2014 Summer Collection Anthology – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Please click on the banner to see the other stops on this tour.

Five complete sweet to sensual stories from five multi-talented authors in settings to make any summer occasion more special. Included are:

Meet Me In Seattle by Markee Anderson

Madysen Duke has been coerced to participate in a reality show with her teacher friends. But little does she know, her high school flame is also along for the ride, with intentions much different from hers. Even though she’s out for the money, he’s trying to thwart whatever crime is happening right before their eyes.

Arrow Through The Heart by Stephanie Burkhart

Summer vacation and the Fourth of July brings Ella to New Hampshire while participating in a tennis competition. Logan is an innkeeper’s son who bumps into Ella and invites her for an ice cream. Attraction flares and they enjoy spending time together, but each has their own plans for their life. Then disaster strikes Ella. Can a summer attraction truly become a lasting relationship?

Taking Liberty by Gerald Costlow

Liberty “Libby” Bell is a waitress at a roadside diner, trying to hide from an abusive ex-boyfriend who refuses to leave her alone. She strikes up a romance with Roger, a hunky local fireman, and seems to be getting her life back into gear. Then her ex-boyfriend tracks her down.

Will she be forced to leave Roger and run away again, or see the ex- boyfriend and risk a violent confrontation?

And if that isn’t enough to handle, suddenly there’s a serial killer in their midst.

Marcy’s Struggle by Larry Hammersley

Marcy Mason is in her final year of graduate school, pursuing a PhD in chemistry. She has brains and looks, but struggles in the romance department. She met Ross Franklin in undergraduate school when she was a senior; he was a freshman and second-string quarterback. Her problem – she was hung up on Leroy Doyle at the time.

Leroy is married and moved away, but Ross, now star quarterback, isn’t convinced she’s over Leroy. When Leroy arrives on campus to give a lecture, Marcy must make all the arrangements. After contact with Leroy, Marcy admits to what she’s known all along—she’s over Leroy and wants Ross in her life. Can she convince Ross to look past their different backgrounds and give love a chance?

The Garden by Jory Sherman

Summer brings forth fresh vegetables in the garden and with them, the ultimate fight against insects and wild critters to protect those vegetables. Harvey enjoys his garden, especially the corn – watching it grow, providing food for his beloved wife Ruth. Then, something unusual happens in the garden and his corn begins to disappear.

Enjoy an excerpt from Meet Me in Seattle:

Madysen sighed and picked up more books. “How much is this going to cost me?”

“Nothing. You could even make money doing this. It’ll only take a week of our time and voila, instant rich women.” Iris threw her hands into the air and laughed, showing off her dimples.

Madysen wished she had dimples and that her skin was as smooth and pink as Iris’ skin. With Iris’ wild red hair, the woman actually glowed all the time. But instead, Madysen had to settle for her long wavy brunette hair and freckled skin. She wasn’t ugly, but bright green eyes seemed to turn the men away for some reason. Or maybe it was her rail-thin figure. Or maybe Mac had dumped her for that college co-ed for some other reason. It certainly wasn’t for the young girl’s brains.

Madysen had to stick to the conversation instead of dwelling in the past. “Who else will be there tonight?”

“Just the Cast-Off Club. And maybe my brother.”

Madysen rolled her eyes. “You aren’t going to try to fix me up with Quentin again, are you?”

“Ah, come on,” Iris said, and nudged Madysen with her elbow. “He’s fun and employed. What else could you ask for?”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Markee Anderson makes her home in northeast Wisconsin, surrounded by Packer fans, snow, and cheese. Along with her husband, they have three adult children and two Boston terrier babies. She writes under different pen names, all at: www.sweettalebooks.com

Come visit her at: http://markeeanderson.com

Stephanie Burkhart was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, she joined the U.S. Army. She spent eleven years in the military, seven stationed in Germany. She left the Army in 1997 and settled in California. Stephanie has been married for over twenty years and has two boys, Andrew and Joseph. She now works for LAPD as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher.

Come visit her at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

Gerald Costlow lives in Michigan and has published several novels and numerous short stories and novellas over the years. He’s currently publishing a romantic-supernatural series with Publishing by Rebecca Vickery.

Larry Hammersley is 76 and has been married to Sue for 51 years. He has two children and five grandchildren. Larry enjoys jogging, amateur radio, occasional woodworking, and is active in his church. He’s been writing for 39 years.

Come visit his blog at: http://larryhammersley.blogspot.com/

Jory Sherman began his literary career as a poet in San Francisco’s famed North Beach in the late 1950s, during the heyday of the Beat Generation. He has been published widely in literary journals. His first book of poetry, So Many Rooms, was published by Galley Sail Press in 1959.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jory-Sherman/267712936601703

BOOK BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:
http://amzn.com/B00KMJB4NG

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/442711

Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/2014-summer-collection-vtp-anthologies/1119633249?ean=2940045974271

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Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie – Spotlight and Giveaway

7_24 BBT_ShiftHappens_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding one autographed print copy (US or Canada – digital copy substituted for international winners) plus a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter.

7_24 Cover_ShiftHappensAndrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

Enjoy the excerpt:

Andrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

About the Author: View More: http://photos.pass.us/headshot2Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

 

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Sleeping in the Morgue by Jennifer Tressen – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be giving away a $25 Bath and Body Works gift certificate via Rafflecopter. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Paige Thorton, a sweet overachieving high school senior only has one month to come up with ten thousand dollars to pay for college, but her family mortuary has no business. Desperate to escape her little town and go to her dream school, she decides to take matters into her own hands and drum up some clients. Soon “accidents” begin happening to local residents. However when her boyfriend, Brock Harrington, the rookie hotshot cop begins to investigate things get hairy. Will Paige be able to pull it off in time or will she be doomed to forever sleep in the morgue?



Enjoy an excerpt:

“Well, I don’t know about that but I do know everyone here seems to have a little secret.”

Secret?

“Like what?” Paige asked.

“Patty drowned her baby a few years back.”

“What? Why?” Paige asked, astonished.

Brock shrugged, “No one knows. One day she was pregnant and the next day a baby was found in the stream.”

“Sick.”

“That’s not even the worst of them.”

Really? Her eyes widened at the thought. Brock didn’t even notice her shock; he stared straight ahead at the road as he continued on.

“Wait, how come she’s not in jail then?”

“Innocent until proven guilty. There wasn’t enough evidence to directly link her. So basically it just became a missing person’s case.”

“A missing unborn child?”

Brock nodded, “Mike said she claimed she gave birth while on the toilet and her fetus was dead so she just washed it down the toilet.”

Gross.

