Ten Things You Don’t Know About Codi Gary – Guest Blog and Interview

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Codi will be awarding a signed copy of Make Me Crazy to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop (US ONLY) during the tour; and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon/BN GC plus a signed copy of Make Me Crazy (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me by Codi Gary
1) I hate onions with a fiery passion! They touch anything and I can sense their presence.
2) I am a passive person, except in the defense of others.
3) I sold sex toys for a brief time.
4) I have always dreamed of going to Scotland, but have never made it there.
5) I am terrified of heights to an irrational point. Standing on a hill makes my knees weak and driving on cliffs makes me white knuckled petrified.
6) Despite my height terror, I do okay flying except on take off and during turbulence. Then I cry like a bitty baby.
7) I have six siblings, two step brothers, and 20+ nieces and nephews.
8) I am a major klutz and get injured daily bumping into walls, doorjambs, tables, tripping over dogs…
9) Worked as a Vet Tech for almost 7 years, including the time I was in school and spent a semester at a zoo and 6 years at a cat only hospital.
10) Made a “romantic” bucket list when I was 13 and have checked off every item except two! ;-)

MEDIA KIT Make Me Crazy - Codi Gary

Miranda “Rand” Coleman has seen the way love can wreck a person and wants absolutely no part of it. When her granddaddy dies suddenly, he leaves a clause in his will that has her married in three months or she loses her inheritance. Unwilling to give up the Double C Ranch, she starts to set her eyes towards the eligible men in town, with little luck in finding a man she can stand for a minute let alone a year. Until she sets eyes on the new veterinarian and enlists the help of her womanizing best friend, Jake, to help.

Jake Hansen is a single guy who likes his women pretty and uncomplicated, with no plans to settle down anytime soon. When he decides to help Rand hook her man, he has no idea the effect watching Rand change would have on him. Especially when she starts letting her gorgeous brown hair down and showing off a body he didn’t even know she had. Before too long, Jake isn’t just lusting after his best friend, he’s feeling downright possessive. But when it comes down to the wire, will he get over his issues and step up to the alter…or lose the only woman he was ever meant to love?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Rand pulled her hand away from him and he covered his smile with his hand as she looked surprised by the compliment. “I don’t remember.”

Tandy leaned on the table and the woman’s look was downright sultry. “Well it looks awesome on you.”

Jake blinked. The girl wasn’t being friendly. She was flirting…with Rand.

Rand seemed oblivious to Tandy’s interest. “I got it as a present for my birthday, and was going to take it back, but my granddaddy couldn’t find the receipt.”

Tandy actually batted her lashes. “Well that would have been a damn shame.”

Alright, it was funny at first but that was too much. “I’ll have the chicken enchiladas with two tacos.” Both women turned to stare at him and he focused all of his attention on Rand, “Honey, what do you want to eat?”

Rand looked back up at Tandy when she answered. “I’ll have a bean and cheese burrito with rice and beans.”

“Coming right up.” Tandy said. Her smiled faded when her gaze shifted to him, her expression downright hostile. This time he watched her walk away and turned back to Rand with wide eyes. “Did you see that?”

“You checking out our waitress?” Rand asked with false sweetness.

It was his turn to be angry. “No, the glare she sent me.”

“Right because women usually glare at you.”

Jake said very patiently, “Rand honey, I have no interest in that woman and I’m telling you, I am not her type.”

“How do you know that?”

He leaned back in his seat and grinned. “Because it wasn’t me she was checking out.”

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Codi GaryAn obsessive bookworm for twenty years, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family. Visit her website www.codigarysbooks.com for latest news, social media, or just to say hi!

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Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood – Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions Shea Norwood will be awarding a $25 PayPal, Amazon or BN GC via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour

A CHILL RUNS THROUGH HIS SKIN AS THE PHANTOM APPEARS.

HE SEES THEM EVERYWHERE . . .

Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.

Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.

Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Where’s Katie?” Kyle asked. “Tell me.”

The sparkling view into another world, his world, reminded Eric of when he used to swim underwater on his back in the public pool. At moments, the portal was still providing a clear picture. At other times, it was blurry. Was it his concentration that brought the image into focus? He took a deep breath and tried to calm his mind.

Katie was now playing with red blush and laughing about something only third grade girls would find funny. Her side of the portal looked nearly identical to the world Eric and Kyle were in. He noticed subtle differences like blue versus leafy-green towels next to the sink. But, otherwise it was the same.

Eric touched the mirror, sending a shockwave of ripples as if he’d just tossed a stone into a still lake. A tingle of electricity passed through his hand and up his arm. He pulled his finger back sharply as the tingle became more intense.

“What are you doing?” Kyle asked.

This time, Eric put his entire hand on this mirror. A much larger ripple spread, blurring the image. His hand felt like it was asleep. He closed his eyes again, trying to calm his mind. The inside of his head felt like a violent ocean near the eye of a hurricane with monster waves that surged against the shore.

