Monday, 14 December 2015

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Viking's Curse by Xandra James

The Viking's Curse
Xandra James
Release Date:  15th November 2015
Genre: paranormal romance


Tag Line: 
He was supposed to keep me alive after I was marked for death, but hiring the meanest Viking shifter in town might just kill me...

Blurb

Woodland Creek Series.
30 Authors. 30 Shifter Stories.

I'm cursed. There's no cure for what ails me. I'm part man, part draugar; a Viking warrior shifter who protects the dead. I'm a selfish bastard, numb to the world around me, surviving only to avenge my wife and mother's murder.  One emotion —anger—keeps me alive. At least, it did until I met TJ Knight and my icy heart began to beat once more.

I was all wrong for her yet I craved her in ways I never imagined. So making a deal with her to save that cute ass from a death mark probably wasn't the smartest thing I'd ever done. If I could manage to keep my hands off her, I might just stay in one piece.

The other thing? It turns out we have a mutual enemy. If we can work together, we might be able to find and destroy him. Trouble is, now it seems I have to kill TJ to give her a chance at living. Killing was my favourite thing but bringing her back to life? Now that might prove a problem...

Excerpt


The smell that lingered in the air from the absent dead body burnt my nostrils, but still I bent over the grave, got up close and personal with the empty coffin, attempting to work out who—or what—would want to be a body snatcher.

It hadn't been taken long; I could still feel the buzz of bad energy. The stench wasn't from the rotting corpse. Nope, it was due to the magic shifting around where the body had been. Yeah, I said magic and it was normal for me to smell the stuff.

You see, my name's TJ Knight, and I work for Battle Security and have done so for almost eighteen months after being head-hunted while in the army. Battle Security was a department of the Catholic Church. I work for God, you might say.

You might also say I am quite unusual but I'm not really. There are a lot of people like me around if only you open your eyes and take a look. And I've certainly seen some shit. Magical beings—or wizards—are everywhere. Battle Security specialises in things that go bump in the night, and it's all around you if you know where to look. And I know where to look. Or where to stick my nose.

Which is why I earn the big bucks for sniffing newly popped bodies, and get called out in the middle of a date.

Xandra James


Giveaway


Free ebook copy of The Viking's Curse and a $20 amazon voucher


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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Excerpt & Giveaway: Wrapped In Red by Mika Jolie

Title: Wrapped In Red
Author: Mika Jolie
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 2, 2015


Synopsis

Christmas is a time to be merry and bright. For Minka Montgomery, it’s anything but. 
While Martha’s Vineyard bursts with festive lights and good cheer, a black shadow parades around and within Minka. With her Christmas spirit conspicuously absent, her marriage to Jason Montgomery has snowballed and is spiraling out of control.  The weight of motherhood–and her new role as a wife–presses on her shoulders. Self-doubt creeps in and swiftly turns to hopelessness.
As her anxiety level rises, can she share what’s in her heart with her husband? Is there a branch of hope to hold on to? With Christmas only twelve days away, can she find her Christmas spirit and rediscover the true meaning of the season?


Excerpt

The door creaked open. She stepped in just as Jason threw his shirt on the bed, naked from the waist up—every muscle well defined, ripped to perfection, and covered with various tattoos. Heat. Fire. And crazy need stirred between her thighs. No surprise there. Jason naked, half-naked, or fully dressed, always managed to produce a reaction. Lately, she just couldn’t follow through. A thick blanket of guilt smothered her heart. They held each other’s gaze for a few seconds. “I don’t know where to start,” she said into the silence. “Try the beginning.”

About Mika Jolie

Author Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. She loves to write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up. She loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon, or drop her an email. For latest news on her current works-in-progress, interviews with fellow authors, or just to see what she's up to, check out her website: http://www.mikajolie.com or sign up for her newsletter http://mikajolie.us8.list- manage1.com/subscribe?u=031e437e36c82d666bd5f3d46&id=af83626053</ span> where you can hear her latest news and enjoy giveaways. 



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Friday, 13 November 2015

Quotes from Shielded Past by Patti Morelli


Welcome to my tour stop of Shielded Past by Patti Morelli.  The full tour schedule can be seen here.