“And she got off with that bs?” Paige asked, not believing her ears. “Couldn’t Mike have done some DNA testing and linked the child to Patty? I mean there had to be some way. Fingerprints, skin tests, something.”

“It’s not like CSI, sweetheart. There’s protocol and warrants and lawyers in the mix.”

Paige shook her head, “That’s just not right.”

“Trust me I know. It would be a blessing the day some bird flu epidemic or something came through here and wiped all the scum out. Sure make my job hell of a lot easier. It would be a favor. A huge favor.” He began to laugh, “Charity even.”

“Charity?”

Did he just say that?

“Yeah, charity.”

Paige looked out the window, lost in thought. Does he know? He must. Why else would he have said that…charity. But how?

“But everyone’s got their secrets,” Brock said.

You could say that again.

Paige swallowed hard and gripped the handle on the door. Her nails etched into it.

Get it together, Paige.

“What’s yours?” she said, suddenly cool and curious.

About the Author:

Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder.

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.


Jennifer attributes her love of reading and writing to her mother who always reminded her of the power of literacy. Besides telling her and her siblings that they could do anything they wanted if they knew how to read and write, she said, “You can go anywhere in a book. You can be anyone.”

https://twitter.com/JenniferTressen”>Twitter ~ Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. JoMarie will be awarding winner’s choice of an eBook from Lachesis Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Please note: This book is available for FREE everywhere it’s sold — buy links are at the bottom of this post, so grab yourself a copy!

Geoffrey Kane, Earl of Kanewood refuses to feel anything more than passion. Four years ago, his fiancée betrayed him and he has no desire to experience that again so when he meets the beautiful Rebecca Kingsley, it’s passion at first sight. And only passion.

Rebecca has led a very quiet life working for her father at a small country inn. When she meets Geoffrey she falls in love with him right away. But she’s only the daughter of a baronet and men like Geoffrey never marry country girls like her. Do they?

When Rebecca’s father tries to marry her off to a wealthy old man, Geoffrey intervenes and marries her himself. He wants her very much but he couldn’t possibly love her. Love is for fools. At least that’s what he tells himself. But a sinister enemy soon threatens to destroy all that Geoffrey holds dear, forcing him to face the truth. His marriage depends on it . . . And maybe even Rebecca’s very life.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Chapter 1

England, 1822

Geoffrey Michael Kane, the seventh Earl of Kanewood, was hot, dusty, and tired. At twenty-eight he was still adjusting to the duties thrust upon him with the death of his father two years earlier, making frequent trips to London to meet with his solicitors. Returning from one such meeting, his carriage hit a dip in the road and skidded to a halt.

“Where are we?” Geoffrey called to his driver.

“Rutlandshire, my lord. Not far from Oakham.”

Geoffrey climbed out of the leaning carriage. “Grab the wheel then, Fields. You and I are visiting Oakham today.”

After securing Geoffrey’s travel bag behind one of the saddles, they rode into Oakham. It was late June and the weather was hot and muggy. The ride was rough and with every new bump and stumble, Geoffrey swore under his breath. For the last hour, he dismounted and led his horse into town. He wore no hat, which was the norm for him, and the sun beat down on his head. He squinted and looked at his surroundings.

The town was quite small—a village, really—but picturesque. His sharp eyes noticed a dry goods establishment, a market, a pub, and even a doctor’s office. The shingle on the side of a two-story brick building proclaimed the medical man’s residence and place of business. Just past the outskirts of the town, Geoffrey spotted the only business he was interested in today. The wheelwright’s shop. The wheelwright shared his space with the blacksmith, and both businesses appeared to do well. Geoffrey snorted. No surprise, given the rutted cobblestone road that led through town.

He brushed off his clothes. There was nothing for it. His tan breeches were stained with wheel grease and his white shirt was crumpled and smudged. He retrieved his brown jacket from behind the saddle and saw it was in a sorry shape, as well. “I don’t much resemble the Earl of Kanewood, do I, Fields?”

Fields reddened before realizing no answer was expected. Geoffrey led his horse in front of the wheelwright’s shop as Fields dismounted and rolled the offending wheel to him.

Geoffrey spied a beefy man standing in the large doorway. “Are you the proprietor?”

“Aye. William Bennett, wheelwright. What can I do for ya?”

Standing there, with an obviously-broken wheel at his feet, Geoffrey bit back a sarcastic reply. “I need a wheel fixed. This wheel.”

Bennett fingered the splintered spokes. “Aye. It’s broken.”

Geoffrey kept his exasperation in check. “Can you fix it?” he asked deliberately.

“Aye. Nothin’ to it. Fix it right as rain.”

“Good.” Geoffrey breathed.

“Goin’ ta take a few days, though.”

“A few days? Why?”

Bennett held up his right hand, wrapped in a cloth bandage. “Got me hand a bit crushed fixin’ the doc’s trap. He told me not to use it till he says it’s okay.”

Geoffrey stared at the man incredulously. “There is no one else who could fix this?”

“Nay,” the man answered. “Not around here.”

Geoffrey’s irritation began to grow to anger, but with one look at the guileless face of the wheelwright, it swiftly faded. “Well, do you have someone to get my carriage out of the road? It’s about a twenty-minute’s ride back.”

“Aye, me boy and I’ll go get it. You be wantin’ it brought here?”

“Yes, thank you. Is there a place to keep my horses?”

“Blacksmith’s got a couple stalls. Wouldn’t put these fine animals there, though. You be stayin’ here till this be fixed?”

Geoffrey thought for a moment. Perhaps a few days away from London, as well as Kanewood, would help him ponder the disquieting news he’d received from his solicitors.

“Is there an inn close by?” he asked.

“Aye. Raven’s Inn, just outside of town. Stables to let in back, fine dinin’ room.” The wheelwright scratched his chubby chin. “Can’t attest to the rooms, but I can tell ya the ale is mighty fine.”

“Thank you.” Geoffrey motioned to his driver. “Let’s head over to this Raven’s Inn, Fields. It seems we may be here awhile.”

They mounted and set off for the inn.

I write Historical Romances with a touch of mystery and Contemporary Romances with a touch of home. I’m also working on a Young Adult Dystopian Fantasy/Adventure series and a hot Contemporary New Adult Romance.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Space Coast Authors of Romance and From the Heart Romance Writers.

http://www.jomariedegioia.com/

https://twitter.com/JoMarieDeGioia

https://www.facebook.com/JoMarie.DeGioia.Author

BN http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/more-than-passion-jomarie-degioia/1111327290?ean=9781897562956

Kindle http://www.amazon.com/More-Passion-Dashing-Nobles-Series-ebook/dp/B0082JA4BQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401151352&sr=8-1&keywords=more+than+passion

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/more-than-passion-book-1-dashing-nobles-series

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/more-than-passion/id528445065?mt=11

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Writing Female Characters in Urban/Paranormal Stories by Kat Loveland – Guest Blog and Giveaway

NBTM HONOR BOUND Tour Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kat will be awarding a $40 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

NOTE:Today ONLY you can get the entire HONOR BOUND series FREE from Amazon! click here to get your copy!