Katie, Eric said in his mind, can you hear me?

In the portal, Katie picked up the eye shadow and leaned in closer to apply it. She looked like a clown with all the make-up she had already smeared across her face.

Eric focused all his mental energy: Katie!

She dropped the eye shadow and looked directly at him, but it wasn’t like before. They locked eyes for a moment, and then she screamed and ran out of the room. Amanda looked bewildered and turned to watch her leave. She looked back into the mirror. Her jaw dropped. She ran.

Eric pulled his hand from the mirror and backed away.

The circle was shrinking. The image of Porky Pig saying, ‘That’s all folks,’ at the end of a Looney Tunes’ cartoon flashed through Eric’s mind.

A few seconds later all he could see was the blue dot. When he blinked it vanished.

About the Author:

Shea Norwood is a West Texas native that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son. He’s an avid reader and enjoys the craft of writing. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.


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Who we are and why you should review for us

Who is Long and Short Reviews?

Long time readers of romance, Marianne and Judy wanted a place to share with others about the books they loved. The one thing they promised themselves when the germ of an idea was born to start their own review site was to treat books and authors with respect and dignity. Not all books are destined to be great, but they bring enjoyment to someone somewhere, so, how to spread the word? Long and Short Reviews opened its doors August 27, 2007.

What Genres Are Reviewed?

In the beginning it was Mainstream Romance. As of 2014, Long and Short Reviews publishes reviews for Women’s Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Erotic Romance, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Mystery and Thrillers, and even Children’s Literature.

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Anyone can review. No experience is necessary, just a desire to share your opinions about what made you like and enjoy the book. The only requirement is the ability and willingness to read in electronic format. Long and Short Reviews is an online review site and while print books are sometimes used for review, the majority of books are delivered via the Internet to a valid email address. No special computer programs are required other than the free programs of Adobe Reader and Adobe Digital Editions which can be downloaded from Adobe’s website.

What is the Cost?

Free. There is no cost to a reviewer for any book they review. In fact, we have a reviewer incentive program that allows you to earn gift cards weekly and annually to the online bookstore of your choice (i.e. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc).

How are the books I review chosen?

Long and Short Reviews leaves it up to a reviewer. Reviewers choose, always. A reviewer is not obligated to review a poorly written book or one that has content that is against Long and Short Review’s policy. There is a return policy in place for books that fall into those categories.

Common Issues

Time is a common concern. The minimum commitment is two reviews a month. That’s it. More is always welcome but we understand how precious time can be. If grammar is an issue, Long and Short Reviews has editors on staff. Current reviewers include some from France and Croatia where English is a second language. All reviews go through an editing process. There is reading material available to help with format and verbiage. Current reviewers are a good source as well; they enjoy helping.

What is Long and Short Reviews Looking For?

You! Reviewers are needed. An average month will see 900+ books submitted to our databases for review but many go un-reviewed because there are more books than people. Books come from Harlequin, Carina Press, Avon, and many other top online small publishing houses like Samhain Publishing and The Wild Rose Press. A full list can be provided if interested. Books are added to our databases every day.

Please consider becoming a reviewer and share your love of the written word. See here for more: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/become-a-reviewer/

Character Interview with Spencer from CRIMSON SON by Russ Linton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Russ will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner and another winner will receive a signed copy of Crimson Son (US ONLY), both prizes via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Recently, I attempted to interview the main character of my book, Crimson Son. Things didn’t go as planned, but since I went to all the trouble to contact a secure, undisclosed location (which actually has no outside connections, but hey, I’m a FICTION writer…) I figured I would post the results.

 

Spencer: I got your encryption key. Bouncing the signal through enough wingates to give the NSA a hernia. Man, this is just like the good ol’ days at D3dm4n$ Ch3$t. Okay, let’s get this going – I can only jeopardize the air gap for so long.

 

Me: You think he’d be upset?

 

He freaks out when I grab passing satellite TV signals. If he knows I’m actually sending a signal, he’ll literally shit a brick.

 

Literally?

 

Pretty sure he eats bricks for breakfast. He’ll pick them out of his teeth when he gets home from fighting Super Villain number whatever. Maybe that’s why he htinks cardboard is a good substitute for real food.

 

Alright, well, as you know, my name is Russ Linton, author of Crimson…

 

Really? This book is about HIM?

 

Let me finish. The book is called Crimson Son, not Crimson Mask. The book is about you, not him.

 

Oh. How could you possibly write an entire book about me?

 

Well, it’s a book about how your life was changed by tragedy. How you’re thrust into your father’s world and have to survive.

 

That sounds like a crappy book.

 

It isn’t. It starts out right there in the bunker…

 

You start things in the Icehole? Why would anyone read a book about this place? Let me sum it up – cold, boring, claustrophobic. It’s like The Road, only no road and no people to eat. I could really go for a good slab of people right about now.

