Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Spotlight: Kelly Cozy's ASHES



Ashes

Author: Kelly Cozy
Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Smite Publications (January 24, 2013)
Amazon Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 479 KB
Print Length: 370 pages
Publisher: Smite Publications (February 24, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Link



Synopsis:

Anonymous. That was Jennifer's life. But when she survived a domestic terrorist attack and her last-minute escape became the iconic image of the event, that life was over. Wanting only to disappear and become just another face in the crowd, she cashed in on her unwanted fame and moved to a small town, hidden away and safe. 
  
Retired. That was Sean's life. A former covert operative - the kind the government denies exists - he'd been pushed unwillingly into a life of suburban peace and quiet. But his retirement ended when he saw Jennifer's rescue; from then on he only wanted to find those responsible for the attack, even if it meant turning rogue. 
  
What Jennifer and Sean will both find is that nothing goes to plan, and their paths will cross in a way neither could have foreseen. 

Ashes is the first in a two-book series.


Chapter One

Downtown Los Angeles glittered in the sun, seemed to preen. The city knew its best light — a spring morning, the sky cleansed of smog by the past weekend's rain — and its best angle — from a distance. 
Driving south out of the scrubby Glendale foothills, Jennifer Thomson took a moment to appreciate the city. In the clear March air, the skyline had a glamour it lost the closer she came. She took the moment but did not cherish it, for she did not know that before noon the sky would be sullied by a column of smoke and dust, that the skyline would be forever altered, that the sound of police and news helicopters would be audible for miles.

Jennifer drove as quickly as she dared without catching the attention of the California Highway Patrol. She was not anxious to get to work. Rather, she was trying not to be late. She had no one to blame but herself, having hit the snooze button once — or was it twice? — more often than usual.

But judging from the lighter-than-usual traffic, Jennifer thought she wasn’t the only one who would be tardy today. She wouldn’t have cared about being five (or fifteen) minutes late, but her boss did care, and Jennifer had no desire to hear Maggie Stone remark on her tardiness again.

Luck was with her. In the underground garage she found a parking spot close to the elevator. The maintenance man even took a break from hauling trash cans and held the elevator door open for her. Jennifer smiled and thanked him, then punched the button to floor eighteen. Now, if only her luck was in.

It was. Maggie Stone was nowhere to be seen, and the other employees were too busy getting their morning caffeine fix to notice her late arrival. Jennifer took advantage of the reprieve and paused to give her outfit a once-over. The gray skirt and pink sweater hadn’t needed ironing, but she wished — not for the last time that day — that she’d worn more sensible shoes. She ran a brush through her hair, picked up her travel mug, and went in search of coffee. A pot of French roast had just been brewed. Jennifer smiled, hoping that her luck would hold.

It would. Just enough to keep her alive.

* * *

She worked in a twenty-story federal building where the gears of government bureaucracy turned, slowly and inexorably — keeping records, allocating funds, processing forms, renewing licenses. 

Her office was a branch of the grants department, and as undistinguished a cubicle farm as any she’d ever worked in. Pale gray partitions and mauve accents on the walls left over from the early 1990s. Inspirational prints with images of sunsets and mountain climbers, symbols of success and teamwork, bought frames-and-all from the discount office supplier. Modular desks, a PC resting on each. Plants on the desks and dotted around the room, nourished by fluorescent lights; the African violets thrived but did not bloom.

A small sign, Jennifer Thomson, Receptionist, marked a corner desk as hers. The desktop was more or less tidy — Friday had been a slow day, time for her to clean up. The bulletin board behind her held a calendar, a few Dilbert cartoons, a postcard her sister Cindy had sent her from Niagara Falls. Jennifer set her mug down and turned on the computer. She settled into her chair, with neither resignation nor enthusiasm. How had she described the job to Cindy? The career path of least resistance. Still, it paid fairly well and the benefits were good. What else could she ask for?

* * *

 “Hi, Jen-Jen!”

10:17 a.m., and Jennifer was on her way to the photocopier when she heard Carrie’s voice. Jennifer smiled; she could take or leave most of her coworkers, but she liked Carrie, always had. “Hi, Carrie. How was your weekend?”

Carrie shrugged. “Got stood up. Again.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

Carrie grinned. She was a buxom type in her late forties, determined to live life as a blonde, and always ready to share her dating stories. “Don’t worry about it. I smelled this guy would be trouble the moment I met him. Literally. He bathed, I kid you not, bathed in Canoe aftershave.”

“At least it wasn’t Aqua Velva.”

“Thank God for small favors. Speaking of getting stood up, the copier guy didn’t come by Friday.”