Writing Female Characters in Urban/Paranormal Stories

Hello all and I’d like to thank Long and Short Reviews for having me. I am hardly an expert in writing as I have only published two books so far but am intending to have one or two more done this year. However, I find the continuing conversation about female characters in media interesting. I often feel that the amount of strong characters in Sci-Fi. Paranormal and Fantasy books are often overlooked. My Honor Bound Series has four female characters and two male characters. I would have to agree with Joss Whedon when he stated to write females the same way you write males, make them complete characters and don’t short change them.

I’ve often noticed that on sites where people can upload stories free for others to read the authors will claim they have “strong female characters” as a way to get readers. In my mind that has become a phrase with less and less meaning having been distorted to mean a female fighter type heroine. While I love and will always love female fighters, I think a female can be strong and not be someone who’s trained to handle weapons. I also tend to see it meaning a “smart ass”, “sarcastic” woman. Now I love a good bit of sarcasm as much as the next person but sarcasm but doesn’t automatically make a person a strong character.

In my Honor Bound series my female characters are all different, they are all coming at the plot and their abilities in different ways. I made a point to only have one character that has a truly horrible, abusive background that she has to overcome. The other three come from completely different socio-economic backgrounds, from Clara who is very successful and wealthy to Sarah who’s mother has passed away. She is being raised by her firefighter father while helping to raise her younger brother Chad. When I was writing these books I didn’t think “Oh this is a female, I had better write her this way, make her feel like this, describe her in that way.” Clara is stunning, she’s a model, Jessie is attractive, Min-Ji is horribly scarred and Sarah is the girl next door, average girl. To me their emotional development as they react to the circumstances is what matters, not their gender. I have my male characters be just as emotional and troubled as the women are. John is Clara’s twin brother and they are entwined down to their soul. They’re in many ways one person in two bodies, writing them I could explore both the brother/sister dynamic and male/female dynamic in how they react to different situations. John ended up as the more fiery, emotional one, that’s the way it felt right to me.

Min-Ji vacillates from trying to become “normal” after her traumatic childhood to becoming a cold hard killer to protect others. She goes through a wide range of decisions and emotions as she fights to control both her ability and her flashbacks. The rest of the characters help her in anyway they can. It’s her struggle to overcome her past and her inner strength that makes her a “strong female character” not any fighting skills she may have.

I think often we get caught up too much in gender and the idea of how a woman or a man should act and may think gender first, character later. To me gender is not nearly as important as character and how they serve the story. When I am thinking about a new story I don’t think “Well I should write this from a male perspective.” I just get a cool idea of character in my head and usually the gender pops up along with who they are, I don’t really mull it over. I let who they are drive the story, not what they are. I think that is the most exciting thing about writing, the visual aspect is the least important. It’s your words and how they affect people that are.

MEDIA KIT Awakening Book CoverAWAKENINGS

X-Men meets the Real World. “This was an amazing book while steeped in fantasy it tackles a huge subject , the subject of human trafficking. Instead of a bland preachy PSA against it, this story uses amazing imagery, action, intensity, and heart to keep you reading well into the night.”

Children and teens with unique abilities are being sold on the black market. When twins John and Clara made a vow several years ago to help children that had abilities, they never thought they would be forced to fight hardened criminals. Honor Bound Awakenings shows the beginning of the journey they and their friends from idealism to reality and what sacrifices they will be forced to make to keep their vow.

MEDIA KIT Sacrifices Book CoverSACRIFICES

Picking up the moment Awakenings end – John and Clara are forced to choose which of them will continue to put themselves in the line of fire, Cesco has to make peace with what he may have to become to keep the others safe, Min-Ji confronts her painful past head on, Sarah and her family must learn to adapt to the results of her Awakening and Jessie has to struggle to keep the group emotionally stable.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author Photo 2

HONOR BOUND: Awakenings and Sacrifices
By
Kat Loveland

BLURB:

AWAKENINGS

X-Men meets the Real World. “This was an amazing book while steeped in fantasy it tackles a huge subject , the subject of human trafficking. Instead of a bland preachy PSA against it, this story uses amazing imagery, action, intensity, and heart to keep you reading well into the night.”

Children and teens with unique abilities are being sold on the black market. When twins John and Clara made a vow several years ago to help children that had abilities, they never thought they would be forced to fight hardened criminals. Honor Bound Awakenings shows the beginning of the journey they and their friends from idealism to reality and what sacrifices they will be forced to make to keep their vow.

SACRIFICES

Picking up the moment Awakenings end – John and Clara are forced to choose which of them will continue to put themselves in the line of fire, Cesco has to make peace with what he may have to become to keep the others safe, Min-Ji confronts her painful past head on, Sarah and her family must learn to adapt to the results of her Awakening and Jessie has to struggle to keep the group emotionally stable.

EXCERPTS Please choose ONE to use with your post.
Honor Bound Awakenings Excerpts.

Sarah sat in the wreckage of the 6×9 dirty cell she had been confined to for the last five weeks. One of her rescuers handed her a coat. Her captors had prohibited her from wearing anything beyond a pair of underwear and a bra. After her attempt to conceal a weapon her second week they had ripped her pants and shirt off and beat her until she blacked out. She sat silently. Her emotions were numbed by constant abuse. She wasn’t able to believe that it was over. One of her rescuers, a girl named Jessie snapped a picture of her to send to someone. She didn’t care. Jessie walked up to her with a bottle of water.

“Do you want something to drink?”

Sarah looked at the bottle. In her mind she could see all the components that made up both the bottle and the water. Patterns swirled in perfect geometry — she could turn that water into air, ice or using the carbon in the plastic any number of things. She looked closer at Jessie and saw even more possibilities. She had never considered turning people into things until she had been kidnapped. Once before the rescue she had tried it. They broke her brother’s legs in three places as punishment. Sarah reached out her hand, took the bottle of water and had a small drink.

“Where are they?” she asked Jessie.

“We tied them up. The police are on the way. It’s what we do. We’re sort of volunteer police. What’s your name? “ Jessie replied.

“I won’t ask again,” Sarah said “Where are they?”

“Look, I know you want to hurt them but that won’t change anything.”