 

Yes, it starts in the Icehole. There, we get an idea of your everyday life: the isolation, the stress you have to deal with after the loss of your mother.

 

Easy now. She’s still out there, Mr. Biographer…ummm, right?

 

I’d rather not say, you know, spoilers and all.

 

What!? Don’t be a douche.

 

I’m simply saying who would buy the book if I gave away the ending?

 

Wait, there’s an ending? Is it a happy one?

 

Of course there’s an ending and I’ll leave it to the reader to decide how happy it is.

 

Do I see some action?

 

Oh, definitely. The whole book is action-packed.

 

Nice! Do I become a porn star or something?

 

Not THAT kind of action.

 

Dammit. ‘Cause it’s REALLY cold in this bunker. And lonely. Hey, how detailed is it exactly?

 

Pretty detailed…

 

Awww man, don’t do this to me. This place is like the igloo of masturbation! I mean there’s almost nothing else to do here.

 

Woah, hang on. No, nothing like that. We skip closer to the homicidal-robot-dodging, heroic sort of action.

 

Hmmmm, I’m liking my book idea much better. Are you sure I couldn’t become a pornstar?

 

Spencer, what is it with you?

 

What the hell do you expect? I’m a bundle of hormones who’s been on ice for the past two years in Dad’s not-so-cleverly veiled fortress of solitude reference. Nineteen, locked up in my prime, I’m pretty sure I’m going insane.

 

The book’s a bit more serious than all that.

 

Didn’t Cyrus have a kid? What about Ember? You sure you have the right son of a superhero?

 

Positive. Maybe I took some creative license and subdued your smart assery a tiny bit. Except the time you’re tripping on Mountain Dew or one of the many pulse-pounding adrenaline rushes as you struggle to survive and prove to your dad that true heroes are the ones with the most to lose.

 

Wait, I get to drink Mountain Dew again? Fuckin’ sweet!

 

Language, Spencer.

 

Crap. Dad’s home.

 

<<END TRANSMISSION>>

 

Crimson SonHis mother kidnapped, his superhero father absent, powerless Spencer Harrington faces a world of weaponized humans to prove himself and find the truth.

Nineteen-year-old Spencer is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world’s most powerful Augment. Since witnessing his mother’s abduction by a psychotic super villain two years ago, he’s been confined to his father’s arctic bunker. When the “Icehole” comes under attack from a rampaging robot, Spencer launches into his father’s dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.

With no superpowers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother’s fate and confront his absentee superhero father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn’t his only enemy, nor his worst.

Enjoy an excerpt:

This part always comes so fast.

I hand the phone back to Mom. “You’ll need to send later, I guess. The signal dropped. Should be in your outbox ready to go.”

As she takes the phone, the wall of the room explodes.

Here. Dream becomes nightmare. For a moment, I feel I can make it stand still, but why would I? Events unfold with the emptiness of the bunker gnawing at my insides. I can identify every stray chunk of plaster and splinter of wood in this time-robbed moment.

Fragments of home spray like a swarm of locusts. Mom screams and the world spins under her protective dive. I struggle to see through a haze of dust. Glimpses of the valley filter past a humanoid silhouette. A long, pincered arm lashes out. The arm clamps tightly around Mom’s waist and retracts, drawing us closer.

“Release the boy and he will live,” the Black Beetle speaks with an unnatural vibration. “He can relay a message for your husband.”

Mom squeezes tighter but her screaming stops.

I search her face, knowing what I’ll find, all the while scrambling to find an anchor as we slide across the room. She’s bleeding from a gash on her forehead and the pincer cinches tighter. Her eyes are full of fear, but focused. She’s calculating, deliberating. A hundred times? A thousand? It always hurts.

“No, Mom, please!” I throw my hands around the leg of a toppled chair which drags uselessly behind us. Countless trips through this nightmare, I know I can’t keep us here, but I reach out anyway. And always, she lets go.

I grab her arm, trying to pull her back, cursing my stunted size, my weak limbs, my feeble grip. Sweaty hands slip as the pincer continues to retract. Her trembling lips form a final smile and she watches me with a sad but determined expression.

She mouths the words, “I love you.”

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Author Photo In the fourth grade, Russ Linton wrote down the vague goal of becoming a “writer and an artist” when he grew up. After a journey that led him from philosopher to graphic designer to stay at home parent and even a stint as an Investigative Specialist with the FBI, he finally got around to that “writing” part which he now pursues full time.

Russ creates character-driven speculative fiction. His stories drip with blood, magic, and radioactive bugs. He writes for adults who are young at heart and youngsters who are old souls.

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A Taste of Chardonnay by Heather Heyford

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Heather will be awarding a digital copy of A TASTE OF CHARDONNAY to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Today on LASR we’re playing Ask Me Anything with Heather Heyford, author of the brand new sister series, The Napa Wine Heiresses. The first book in the series, A Taste of Chardonnay, just launched this week in digital and print-on-demand.

So tell us! Are you psyched, or what?

