books Page

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=T.C.+LoTempio&search-alias=books&text=T.C.+LoTempio&sort=relevancerank

 

facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Toni-LoTempio-125764404163823/

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/roccoblogger

 

 

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

With the publishing market tougher to break into than ever before, more and more people are turning to self-publishing, especially popular authors.  It no longer has the stigma attached to it that it once did.  I myself was self published before I sold my mystery series to Penguin.  I self published two paranormals that are still available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

 

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

Definitely mysteries!  Of any shape and size.  And I enjoy reading true crime fiction too. I always wanted to be an FBI agent or a PI.

 

Do your characters talk to you?

I don’t think you can write a book UNLESS they talk to you!  Especially Nick in the Nick and Nora series, LOL.  He was a talking cat in the original manuscript.

 

How do you approach starting a new book?

I get an idea which I noodle around for a while, and then I do a sketchy outline which I expand upon before I actually sit down to begin writing.

 

What is your writing process?

Go to my den, crank up the CD player, and just get into it.  I do zone out when I’m writing.

 

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

Probably the best one is ON WRITING by one of my favorite authors, Stephen King.

 

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

I enjoy watching re-runs of old tv series. Right now I’m devouring the first ten seasons of Gray’s Anatomy on Lifetime. I also like watching the Hallmark Mystery Channel.

 

What was your best date ever?

We went to a waterpark.  I’d never been to one before, and it was such fun! I love swimming.  I should have included that in the question above.  Put me in the water and I’m like a fish….i hate to get out.

 

Navy SEAL or cowboy? 

Hmmm…since my day job is at a defense company I’ll have to say SEAL.

 

Chocolate or chips?

 chips – I’m allergic to chocolate

 

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

I always wanted to fly like Superman.

 

Fancy restaurant or picnic? 

oh, restaurant, definitely. I can’t stand the ants.

 

Beer or wine?

tough call –Reisling?

 

 

Favorite author? 

tough call – I have too many favorites to list

 

 

Smooth or hairy? 

smooth by a mile, unless we’re talking about cats 🙂

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

T. C. Lotempio will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Cursed Trilogy by Amy Braun #UrbanFantasy #Suspense #mgtab @amybraunauthor


Cursed Trilogy
Amy Braun
Publication date: November 6th 2016
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

An urban fantasy series for fans of the “Supernatural” TV show, CURSED tells the story of Constance Ramirez, a hardened young woman determined to protect her adopted sister, Dro, from the bloodthirsty demons hunting her– and from Dro’s own deadly powers. As the sisters cross paths with demon slayers, psychics, and angels, they become tangled in a dangerous web that brings Constance’s past back to haunt her. Protecting her sister and her new allies will test Constance in ways she never imagined– though she may be too human to survive it.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords

Q&A: Amy Braun and Demon’s Daughter

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: Like most of my inspirations, it just came to me one day. “What would I do if I had an adopted sister who wasn’t human?” While I am an older sister of a very human brother, I admit that it was fun to put myself in another mindset. Given that I’m a fan of strong family-dynamic fiction, whether it’s from the Supernatural television series or the Cal Leandros and The Chimera series’ by Rob Thurman, I wanted to write a story about the powerful bonds of family– two people who would literally die for each other. I also wanted to delve deeper into the mysteries of angel and demonology. The more I learned about them, their types and hierarchies, I knew they were the perfect creatures for my story. I think they presented some intense challenges for Constance and Dro, and writing about them was as informative as it was exciting.

Q: What was the biggest challenge writing Demon’s Daughter?

A: The research. While I love demons and angels, I’m not religious. I know that fiction writing, especially urban fantasy, allows you to bend the rules, but I wanted there to be some truth to what I was writing. Nothing is more embarrassing than writing about a topic you’re not an expert in. So I spent countless hours online, checking and re-checking my facts until whatever concept I was reading about made sense and wasn’t going to offend anyone. I think I succeeded. Other challenges involved finding information on Mexican drug cartels (so it’s a good thing I have a strong stomach) and locations/supernatural history in Texas. It’s tricky to write about a place you’ve never been to, so I spent a lot of my time looking at GoogleMaps and Google Images to make sure I wasn’t making random buildings out of thin air.

Q: Why did you choose to make the main character a criminal?

A: At first, it was because I wanted someone strong. No matter what you may say about them, you don’t get to be a high ranking member of a drug cartel without being ruthless and tough. But as I built Constance and learned more about her, I realized that I didn’t just want her to be tough and skilled at fighting. I wanted her to be damaged. I wanted a character that would develop PTSD from the things she saw and endured. I wanted her to showcase strength, when in reality she’s terrified at every turn. Constance has had a rough life, but she made her choices to protect the person she loves above everything else. She was at the end of her rope, desperate, and did the only thing she knew would work. How she deals with the guilt weighing on her conscience as her past catches up with her will be a key element in the future books, but I wanted readers to get a taste of her internal struggle before things really start hitting the fan.

Q: Who is your favorite character and why?

A: Constance, of course. I love books with strong female leads who know how to help themselves, and one of the highlights of writing Demon’s Daughter was putting Constance in situations where she had no one to help her. Constance is human, but she fights like a machine. She refuses to back down to anyone, is stubborn and angry, and viciously loyal to those who earn it. At the same time, she’s a compressed bottle of pain and fear. It takes a lot of hard work to earn her trust, though she makes it worth the effort. As much as I love Constance, Dro, and the rest of the characters, my second favorite is Sephiel. His backstory is heartbreaking, and like Constance, his loyalty is unwavering. As soon as I started writing him, I kind of fell in love with him. I think readers will really enjoy reading about the mysterious angel, and I hope there’s a lot of feedback about him as a character.