“You’re kidding. The machine’s still down?”

Carrie nodded. “Only one still working is all the way over in HR.”

Jennifer rolled her eyes. “One of those days. Guess I’m off to HR.”

“Have fun. Be sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.”

Jennifer started down the hall, then turned back to Carrie. “Do you want to go out for lunch today? I didn’t have time to pack anything. There’s that new sushi place.”

“Sure. 11:30 do you? Beat the rush?”

“OK. See you then.” Jennifer gave Carrie a little wave, and walked down the hall to HR. She never saw Carrie again.

There was no line for the copier, and the papers didn’t jam once. Her luck was holding, Jennifer mused as she started back down the hall, though it would have been better if the damn copier repair guy had shown up. Still, she couldn’t —

The floor trembled and she stopped, had just enough time to think Earthquake? and wonder where the nearest doorway was when the entire building shook madly, whipsawed back and forth. She was on the floor, papers scattered around her, as the building shuddered and rattled. There was a roar, a giant’s bellow. She heard screams from the halls and offices, knew that she herself must be screaming but she could not hear it, could only feel her throat burn with the force of the cry. Overhead the fluorescent lights popped and broke, glass and plastic rained down, and now chunks of plaster and acoustic ceiling tiles joined the deluge. Jennifer curled up into a ball, hands covering her head, arms covering her face, feeling her breath on her forearms but still not hearing herself scream.

The building gave one last shudder and silence fell. No doubt there was more sound, plenty of it, but so deafened was Jennifer that she heard nothing. She felt cool air on her forearms and head. She pulled her arms away from her face but dared not open her eyes yet. There was light on the other side of her closed lids, more light than there should have been. She told her eyes to open but they would not obey at first. Finally she jerked her head and her eyes opened. 

For twenty feet in front of her the hallway continued on. Full of plaster and ceiling tiles and bad art, but it was there. Beyond that, open air, the sky, an eighteen-story view of Los Angeles. Half the building had been torn away. Bits and pieces still fell past the gaping hole she looked out of. A live electric cable twisted in the wind, an angry snake spitting sparks. Office paper drifted down like oversize confetti, incongruously festive. 
Jennifer’s eyes saw it but her brain was numb, unable to take it in. What had happened? It was unreal. Buildings simply did not split in two, leave you staring out a hole at eighteen stories of sky and the city below. It simply could not be —

She heard a scream and a man plunged past the hole in the building and kept going. Even through the ringing in her ears she could hear his scream, diminishing as he fell to whatever wreckage lay below. Another cry, this one words instead of a scream, a man’s shout of, “Jesus God!” and he was falling, like the first man, from the nineteenth or twentieth floor. He was flailing instinctively, somehow caught hold of something, and dangled there in front of Jennifer.

She wanted to help him but could not move; he did not ask for help, only stared fixedly. He began to shake, then jitter wildly, and Jennifer saw that he had caught hold of the electrical cable, his hands frozen in a death grip as the voltage coursed through him. She was transfixed, unable to look away as he jittered and shook; she hoped he was dead already, that he was not alive to feel his hair and clothes burst into flame.

Only when the smell of him burning reached her did she break her paralysis. She scrambled to her feet and fled from the burning man, from that dreadful hole in the building, looking for something or someone that would explain what was going on. She ran around the corner and right into Mr. Danvers, the department vice president. There was a cut across his head and blood in his hair but he was calm. He grabbed her by the shoulders, shook her. “Jennifer!” he yelled. “Come on, Jennifer! Are you OK?”

For a moment she could not find her voice. At last she croaked, “I think so there’s this man there he burnt up and what’s going on?”

He shook her again. “It’s a bomb or something. We’ve got to get out of here. I’m going to go see if I can find anybody else, you go on. Get out of the building, fast as you can.”

Automatically she started toward the elevator. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back. “No, the stairs, take the stairs. Just run, keep going.”

Jennifer watched him run down the hall and soon he was gone, disappearing into a cloud of dust. She stood for a moment, unsure of what to do, and now she could hear things. Screams and moans. Crumbling plaster and breaking glass. And a deep groaning — the sound of a building that had taken more damage than it could stand, was ready to come down. 

Soon.

Get out. Fast. She could do that. Could she?

Jennifer ran for the stairs. Just before she reached the stairwell she passed by a conference room and for a moment stopped, looked in. The walls of the conference room had been glass, and the people inside had been cut to ribbons. They lay bloody and silent amid their coffee cups and meeting notes. She recognized a few of them. Some their own mothers would not have recognized. She stood and stared. It couldn’t be real, couldn’t. They were filming a movie or something, she must have missed the memo. Soon the director would yell Cut! and all these people would get up and wash off the fake blood and everyone would have some donuts and she could get Bruce Willis’ autograph.

Jennifer felt someone — she never knew who — shove her and she joined the people running for the stairwell. Not many of them heading for the stairwell, not many at all, and she wondered how many were trapped or dead or dying in the wreckage.

She didn’t know. All she knew was that she did not want to be one of them.

Jennifer started down the stairs. Under normal circumstances eighteen floors would have been nothing more than a good workout. But now the stairwell was full of people, more of them every minute, some of them hurt and all of them frantic to get out before the building collapsed. Now the air was thick with panic and dust. Every time the building let out a groan or shudder they all froze, waiting, and when nothing happened they kept going. Halfway down someone panicked, started screaming that they had to go faster, damn it, faster. But for the most part they made the journey down in grim silence, perhaps afraid that any sound they made would hasten the building’s collapse. 

At the third floor, the heel broke off one of Jennifer’s shoes and there was a dull flare of pain as she twisted her ankle. She stopped to take off her shoes and rest her foot for a moment. “Jennifer? You need a hand?” She looked up at the familiar voice. It was Carlos, one of the account managers. “Come on, we need to keep moving.”

“Thanks,” she said. He put one of her arms across his shoulders, and they began to make their way down the stairs. Now that they were so close, some of the panic left her. They were going to make it.
At the second-floor landing she said, “I think—”

She never finished the sentence. There was a grinding roar from above them and something crashed through the wall. The stairway buckled and they fell. Jennifer felt something hit her on the head with a heavy but painless blow, and then felt nothing.

* * *

Jennifer woke lying on her left side, arm pinned under her. The stairwell was lit only by a flickering fluorescent bulb; the air was heavy with dust that she could taste on her lips and tongue. Her body ached dully. She sat up slowly and pain shot through her shoulder and her head. Her left arm wouldn’t move. With her right hand she touched her head, felt wetness. When she looked at her fingers, they were red.

At least she could see. “Carlos? Carlos are...”

She could see Carlos, lying at the bottom of the stairs, his head cocked at what even to her unlearned eyes was a very wrong angle, eyes open and unseeing. “Oh no,” she whispered.

The building did not just groan; it screamed. So did she. “No!” Jennifer hauled herself to her feet with her good arm, her twisted ankle and lost shoes forgotten, and began limping down the buckled steps. 

The door to the lobby was ajar a little bit. She tried to open it wider; it wouldn’t budge. Jennifer sucked in her breath and forced herself through. For a moment she was trapped, thought she would die stuck in this doorway, and if she had been able to breathe she would have screamed. Another burst of effort, the buckled metal tearing her sweater and scraping her back; she was through. The lobby was full of debris, twisted steel and broken glass that she dodged as best she could. Once a huge chunk of metal fell and she felt the wind of its passage as it missed her by inches. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a gaping hole in the lobby floor, dared not look closer. She squeezed through one more doorway and was outside.

Out. But not safe. She saw people waving at her, making frantic Hurry! gestures and understood that the last scream of the building had been its death cry. It was coming down.

Jennifer ran. She heard the sound of impact behind her and was lost in a cloud of dust, feeling debris fly around her.

She wanted to run, but couldn't see where to run to. She tried to scream, but could not even breathe.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Guest Author: Elaine C. Pereira


In 1945 a young woman, Elizabeth Ann Oberle, graduated from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana with her Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry.  In the years just after World War II, very few attended college, an even smaller number were women and the ladies that did earn their advanced degrees did not purse the sciences.  Except for my trailblazing mom, who did!

I Will Never Forget is the exquisite portrayal of my talented mother's humorous and extraordinary journey through Dementia. The book details superb stories from my childhood, my controversial name, tales of smokin’ hot dragons, the feisty teenage years and a near paralyzing accident.  Through these and other events my mother’s wonderful character is revealed.  

Over time, however, our mother-daughter relationship evolved and a new paradigm formed; I became a parent to my parent.  After Mom’s husband, my dad, and her son, my brother, died only 8 months apart in 2004, Mom went into protective shock and never came out.  

My once energized, kind and brilliant mother started to dissolve.  Logical and reasonable thinking skills waned, replaced by irrational remarks and paranoia.  She accused people of stealing her things:  brown pants, a nail file, stamps and more.  I began to referee her uncharacteristic verbal assaults, agitation and hostility.  

Although clearly mystified by my mother’s goofy behaviors and bizarre thinking, I did not fully appreciate the extent of her decline until one tumultuous explosion of reality over an innocuous drapery rod.  Even after being relocated into a more secure, assisted living facility, the crazy drama continued.  Mom escaped with masterful Houdini-like skill, experienced fascinating visions of her own mother and finally orchestrated a stunning rally to take control of her destiny.  