I can’t even. I feel like I just gave birth to a new baby! Nine months ago, I was teetering atop a rickety ladder hanging Christmas lights, when my phone rang over on the kitchen counter. I thought about not climbing down to answer it, but then I thought, what if it’s New York? It’s never New York. But this time, it was! When I got off the phone with my brand new editor…well, let’s just say it was the next day ‘til I finished hanging those lights!

How did you get the idea for a sister series based in the Napa Valley?

Honestly—aside from the hard work—there’s definitely been some sort of magical element. I never had a bucket list, but if I had, visiting the wine country would have been number one. I really never thought that would happen, though, because you’re always planning your vacations around your family, not yourself, right? And I was the only one who was interested. Then, suddenly, I’m still not sure how, I found myself standing in the midst of the autumn crush with a glass of chardonnay in my hand. I went home absolutely enchanted with all things Napa.

Do you have any phobias?

I am terrified of driving over big, tall bridges. I was hypnotized for it, but it didn’t help. It’s awful.

What was the last thing you splurged on?

A local book launch at Cupboard Maker Books, my local indie bookstore. Michelle, the owner, believed in me back when A Taste of Chardonnay was still a twinkle in my eye. Plus, it’s so important to support our local bookstores.

Are you obsessed with anything?

How much time do you have? I love clothes. There, I said it. I’m also an animal lover. I’m particularly fascinated by the whole suburban wildlife phenomenon. I live in suburbia, but my backyard is a virtual zoo. Everyday I have wild turkeys (if you’ve never been up close to one you don’t realize how tall they are…our tom comes up to my waist!) foxes, and deer.

I’m also obsessed with that ancestry website. Did you know one out of ten Americans is a Mayflower descendant (though not me, so far).

What do you like to read?

I grew up devouring everything I could get my hands on. We didn’t have a lot, but books were important to both of my parents, and although we moved every three years, we hauled our slim library around with us everywhere we went.

Today? I’m loving Kristan Higgins’ humor, Robyn Carr’s sensitive yet practical side, Mary Balogh for her pacing, and I just met Victoria Roberts so I’m starting one of her Scottish historical series.

What are you doing as soon as this interview is over?

Back to work! I’m trying to decide what will be Sake’s job in A Taste of Sake. Hint: I’m leaning toward something food-related.

Anything you’d like to ask your readers?

First I just want to say a huge thank you for all the good feedback. I’m always wondering, what do you say when people ask you what kind of books you read? It can be such a hot button…

10_17 heather Cover_A Taste of ChardonnayWhen the richly bred, poorly raised daughter of a notorious Napa Valley winemaker competes with Hollywood’s hottest man in an unlikely race to see who can do the most good, who will win?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Do I seriously have to go to this thing?” Ryder McBride asked Amy, his publicist. He had better things to do than spend his Friday night with a bunch of ritzy people he didn’t even know and would probably never meet again. He’d just got off the plane from LAX yesterday to find his mom’s gutters needed cleaning and the lawn mowing, and he was anxious to get started on it. And then there was the favor he’d been asked to do by the Firefighters’ Relief Fund. But going to the right parties was part of promoting his acting career and arranging the invitations was Amy’s job. And he had to admit, one she was damn good at.

“Are you kidding me?” Amy was incredulous. “Look, Ryder, I busted my butt finagling this invite. An actor—even a lucky one like you—has to network. You might be a rising star, but a ticket to one of the St. Pierre winery parties is envied up and down the whole north coast. You might meet anyone there, producers to politicians. Of course, they always blend a few mere mortals into the mix. But you have to be on your toes. Tomorrow you could read that the stranger you chatted up during cocktails was a Pulitzer Prize winner, a federal judge, or some rapper on the brink of gold. So hell yes, you have to go. No amount of my hard work will have an effect unless you do your part.”

About the Author:10_17 heather AuthorPicBorn in the Northeast, Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. (“Ya’ll want some scones?”) While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic. She is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA, @nyliterary) in New York City. The first book in her Napa Wine Heiresses Series from Kensington Publishing, A Taste of Chardonnay, is now available!

Buy the digital book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Buy the print book at Amazon or Kensington Publishing .

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Violca’s Dragon by Leilani Love – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leilani will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to two randomly drawn winners and a Swag Giveaway to four other randomly drawn winners, all via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Violca knows life can change instantly. Her parents died suddenly, leaving her to raise four younger sisters and keep them safe ~ even from the golden-eyed stranger.

Chase knows the Grey sisters possibly hold the key to his fate. He is determined to to get close, protect them and bring them to his Dragon King. What Violca doesn’t know is that once a dragon decides he wants something, there is no stopping him from getting it.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Opening the door, she steps onto the patio and smiles at Eryk. Her eyes are drawn to some movement behind him and she looks up to see Chase walking in from the woods. He is wearing his pants low on his hips and no shirt. Her breath catches as she notices his rippling muscles and the light traces of a six pack on his abs. When her eyes finally roam up to his face, she feels her cheeks heat up. His self-satisfied smile tells her he saw her checking him out.

Eryk clears his throat. “Good morning.”

Violca swears she must be beet red. She smiles at Eryk. “Morning, I just wanted to invite you guys in for eggs and sausage.”

Scott peaks his head out of the tent. “Did you say sausage?”

“Yep, do you want to join us?”

“Hell yeah,” Scott replies, crawling out from the tent.

Violca’s eyes widen. Scott is also in only a pair of jeans, no shirt, and Violca smiles thinking Linda and the girls would be mad to find out that she is the first to see him with his shirt off. She hears a growl and turns to see Chase watching her. “Be careful, I think there is an animal close by,” she says, wondering where that sound came from. “It shouldn’t be too much longer.”

About the Author: Leilani Love is a proud mother of two very active boys. A military wife she loves getting to meet new people wherever they move. She loves to read books crossing many genres. Her love affair with dragons started when she was young and one day dreams of having her own dragon and black panther.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/missleilanilove

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Q&A with Kira Peikoff, author of NO TIME TO DIE

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kira Peikoff, who is visiting with us to chat about her latest book, NO TIME TO DIE. NO TIME TO DIE focuses on a 20 year-old woman who stopped aging at 14 years-old – where did you get this idea?

A few years back, I saw a documentary on Discovery Health about a young woman who had inexplicably stopped aging. She was almost 20 years old but had stayed frozen as a toddler her whole life, baffling doctors and scientists alike. The case caught my attention because I’ve always been interested in medical mysteries, and like many people, I’m also fixated on the promise of eternal youth. Yet staying young forever, as welcome as it might be, could also be a curse. I decided to explore it further in a novel, but I didn’t want my protagonist stuck as a toddler without much mental or emotional capacity. So I decided to trap her in the worst possible page for maximum drama and frustration. What could be worse than 14?

Why is our culture so interested in defying aging?

I think it probably derives from our collective fear of death. It’s very painful to face down our own mortality and to grasp how temporary our lives are. Religion may provide people with some measure of comfort, but there remains no scientific consensus on an afterlife. So we’re forced to accept that all we really have is the here and now. Defying aging would be the ultimate way to prolong our time and avoid oblivion.

Do you think scientists will find a cure for aging?

Some leading researchers believe the end of aging is within reach–perhaps in the next century. One respected scientist, Aubrey de Gray, thinks that the first person who will live to age 1,000 is already alive now.

What are some of the benefits of not aging?

On an individual level, endless time–time to spend with family and friends, time to pursue infinite knowledge, passions, careers, hobbies, etc. No longer having to worry about outliving your parents or grandparents. Knowing generations of your own descendants. Living in the prime of life without breaking down physically after 70 or so years.

On a societal level, much less spending on health care, since the diseases of aging (cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s) would be greatly reduced. A more robust economy, thanks to workers who retain full strength and energy long past retirement age.

What would be some of the negative results of not aging and becoming almost immortal?

Individually–people might suffer from a kind of idle purposelessness if they are living so long that there’s no point in “seizing the day” or making the most of life. They might start taking their time for granted and losing their ambition. But of course, you’d still have to support yourself with food, shelter, etc. And you could still get hit by a bus and die, or get sick. It’s very different from actual immortality.

Societally–we would have to deal with how to avoid overpopulation. People would have to have fewer children, or maybe skip generations before having children. We’d have to figure out how to make existing resources and infrastructure support the growing population. Social security would end. I don’t know if people would retire anymore.

How did you research aging for NO TIME TO DIE?

I read some textbooks about both the physiology, genetics, and social aspects of ending aging. I developed a professional correspondence with a leading researcher who answered all my questions pertaining to my book’s specific scenario in great detail. We went back and forth many times on the hypothetical scenario I created with his help, so it’s as credible as possible while still being fiction.

In NO TIME TO DIE, there are women scientists. Outside of thriller writing, you write about science and medicine for several major publications. What advice would you share with other women interested in going into STEM fields?

Study hard and be as ambitious as you can. Don’t get caught up in the gender trap of thinking that science and math are for guys, and women should focus on more traditionally “female” careers. Not true! Women have just as much to offer as men. That’s partly why I chose to make my heroine scientist a woman–to better offset today’s male-dominated culture in technical fields.

NO TIME TO DIE – how was the book title chosen?

My wonderful late mentor, Michael Palmer, suggested the title to me when I told him I was stuck on a title. (Titles are impossible.) Everyone at the publishing house immediately liked it, so we went with it. It’s extra meaningful because Michael died shortly after I turned in the final manuscript. It was one of the last novels he read.

10_16 notimeIn a Washington, D.C. research lab, a brilliant scientist is attacked by his own test subjects. At Columbia University, a talented biochemist is lured out of her apartment and never seen again. In the Justice Department’s new Bioethics Committee, agent Les Mahler sees a sinister pattern emerging…Zoe Kincaid is a petite college student whose rare genetic makeup may hold the key to a powerful medical breakthrough. When she is kidnapped, the very thing mankind has wanted since the dawn of time threatens to unleash our final destruction.