ABOUT THE BOOK:



Shielded Past is riveting and full of suspense. So many questions need to be answered. We find out about Kate’s life in foster care after being abandoned by her mother. We meet Annie Collins, her best friend since their high school days.

Kate meets her ideal man and they purchase their dream home. This home was restored to its magnificent grandeur by her husband Gregg, and it is here that the intrigue begins. There is a light that shines every evening from the adjacent abandoned Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey, and with this, the suspense commences. We journey with Kate and Annie as they seek answers to the source of the light.

It is not only the light they are seeking answers to, Kate’s past is also in question. Her seemingly bright future becomes more clouded by the unknown as the questions multiply. Kate wants to know who she is and finds out rather quickly that she was lucky to be shielded from her past. The forces that must be contended with are both dark and light. The two are not always distinguishable, and knowing who to trust is not always obvious. When Kate finds out her real surname, it connects her to a family she never knew existed. With the help of her new found family the past is unravelled and the truth about her parents is revealed.

Kate must now live with the memories of the horrors that were inflicted on her loved ones. Meet the man and learn his reasons for torturing so many innocent victims. The suspense does not end here.

There are questions that still remain. Was there a connection to her dream home and her past? Why does Kate and all those who love her feel that she is in danger?

Buy @ Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Patti's first book was written under a pen name because the personal contents. Her book was the first in 2014 to received the Gold Seal of Literacy Excellence through Trafford Publishing.

Patti Morelli was born in Manhattan, she previously lived in Staten Island, New York and Marlboro, New Jersey. Patti now resides in Oxford, Florida

Patti has achieved success in business, politics, marriage, motherhood as well as the challenges life has given her. She is a mother of three and now enjoys the moments shared with her children and her two grandchildren.

Patti's husband suffered a massive stroke in 2008, being his caretaker has open a world she had never known before. She finds peace in her writing, Patti has been writing for over 30 years, she now has the confidence to publish her work.

Shielded Past was written over ten years ago, after Patti viewed the grounds of the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital. She said standing in the halls of the building, she felt an eeriness that could not be explained. Through her vivid imagination and her love for suspense novels, she conjured up the characters and then invented what could have happened in this hospital many years before.


QUOTES FROM SHIELDED PAST


Kate walked over to the window and saw the light also. When the light moved, Sam barked again.
“You know something is out there, don’t you Sam, you’re a good boy.”

Annie walked over to one of the windows, exclaiming, “Look Kate you can see the side of your house from here. I can see your bedroom window. This must be the room that the light comes from and look, there is a staircase in the hallway.”

 “A family has been reunited because of their faith in God. They have truly suffered in the past and are being rewarded by the Lord because of their strong faith.  This is a day of rejoicing for this wonderful family and for all of us. This is a blessed day. Let us pray and praise the Lord for His mercy and kindness.”

“What a case. This man is like an onion, I peel one layer and another one appears. Where do I start?

One night, when I had gone to bed, he locked my door and then I heard the car leave. I looked out of my window towards the hospital and about ten minutes later I saw a light go on, it was on the second floor. I shuddered, remembering how he would go into Joshua’s room at night. Could that be Joshua’s room, I thought to myself?
 “I was not always this monster. I believed I was going to change the world for the better. I truly wanted to help people."

 “Are you kidding me? We are dealing with possibly two murderers out there and you are falling in love with me? Don’t you think there is something wrong with this picture?”

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Excerpts from Jo Barney’s Henlit Titles (Her Last Words, The Runaway, Never Too Late)


Welcome to the tour stop of for blog tour for the author Jo Barney for her three Henlit titles: Her Last Words, The Runaway and Never Too Late.  The tour runs from November 9 – 13 and will consist of reviews, guest posts, interviews and excerpts.  The full schedule can be seen here.

ABOUT JO BARNEY'S BOOKS:


ABOUT HER LAST WORDS:
herlastwords-barney-ebook-295x464
Every summer four old friends flock together at Madge’s seaside house to swap stories and sip wine. Throughout divorces, children, and new marriages, only the beach house and the sisterhood that comes with it, hold constant. This time, though, something is different
Madge, the writer friend who brought them all together, is acting strange. She asks them for a risky, unthinkable favor. And then one morning, she disappears.
In Madge’s absence, her friends discover the unfinished manuscript to what will be her final novel. It is the story of past forty years of their lives, a story that may reshape their futures.
ABOUT THE RUNAWAY:
runaway-barney-ebookweb-300x464
Ellie is in her sixties, gruff and independent. She doesn’t expect much from life; it’s broken enough promises to her. The only ugliness in the world Ellie can truly clean up is the graffiti marring mailboxes in her neighborhood, and she centers her days around this as one of the few acts that gives her a little peace.
When a fifteen-year-old goth girl appears offering to help, Ellie is surprised—and suspicious. Sarah has been shunted from house to house in the foster care system. Now she’s run away from a forest camp managed by a tyrannical, enigmatic man…. But escape is not that easy, and soon she finds her life in danger. And Ellie may be wrapped up in this more deeply than either imagined.
ABOUT NEVER TOO LATE:
nevertoolate-barney-ebook-300x464
Decades ago, a shotgun wedding locked Edith into a life with a husband she’s not sure she ever loved. At sixty-five, she feels like a ghost in her own life, wondering where all this came from: the scornful husband, the mercenary brood of grandchildren, her well-meaning but controlling daughter-in-law. Then one Christmas morning Edith wakes to find her husband dead, and the role she played for so long crumbling. Gray-haired, but by no means done with life, Edith has a chance to discover the woman she could have been.
Soon questions arise about her husband’s death, and papers discovered in his pockets send Edith unraveling secrets of the man she thought she knew. Edith’s son Brian is the focus of her life, but he may not be as perfect as she thought. Revelations that he might be cheating shock her. As Edith investigates the mysteries of her family, she may just find who she truly is.

EXCERPT FROM 'HER LAST WORDS'

Early Monday Morning: Flotsam
Lucius

“My God,” Lucius says, as close to praying as he has been in years. “We’re on Venus.” Monoliths rise ahead of him like black specters, their crags and angles cutting through the mist, jutting towards the high, bluing sky.
The others, silent, have dropped their handholds on the rope. Lucius bends to loop it over his arm, and as he does, he sees the man in the slicker, his bag over his shoulder, kneeling, rising, waving at them.
“That guy’s found something. Let’s go.”
He runs, slogs, really, his boots heavy with water. The women in their sneakers move faster, their arms reaching out to the dark figure and whatever lay at the foot of the rock he’s leaning against. Lucius cannot tell if it is the gulls or the women crying out.
Then they drop to their knees, a huddle of sorrow. They don’t look up as Lucius and the two firemen come up behind them. The mussel gatherer, his empty bag hanging from one grimy hand, a walking stick in the other, stands to one side, his eyes red and wild-looking, his sou’wester pulled down to his eyebrows. Hanks of wet, black hair drag over his eyes, drain down his cheeks like tears.
Madge Slocum lies wedged under an overhang, her face gray. Sand seeps from her mouth. A strand of seaweed wraps her out-flung hand like a bracelet, her bare feet seem ready to run, the toes spread, arched. An arm folds over her body, across a pack strapped to her waist. Several mussels have fallen from the pack and nestle at her throat.
“She came here for mussels,” Lou cries. “For us.” The women reach for her. They grapple with the iron until it falls, and they pull it away from her. Their fingers close her eyes, brush grit away from her lips. They remove the pack and empty it of its black shells. Joan crouches, takes a hand, massages it as if to warm it. Jackie closes the torn jacket, covers the white skin under it.
The ocean ripples as it awakens. White-edged swirls send the little birds skittering.