I Will Never Forget is a heartwarming, funny and powerful true story pertinent to anyone touched by the insidious effects of Dementia.  Learn from my unwitting mistakes as I na├»vely weave through Dementia’s unpredictable haze to capture insightful and effective intervention strategies.  Accompany me through our journey, as my mother's brilliant mind is slowly and unpredictably destroyed by Dementia's ravenous appetite for brain cells.




I Will Never Forget: 
A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia


Elaine C. Pereira
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: iUniverse (May 3, 2012)
Amazon Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 501 KB
Print Length: 250 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: iUniverse (May 3, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Link

Synopsis:

I Will Never Forget is the exquisite story of the author's talented mother's, Betty's, humorous and extraordinary journey through Dementia.  Through entertaining glimpses of Elaine's childhood, from her controversial name, tales of smoking' dragons and the feisty teenage years, her mother’s wonderful character is revealed.  But as their mother-daughter relationship evolves, the author begins to witness uncharacteristic verbal assaults, confusion and paranoia  in her mom.  As Betty slowly wanders farther down the dark and narrow corridors of Alzheimer's, her ability to mask the truth unravels as an incident over innocuous drapery rod suddenly launches a waterfall of events.  Elaine witnesses her mother's masterful Houdini-like disappearances, stunning rally to take control of her own destiny and finally accompanies her mom as her brilliant mind is slowly destroyed by Dementia's insatiable appetite for brain cells. 

I Will Never Forget  is a heartwarming, powerful, deeply moving story pertinent to everyone, not just those peripherally pro intimately affected by Dementia. 

Follow Elaine C. Pereira

Website / Youtube Trailer


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guest Author: G.J. Berger


A Historical Novel Writer's Thoughts About Readers

Years ago when I had just begun up the trail to my first published novel, I often heard something like this from agent and editor Gatekeepers, "Is your work good enough for someone to plunk down twenty bucks? Is it good enough for them to pay good money to buy it for someone else?"

Seemed like a sensible question then. Seemed like a useful litmus test.

Not any longer. In today's world it's the wrong question. There are now so many books to choose from in free e-book downloads, or for 99 cents. A solitary dollar bill allows readers to choose from many best-sellers in hard covers at our local library annual fund raiser.

My first novel came out late last year. It's about a distant time, in a place not known to many, and about Iberian Celts. Like any writer of things long ago, I had no sense for whether anyone would care, would upload it to an e-reader or pay a few dollars more for the book version.
Held my breath and was pleased to sell a few here and there and more. Then I heard that some early buyers had not yet gotten to it. They smiled when they told me they had indeed paid a few dollars to download it, or a few more for a real book. They must have wondered why I did not smile back when I thanked them. That they had not opened it, had not started reading, removed the magic, broke my connection to them. Quite apparently they had better uses for their time than to give it to me and my writing.

And I knew instantly that my real readers would become my dearest friends--though I might never, ever meet them.





Word from actual readers started to trickle in. One reader who got it for Christmas finished it before December ended and made his daughter read it next; another said she stayed up until two in the morning to find out what happens. The greatest compliment of all came from an avid football fan. He wrote that he skipped the NFL Conference Championship games--he needed to get to the end first. Imagine that, turn off the set on that pen-ultimate NFL Sunday to finish my creation about ancient history and Celtic fighting women!

I now know that the real question for any novel or non-fiction book writer is, "Will readers put aside all else and give the writer twenty hours, or more, of their precious time?" Precious are the readers who give us their time. Precious is the work that's good enough for readers to do that.


South of Burnt Rocks West of The Moon

Author: G.J. Berger (Website)
Hardcover: 322 pages
Publisher: G. J. Berger (October 8, 2012)
Amazon Link

Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: G. J. Berger (November 6, 2012)
Amazon Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 487 KB
Print Length: 322 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Link

Synopsis:

After three great wars, Rome has crushed Carthage. Now the undefended riches of Iberia beckon--gold, tin, olives, wine, and healthy young bodies to enslave. Burnt Rocks tells the story of Lavena, last child of the strongest remaining Iberian tribal leader at a time when Rome plunders and loots her land. She must grow up fast and use all her cunning and courage to survive each day. At times helped only by her father's favorite dog, a special horse, or guided by spirits of the earth and sky, she strives to unite her people and oust the Roman menace. Based on real characters, places, and events, "Burnt Rocks" recreates that shadowy history--and eternal human nature rubbed raw.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Author: Lauren Carr


Practical Tips for Beginning Mystery Writers
By Lauren Carr

Everyone wants to be Jessica Fletcher. Do you remember Jessica Fletcher? Oh, that’s right. She was in the 80’s. I guess I’ve dated myself. Okay! I admit it! I’m THAT old. Do you want to make something of it?