About the Author:10_16 Author photo Kira Peikoff credit Matt Jacob KIRA PEIKOFF is a journalism graduate of New York University who has written for The New York Times, Slate.com, Cosmpolitan.com, Psychology Today, The Daily News, The Orange County Register, Newsday and New York magazine on a wide range of subjects. She published her first book, Living Proof, in 2012 and has worked in the editorial departments of New York publishing houses. She is currently at work on her third thriller, freelancing for major media outlets and attending Columbia University’s Master of Science program in Bioethics. www.kirapeikoff.com

Lessons I Learned from Allen Iverson by Jesse LeBeau – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will received a signed Deuce Brand watch. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lessons I learned from Allen Iverson

They were about to call my name. I was backstage, about to be introduced to thousands of fired-up streetball fans in Indonesia. The music was blaring, the MC was yelling into the mic, and everything was pitch black except for the spiraling spot light that was about to shine down on me. You could feel the pulse in the crowd growing with each word the announcer said, and I took one last deep breath to gather myself. That’s when it hit me: I was about to take the court with one of the greatest basketball players of all time – Allen Iverson. I couldn’t believe I was living this moment. Before I could really take that thought in, the speakers rumbled: “Jesse…Spin Cycle….LeBeau!” It was my time to take the court.

On reflecting on this experience, here are a few of the lessons I took away from Allen Iverson (AI).

BE FEARLESS! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

One story that AI shared with me was his first time playing against Michael Jordan. He himself admits that he is a big Jordan fan, and he said that during warm-ups he kept looking down to the other end of the court because he’d never seen him in person before. But he told us that once the tip-off was thrown up, all his nerves went away, and it was just time to play basketball. I will never forget what he said next: “At the start of the game, everyone know who Michael Jordan was. I was going to make sure they by the end of the game, they never forgot who #3 was.”

I about lost my mind when he said that! I love that mindset. Here he was, going up against the greatest player to ever play the game, and he had the attitude “I respect you, but today is my day to be the greatest.” That is the winner’s approach that is key to success in anything in life. You can’t just hope for it’ you have to claim it as fact. I’ve experienced radical changes in my performance on the court by merely adjusting my confidence level. I can dominate a game one day when I’m thinking that I am the best player on the court and no one can touch me. Then, the next game, I second-guess myself and play hesitantly, even timidly, and suck! I have the exact same amount of talent as I did in the previous game, but my mentality is weaker, and that changed the outcome of my performance. Take on the Michael Jordans in your life fearlessly, and I promise you will see results.

YOUR ATTITUDE AND MENTALITY ARE EVERYTHING!

Going along with the last point is knowing how to control your mentality and attitude. One thing that separates a lot of streetball players and NBA players is not their talent level, rather what is going on in their heads! There is a good number of streetball players who are much more talented than NBA players, but because they have quick tempers, refuse to buy into a system, and make bad decisions in their personal lives, they will never play in the NBA.

You’re going to be ups and downs in your career and life, no matter what you choose to do. AI battled all kinds of adversity, from chronic injuries to jealous teammates to disloyal friends, but he chose to persevere through it all. He possesses a true winner’s attitude, and although he is amazingly talented physically, it is his tenacity a competitive fire that separates him as one of the greatest. There are many other players that can dribble just as well as he does, run as fast, and jump as high and even higher. But nobody wanted it more. No one was going to exhaust every ounce of energy in their body and put it on the line like AI. His attitude and mentality made all the difference. The great part about that is we get to choose what our attitude / mentality will be every day. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our response. Choose to be great, and choose to have a winner’s attitude like AI!

MEDIA KIT book coverThe sound of the basketball slapping the floor echoed hollowly in the gym, as I began working it playfully with my hands. Planning my next move, I locked eyes with my opponent. I noticed small beads of sweat beginning to form in the furrow between his eyebrows. My heart was pounding, and my nerves tightened in response . . . but slowly a smile formed on my lips. Here I was, 5’8” Jesse LeBeau, going one on one with basketball superstar Kevin Durant . . . and I was making him sweat! As I started to make my move on him, I briefly wondered, “How did a skinny kid from a small town in Alaska ever get the chance to do this?” Here I was, involved in the filming of the 2012 Warner Brother’s basketball movie Thunderstruck, playing against the NBA scoring champion! It shouldn’t have happened. I didn’t fit the profile and anyone would have told you that. But I did make it, despite the odds. And here is my story . . .