Q: What can we expect from the sequel?

A: Insanity, if I’m being honest. The sequel, titled Dark Divinity and scheduled for a December 2015 release, runs at the same full throttle speed as its predecessor. I delved a little more into the angels, and Constance’s past plays a vital role. It’s definitely darker than Demon’s Daughter, and my beta reader has told me that there are some heartbreaking moments in the sequel. There will be new demons and old enemies, and choices that will have devastating consequences. If readers enjoy Demon’s Daughter, they will love Dark Divinity.

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Author Bio:

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Bodyguards of LA County by Cate Beauman #Romancenovels #Suspense @CateBeauman


vbt_tourbanner_bodyguardsoflacountyseries

Bodyguards of L.A. County Series

by Cate Beauman

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GENRE: Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

 

Eleven Men Sworn To Protect. Eleven Women Who Change Everything.

The Close Protection Agents of Ethan Cooke Security are ready to risk it all for the safety of their clientele. What they don’t know is that they’re about to get more than they bargain for when they report for their latest assignments. Love and danger have a way of bringing people together in this dark, sexy, multi-award winning Romantic suspense series, the Bodyguards of L.A. County.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

For information on Cate’s new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at: http://www.catebeauman.com/author/home.html#!newsletter-sign-up/c9td

Cate can be reached at www.catebeauman.comand www.facebook.com/catebeauman.

You can follow Cate on Twitter @CateBeauman

 

 

Contact Cate

 

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/Cate-Beauman/e/B00A05KHVM/

BookBub

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cate-beauman

Social links:

Twitter: @CateBeauman

www.catebeauman.com

www.facebook.com/CateBeauman

www.goodreads.com/catebeauman

www.instagram.com/cate_beauman_author

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Cate graciously took time out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions on her writing routine.

Thanks for being here, Cate!

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

I’ve only ever published as an Indie Author, and that’s the way I plan to stay. All of the responsibilities fall on my shoulders as an independent author, but there are also endless freedoms. I love that I have complete creative control. I don’t have to worry about query letters and contracts. I love that my word counts are whatever my characters and I decide they should be. I have a wonderful team of independent contractors that I work with to get each novel ready for my readers. I would never want to be in this business any other way.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I love romance and romantic suspense. Nothing else really holds my attention. I didn’t love reading as a child. It was a hobby I picked up as an adult. One of my girlfriends suggested I try a Nora Roberts novel, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Do your characters talk to you?

Not in the literal sense but by the time I finish writing a novel, my characters are as real to me as any other human being. I know how they would answer a question or what foods they would like. It’s a pretty neat process because my characters start out as an idea in a character sketch and turn into living, breathing people as the storytelling process moves along.

How do you approach starting a new book?

I always have a loose plot idea in mind and start my research from there. As I learn more about the subject matter I’m interested in, I create characters that fit into the roles I need them to play. Once I have a fairly solid knowledge base and a hero/heroine defined, I create outlines to make sure my plot stays tight. Not long after that, I dive into my first draft.

What is your writing process?

I’m a big fan of a three-draft system. My first draft is mostly a skeleton of what the novel should be. The second draft is when the story starts to come alive. This is when I add all of the major physical and emotive details. My third draft is more of a mini first edit before I send the manuscript off to my editor.

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

I don’t do a whole lot of how-to reading. I just write. I know that when I got started, I read Writing for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy. I also gave Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell a read as well. One of the best books for the writer’s creative soul is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Otherwise, I believe it was the critique group I worked with during my first two years that taught me the most. Their thoughts and ideas helped me find my writer’s voice and sharpen my skills.

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

I love to cook and bake. I’m also a crafter. I like to make jewelry, knit, and create fun little holiday gifts for family, friends, and my sons’ teachers.
What was your best date ever?

Without a doubt my first date with my husband. I don’t think either one of us was looking for anything serious. One night we made impromptu plans to head to the movies. We watched Road Trip, which was the goofiest movie. But it was the endless talking on the drive home that was the best. My hustand and I have been together ever since. We’re going on seventeen years!
Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Navy SEAL. I’m not exactly sure why that’s my choice, but there’s something more attractive to me about a man in uniform.
Chocolate or chips?

Both. Sometimes a girl just has to have chocolate. But then sometimes I love a crunchy, salty treat.

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

The ability to stop time. Let’s face it, there’s just too much to do in a day. If I could freeze time to run a couple loads of laundry and clean the bathrooms before I have to get the kids up for school, that would be amazing!

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Picnic. I love being outdoors, and I’m a pretty laid-back person.

Beer or wine?

Neither. I don’t drink alcoholic beverages. I’ve never found an alcoholic drink that tastes good to me. All of it burns my tongue and makes me shudder.

Favorite author?

Nora Roberts. Ms. Roberts has entertained me for decades. She’s absolutely prolific. I’m in awe of her talents.

Smooth or hairy?

Maybe a little bit of both. I don’t mind a smooth chest, but I think it’s odd when a man doesn’t have leg or arm hair.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Cate Beauman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway