Peace, Love, and a Dead Hippie Chick by N.R. Leigh

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. N.R. Leigh will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Peace, Love and a Dead Hippie Chick Character Interview by N.R. Leigh

I first wrote my debut novel Peace, Love and a Dead Hippie Chick as a screenplay in 2009 titled Run Away Girls. Dabbling in Indie film production at the time, I was trying to get a feel for the behind the scenes process in an effort to hone my screen writing. After I finished the script, I optioned it to several producers—all who encouraged me to adapt it into a novel—to further develop the cast of colorful characters. Here are some character interview questions from author Marcel Proust, which I used to get inside the three Hippie Chicks’ heads…


What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Kara: Living unencumbered by others ideals and judgments, with a family that I love.

What is your current state of mind?
Kara: Scared, in defensive mode, and constantly on the move.

What is your greatest fear?
Kara: Being a slave to others’ wants and desires. Being forced to do something I refuse.

What is your greatest regret?
Kara: Letting him get into the car on New Year’s Eve.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Amy: Graduating high school a half year early so I could take over Angel Wings Cleaning Service for Mama until her back heals up.

What’s your most treasured possession?
Amy: My Bible.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Amy: At this point I’d take any, but if I had to choose, it would be the ability to talk to God.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Amy: I haven’t had a true love yet, but I’m hoping it will be Jimmy!


What is your greatest extravagance?
Natasha: Walking away from the privilege I was born into. I could have anything that money could buy, but all I wanted was what it couldn’t: my escape.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Natasha: I guess others would say my beauty.

What do you most value in your friends?
Natasha: The ability to let loose and explore.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Natasha: There are too many to list…

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Natasha: Prudence.

Ultimately, I’m happy I took the producers’ advice and got to know the Hippie Chicks deeper than the screenplay would allow. I plan to option the novel again in the near future. There’s plenty of talk and criticism in Hollywood about the lack of leading roles for women. I could see AnnaSophia Robb as Amy, Dakota Johnson as Kara, and Odeya Rush as Natasha. Not to mention the three supporting male characters Jimmy, Rock-n-Roll, and Ian who would be a dream to cast; and the multiple villains who would not.

MediaKit_BookCover_PeaceLoveAndADeadHippieChickPeace, Love, and a Dead Hippie Chick follows the intertwining journeys of three young women in the mid-1990s who go on the road and off the grid, and leave their worlds behind. Each woman falls into a dangerous subculture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in an attempt to attain her own sense of peace, love, and freedom.

KARA, a middle-class Midwestern girl, flees her painful past after a tragic accident claims a loved one, only to learn—after a violent attack—that there’s no safety among friends or strangers. Survival rests in her hands alone as she escapes into the wilderness of New Mexico.

NATASHA, born into privilege, rebels against her family’s expectations as she follows the Grateful Dead concert tour circuit, selling contraband and exploring her sexual freedom.

AMY, an impoverished Southern belle, becomes love-struck when an exotic drifter passes through town, deciding to leave home and follow him.

This intricately interwoven coming-of-age tale delves into the connection between strangers and the premise that the grand orchestration of life goes well beyond chance.

Enjoy an excerpt:


Friday, April 13, 2012
Eighteen Years Later

I’ve heard it said that Volkswagen buses choose their owners and not the other way around. Some believe they’re engineered and built with a secret mojo that allows this to be true. Ask anyone who’s ever owned one, and they’ll tell you it’s so. I wonder whom this one chose. During my entire life, it’s been sitting like a convict on death row, imprisoned in the rear corner of our jungle property next to our dog Parker’s grave—over eighteen years now, grass growing over its wheel wells and tropical foliage climbing onto the windshield, awaiting execution by vegetation. I hadn’t paid much attention to it until this morning. My parents had never spoken of it.


Daylight broke through the fronds of the areca palms as I stepped onto the sod—the lawn was wet with morning dew—and began to dribble my soccer ball along the length of it. I drilled the ball, sending it sailing across the yard and directly onto the van’s back door, popping it open. Cursing my crooked instep kick, I pushed through the tangled waist–‐‑deep flora in an attempt to close the hatch but climbed inside out of curiosity. The license plate reads New Mexico, Land of Enchantment. Although born in Arizona, I’ve never technically set foot in the United States. We moved here when I was an infant.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_PeaceLoveAndADeadHippieChickN.R. Leigh began her writing career in 2007 as a featured columnist for the guerrilla newspaper The Uncommon Sense. She since has written books as an expert on personal health and wellness under the pseudonym Nicci Leigh.

She was inspired to write her debut novel, Peace, Love, and a Dead Hippie Chick, by a conversation with a friend, who described a newspaper article regarding the events that surrounded a group of hippies’ visit to her small town and the havoc they caused. This crazy, fascinating account, coupled with N.R.’s experiences traveling the United States in her early 20s, gave birth to her story.

N.R. has a background in education and teaches aesthetics, yoga, Reiki, and related holistic modalities. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, she currently lives in a rural coastal community in southwest Florida with her family and their Australian Kelpie, Sydney, who believes she’s a Tasmainian Devil.

N.R is inspired by funny people and those who create positive change and peace. Her friends and family describe her as driven, strong, silly, and independent. Something most people don’t know about her is that, at age eighteen, she aided police in the capture of a team of bank robbers.

N.R. is working on her first fiction series, Imagine Yasmin.

Please visit her website to connect.

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Shaping OUTBACK PROMISE by Maggie Bolitho – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie will be awarding an eCopy of Outback Promise to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Shaping Outback Promise

Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward. – various attributions

My novel, Outback Promise started as a tiny grain of sand, carried back home after three months in the outback in 2005. During that trip I wrote a daily journal, over 100,000 words in total, about the places I saw and the people I met. The outback made me feel as insignificant as dust. At the same time I felt connected to that ancient land in a deep, primal way. Stories swirled around me, like distant mirages, out of focus and just as elusive.

When I returned to Sydney, I sat down and tried to shape my impressions into a novel. The result was the sort of book that someone with little training and writing experience produces.

A writer friend read it and said, “This is quite lovely and it’s perfect for your family and friends.”

She gave me a long list of ways to improve it. Ouch. I had a lot to learn. For the next eight years I gathered skills and knowledge. Every so often, I’d open Outback Promise and work on it. Then I’d shelve it and work on something else, all the while letting the story incubate in the dark spongy part of my brain.

During this time, I went through several life changes. I made one international move, one move from the mainland to an island, and endured the gutting and renovating of a new home. I learned to write in a cramped attic space and in the dust and chaos of a building site.

I learned a lot of other things too:

  1. The only way to finish a novel is to sit down and do it. Set aside the distractions and avoidance behavior and get to work. You can’t polish what isn’t on the page.
  2. Develop a thick skin. My friend’s reaction to my first draft may seem harsh but the market is even harsher.
  3. Writers need other writers. They need to associate with people who will encourage them as well as speak frankly when work misses the mark. Finding productive critique partners may take a while but the benefits are huge. Look for someone who understands what you are trying to do, works at your pace and to your standards.
  4. Never stop studying, going to courses and workshops, or reading books on craft. You don’t know it all and there is so much to learn, it takes a lot of time to absorb.
  5. Practice, practice, practice. Write in haste and edit at leisure. Don’t be afraid to write fearlessly. Likewise, edit with courage.
  6. When it comes to submission the golden rule is: don’t submit too early. Those agents and publishers who see your rough work to may not be interested in a second submission. Avoid burning bridges.

If you are self-pubbing this rule applies even more. Don’t burn off tomorrow’s readers by rushing to deliver poorly-edited novels today.

I’m grateful that I learned to take my time with Outback Promise. I’m proud of its final, polished form. Given my lack of training and experience at the outset, I shouldn’t have expected a faster result. Experience was my teacher and there was no crash course in what I needed to learn.