All right. My mood is swinging  back into the other direction. … Where was I? Oh, yes, you want to be a mystery writer.

Number One: Research. Research in mystery writing is very important. However, I strongly advise against hands-on research in murder mystery writing. No matter how good you may be, if you kill your ex-husband, they are going to catch you and you will go to jail. Then you will be spending so much time fighting off a muscle-bound, tattooed roommate calling you “Cupcake” that you won’t have time to write your book.

It is best to do your research online. Google is a good starting source. There is an unbelievable wealth of sources on the Internet now, geared specifically toward writers for research in law enforcement and forensics. I know one author who found a video on YouTube on how to build a bomb.

Number Two: Once you’ve done your research into murder, you now need to come up with a story line.  The best place to start is to come up with a protagonist. Another word is hero. Some writers base their detectives on themselves. Others base them on their fantasy hero. At this point, ask yourself: Who do you want to save the day? You or some dashing, sexy, man with piercing eyes and a big gun? …
(Hold that thought while I go get a glass of cold water.)

Number Three: Your victim. You can’t have a murder mystery without someone getting killed. You may already have a murder victim. Many murder mystery writers have victims in mind before they have even thought of writing a book. If they are honest, many mystery writers were driven to write murder mysteries because of their victims.    

This is the one case where it is okay to ask: Who do you want to kill? Bosses are a favorite. Once at a book event, a reader told me that she had two ex-husbands that she wanted me to kill between the pages for her. (Note to self: Look into becoming a literary assassin.)

Number Four:  How are you going to kill your victim? If you are basing your victim on someone in particular, you may already have a murder method in mind. Or you may have so many ideas that you don’t know which one to choose from. It is all a matter of preference. Do you want your murder victim to go out with a whimper or a bang? Is he or she worthy of going out in a blaze of glory? If not, maybe you want a particularly tortuous death, like being dined on by a komodo dragon. Or, you could have him die “off-stage”. In this case, you don’t need to write it out. You could simply have the reader hear about it later.

Number Five: The solving of the case. This is where many mystery writers get tripped up. They have so much fun with Steps One-through-Four that they’ve forgotten that someone has to solve their victim’s murder. Maybe because subconsciously, they don’t want their victim’s murder solved. That is something for the writer to take to Dr. Phil to sort out.

As much fun as it was killing their boss or ex-husband or nasty neighbor or lawyer who rolled over and played dead in divorce court or—How about that teacher in high school who gave me a “B” on the essay when I bloody well deserved an “A” and because of that I didn’t get into the Harvard and my life was ruined and now I’m cleaning gutters for a living—

Excuse me. Back on track.

Your mystery does need to get solved. After the murder, you need to lead the reader on the path through the detection, solving of the crime, and the capture of the killer.

That’s right. In the end, the killer is captured by the detective.

That’s why in the beginning I warned you not to practice this in real-life at home. 

Unless you want to evade capture when they find out by getting cosmetic surgery, dressing up like a member of the opposite sex, joining a rock band and then spending the rest of your life on the lam—which is another blog post.

Happy Mystery Writing!

*     *     *     *

Blast from the Past

Author: Lauren Carr
Kindle Edition
File Size: 3391 KB
Print Length: 258 pages
Publisher: Acorn Book Services (January 2, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Link

Synopsis:

In this fourth mystery on Deep Creek Lake; Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents. 

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?




"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is a fun meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. This is where we share the books we have read the last week and our reading plans for this week.

Read and Reviewed



Currently Reading: 




Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!

Book Spotlight: Anne Patrick's WOUNDED HEROES

Join Anne Patrick, author of the inspirational romantic suspense book, Betrayal: Wounded Heroes Series Book 3, as she tours the blogosphere March 18 through April 12 on her first Book Blast with Pump Up Your Book! Anne will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC/Paypal Cash to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form on the participating blogs below anytime during the tour and good luck!
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BetrayalCoverArt72dpiABOUT BETRAYAL: WOUNDED HEROES BOOK 3

Drew Presley's wife was murdered while he was serving his country in Iraq. Giving up a career he loved, he's returned to Dauphine Island to care for his son and try to make a new life for them. The unsolved murder of his wife continues to plague him. The islanders are very protective of their own and he fears a killer is among them. The more he searches for answers though the more dangerous it becomes. Just as troublesome is his attraction to his son's second-grade teacher.

Trudy Walsh was Nora Presley's best friend so the bond she has with Nora's motherless child is only normal. What troubles Trudy is the growing feelings she has for Reed's father. How can she be so attractive to one man when Jack Diamond is all she's ever thought about?

What secrets lie in Gianni's Cove, and what do they have to do with Nora's murder?
Purchase your copy:


AMAZON| BARNES & NOBLE

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Anne PatrickABOUT ANNE PATRICK

Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award winning and bestselling WOUNDED HEROES SERIES, FIRE AND ASH, and TIES THAT BIND. Her books have garnered four-star reviews from Romantic Times, 'Top Pick' and 'Best Book' honors from Night Owl Reviews and Long and Short of It Reviews, and Five-Heart reviews from The Romance Studio. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

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Pump Up Your Book and Anne Patrick are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from March 18 through April 12. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter and announced on April 13. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com. What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments for your blog, too! Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Betrayal Book Blast

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Participating Blogs:
Monday March 18 - Beyond the Books
Tuesday, March 19 - Review From Here
Wednesday, March 20 - Book Marketing Buzz
Thursday, March 21 - Authors and Readers Book Corner
Friday, March 22 - She Writes
Monday, March 25 - Bookingly Yours
Monday, March 25 - Cheryl's Book Nook
Tuesday, March 26 - Laurie's Thought and Reviews
Wednesday, March 27 - Maureen's Musings
Thursday, March 28 -Literal Exposure
Friday, March 29 - The Writer's Life
Monday, April 1 - Redroom
Monday, April 1 - Mary's Cup of Tea
Tuesday, April 2 - Blogher
Wednesday, April 3 - Allvoices
Thursday, April 4 - As the Pages Turn
Friday, April 5 - Literarily Speaking
Friday, April 5 - Waiting on Sunday to Drown
Monday, April 8 - My Book Addiction and More
Tuesday, April 9 - My Cozie Corner
Wednesday, April 10 - Janna Shay Fair Play
Thursday, April 11 - Plug Your Book
Thursday, April 11 - Self Taught Cook
Friday, April 12 - Between the Covers
Friday, April 12 - Splashes of Joy
If you would like to join this book blast, leave a comment below with email information or email Tracee directly at tgleichner (at) gmail.com.


Pump Up Your Book




Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Tour/Giveaway: Athol Dickson


Reeling from his wife’s unsolved murder, Malcolm Cutter is just going through the motions as a chauffeur and bodyguard for Hollywood’s rich and famous. Then a pair of Guatemalan tough guys offer him a job. It’s an open question whether they’re patriotic revolutionaries or vicious terrorists. Either way, Cutter doesn’t much care until he gets a bomb through his window, a gangland beating on the streets of L.A., and three bullets in the chest. Now there’s another murder on Cutter’s Mind. His own.

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AGAW6EC

Athol Dickson’s mystery, suspense, and literary novels have won three Christy Awards and an Audie Award. Suspense fans who enjoyed Athol’s They Shall See God will love his latest novel, January Justice, the first installment in a new mystery series called The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs. The second and third novels in the series, Free Fall in February, and A March Murder, are coming in 2013.

Critics have favorably compared Athol’s work to such diverse authors as Octavia Butler (Publisher’s Weekly), Hermann Hesse (The New York Journal of Books) and Flannery O’Connor (The New York Times). Athol lives with his wife in southern California.

Website: http://www.malcolmcutter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtholDickson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Athol-Dickson/416622918355206

Pump Up Your Book and Athol Dickson are teaming up to give you a chance to win a fabulous prize!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from March 18 – Mar 22. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email, and announced on March 25, 2013. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If the Rafflecopter form doesn't load, please visit the JANUARY JUSTICE TOUR PAGE to enter the giveaway: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/02/27/pump-up-your-book-presents-athol-dicksons-january-justice-book-blast-%E2%80%93-win-25-amazon-gift-card/


JANUARY JUSTICE BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

Monday, March 18th
Tuesday, March 19th
Wednesday, March 20th
Thursday, March 21st
Friday, March 22nd


ARC Book Review: Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell

Shadow on the Crown 

Author: Patricia Bracewell
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult 
Amazon Link

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 13 hours and 40 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Audible.com Release Date: February 7, 2013
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Amazon Link


Note: I received a review copy of this book free from the publisher, Viking Adult/Penguin. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.


Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Ethelred II, the Anglo-Saxon English king's wife had just died and he needed a new wife to please his counselors/advisers. There were two girls he could arrange to marry, one girl from the north and one from the south. Based on his careful analysis, an alliance from the south seemed far better than the north's. So King Ethelred II asked Richard II, Duke of Normandy to hand over his sister Emma, which at the time of request was only 15 years old. Richard II was hesitant at first to give up his young sister. After weighing things, he knew there's no other choice... he had to let Emma marry the English king because saying no to Ethelred II would mean war. 

So Emma went to England to marry the English king (age could be somewhere between 30-35?) but people from England aren't too happy about it. One English noble, Elgiva (the girl from the north) wanted to be a queen and she's determined to do everything to take Emma's crown. Emma knew that if she lost the crown, her life is doomed in England.

I totally loved this book and I found myself researching more about Queen Emma's life just to satisfy my curiosity. Shadow on the Crown was an easy read. The story flowed just right. The book didn't look like a historian work - in a positive way. There's some kind of simplicity in the stories, I didn't doubt any of the author's fictional tales. The characters, the English setting at the time and even the character's dialogue felt authentic. It's not hard to imagine the places and people those time period. Even, Emma's romantic relationship to one of the characters (fiction) felt real. Oh I love Emma, she's a very smart girl. She could have not survived the whole queen stuff if she's not smart. Just imagine a queen at the age of 15! 


Shadow on the Crown is the first book to a trilogy about Emma of Normandy. There are too many things to learn in this book as it is rich in historical facts. I thank the author for introducing Queen Emma to me and I can't wait to read book #2!

About the book:

A rich tale of power and forbidden love revolving around a young medieval queen...

In 1002, 15-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.

Determined to outmaneuver her adversaries, Emma forges alliances with influential men at court and wins the affection of the English people. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.

Based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Shadow on the Crown introduces listeners to a fascinating, overlooked period of history and an unforgettable heroine whose quest to find her place in the world will resonate with modern listeners.

About the author:


Patricia Bracewell is a native of California where she taught literature and composition before embarking upon her writing career. A lifelong fascination with British history and a chance, on-line reference to an unfamiliar English queen led to years of research, a summer history course at Downing College, Cambridge, and the penning of her debut novel SHADOW ON THE CROWN. 

Set in 11th century England, SHADOW is the first book of a trilogy about Emma of Normandy who was a queen in England and a power behind the throne for nearly four decades. Patricia is working on the two follow-up novels in the series, but takes time out for tennis, gardening and travel. She is the mother of two grown sons and lives with her husband in Northern California. 

Visit her website at http://www.patriciabracewell.com/

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Trailer: Consort of the Female Pharaoh by Eugene Stovall

Consort of the Female Pharaoh

Author: Eugene Stovall
Kindle Edition
File Size: 1012 KB
Print Length: 351 pages
Publisher: OPC (February 19, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Link

Synopsis:

Hat-Shep-Sut was Egypt’s greatest Pharaoh
So why has history tried to erase her memory for the past 3500 years?

Does it have anything to do with the fact that Egypt passed from the Lunar Cult to the Solar Cult during her reign?

Pharaoh Maat-Ka-Re Hat-Shep-Sut Khen-Met-Amen, Horus Powerful of KA, Female Horus of Fine Gold, Two Ladies Flourishing of Years, Divine of Diadems wants to be venerated as Foremost of Distinguished Women. Hat-Shep-Sut has always wanted to become Pharaoh, now she wants to be followed by another female Pharaoh and is determined not to allow any man to interfere with her plans …

Not Senen-Mut, her Consort and the father of her child…

Not Thut-Moses, the Royal Heir that many in Karnak hope will replace her … 

Not even Seth-Mesy, Amen’s high priest, who demands absolute obedience, even from
Pharaoh!

The Two-Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt reel under the invasions of Nubians from the South and Hyksos from the North. Consort of the Female Pharaoh tells the story of how the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt successfully pursued a War of National Liberation to become the world’s first superpower. It is also tells how the love between a brilliant commoner and an ambitious royal princess transformed the world.


Excerpt:

Hat-Shep-Sut prepares for her ordeal.

I’m as strong as any woman in my family, she tells herself. Today I must prove it. After today no one will doubt that Pharaoh Maat-Ka-Re Hat-Shep-Sut is sole ruler over the Two-Lands. And no defiance of Pharaoh will go unpunished!

Hat-Shep-Sut plans great changes for the Two-Lands. Pen-Nek-Heb’s predictions of a new epoch inspire her to initiate new traditions and new ideas. The new epoch predicted by Iunu’s stargazers will be Hat-Shep-Sut’s epoch____ the time when women rise up and end male domination. And the foremost of distinguished women, intends to usher in the new epoch by exercising more control over her well intentioned but common-thinking Senen-Mut.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blog Tour/Guest Author: Veronica Frances

The Inspiration Behind Tickling Daphne H. 
By Veronica Frances

An inspiration is but a tiny flicker inside, a little tickle, followed by another and then another, and then, a story spills onto the empty page as if it had been there all the time.