Growing up as an undersized white basketball player on a remote island in Alaska, Jesse had nearly every chip stacked against him. Yet despite his size and circumstances, he managed to rise above it all and make it to the big screen in Hollywood. With only the love of the game of basketball and the tenacity to follow a dream driving him, Jesse’s persistence has led him to star in national commercials and movies with some of the most recognizable celebrities and professional athletes in the world. More importantly, he found a way to tweak the system and alter his dream and get paid to do what he loves to . . . every day! Be inspired by his story and learn the keys to successfully creating a life that is uniquely yours.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The majority of you don’t know my name, although you’ve probably seen my face on television. at the age of twenty-four, i began starring in national commercials for Kobe Bryant and other nBa players. i’ve been featured by sports magazines and played in basketball games that were televised to a global audience. i’ve done interviews for radio, television, and websites. i’ve met and spent time with famous, wealthy, and influential people from all over the world, and i have relationships some of the most re- spected and intelligent business men and women in the country.

do i think i’m special because of this? no. i know my efforts have been blessed. i also know that if there is anything special about me, it isn’t necessarily my talent. it would more likely be my dogged tenacity to pursue a dream and my drive to put every ounce of my energy into making that dream happen. i was an underdog my whole life, but i refused to become a victim or a “less- than” in any endeavor i attempted. i always believed in myself, even when the odds were stacked against me. and they usually were.

even with the success i’ve had so far, i still feel like i have room to grow before reaching my fullest potential. But i believe i am on the right track. The fact that all of this happened for me in such a short time is a true testament to the principles i have learned and applied to my life. i want to share my story and these “life lessons” with you . . . and i want this book to inspire you to find your passion and chase your dreams, so you can wake up every day and do whatever it is you love.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author PhotoOver the course of the last couple years, Jesse has propelled himself from a small, Alaskan fishing town to the Hollywood big screen, being seen by millions all over the world. By leveraging his love of the game of basketball and making the most of every opportunity, he has successful created a life all his own. At 5’8”, he may not be an NBA player, but by tweaking his dream, he has been able to use his passion (basketball) to star in national commercials and movies, work with pro athletes and celebrities, and even give back on a regular basis as a motivational speaker for youth. His underdog story, outlined in his book, Among the Giants, serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever been told they can’t make their dream a reality.

Jesse was born and raised on Pennock island, Alaska, where his mother worked as a school teacher and his father was involved in the logging industry. Jesse played basketball growing up, but no one wanted to take him seriously, and coaches told him he was too small and would never make it. Despite his critics, he believed not only in himself but also in the plan God had for him. Jesse has experienced big wins and frustrating losses, but both triumph and defeat helped him grow as a leader and a person, and helped deepen his faith.

Today, he uses his message to motivate and inspire young people around the world as a speaker and author. Combining his love of basketball, speaking, and entertaining, Jesse founded the Fab4 Takeover, which brings celebrities into schools to teach and impact students. He also released an instructional dribbling DVD titled Dribble Like a Star. For a free download from the DVD visit www.JesseleBeau.com or text the word “DVD” to the number 58885. You can find more information, read news in the press, watch highlight video footage, and follow Jesse on a more personal level at the following websites:

www.JesseleBeau.com

www.fab4streetball.com

www.twitter.com/jesselebeau

www.facebook.com/jesselebeau

www.instagram.com/jesselebeau

Purchase Among The Giants on Amazon, get a free download from his DVD, or get a free download from his eBook “What Allen Iverson Taught Me About Life”.

THE BAR V5 DUDE RANCH SERIES by Melissa McClone – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Melissa will award a $25 Amazon Gift card and a Mini Swag Goodie Bag to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (international giveaway). Click on the tour to see the other stops on the tour.

Three couples. Three stories, where you can follow one pair from meeting to wedding day!

Mistletoe Magic

Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin Butler. Until a stray kitten brings her face-to-face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin’s heart and brings back long forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won’t be spending this Christmas… alone.

Veterinarian Noah Sullivan isn’t a Scrooge, but the Christmas Eve tradition of hanging mistletoe in the clinic’s waiting room annoys him. Kissing doesn’t belong at the Copper Mountain Animal Hospital. Noah rethinks his position when Caitlin arrives with a stray kitten she found freezing in the snow. All he wants now is to maneuver the pretty preschool teacher under the mistletoe. If he’s not careful, he’ll wind up on Santa’s naughty list.

Kiss Me, Cowboy

She didn’t mean to kiss him…

When dude ranch wrangler Charlotte – aka Charlie – Randall kisses Zack Harris in an act of empathy, she falls hat over spurs for the handsome military veteran turned cowboy. Zack has too many demons, however, and refuses to get involved. A year later, he’s still stonewalling, and Charlie needs to move on with her life so she can find a fulfilling relationship, not frustrating unrequited love. Putting distance between them seems the best way to get Zack out of her head and heart…but that means quitting the job she loves and accepting a position in Colorado.

He didn’t mean to kiss her back…

Growing up, Zack longed for a real family, and had one with his squad while deployed in Afghanistan. Now, he’s back in the States and doesn’t want anything messing up his new ranch family, no matter how much he’s attracted to the sexy, hard-working Charlie. She could break his heart and ruin the comfortable working relationship they and the other wranglers enjoy. Besides, her friends claim she’s looking for the perfect guy, and perfect he’s not.