EXCERPT FROM 'THE RUNAWAY'

Sarah
September 2009

I can remember every second of that last graffiti patrol with Ellie. Maybe it’s the meds they’re feeding me, or maybe I’m a little crazy right now. The nurse says I probably should be with all the stuff I’ve gone through in the past couple of weeks, Ellie at the center of it all.
It was chilly that morning, and we shivered a little as we headed toward the first mailbox, me, in my punk clothes, Ellie in her old lady sweatshirt and red sneakers. She had her supplies and towels in an old shopping bag, like usual, and I could tell she was still mad at me, at my knowing how the graffiti got on the boxes. I was thinking about that, too, but she didn’t know the whole story, not then.
“Spray!” Ellie ordered, and I stopped remembering and pointed the bottle at the mailbox in front of me. We scrubbed, Ellie not talking to me yet. After a couple of minutes, the black polish on my nails began to melt like the paint scrawls we were working on. Ellie muttered “Good” when she saw me rubbing at them. As soon as the box was as clean as Graffiti X could get it, we headed toward the next one. By the time we got to the street with the big trees, I was hot and glad for what little shade was left, the limbs above me almost bare. Leaves crunched under my boots.
Then I stumbled and heard the heel of my boot snap. Shit, my only shoes was my first thought. I had to walk like a cripple, one leg short, one long.
“Take ’em off!” Ellie said, shaking her gray head at me. “Stupid to wear boots like that; you look like a baby hooker.” I watched where I was going, hoping I wouldn’t step on dog poop or something yucky hidden under the leaves. That’s when I saw the white basketball shoe sticking up from a pile of debris at the curb. Someone must have lost it. Except that the shoe also had a sock in it. And in the sock, a leg.

EXCERPT FROM 'NEVER TOO LATE'

Christmas Morning, 1993

I poke a foot out from under a tangled sheet. Find some joy! yesterday’s horoscope had advised me. Right now, I’ll settle for coffee. The air is morning-warm, the furnace groaning somewhere under me. I push the covers to one side, turn toward Art’s flannelled back, the wall he builds between us when he comes to our bed. 
I know I’m being mean-spirited, a disposition Christmas always delivers like a seasonal virus. Joy, I tell myself again and touch Art’s hump of a shoulder, give it a poke. If I have to get up, layer the cheese strata, set the table, pick up yesterday’s newspapers, he at least can help by turning on the tree lights and starting the fire in the fireplace. Shit! I’ve forgotten the stockings. They, and the stuff I’ve collected to fill them, are piled in a box in the closet. I shake him a little harder. “Get up!” 
Art rolls over on his back. His blue eyes stare up at the ceiling fixture hanging above his head. His mouth is open, as if he’s about to snore, but he isn’t rasping, gurgling, even blinking. 
I raise myself up on an elbow. I pat his arm, bring my hand up to touch his cheek. His skin feels like that of an unripe peach, hard under whiskery fuzz. Cold.
“Art?” 
My ear grazes his mouth as I listen for a breath. Silence. I press my hand against his chest, feel his pajama buttons with shaking fingers.
“Art?”
Art is dead.
It isn’t as if I never imagined him dying, leaving me to finish my life alone. At those times, the idea hadn’t been frightening, maybe even the opposite. A new life for me once he was gone, I envisioned, a better life, maybe. But this actual moment is not part of that scene. I drop my head back to my pillow and try to figure out what to do. My breath isn’t taking hold. I seem to be leaking at the seams, lungs empty, about to be as dead as Art.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
JoBarney1
After graduating from Willamette University, Jo spent the most of next thirty years teaching, counseling, mothering, wifing, and of course, writing.
Her writing first appeared in small literary magazines and professional publications. Since retirement, she has had time to write four novels and two screenplays.
Her stories and essays, as well as the novels, reflect her observations of women’s lives and the people who inhabit them: the children, husbands, parents, friends, and strangers who happen by and change everything.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Happy Release Day: Love or Justice by Rachel Mannino