For a writer with a tickling fetish, there is lots of smiling and laughing, all day, all night, whenever the imagination decides. I sit down at my computer, a slave to my tickling fantasies, trying to remain focused, composed and in control. 


But tickling is not about being in control. It is about laughing uncontrollably, twitching as wiggling fingers find every sensitive spot on your body. It is about a silent feather causing such a loud response. It is almost ironic if you think about it. A feather moves around in whispers, playfully, tauntingly, and a person laughs and giggles, often loudly, until they are overwhelmed with pleasure and sometimes agony.


It is so arousing, so inspiring, as my fingers type my novel. My imagination comes alive, and I come alive, and then my novel is born.


I get this question all the time. How could I actually write an entire story about tickling and how could it have a plot that could be sustained throughout an entire novel? Well, when the charactersof a novel are passionate about something, especially a fetish as powerful as tickling, the characters feel so deeply and the more deeply they feel, the more the author gets pulled into their world and the more there is to say.



One of the things that made me begin writing Tickling Daphne H. was my disbelief atthe lack of tickling material out there. In movies in particular, there is so little about tickling. Tickling scenes are usually short, and tickling in the media is generallysparse. I felt the world needed a real juicy story that was based primarily on tickling. There are a few other fetishes that make their way into the story as well,but there is tickling throughout, along with lots of romance, sex and some very ticklish disputes between the characters.


I had also wanted to write abouta delightfully unusual group of people, who do not always live by everyday standards and who sometimes behave in ways that some might even find inappropriate. I wanted my characters to beunique, vivid, real, sensual, inwardly tortured and alive.


My other motivation behind writing Tickling Daphne H. was to inspire and encourage people not to be ashamed of their fetishes. Fetishes are a part of life. I think people should stop hiding who they are and just enjoy the things that excite them and make them feel more alive. People are so busy hiding their deepest desires and it is causing so many unhappy and unfulfilling relationships. 


I want people to understand that tickling, like any other fetish has a darker side, but so do people. I wanted to show the struggles that people face in the grip of the very thing that excites them. I wanted to take my characters to the very edge of their desires and make them experience pleasure and sometimes, some of the more difficult and darker sides of life and themselves. 


I also wanted to show how wonderful and exciting tickling can be and how some people need it in their lives to be happy and completely fulfilled. I wanted to make the point, that what one person finds unpleasant, shocking or inappropriate, another person might find pleasurable and exciting.


People ask me how much of my actual life is related to my novel, other than my tickling fetish. Though Tickling Daphne H.is fiction and not really related to my actual life, Daphne’s romantic nature lives inside of me and I admit that I found myself peeking out through her eyes many times as I wrote Tickling Daphne H.Daphne is also slightly Rubenesque and I have struggled with body image issues throughout my life. I could relate to Daphne’s struggles to let go and love her body, allowing herself to be tickled.

My inner ticklish self jumped out at me more times than I can mention, as I wrote my book. That is one of the joys of writing fiction. Finding oneself through the maze of the untamed imagination is delightful, sometimes scary and a definite road to self-discovery.


I have had a tickling fetish for as long as I can remember. Writing has been a wonderful way to channel my fetish and use it to make my readers happy. I hope to continue writing more tickling stories and other erotica as well.



Tickling Daphne H.

Author: Veronica Frances
Paperback: 458 pages
Publisher: Blue Note Publications; First edition (September 20, 2012)
Amazon Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 634 KB
Print Length: 458 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Link

Synopsis:

Tickling Daphne H. follows the ticklish journeys of Daphne, Dave, Carol and Harold, exploring how tickling deeply affects the lives of these four people.

The story deals with the many different faces of tickling; the addictive and torturous, the pleasurable and erotic, the humorous and romantic, and tickling used as a form of reprimand.

This is the very unusual love story of Daphne and Dave, two people facing their tickle-demons together. It is primarily the journey of Daphne, a 21-year-old very ticklish woman. Daphne finds herself in a world where every important person in her life has a tickling fetish, including her boyfriend Dave. She finds herself constantly surrounded by feathers and wiggling fingers, unable to escape the taunting sounds of her own laughter. She is also unable to escape her own mixed-up feelings about tickling. 

As Daphne’s relationship with Dave grows, she must learn to face her fears and deeper feelings about tickling for the sake of their relationship and herself.
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