A kiss is just a kiss…or is it?

When Zack learns Charlie’s thinking about leaving the ranch, he decides to find her a boyfriend — someone so good, so perfect, she has a reason to stay in Montana. Until he realizes too late that the only cowboy he wants her kissing is him. Can he commit to love and convince Charlie not to leave? Or has she made up her mind to put the past, and the kiss that started it all, behind her and move on without him?

Mistletoe Wedding

Event planner at the Bar V5 Dude Ranch, Meg Redstone is dreaming of a white Christmas with twinkling lights, sparkly decorations and strategically placed mistletoe. She loves making dreams come true for others, whether planning a holiday wedding or giving her young daughter the best Christmas ever.

Ranch foreman Tyler Murphy loves the holidays, but his newest employee has taken over his barn with her over-the-top decorations. He admires Meg’s desire to give her daughter the perfect Christmas while planning a winter wonderland wedding, but he wants to show her that a Montana Christmas is more than glitter and lights.

After raising his younger sister, an instant family is not on Ty’s Christmas wish list. But he finds himself falling hard for the single mom and her little girl. Meg, however, is not interested in a romance with a cowboy like Ty, or any man. Getting her under the mistletoe is going to take a Christmas miracle . . . or a little help from Santa.

Enjoy an excerpt from Mistloe Wedding:

Her gaze kept straying back to the man walking next to her.

And she knew with pulse-pounding certainty.

All the rationalizations of why romantic feelings didn’t matter and why she was better off alone than in a relationship disappeared like a snowflake being caught on a tongue. They mattered, and she wanted those things badly.

With Ty.

She hadn’t meant to fall for him, but she had. Hard.

A shiver raced down her spine. The realization was unexpected, scary.

He shot her a sideways glance, which she knew because she couldn’t drag her attention off him. “You, okay?”

“Just thinking.” Of course, he would sense something was up. That was part of his appeal. He got her. The way he understood her daughter, too. If there was one man out there who was what she needed and Brooklyn needed, that was Ty Murphy.

Feelings and desires long buried rose to the surface. She was ready to stop saying she didn’t want more, want him.

“Know what you want?” he asked.

Meg swallowed around the lump in her throat. “Excuse me.”

“What chocolates you’re going to get?”

She sighed with relief. She thought he’d read her mind. “Salted caramels for the guys. I’ll have to see what Sage has in the display case before I decide what I want.”

Besides him.

“You can have more than one,” Ty said.

“I might want only one.”

“It’s Christmas. Don’t be so cautious. Live it up.”

If only she knew where he stood . . . Dare she ask?

About the Author:

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!


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10 things we would be surprised to learn about Richard H. Hardy – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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10 things we would be surprised to learn about Richard H. Hardy
1) I lived in three different countries by the time I was 4 years old: Scotland, England and the USA.

2) I play tenor, alto, and soprano sax. I also play the bass clarinet and keyboard.

3) I was a sectional champion for the shot put on my high school track team. My best throw was 47 and a half feet.

4) I once hitchhiked from Denver to the East Coast.

5) I really enjoy a good cup of tea.

6) One of my favorite movies is The Big Lebowski. I’ve known far too many people just like “The Dude” in that movie.

7) I’m a big time cat person. I believe what Leonardo De Vinci once said, “Even the smallest cat is a work of art.”

8) My sister Lynne is also a published writer. She earned a PhD. at age 70 and lives in Australia.

9) Exactly 100 years before my book, The Infinity Program was published, my great uncle George Webb Hardy had a bestselling book published in England.

10) I love walking on the rocky coast of Maine. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

10_16 infinityJon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole.

Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways–Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry. What Jon doesn’t know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer.

Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his office’s Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions.

Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.

About the Author: 10_16 infinity author richRichard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, during a week of relentless bombing raids just before the close of World War II. The day he was born an incendiary bomb fell on the church across the street from where he lived, so he is fond of saying that he entered the world with a big adrenaline rush.

His family later moved to England and then on to America.

After college Richard bounced through a series of temporary jobs as he traveled around the country, wanting nothing more than to write fiction. A job driving a library van allowed him free time to write several short stories and work on a novel.

He and his wife moved to New Hampshire, where he took an entry level job at a software company. He was soon promoted to the technical writing department and ended up producing over 500,000 words of online documentation. After a few years he was promoted to the programming department and ended up as the Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada.

After he retired, he started writing fiction again. The Infinity Program is his first published novel.

The Infinity Program GoodReads page:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20794011-the-infinity-program

Richard H. Hardy’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/richard.hardy.31924

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https://twitter.com/rhfh944

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Richard H. Hardy’s blog:
http://richard-hardy.com/blog/

Richard H. Hardy’s website:
http://richard-hardy.com/

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