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Title: Love Or Justice (Protect And Serve #1)
Author: Rachel Mannino
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 3, 2015
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Synopsis
Laurie Shelton is the only person alive who can identify Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss… After stumbling into a deadly kidnapping, Laurie’s life is in grave danger, and it falls to US Marshal Dante Stark to keep her safe until she testifies against Kaimi Quamboa—assuming he can be captured.
Dante knows he’ll lose his job if he becomes romantically involved with a witness…
But when he has to comfort her through constant nightmares, he finds it nearly impossible to fight his attraction to the beautiful, strong young woman he is sworn to protect. Laurie feels it too, but aware she’s in a high-stress situation and that when the danger is past she’ll never see Dante again, she tries to ignore his easygoing smile and the security he offers.
Laurie and Dante are forced to flee again…
When Kaimi’s men descend on their hideaway, they escape to a second safe house, only to be tracked down there as well. Dante now knows there’s a mole inside the US Marshal Service, and the only thing left to do is disappear. Kaimi will never stop looking for Laurie, and if he’s caught, showing up to testify could be the last thing she ever does. With each choice as dangerous as the next, Dante and Laurie must confront the boundaries of what they’re willing to sacrifice, and which is more important…
Love or Justice.
Buy The Book
Love or Justice
Excerpt
Laurie 
Laurie glanced at the folded piece of paper in her hand. She made sure the penthouse suite was on the list of rooms ready for cleaning, then swerved her cleaning cart around, and backed up to the door. With practiced fluidity, she swiped her key card and opened the door wide, ready to prop it open, before she sensed the presence of another person. She looked up. What she saw stopped her cold. A man with salt and pepper hair stood there. Dressed in a trim, black suit, his long hair dangled to the crisp, white collar of his button-down shirt. His hair thinned on either side of a widow’s peak. Several deep pockmarks dotted each of his tanned and weathered cheeks, accentuating his prominent cheekbones. He looked like any other businessman on the islands, except that extending from his hand was a polished, silver gun, gleaming in the light streaming in from the open doorway. The man looked at Laurie with a mixture of shock and a little horror, as he waved his gun at her. “Grab her.” A scream caught in Laurie’s throat. She didn’t have time to think before a man standing between her and the gunman ran forward and grabbed her arm. He kicked the door shut, wrapping one thick hand around Laurie’s mouth. He twisted her arm and sparks floated across her vision. The man dragged her into the living room. Laurie’s eyes widened. The closer she got to that gleaming gun, the more she struggled. The man with the gun stepped forward and pressed the cold metal of the barrel to her forehead. Laurie gasped, stiffening. Her heart thundered in her chest. She barely breathed. She thought each breath would be her last, and she wondered if it hurt to die. “Do not scream. Do not move or I will kill you.” He pressed the gun more firmly against her skin. Laurie saw the coldness in his eyes. They were the color of granite, and just as unyielding. She looked down and away, standing perfectly still. “What are you doing here? Who sent you?” His voice was like silk with underlying hints of gravel. Laurie said nothing, too terrified to speak. “Answer him,” the man holding her instructed, twisting her arm. She cried out in pain. “I work for the resort.” Her voice squeaked and popped. “The head housekeeper told me you checked out. They said you left, and I had to clean the room for the next guest. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Laurie’s breath came in gasps now. She felt lightheaded. She continued to look down, but a movement beside her caught her attention. Laurie glanced over to see another woman kneeling on the floor. The woman had long, blonde hair, like Laurie’s, but longer, stretching halfway to her waist. Bruises crisscrossed her delicate features. She had a bloodied lip and a cut along her cheek. Her hair was dirty, tousled. There was a rip in her dress above the shoulder and all along the hem. The woman turned her head, casting Laurie a look of deep fear and pity from her hazel eyes. “Obviously I haven’t checked out. Why would they send you up here?” He leaned forward until he was nose to nose with her, his granite eyes flashing. “I think you’re lying.” He pressed the gun into Laurie’s skull. “No, please.” Laurie licked her dry lips and suppressed her urge to call for help. “They make mistakes sometimes. They have two new people at the front desk. They must have made a mistake and checked out the wrong room.” There was a long pause. “Please, I’m very sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” Laurie directed her words of apology at the woman she had locked eyes with. “Help us,” the woman mouthed to Laurie. Laurie blinked, not understanding. Then she noticed a thin arm circling the young woman’s waist, and two small hands clasped together. The child moved his head into view, resting it against the front of the woman’s waist to catch a glimpse of the new arrival. He was young, Laurie realized. Painfully young. “I doubt you’re as sorry as you should be.” The man drew back, the unyielding presence of the gun receding. “Who knows you’re here?” Laurie bit her lip, staring at the little boy in horror. The boy had bruises on his arm and his face. He stared up at Laurie with a vacant expression. Laurie felt like he was staring straight through her. His short blond hair was also unkempt, and he was so thin his tiny wrist bones looked like they would crack if Laurie so much as reached over to take his hand. “Who knows you’re here?” The gun was back at her temple. The man pulled the gun away and smacked Laurie hard across her cheek. Laurie cried out as pain exploded in her head. The man behind her grabbed her hair, jerking her face up to look at the man with the gun. “I radioed that I was on my way up. So, um, my boss, the whole housekeeping staff, and security.” Laurie shivered as she lied, her heart racing. Her boss would know, perhaps some of the other housekeepers, but she hadn’t radioed anyone. Security wouldn’t have any idea where she was. There was a pause as the man before her thought that over. Laurie could feel his eyes pouring over her face, looking for any signs of a lie. “Should we take her with us, too?” asked the man holding her. “We’ve got enough baggage, I think.” The man waved his gun in the direction of the woman and child. Laurie trembled with the unspoken threat... 