A bitter smile crossed Sarah’s face. “That’s where you are wrong,” She placed the bottle of water on the ground and put her hand on the lid. As Jessie watched the bottle shifted, losing it’s transparency, it took on a more granular appearance and seemed to slowly collapse in on itself. Then as if all the bonds that held it together were snapped at the same time it turned into a pile of dirt. There was no water, no plastic, just dirt. “I’m Sarah and I want you to take me to them.”

If something had upset Min-Ji to the point where John was texting him it was bad. He was the only person that could calm her down when she was angry. Min-Ji controlled fire, he remembered when he had rescued her and he ran with her in his arms for two miles. He never thought that the girl who’s spirit seemed to be so destroyed could possess such a dangerous and amazing ability. He made it to the hotel in five minutes. John had replied that Jessie and Min-Ji were in the courtyard by the pool and Min-Ji was barely holding on.
\
As Cesco rounded the corner into the courtyard, he smelled ashes and heard the crackling in the air as the temperatures around her increased rapidly. Along with his speed his senses were enhanced far beyond normal. Min-Ji’s good eye was turning red, he was almost too late to calm her down. The closer he got to her the hotter and thicker the air was around him. Without missing a step or slowing down he picked her up and threw her in the pool. She landed in the water, popped back up and started shouting oaths in Korean. Steam rose from the pool as her power heated the water around her.

“Uh, people coming into my cell, ” her voice was shaky. “ They were going to hit me and I wanted to ….Oh no, I wanted to stab them. The second week I was there they left a small metal tray in my cell and I turned it into a knife. I hid it in my pants and I tried to stab them when they came back. I don’t know how to fight so they ripped it out of my hands and then made me watch as they beat Chad up. That’s when I tried to kill one of them by turning one of them into a stone. Humans have all the components in them to make rock. Then they broke Chad’s legs. I watched on a monitor. They wouldn’t let us near each other. I heard him screaming when they did it. Did I make a knife in my sleep?” This was just getting worse and worse.

“Well it’s not really a knife but here.” Jessie handed her the metal spike. “I’m guessing you shifted a bed spring and somehow got it to pop out of the mattress into your hand. I was trying to calm you, I put my hand on your leg and you tried to stab my hand. I guess I startled you. I moved my hand and you stabbed your leg. You shifted that much faster than the water bottle. Maybe because you were just changing the shape of something not the actual structure. I think we have a problem here.”\

“How did I do this in my sleep? I don’t understand.” Sarah’s voice was rising in pitch, she was starting to crack. Jessie had to calm her down and she needed Sarah’s permission to help her. She was afraid of what may happen if she tried to force her to calm down.

Jessie had learned with the more powerful abilities if she tried to force too much of an emotional shift things got even further out of hand. Min-Ji had destroyed three trees with a gout of flame when Jessie had tried to calm her once. Since then she either let Cesco calm Min-Ji or asked permission.

Over the years he and Clara had learned how to block each other out when needed. If they hadn’t, going through puberty would have probably driven them both nuts. When they didn’t block properly they literally felt exactly what the other one was. When their parents started training them in martial arts when they were toddlers they didn’t understand why one would react when the other missed a block and a light hit got through. As they progressed in life and in training they slowly learned how to separate themselves. Their biggest fear when they started to go after criminals was if they got separated and beaten. No matter how strong of a block they put up some of that would leak through and it could incapacitate them both, not to mention if anyone ever found out.

They were each other’s greatest weakness. John started to think of Akinori and what she would say about Sarah. Akinori had been a detective, she was John and Clara’s mom’s partner in the Japanese police dept. Their mom had gone undercover a lot, especially in vice cases. John remembered the night of the car accident that had killed both his parents. It had been Akinori who had showed up at the house, ordered them to pack some bags and leave Japan. Their father was Scottish and had family in Scotland and the United States. They had bought tickets for Scotland and stayed there for about a month until they got a call from Akinori.

“Your mother’s cover was blown somehow. I don’t think their death was an accident. The prosecutor won’t do anything because there is not enough evidence and he is corrupt. I had an accident but will be coming to see you. I retired from the force.” She hung up. The next time they saw her she had a prosthetic leg along with copies of all the files of the their mother’s cases. That was 4 years ago. It seemed like yesterday.

She was deathly afraid of what she would see. If she was going to tell her Dad what had happened she had to first face herself. Her face was much more gaunt than usual, her long blonde hair was tangled and matted and she had dark circles under her eyes. Her eyes, the dark circles made the snow white pupils stand out that much more. So many colors were in her eyes; light blues, coral pinks, soft greens, golds, silvers, purples. The lights in the bathroom bounced off of them highlighting the different shades. Every time she moved her eyes the coloring seemed to shift, her eyes were iridescent. They reminded her of abalone shells in the sun. “So beautiful,” she said as she watched the play of light and color. What would her Dad think? Would he be afraid? As she watched the colors slowly started shifting and swirling. Were her eyes swirling in reaction to her emotions?

Well only one way to find out. She closed them and thought about her captivity, the beatings, the threats to Chad, the endless hours of making cocaine. As her heart started to race from the memories she opened her eyes and looked in the mirror. “Oh my God,” she breathed out.

Honor Bound Sacrifices Excerpts

He couldn’t move, Min-Ji was screaming, he felt searing heat and smelled burning flesh, pain raged through his shoulder. Min-Ji, she couldn’t!

“Min-Ji! Don’t!” Cesco screamed. His eyes flew open, harsh light blinded him. Someone was holding him down. His right arm wasn’t moving, his left arm shot full speed at the face hovering over him, the punch connected, flinging the man across the room where he landed against the wall. Cesco tried to get up, as soon as he moved the intense pain in his shoulder and face floored him causing him to curl into a tight ball. “Min-Ji! Holy crap! What happened?” The phrases coming between waves of pain.

“Cesco! Stop!” John’s voice barely cut through the pain.

“John?”

“Yes, I’m here. Lay back, you’re hurt.”

“Where are we? Is everyone ok?”

John’s hands pushed against his chest easing him onto his back.

“My shoulder, I can’t move it.”
\
“You were shot. The bullet shattered your collarbone and put a hole in your shoulder blade. You just punched Dr. Rothstein. He was sewing you up. Clara was shot too but she’s all right. Doctor, are you ok? Sorry about that.”

First priority was to try to forget everyone else’s emotions. She slowly started unraveling those in her mind, hellish pain and agony, that wasn’t her. She had developed a visualization to help her through things like this, she imagined all of the emotions that weren’t hers as clothes she was wearing and would slowly strip away the layers until she got down to just her own skin. It worked fairly well.

Layer after layer came off. Eventually she cleared everything away so she only had her emotions left and could take inventory of her mental state. The storage facility office froze in her mind, blood on the floor, dismembered people, Min-Ji screaming and Cesco on the floor. As an empath she had learned how to face her own emotions along with manipulating and controlling others. She took a deep breath and allowed herself to relive the moment. Sheer panic and disgust hit her, her heart started to race and her stomach clenched again as she smelled the blood and charred flesh. How badly she had wanted to run the other way, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t at the time and she sure as hell wouldn’t now. Forcing herself to stand there, she allowed the whole scene to slam into her mind over and over until it no longer affected her.

Eventually she could look at it without her pulse skyrocketing so she moved to the next one, driving the car as John shot the people they were chasing. That wasn’t so bad, she and John were focused so their emotions weren’t out of control and the blood and gore was manageable for her to look at. The last one she didn’t want to face but she had to. Her view of Min-Ji coming out of the office and setting a person on fire, the emotions that Min-Ji had felt had been so intense. She and Min-Ji had bonded so often to keep Min-Ji stable that Jessie was starting to think it had almost become permanent. She picked up on even small shifts in Min-Ji’s emotions now without having to touch her.

John went to check on Clara, he had felt her mind start stirring.

“Clara, you need to rest.”

“That’s a bit complicated,” a gentle laugh brushed against his mind. “You haven’t been blocking all that well. I know about Min-Ji and Cesco. I know about how you almost blacked out. I drifted for a bit and slept but there’s too much going on and I am picking up on it. I held back as much as I could until you had a quiet moment. We have a lot to figure out.”

“You’re taking this rather well.”

“Not really. Just pushing it down for now.” As she said that he felt her let him in a bit more and was suddenly glad she had been pushing things down. She was in a panic, if he had been feeling that along with his emotions he would be a wreck. He put his blocks up so she wouldn’t have to do all the work.

“Thank you,” he told her.

“You’re welcome.”

“Sarah is on the way to help with Cesco. I am not sure how much she will be able to do. Dr. Rothstein said he can repair the shoulder later if we are staying in town and wrote prescriptions for drugs. You should be able to walk well enough for the show. Maybe Sarah can heal it fast enough so you’re not in pain. It’s just a small wound, nothing is broken in your leg. We need to get Cesco in the car and get back to the condo and we still have a million things to do for the show. We have more press tomorrow, we’re going to look like hell.”

She squeezed his hand back. “When…I did what I did to you,” she shuddered a bit at the memory, “I wasn’t panicking. I know you thought I was but I wasn’t. I wanted to protect Chad and hurt you, but I didn’t know it was you because it felt like I was being kidnapped again.” She paused, her voice growing soft. “ All I thought was what would be the fastest way to make you stop, I wasn’t really scared, I was angry. I don’t want to say anything else right now, please Dad.” The memory of that moment was pushing her close to the edge. She looked down at the armrest of the seat one of her hands had been resting on it, it had started rippling and shifting form. She quickly pulled her hands away from the chair and away from her Dad’s hand then held them up in the air. She couldn’t shift things if she wasn’t touching them.

“You don’t have to. I understand now.” He reached his arm around her and pulled her close. “We will get through this, somehow we will. I promise you.” He said as he kissed the top of her head. They stayed like that the rest of the flight.

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Who is Kat Loveland? Why does she write?

Good questions. Complicated questions. Questions that make you say hmmmmmmm.
Kat is a person of great charm and grace, she lights up whatever room she walks into. Her stunning fashion sense mesmerizes all who see her. Witty rejoinders and endless amounts of relevant and thoroughly researched facts and tidbits flow effortlessly from her mouth…..

Yeah, ok, Not so much. I’ve got the witty rejoinders but not the fashion sense. I like comfy, simple clothes and sparring with weapons. I occasionally try my hand at archery and artistic photography, sometimes I’ll even hop a wall or vault a bench. I’m a tomboy at heart, what can I say.

Why do I write? My imaginary friends are endlessly entertaining and they always do whatever the hell I tell them to. Besides it’s fun to play Goddess, most authors won’t admit that but I’m pretty blunt. It’s fun to torture, harass, endlessly confound and every once in a while make a character a bit happy with life. Not too often though, that’s just silly.

My editor tells me and I quote : “Only a genius can write three books at the same time, work all the time and shoot arrows into the air and hope and pray what goes up does not come down on top of her.” Have I mentioned she’s an awesome editor?

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Interview and Giveaway: Jennah Scott

Long and Short Reviews welcome Jennah Scott, whose latest release Unexpected Vacation was released last month. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a digital copy of the book.

Jennah’s been writing for around four years, celebrating her first year of publication this past January. She has written about fifteen books and eleven of them have been published – a mix of full-length, short stories, and novellas.

“Which of the books you’ve written is your favorite?” I asked.

“My favorite…hmm which child would I pick,” she said with a smile. “I think I’ll go with Unexpected Vacation. Writing a f/f story was a challenge from a friend of mine. When I started writing it I didn’t want to stop. Their story flowed so easily. In fact, I love Haley and Savannah so much they are prominent in the next book as well.”

When she was growing up, she wanted to be a teacher.

“I used to set up all of my toys in my room like a class of students. My parents bought me a chalkboard and I had that to teach them with,” she told me. “If I remember correctly, my favorite subject to teach was English and Reading.”

“What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?” I wondered.

“I made my husband help me reenact a scene from Scrap Metal. My co-author wrote the scene, but as I read it I couldn’t picture it in my mind. The scene involved the tailgate of a truck with the heroine lying on it. Since I couldn’t see how it worked, and my husband has a truck, I made him go outside with me late at night and reenact the positions. For someone as short as I am (only five foot one) the scene didn’t work. For my co-writer who’s a bit taller it worked, but not as well as she’d envisioned! Needless to say, we rewrote that scene so it would be a little more comfortable for the characters.”

With Jennah’s work, most of the time the plot comes first. She’ll get an idea for a story (Hero/Heroine #1 goes to Fiji on vacation. They want…/ Hero/Heroine #2 are on a mission to find…). Then she fills in the details of the who the characters are.

She calls herself either a plottser or a planster.

“I do both plot and pants,” she explained. “When I write I find the story flows better if I have the beginning, middle, and end figured out. But I need the freedom to let my characters fill in the details on how I get to each point.”

I asked her to tell us about her next project, and she admitted to having a bad habit of working on multiple projects at once.

“Let’s see.” She thought for a minute. “I can tell you about my next F/F book. It features Jamie from Unexpected Vacation and Mistress Phoenix. They get the chance to get to know each other in Fiji. I’ve got to say so far it’s one of my favorite books.”

The worse problem with starting multiple projects at a time is not being able to decide to work on when she has the time to sit down and write–not to mention that she’s easily distracted.

“Some days I’m certain I have the worst possible case of ADD,” she told me.

“Do you write in multiple genres or just one?” I wondered.

“I do write multiple genres. I have a 4-part serial novel in the works. Parts one and two are already available. It is a paranormal with a vampire species who live off the emotion of humans—good or bad. Also, I’m working on a shifter story for Decadent Publishing. I’m hoping it will be part of their new Roar line of new adult shifter stories.”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“The absolute hardest piece of advice I received is the same I share with new writers. Take your time. Publishing is a process full of waiting. You wait to finish that first book. You wait to hear from an agent or editor. After you get your agent or editor you wait for the next step. Nothing rushed ends in good results in this business.”

7_23 UnexpectedVacationThe one thing Savannah didn’t plan for on her wedding day was to be left standing alone at the altar. Runaway bride? Try runaway groom.

Haley had planned to stand at her best friend’s side through sickness and health, for richer or poorer…not to mention watching the woman she fell in love with marry a man she barely gets along with.

After Savannah’s wedding day falls apart Haley has to push all her intimate desires to the side and be the supportive friend she knows Savannah needs. But was suggesting they turn her would-be honeymoon into a vacation to Bora Bora her brightest idea?

When emotions boil over, desires are shared—hello, nipple play and oral teasing—and the sun and sand beckon. And two women discover they need each other more than they realized.

A Romantica® LGBT female/female erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

About the Author: 7_23 J.Scott PicBorn and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won’t ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.

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The Ashes that Remain by A.M. Griffin – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving away a grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card and a runner up prize of a $10 Amazon gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

We’re at war against the aliens that have invaded Earth, fighting the only way we can—by surviving. I have more than most people do, but although I know it’s stupid to hold on, I can’t let go of what might have been—can’t help dreaming of something more. No matter how I tell myself it would be easier to do what everyone else wants me to, there’s a part of me that can’t give in.

Making the best of the situation is one thing. Settling, even to make other people happy, is something else.

Then we hear the alien mother ships have disappeared. Of course we have to go and investigate. What we find lands us in a huge mess that we somehow have to clean up and, as our little enclave is rocked to the core with even more changes, I’m learning a hard lesson.

The more things change—for the better or the worse—there’s no fighting human nature, and building on the ashes that remain will take everything we have. And maybe more.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Ridiculous. Forget about everyone else here, okay? What about Mia and me?” I can hear the crack in my voice as it rises. “Do you think we’d be able to go along pretending life could be the same without you?” I reach out for his hands and hold them. “Every time you go up top I pray you come back safely. I’m not talking about close my eyes and say a silent prayer, I’m talking about getting on my knees, clasping my hands and praying—loudly.”

MJ chuckles low. “You sound like Shayla. She was always praying about something or another.”

I give his hands a squeeze and let them go. “That’s where I got it from. That girl knew how to pray away any kind of anxiety I was feeling.”

“A lot of good it did her in the end.”

“Hey! Don’t say that. Don’t you dare do that to her memory. She prayed because it gave her strength and peace of mind. Praying or not praying had nothing to do with the aliens killing her.”

“When the lizards were attacking you guys, Mia and I held hands and prayed for you two. We couldn’t say anything out loud, but we prayed silently. And praying didn’t work. They killed her and took you anyway.”

I can hear the pain in his voice and my chest constricts just thinking about the amount of guilt he places on himself. “MJ, please. She enjoyed praying and she encouraged everyone around her to pray. It would’ve made her happy that you and Mia were praying for her.”

“Sometimes when I think back on it, I think my prayer wasn’t good enough. Like I didn’t pray hard enough… And, because of that, it was my fault.”

I narrow my eyes on him and pull back. “I really feel like slapping some sense into you right now.”

His head shoots up. “What?”

“You heard me. First you come in here telling me I shouldn’t go because I might die and Ian shouldn’t go because Mia is pregnant. Then you say Shayla died because you didn’t pray hard enough. Do you understand how crazy you’re talking right now?”

“It’s not crazy. I’m speaking the truth.”

“I miss Shayla too. Just because I wasn’t friends with her as long as you were doesn’t mean I miss her any less. Are you forgetting that I was there when the lizards attacked? It stepped over me to get to her. Do you realize the guilt I feel every day?” I take in a breath that seems to burn my lungs. “Do you even want to know about the nightmares I still have?” I whisper.

He watches me with wide eyes and shakes his head.

“I should’ve snapped out of my paralyzing fear and crawled to my sword and stuck that thing right in its back. If I hadn’t been so scared Shayla might still be alive today. There was nothing you could’ve done to save her, but I could’ve done plenty.” By the time I finish, my voice cracks and tears burn my cheeks.
I get up and head to my locker, leaving MJ to stare after me. When I open my locker door, I do with it with such force that the door swings and clangs against the side, making the sound of metal ring out through my room.

I snatch up my clothes, not caring if they’re clean or dirty. Right now I just want to go to the showers and sit and let the cool water rain over me to help drown out my tears.

Before I can step away from my locker, MJ’s arms are around my neck. He leans down to bury his face on my shoulder. Right then, all of the anger I feel toward him dissipates. I drop my clothes, freeing my hands to hold onto his arms and rest my head on the side of his.

“Do you think we’ll ever be okay again?” I ask softly.

“I don’t know.”

Neither one of us move as he cries softly on my shoulder and I rub his arms, giving him comfort. MJ hardly ever talks about Shayla or her death but he knows that I’m always here for him. He doesn’t say anything else, he just cries softly and I let him.

I don’t know if we’ll ever recover from anything we’ve been through, but I pray that we will.

About the Author:

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

 

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Back to You by Jessica Scott – Guest Blog and Giveaway

7_22 Back-to-You-Blog-Tour

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter to win a copy of Back to You (US/Canada only).

Top 5 Things I Wish I had Known Before I Published My First Book
by Jessica Scott

1. You will still get stuck with a book that won’t fit together right.

2. You will still get rejections.

3. Bad reviews will still hurt no matter how many books you sell.

4. Starting that new book is always terrifying.

5. Your editor is still invaluable no matter how long you’ve been writing.

BACK TO YOU by Jessica Scott (July 29, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $6.00)

7_22 Back to YOuHe’s in for the fight of his life . . . 
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn’t explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family-so he deployed again. And again. And again…until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs …if she’ll have him

. . . to win back his only love.
Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she’s just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried-and a love that won’t be denied. But can she trust that this time he’s back to stay?

 
Enjoy an excerpt:

His uniform scraped the edge of her cheek. His body was a solid wall beneath her skin and for a brief moment, she simply let him hold her. His strength wrapped around her, his scent pulled her close, reminding her that somewhere inside this man was the man she’d married. The man she’d loved.

She hadn’t meant to cry in front of him. Not again. But the truth had simply slipped free of the chains she’d attempted to bind it with, breaking her resolve until it emptied out of her, tearing free and leaving her drained.

It was a long time until the tears stopped. Her eyes felt swollen.

Now, she rested against Trent and closed her eyes. She simply stopped. Stopped fighting. Stopped arguing. Stopped resisting her stubborn heart that still loved this man no matter how many times he hurt her or lashed out.

His leaving, his anger: He wasn’t in control of those things. Not like she’d convinced herself he was in those dark days when the rumors and innuendos had been breeding like a live thing in the silence between them. But there was more at work here than her husband simply walking out on her.

He’d made a huge step by talking to the counselor. And he hadn’t needed to tell her about their conversation, but he had. Laura leaned back, refusing to believe the insidious voice in her head that said he was just telling her this out of sheer selfishness.

She lifted her gaze, looking deep into his eyes. She started to shift and pull away but Trent moved first, cradling her face with his palms. Gently, his thumbs caressed her cheeks, wiping away the tears.
“I’m so tired of screwing everything up, Laura,” he whispered. “I want to fix this. Not for the trial. For us.”

“It’s not that simple.”

“Yes, it is.” His voice was urgent and harsh. “I can’t fix what I’ve done. And I damn sure don’t deserve your forgiveness.” He lowered his forehead to hers, his palms warm and solid against her skin. “But I’m asking you to help me. Help me reset my normal. Help me learn how to be a dad again. A husband.” He blinked rapidly.

She pressed her lips together, biting back fresh tears. “And what happens when you leave again?” she whispered. “What do I do then?” She sniffed quietly. “You keep breaking my heart.” Her voice cracked.

His fingers crooked around her jaw. “I want to stop.”

They were tucked away in a quiet corner of the coffee shop. The couch was blocked by a high booth. No one could see them. Laura kept her eyes locked on his. Finally he’d laid his fears, his hopes, his dreams in her lap.

She could crush him so easily. A stronger woman might have walked away, doing to him what he’d done so many times to her. But she was not that woman. She wanted to end the pain between them, not prolong it.
She’d thought divorce was the right answer. Ending the sham their marriage had become, protecting their children from more pain. The kids were her life now and she would not apologize for that. For all intents and purposes, she’d been a single parent for years and that was okay because she knew how to do that. Now fear latched on to her heart. Fear that he would leave her again. That he would once again shatter her into a thousand pieces.

But he was here. At this moment, it was all she had. Without giving herself time to think about the consequences, she leaned closer and brushed her lips gently against his.

She pulled away before he could deepen the kiss. Fear and awareness and arousal skittered through her veins, making her off balance, like a needful, sensual thing. She’d grown accustomed to the hugs of her children, their wet kisses and enthusiastic embraces.

What she craved now was something darker. The faintest brush of lips against lips had sparked something primitive inside her. Something deeper and richer. A long-forgotten need to be touched by a man. But not just any man—by this man. His hands, roughened by combat, sliding up her thighs. The coarse pads of his fingertips caressing her skin.

Memories bombarded her as she attempted to lean away and salvage the remnants of her pride.

But Trent was not operating under the get-some-space battle plan. He reached for her, his eyes rich with dark emotion. His palms scraped against her cheeks, his fingers strong as his lips claimed hers.
His breath was a gasp against her tongue and for a moment, Laura was stunned into stillness, unable to move beneath the assault on her senses. But then her body remembered his taste, her tongue remembered his touch, and a warmth awakened inside her. She opened for him, stroking his tongue with hers, her body folding into his like it was meant for him.

Her every nerve came alive. A cascade of long-denied arousal mixed with bittersweet memories of other homecomings, other farewells. It crashed into them both, driving them under a torrent of emotion.
This was the man she had married. A man who could make her body purr just thinking about him inside her. A man who knew exactly how to kiss her to drive her wild.

This was the man she’d been waiting for. She wanted nothing more than to crawl into his lap and have that urgent, passion-filled sex of first homecoming.

It was a long moment before the arousal faded and she became aware of the tender, sucking kisses he placed on her lips.

Another moment before he rested his forehead against hers.

An eternity passed before the words she’d never thought she’d ever say again slid past her lips. “I miss you,” she whispered.

And for once, he did not pull away.

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About the author:7_22 Jessica ScottUSA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas. She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012.

 

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Baseball and the Third Reich by Jonathan Weeks – Guest Blog and Giveaway

VBT Bridgeport Hammer Tour Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jonathan will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Baseball and the Third Reich

I have always been captivated by the fact that a madman nearly took over the world during the 1940s. I’m not sure what grips me most about this concept—the idea that he nearly succeeded or the notion that it really wasn’t so long ago. The world has changed a great deal since Adolf Hitler began selling his toxic ideology to the masses, but it hasn’t changed all that much. There are still madmen in it along with sheep who readily subscribe to various caustic philosophies. This is one of the many things that keep me awake at night.

But I digress…

My first novel, The Bridgeport Hammer, is a fantasy baseball memoir set during World War II. It follows the exploits of a U.S. counterintelligence agent as he attempts to thwart a diabolical Nazi assassination plot.

The target: President Roosevelt
The setting: The 1942 All-Star Game.

Sound far-fetched? It actually isn’t.

There is no evidence to support the fact that Hitler knew anything about baseball, but he was aware that sports appealed to the masses. He used the 1936 Summer Olympics as a political platform to advance the Nazi cause. Seeking to showcase a “New Germany,” the Fuehrer pledged forty-two million Reichmarks to the construction of a 325-acre sports complex outside of Berlin. When the Nazi party’s official newspaper—the Volkischer Beobachter—published a treatise on why Jews and blacks should be excluded from the games, other nations threatened to boycott. Hitler backed down, adding a token Jewish participant to his own team—a woman named Helene Mayer.

With some of the greatest athletes in the world, the Germans dominated the Berlin Olympics, capturing eighty-nine Gold Medals. Only the United States came close to matching that total (with fifty-nine). Hitler hated Americans and all they stood for. The idea of a long-range strategic bomber for the German air force was first proposed in the late-30s. By 1942, advanced plans for the bomber’s design began to appear. Five prototypes were built, though none ever became functional. Had the so-called “Amerika Bomber” project ever come to fruition (along with the Reich’s atomic program), the Germans would have been capable of wreaking havoc upon the U.S.

That’s a frightening concept.

Here’s another: German U-Boats were spotted off the American coast on multiple occasions during the war. More than a dozen were lost in U.S. waters. In June of 1942, one of them came close enough to allow four saboteurs to paddle ashore at Amagansett, Long Island carrying a large cache of explosives. Two of the saboteurs ended up in New York City while the other pair went to Chicago. One of them, a German nationalist named George Johann Dasch, had been a U.S. resident for many years and was married to an American woman. He spoke perfect English.

In regard to baseball and counter-intelligence, the two are historically linked. Moe Berg spent fifteen seasons in the majors as a catcher for several different teams. Though he was never more than an average player, he was intellectually gifted—making several successful appearances as a contestant on the radio quiz show Information, Please. A graduate of Princeton University, he was fluent in multiple languages. In 1934, Berg was selected to play on a major league All-Star team that toured Japan. During the trip, he took films of the Tokyo industrial landscape that would later be used to plan bombing raids during World War II. When his playing days were over, he worked for the Office of Strategic Services—precursor to the CIA. On one of his assignments, he traveled to Zurich, Switzerland to evaluate the status of the German atomic program.

The facts I have presented here are the building blocks of my novel, The Bridgeport Hammer. If you find the subject matter interesting, you might want to pick up a copy. I have tried very hard to establish a sound historical base while keeping the narrative exciting and fun. Those who are partial to non-fiction can obtain a copy of my book, Mudville Madness, which was recently released by Taylor Trade Publishing. Spanning three centuries of baseball history, the book provides a generous sampling of the sport’s most unusual occurrences. For folks who prefer their baseball history in smaller doses, you can check out my weekly postings at jonathanweeks.blogspot.com. The blog is called Cellar Dwellers (named after my first book).

>MEDIA KIT The Bridgeport Hammer eimage“As you would have the right to expect from any book about a baseball-playing spy narrated by the all-time record holder for most passed balls in a single game, The Bridgeport Hammer is a delight. Jonathan Weeks’ tale of baseball during wartime lovingly gets all the details of the old ballgame right, and does so while spiriting the reader through a fascinating tale of journeymen, espionage, and one unforgettably goofy pitch. Add “the bumpus” of the mysterious rookie Emmett Drexler to the great notions in baseball lore, and add The Bridgeport Hammer to your shelf of baseball classics.” – Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods

Enjoy an excerpt:

I couldn’t let Buddy investigate alone, so I followed him out of the club. I remember the scene clearly. The door opened on a cobblestone alley. It had rained at some point and the street lamps were reflecting off of scattered puddles. I spotted several mangy-looking cats eating out of a dumpster. The buildings were fairly close and you could have jumped across from one fire escape to another. A sewer grate was breathing steam into the air. The door closed behind me with a dramatic WHUMP! I checked to see if it was locked. It was.

“Great,” I said to Buddy. “Now we’ve got to walk all the way around. They’ll probably charge us to get back in.”

The two suspicious looking men were standing about twenty yards up the alley conversing in a foreign accent. It sounded like German. I didn’t see Drexler anywhere.

“Looks like we’ve got us a couple of Krauts,” said Buddy.

“Try not to make ‘em mad,” I advised.

There was a brief stare down between our two parties before the Germans (or whoever they were) advanced on us. They were walking side by side. In a move that seemed almost choreographed, they reached into their coats at the same time and pulled out what looked like Luger pistols. My stomach did a little somersault. I was about to die in an alley outside my favorite night club—And I hadn’t even gotten to see Carmen O’Day’s second set!

There was a glint of steel from above as two objects struck the gunmen one right after the other. FWUP! FWUP! It was like something out of a movie. The gunmen grunted in pain and surprise then teetered on their feet for a few seconds before toppling face first to the cobblestone. The daggers in their backs were stuck all the way up to the hilt. A noise on the fire escape captured our attention as a dark figure scrabbled through a window into one of the buildings.

We stood in dumb silence for a few seconds then Buddy grabbed me by the arm.

“We better get out of here before somebody blames us for this,” he said.

There was no debate. We ran as fast as we could.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Author Photo #3Weeks spent thirty-eight years in the Capital District region of New York State. He obtained a degree in psychology from SUNY Albany. In 2004, he migrated to Malone, New York, and has continued to gripe about the frigid winter temperatures ever since. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, he has authored two non-fiction books on the topic of baseball: Cellar Dwellers and Gallery of Rogues. His first novel, The Bridgeport Hammer, (a baseball story set during the WWII era) is being released in the summer of 2014. He writes about the game because he lacked the skills to play it professionally. He still can’t hit a curveball or lay off the high heat.

Link: Check out his “Cellar Dwellers” blog at: jonathanweeks.blogspot.com.

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Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden – Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Welcome to the cover reveal for Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden, a contemporary romance coming October 20, 2014 from Carina Press! This post is part of a tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elise will award a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please click the tour banner to visit other stops on the tour.

Here is the gorgeous cover!

About the Book:

Once-famous singer Anjuli Carver has returned to tiny Heaverlock Village alone and nearly broke. She’s poured every last penny into a rambling Victorian manor, hoping to start over. Trouble is, her money pit is falling to pieces and the only restoration architect for miles is Rob Douglas…her ex-fiancé. 

For eight years, Rob has regretted not telling Anjuli why he never answered her letters. Being left at the altar broke his heart, but being used for sex one night in London after the fact nearly drove him to the edge of sanity, and he’ll be damned if he allows Anjuli to wreak havoc on his life again. He’ll restore her manor, all right, and give her taste of her own medicine while he’s at it. 

But how long can revenge last when memories of their shared past keep rushing to the surface? 

Soon, Rob wants answers. Why did Anjuli leave the international spotlight to become a recluse in the Scottish Borderlands? And why does she refuse to sing? Anjuli wants nothing more than to be left alone with her grief, even as she struggles to keep her sexy fantasies about Rob in check. With gossipy villagers, interfering friends and more secrets between them than notes on a scale, Anjuli and Rob will need to find forgiveness in order to work together, then decide if they’re willing to risk it all on an encore performance.

Elise reads, writes and revels in romance, and is never happier than when caught up in a heart-thumping, sweat-your-socks-off tale—hers or somebody else’s. She loves creating stories about flawed characters, people for whom love isn’t simply a question of boy-meets-girl, but a gut wrenching journey of transformation.

Author links:

To find out more about Elise and her books, check out her website www.elisealden.com . Drop by and say hello on https://www.facebook.com/Revellin.Romance or tweet to her @elise_alden

Book purchase links:

http://www.amazon.com/Pitch-Imperfect-Elise-Alden-ebook/dp/B00KV5ZEZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403983237&sr=8-1&keywords=pitch+imperfect

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pitch-Imperfect-Elise-Alden-ebook/dp/B00KV5ZEZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403983418&sr=8-1&keywords=pitch+imperfect

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pitch-imperfect-elise-alden/1119740509?ean=9781426899140

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-gb/Search?Query=pitch+imperfect

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