MediaKit_BookCover_OutbackPromiseSix years ago, the Balfours lost their son Cadel to a hit-and-run driver.

A few months ago, Ros discovered Grady’s affair.

With their marriage fast disintegrating, they decide to take a three-month camping trip into the heart of Australia to try and mend deep wounds and rekindle the fire that once fused them close. This trip will decide the fate of their relationship: do they have enough strength and enough love left to accept what life has put them both through?

But trust and forgiveness don’t come easily, and Ros and Grady have to navigate not only the wilderness of the Outback and the challenges of other travellers, but also the chasm of grief and bitterness they have sunk into over the last six years. Their only hope for survival lies in facing the secrets they have both tried to keep buried …

Enjoy an excerpt:

The day my son died, he ate a Vegemite and banana sandwich for lunch.

His small voice, almost forgotten now, jarred me awake that morning. ‘How do bees get to school?’

Forty pounds of energy scrambled onto the bed.

‘Who’s asking me these questions so very early?’ I surfaced from a dream fog.

‘Mummy! It’s sunny!’ Cadel wedged himself between his father and me. His breath smelled like apple juice.

‘Okay, so how do bees get to school?’

‘On the school buzz.’

His infectious giggle filled the room. I peered out at the bright blue sky and abandoned all hope of sleeping in. We said we’d take him hiking with his new backpack if the weather was good.

Grady rolled over and grunted. His wavy dark hair hung in his eyes as he tried to look stern. ‘Lady Rosalyn, do you know this little person?’

‘No, Sir Grady, I do not.’

‘Should we make him walk the plank?’

‘It’s me, Daddy.’

‘What? When?’ Grady shook his head. ‘Me? Me who?’

‘It’s me! Cadel!’

‘I don’t remember giving permission for you to come aboard. Are you sure you’re not a pirate? I’d better give you the pirate test.’ He lifted Cadel’s pyjama top and blew a raspberry on his soft stomach.

Cadel shrieked and flailed his small arms.

I slid out of bed and left the two of them, wrestling and twisting the sheets into knots.

About the Author: Maggie Bolitho grew up in Victoria BC Canada, where she spent her childhood flying under the radar, constructing alternate universes, and wishing to be somewhere over the rainbow. Shortly after her 17th birthday she set out to see the world. Eventually, she moved on to Australia.

While living Down Under and exploring the outback, Maggie started writing fiction. Her adult short stories have been published in various anthologies in Australia, the US, and Canada. She has written for Quills Canadian Poetry magazine, her YA novel LOCKDOWN was published in 2014, and in 2015 she published OUTBACK PROMISE.

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The Near Miss by Fran Cusworth

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Fran will be awarding an eCopy of The Near Miss to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Grace, hardworking and tired, wants another baby. But she’s dealing with debt, a manic 4-year-old and a jobless husband determined to make his inventions into reality. Can they both get their way, or will competing dreams tear their marriage apart?

Eddy analyses risk for a living, but his insecurities have brought his own life to a halt. He won’t let go of the flighty, unfaithful Romy, but will he ever risk believing in himself?

Melody is trying to raise her son Skip in the city while holding true to her hippie lifestyle. But will past mistakes and judgement from other parents force her to leave her beliefs behind?

This is a story about real life aspirations, and whether you can chase your dreams at the same time as raising children and paying the bills. It’s about friendship, and how the people you meet in a moment can change your life forever.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Grace stood at the door of the waiting room and watched these three strangers, man, woman and child, and breathed a fresher air than the air she had left behind in the ward, where blue face masks and plastic tubing absorbed all the oxygen. Around them here, families gathered in little clumps, some staring at her with surly envy. They wanted in. Children wailed and coughed and grizzled. Grace went over to the man and woman.

‘She’s going to be okay,’ she told them. ‘She’s strained a ligament and bruised her foot.

But it’s relatively minor.’

‘Lucky,’ said the woman. She had extraordinary blue eyes.

‘Lucky you were there,’ said Grace steadily. ‘What’s your name?’

‘Melody. We just moved here last week. From up north.’

‘Where up north?’

‘A commune. Tuntable Falls. Have you heard of Nimbin?’

‘Of course,’ said Grace. Drop-out ’sixties scene, up in the rainforest mountains.

Explained the dreds. ‘I didn’t think there was anyone up there under sixty.’

‘Plenty,’ said Melody. ‘Their kids.’

‘You grew up there?’

‘No, here. Donvale. Most boring suburb in the world. Probably why I fled to Nimbin as soon as I could.’

Grace nodded. ‘Well, I for one am glad you came back! Hey, do you think you could both come for dinner one Saturday night? My husband Tom and I, and Lotte, we live just near the ice-cream shop. We would like to say thank you.’

The man beamed and looked absolutely delighted. ‘Can I bring my girlfriend?’

‘Of course.’ She looked at Melody. ‘Do you want to bring someone? Besides your son?’

‘Uh. Maybe.’

‘Is your car alright?’ It was the polite thing to ask, although Grace could not have cared less about the car. I do hope my child’s body didn’t dent your fender?

Eddy blushed. ‘It’s fine. We drove here in it, remember? From the scene of the crime.’

‘Oh, yes. Sorry.’

‘So to speak. Wasn’t really a crime.’ The man spoke hastily, as if sensing Grace’s burning guilt, and the two women turned as one to study him for a moment.

‘I’m so sorry,’ he said, his hand on his heart.

‘It wasn’t your fault,’ Grace said gloomily. It would have been nice to blame something other than her daughter’s lunacy, but in this case it was not possible. ‘She’s always been a runner. I’m just lucky you both have quick reflexes.’ She tore a corner from a magazine and wrote. ‘So here’s my address. I’ll see you.’

At her feet, the boy, who must have been Lotte’s age, shrieked and pointed. A tiny tin train peeled away from his feet and skittered across the floor merrily, over the linoleum, under seats and between feet, carving a straight line through the lives it passed. The hippy looked accusingly at the man.

‘You fixed it.’

He looked sheepishly proud, and crouched by the squealing, delighted child.


About the Author: Fran is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. She worked as a newspaper journalist for twenty years, and recently had a midlife career crisis and retrained as a nurse. She won the Guy Morrison Prize for Literary Journalism in 2013. She is married with two children and she once lived in a commune, like Melody, and at another time she desperately wanted a second child, like Grace. Like Tom, she has pursued a few foolish dreams, and like Eddy, her courage has at times failed her. This is her fourth novel.

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Sweet Tea by Wendy Lynn Decker – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wendy will be awarding a $5 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_SweetTeaThe fourth anniversary of Olivia’s daddy and John Lennon’s death is approaching. Like the shot heard ’round the world, TV and radio stations keep the frenzy alive and recognize Lennon’s life, while Olivia’s mama remembers Daddy’s death. Instead of healing, Mama’s strange behavior keeps getting worse.

After viewing an afternoon talk show, Olivia discovers her mother might have more than a case of eccentricity – she may be mentally ill. When those fears are confirmed, Olivia is faced with more decisions than any sixteen-year-old should have to make. With no adult family members to turn to, she is forced to trust the only people who’ve offered help: one strange man and a friend her mother makes at the mental institution.

Facing the intricacies of her mother’s illness one minute and the decision to have sex with her new boyfriend the next, Olivia finds that through faith and determination, she can conquer it all in this poignant story of love, intuition, compassion, and hope.

Enjoy an excerpt:

When the Monday morning after Thanksgiving rolled around, I wondered if Mama had taken a bath yet. It wasn’t like her to wallow in filth. She spent more time in the bath than a bar of soap, but I wasn’t going to be the one to suggest she get in the tub. I needed to get myself ready for school. I had to look just right today.

“Have you heard Mama run the bath yet?” I asked CeCe.