About The Author
Rachel
Rachel Mannino is a passionate writer who creates characters and settings that allow readers to explore power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. Rachel also uses her writing skills to raise thousands of dollars for entities that enrich our lives and create community change around the world. She has worked for the Peace Corps; the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events in Boston, MA. Her first novel, Love or Justice, will be published by Limitless Press in 2016. Her second novel, Fractal, will be published by eTreasures publishing in the spring of 2016. Rachel has a BA in theatre studies and writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, and she has used it every day since graduation. She lives with her husband, author Christopher Mannino (http://www.christophermannino.com/), and their adorable dog and cat in College Park, Maryland. Facebook | Twitter

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Friday, 30 October 2015

Spotlight: Never Surrender by Rosie Miles

Book Title:  Never SurrenderNever Surrender-500x750
Author: Rosie Miles
Release Date: 10/19/2015
About the book:  Police officer Maggie Sinclair prides herself on her independence. She doesn’t need anyone, especially her ex-lover. Working undercover to expose a prostitution ring, Maggie rescues two teenaged girls—but blows her cover in the process. Now she’s in deep, and the only person who can help her is the last man she wants to call…
Detective Quinn Keller remembers Maggie telling him Hell would freeze over before she needed him. He offered her everything, and she rejected him. Now he has the opportunity to show Maggie they’re stronger as a team—even as their attraction becomes increasingly hotter. But this passion won’t just bring them together or tear them apart…it could get them both killed.
About the Author:  Rosie Miles has always been fascinated by cops. If she didn’t hate guns with such passion, she would have joined the force. Instead she writes about the cop behind the badge and the loves that challenge them.
She enjoys overseas travel but relishes the road trips she takes with her forever man, to different destinations throughout Australia, looking for settings for her next story.
Married with three adult children, Rosie believes that: Life is to be lived, You never stop learning, and you never, ever, give up on your dreams.

Excerpt

He wanted to rise, meet her, but he was afraid, of what he wasn’t sure. She needed him, and that was what counted. She had sent for him, and like the fool he was where she was concerned, he’d come running. Maybe he should have handled it by the book and alerted his superiors. Maybe. Gut instinct had decided him against it.
The tip-tap of heels halted directly before him. Then the heartbeat of the street ceased, as though the world stopped breathing.
His gaze started at the four inch stiletto heels, slid up over well-shaped calves and thighs that stretched on until they met the hem of her short, short skirt. Heat crawled over his skin, and his breath caught. Beneath her open coat, welcoming hips and a tiny waist beckoned him. He scanned upward until his eyes feasted on full breasts failing to hide behind a slinky, black camisole. He didn’t need to look further. He knew.
“Maggie.” Her name sounded so good on his lips. For a mere second, the memory of their taste filled him with naked longing for another time, a happier time, but he pushed it away. She hadn’t called Quinn-her-ex, she’d called Quinn-the-cop.
“Maggie’s dead,” she snapped.
“Really?” He quirked a brow. “You look a hell of a lot like her.”
“I look like a two-bit whore. Trust me, Maggie’s long gone.”
Quinn pushed to his feet and stepped toward her. For a moment they stared at each other. Quinn’s breathing stalled as he gazed into her haunted eyes. Distance and time might have separated them physically, but she’d lived in his heart, his thoughts, constantly. Her face accompanied him to sleep most nights. Damn, he’d missed her. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket and stepped back.
“Why did you contact me? It’s been over twelve months. Why now?”
Maggie closed the gap and linked her arms loosely around his neck. “Because I need your help,” she whispered against his cheek.
Quinn withdrew his hands from his pockets and tugged on her arms, wary that the familiar contact, any contact, would shred his resolve.