“Nope,” she answered, while scrubbing the kitchen table as if she hoped it would change colors. “She went to bed after me last night. Hopefully she took one after I fell asleep.” She waved her hand in front of her nose. “By the way, what kind of shampoo are you putting in your hair? Last night I sneezed about ten times when you rolled onto my side of the bed.”

“Jonzie gave it to me,” I said.

CeCe looked at me funny. “You sure it’s for humans? Knowing Jonzie, it might be some type of dog shampoo.”

“No! Jonzie found a bunch of it in her basement. Her Daddy used to work for a big fragrance company. He has boxes and boxes of samples.”

“Did you check the expiration date? I think it may have gone bad.”

I shrugged. “Maybe we could save up for bunk-beds, then your nose won’t be so close to my head.”

CeCe kept scrubbing. “Don’t worry; you’ll have the bed to yourself soon enough.”

Though I would have loved to have the bed to myself, I’d rather share it with CeCe for five more years than let her go away and leave me alone with Mama.

Just then, the bathroom door creaked open, and Mama stepped out. I could see her clearly from the kitchen. There were no twists and turns in the trailer like there had been in our house. Just one straight hallway of metal covered in taupe-painted drywall, with a portrait of our family hanging crooked from a skinny nail halfway down.

Daddy would have been sad if he knew our portrait no longer sat on the fireplace mantle. He loved our house. He built it especially for our family. I remembered him saying he made sure to build it big enough so we would never have to move. The only thing reminiscent of our old house now was the flower bed Mama made on the small plot of grass on the side of the trailer.

Dressed in her uniform, all fresh and clean, she said, “Good morning, girls.”

Cece and I breathed identical sighs of relief. “Morning,” we said.

Mama smoothed the sides of her hair while she sucked her lips inward, staring into the air as if it were a mirror. “What a beautiful fall day it is.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” CeCe said. “It sure is a beautiful day.”

She grabbed a couple of chocolate chip cookies from the cookie jar and waved goodbye. “Don’t forget to wake Luke up.” She slipped out the front door like any other Monday. But I knew it wasn’t any other Monday. It was one Monday closer to the anniversary of Daddy and John Lennon’s death.

Each year when the anniversary drew near, John Lennon’s face plastered every station on the television. I would often dive across the living room floor, rushing to change the channel before Mama saw it. We all knew if Mama saw Lennon’s fans clutching their candles while they sang Give Peace a Chance in Central Park, there would be no peace for us.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SweetTeaWendy Lynn Decker has lived in thirteen different towns in the state of New Jersey. Now, she lives a bike ride away from the ocean and her favorite restaurant. She is the author of the middle-grade chapter book, THE BEDAZZLING BOWL, which is the first book intended for a series.

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Character Interviews from Fishbowl by Bradley Somer – Guest Blog

An Interview with Petunia Delilah (the New Mom) and Claire (the Aggressively Introverted Sex Phone Worker). – A Discussion of Character.
By Bradley Somer
The other day, I was lucky enough to catch up with a few of the key characters in my new novel Fishbowl. It had been about six months since we last saw each other, when we were fact checking and polishing up their roles in the novel.

Both Claire and Petunia Delilah were passing through town and their layovers happened to overlap by a few hours. So, framed by the planes departing and arriving through the windows of the concourse coffee shop, I clicked record on my tape recorder and caught the following conversation.

Bradley: Great to see you both again. It’s been a while since the book… what have you both been up to?

Petunia Delilah: Yeah. To tell you the truth, after what you put me through in the novel, I wasn’t sure I wanted to ever see your face again.

Claire: (nods) I’m in the same boat. I agreed to this interview because I thought you’d apologize for that whole thing.

B: Um… Okay. It wasn’t that bad was it? I mean everything worked out in the end. Nobody died right?

C: Well, someone did… That guy on the fifteenth floor.

PD: Yes. How could you forget? You’re a real heartless sonofab–

At this point I turned the recorder off and we had a quick chat about their experiences in Fishbowl and the inappropriateness of cussing in an interview. I explained that characters had to be challenged in a novel, had to be changed by the final chapter. A reader wants an arc to their character development and there’s nothing worse than a stagnant character. Then I apologized for the trials they had to endure through the novel because they didn’t buy any of my excuses. Within half an hour off the record, the frosty initial reception thawed a bit and we were able to resume the interview.

Bradley: Okay, great to see you both again. What have you been up to?

Petunia Delilah: Lavender is six months old now. She keeps me pretty busy but Danny has been a great help. We got married a few months ago. The ceremony was wonderful.

Claire: I didn’t get an invite.

PD: I wasn’t sure you were, you know, out and about. I thought maybe you shut and locked the door. That you went back to your old ways.

C: No. I’m doing much better now. I have a new job. I’m an emergency dispatcher. Jason set me up with an interview and I went really well.

B: Wonderful. I’m glad to hear it.

C: it’s what I had to do after you wrote me out of a job and had this one (points at PD) come barging through my door looking for an ice cream sandwich and popping babies out all over my linoleum. I didn’t even have any ice cream sandwiches. I would never buy those, yet poof, there they are in my freezer, written in by you, thank you very much.

B: Well, every character needs a motivation, no matter how simple it is. You can’t have a character do anything without it.

PD: What… saving my unborn child wasn’t enough? I’ve never craved an ice cream sandwich so much as when you wrote it in the novel. You know, you’re a real sadistic sonofab–

Unfortunately, at this point, I had to run. My parking was about to expire and I didn’t want to get towed. I thanked Claire and Petunia Delilah for taking the time to chat and their response was… Well, by this point I had turned the recorder off and I wouldn’t want to mistakenly misquote their colorful goodbye.

10_28 Fishbowl coverA goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He’s longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

There’s the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and the other woman; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building’s super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.

Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, “An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had.”

About the Author: 10_28 Bradley Somer_credit Nenad MaksimovicBRADLEY SOMER was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Canada and holds degrees in Anthropology and Archaeology. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals, reviews and anthologies. His debut novel, Imperfections, published in Canada, won the 2013 CBC Bookie Award for debut of the year. Bradley currently lives in a little old house in the city of Calgary, Canada, where he works on his writing projects and tries to ignore the wild growth that his backyard has become.

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K9 Blue: Ground Zero by Matt McCredie – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Matt will be awarding an eCopy of K9 Blue: Ground Zero to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_K9BluePolice dog handler Mike Winters and his furry partner Falcon love a good chase. They’ll do anything to protect the streets of Sydney, whether it’s tracking a murderer through the woods or breaking up a bar brawl. To them, it’s all fun and games until the bad guy gets hurt. And then it’s just fun.

Lately though, it seems that violent incidents are on the rise. When Mike and Falcon’s beloved commander is killed in action, Mike is determined to bring the perpetrators to justice, but he has no idea just how deep this malevolent plot runs.

A terrorist organisation has devised a plan to attack the city from all sides, and they have taken over a refuelling ship in Sydney Harbour. Mike and Falcon must use all of their wit and courage to battle the killers, expose police corruption, and, if they’re lucky, save a city from obliteration.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Mike looked down at Falcon, who was totally focused on the menacing figure in front of him. He knew then that there was only going to be one way to take this lunatic in: violently. He drew his .40-calibre Glock pistol, the curved rough grip of the handle fitting his hand comfortably, giving him confidence. Fifteen police rounds and a police dog versus a psycho and his knife. Mike liked his chances, but did not underestimate the ability of the man in front of him. He switched off the torch as he switched on the light source attached to the base of his pistol. Still enough to light up his target, but not quite enough to keep blinding him. There was no way he could wait for backup, as he had lost radio communications and didn’t know how many other coppers, if any, were following him in. He and Falcon were going to have to handle the situation alone. He couldn’t risk letting this criminal escape.