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Spotlight & Giveaway: Earth by Caroline Allen



Welcome to my tour stop of Earth by Caroline Allen, a literary fiction novel.  This is book 1 of the Elemental Journey series.  The tour runs from October 26-30 and the full schedule can be seen here.


Print: $15.99

eBook: $4.99

ASIN: B00SUWJ5FQ

Apple ID: 962247664

ePub ISBN: 978-1-62015-665-0

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62015-651-3

Series Title: Elemental Journey series (Book One)

Winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers’ Gold Medal for Best Midwest Fiction. 

In rural Missouri in the 1970s, thirteen-year-old Pearl Swinton has just had her first mystical vision. There is no place for Pearl’s “gift” in the bloody reality of subsistence farming and rural poverty. As her visions unfold, she must find her way in a family and a community that react with fear and violence.

When Pearl discovers that her Aunt Nadine, the family shame, has a similar gift, she bicycles across the state to find her. That trip unexpectedly throws Pearl into a journey to save her runaway sister and sends her into a deep exploration of herself, her visions and her visceral relationship to the earth.

Told with fierce lyricism, Earth is a story about the importance of finding one’s own truth and sense of self in dire circumstances and against the odds. It is also a story about the link between understanding ourselves and our relationship with the earth.

In this first of the four-book Elemental Journey series that will follow Pearl across continents and into adulthood, Caroline Allen introduces a form of storytelling that is unflinching in its honesty, filled with compassion and underscored with originality.


EXCERPT

That King James Bible and an almanac were the only books we ever had in the house. Once, a hardbound Reader’s Digest Father had found in the woods, some of the pages so speckled with mold you could make out only sixty percent of the words. All my life I was starving for books. Hungry for story.

 I’d already read the Old Testament. After Meghan left, I’d locked myself in the bathroom and covered the begetting and begatting, brother killing brother, being forced off the land, tossed off the earth, ripped from the magic of the soil. Lobbing a rock, flailing a bit of a plow, cracking a sibling over the head. Blood flowing and soaking. Forced to roam. Some crazy, heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching universal plan.

 In my house, nobody ever told tales. It wasn’t just my parents. My relatives were all shut up too. The silence of my kinfolk wove core-deep. So few stories, you could fit them in the palm of your hand. Poor folk didn’t talk about themselves, wary of what specters such stories might invoke. I was surrounded by clenched jaws, thinned and bitter lips. My story was a lack of story, a poverty of legend, a dearth of poetry. I wanted to tell Mother that our being poor wasn’t just about food— we were starved for legend. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Caroline Allen worked in newsrooms across Asia and in London. She is now a novelist and visual artist who lives in rural Oregon. She is the founder of Art of Storytelling, a coaching service for writers. This is her first novel. To learn more about Caroline and the upcoming novels in the Elemental Journey series, visit:


GIVEAWAY


The prize will be a 9x12 original watercolor painting that was done as part of Op365, featured on www.carolineallen.com.   It has a retail value of $125.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, 26 October 2015

Guest Post: A Gathering of Butterflies by Sean C. Wright


Welcome to my tour stop for "A Gathering of Butterflies" by Sean C. Wright.  The tour runs from October 26-30 and the full tour schedule can be found here.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Tales of steely but vulnerable women of color will melt your heart while lifting your spirits… A fierce grandmother keeps her grandson from the clutches of Old Scratch in Devil Does Dallas. An alien abduction transforms a large, miserable woman in Hazel Hogan. A country girl meets a city girl on her birthday, and struggles to decide if the girl’s heart is dark or light in Bubble Bath Twelve. And methodical Genie forms an unlikely relationship in Heaven’s Halfway House while in a coma.


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SEAN C. WRIGHT

- GUEST POST


It all started at the age of 8. I wrote a story about a girl who found a strawberry in the woods the size of a Volkswagen. It took 30 more years of writing and numerous rejection letters (I have a huge binder.) to get published. But I consider myself lucky; many writers’ works are published posthumously.  It seems that once you get published, you are allowed to sit at the popular kids’ table. I entered an essay contest with Glamour magazine shortly after Devil Does Dallas was published and it was selected to be made into a film short by actress Jessica Biel. In between entering writing contests and sending off query letters, I’ve gone the self-publishing route, too.

Writing is like any other creative craft – music, art – in that it chooses you. Stories and characters come to me subconsciously all the time. They are a hodgepodge of people I’ve known, my experiences, things I’ve seen on the news. You feel naked to your readers, baring pieces of yourself in print, but I love doing it. I like to write the whole story, raw, with all its warts. Then I go back and cut and rearrange. Some stories go through five and six revisions. It really is like giving birth, all painful and beautiful and awesome at the end.

My Clark Kent job is a proofreader. I spend most of the day halting typos, over-printing, and poor grammar. Then I come home and do other writing in the evening. Creative writing isn’t the only writing on my plate. I also write copy for retail websites, make over resumes, and edit other documents for people. Some people enjoy crunching numbers, I enjoy crunching letters. My husband and I end the day watching television before bed. We like documentaries and horror TV, like American Horror Story or Sleepy Hollow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sean C. Wright is native to Dallas, TX, and earned a degree in English from University of North Texas. She is the author of the short story collection A Gathering of Butterflies, the novella Honey Riley. Actress Jessica Biel directed a short film based on her winning essay in 2010: Sodales (18 minutes). For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–for business or consumer needs–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Cover Reveal: Love or Justice by Rachel Mannino


Welcome to the cover reveal of "Love or Justice" by Rachel Mannino.  Full tour schedule can be seen here.

So, here is the amazing hot cover of LOVE OR JUSTICE.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Laurie Shelton is the only person alive who can identify Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss…

After stumbling into a deadly kidnapping, Laurie’s life is in grave danger, and it falls to US Marshal Dante Stark to keep her safe until she testifies against Kaimi Quamboa—assuming he can be captured.

Dante knows he’ll lose his job if he becomes romantically involved with a witness…
But when he has to comfort her through constant nightmares, he finds it nearly impossible to fight his attraction to the beautiful, strong young woman he is sworn to protect. Laurie feels it too, but aware she’s in a high-stress situation and that when the danger is past she’ll never see Dante again, she tries to ignore his easygoing smile and the security he offers.

Laurie and Dante are forced to flee again…

When Kaimi’s men descend on their hideaway, they escape to a second safe house, only to be tracked down there as well. Dante now knows there’s a mole inside the US Marshal Service, and the only thing left to do is disappear.

Kaimi will never stop looking for Laurie, and if he’s caught, showing up to testify could be the last thing she ever does.

With each choice as dangerous as the next, Dante and Laurie must confront the boundaries of what they’re willing to sacrifice, and which is more important…

Love or Justice.


Tagline:


“How do you hunt down a killer when he’s also hunting you?”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Rachel Mannino is a passionate writer who creates characters and settings that allow readers to explore power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. Rachel also uses her writing skills to raise thousands of dollars for entities that enrich our lives and create community change around the world.  She has worked for the Peace Corps; the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events in Boston, MA. Her first novel, Love or Justice, will be published by Limitless Press in November, 2015. Her second novel, Fractal, will be published by eTreasures in the spring of 2016. Rachel has a BA in theatre studies and writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, and she has used it every day since graduation.  She lives with her husband, author Christopher Mannino (www.christophermannino.com), and their adorable dog and cat in College Park, Maryland.

AUTHOR ONLINE: Website | Facebook | Twitter



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