Falcon started to go berserk again, straining as they moved forward to take his target on. The dog didn’t know what this guy had done and he didn’t know how dangerous he really was. He just knew that he was going to take him down with his dad like they had done so many times before.

Mike and Falcon edged in closer. ‘DROP THE WEAPON. GET ON THE GROUND!’

At three metres, the phantom moved. He passed the glinting knife back and forth between his hands in an attempt to keep the pig and his dog guessing. Bending forward, he moved in a wide circle, daring the two of them to come in closer to where he could drive.

his blade through their flesh. Gutting them would be a pleasure. Unfortunately for him, though, his eyes were still trying to adjust from the torch’s intense light to the relative darkness supplied by the smaller light source. The loose branches and rocks strewn over the uneven surface of the clearing gave way beneath his boots, sending him down on one knee with the knife still firmly in his hand.

This was Mike’s chance. He didn’t hesitate for even half a second. Screaming his command for Falcon to attack, he released his aching grip from the straining harness. ‘GET HIM!’

Falcon shot forward with total focus and purpose. Flying through the air, he hit his target on the full and clamped his jaws down around the sinewy biceps of the murderer, who yelped when he saw a full white set of canines scream out of the darkness and straight into his arm. Mike’s command to attack wasn’t really necessary — Falcon knew what had to be done and he was doing it. The murderer was knocked completely off-balance, crashing to the ground. Mike quickly slammed his pistol back into its holster and grabbed hold of his large aluminium torch, all the while moving in to help out his mate. There was no hesitation; his partner had done the hard part, now it was Mike’s turn to earn his money. This psycho was still armed.

‘Good boy — give it to him, mate!’ The big cop came over the top of Falcon, who was still clamped down on the murderer’s arm and violently shaking his head back and forth, driving his canines further and further into the tearing flesh. The big dog growled as he pig-rooted his prey back towards the dark line of trees. Mike momentarily lost sight of the blade.

‘Shit, shit, shit. Where’s the knife?’ Mike swung the torch down as hard as he could on the murderer’s arm, just as he viciously hacked the blade out of the dark at Falcon’s snout. The torch smashed into the man’s forearm, shattering the bone with a brutal strike. It stopped the blade attack in its tracks and propelled the deadly steel onto the ground, clattering out of sight. Mike dropped the torch and drew his right fist high above his head.

‘Giddy up!’ he yelled.

His fist slammed straight down into the centre of the balaclava with a sickening thud that shattered bone and cartilage, spreading the man’s nose flat across his face. His head bounced off the unforgiving ground with a crack. Mike swore, rubbing his swelling knuckles in his left hand. The man went limp, his balaclava stained with the blood which poured from his broken nose. Falcon was still biting down hard and fighting, the punch spurring him on. He wouldn’t quit until he was told to. Triumphantly he dragged the unresisting carcass across the rocky ground. Mike located the blade and bagged it, and then yelled his command to Falcon, who reluctantly let go. He trotted back to Mike’s side, but never once took his eyes off the prized catch. Mike gave his dog a well-deserved pat on his head.

About the Author:Matt McCredie joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1992 working in Uniform and plain clothes before being accepted into the elite NSW Police Dog Squad where he spent 13 years as a dog handler. During his police service Matt was awarded two Commissioners Commendations for bravery. He has published two non fiction titles, Blue Paws (2009) and The Real Inspector Rex (2013). Matt is an accomplished public and corporate speaker and lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.


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#LASR_Anniv Books We love Ltd.

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BooksWeLoveLogoBooks We Love Ltd. is a publisher of genre fiction by established authors in digital and print. Our authors have embraced digital publishing as the model of the future and Books We Love publishes historical novels, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical romance and fantasy romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, thrillers, western and young adult books in every genre.

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#LASR_Anniv My Husband’s Sin by Mary T Bradford

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My_Husbands_SinIn the weeks following Lillian Taylor’s burial, her four loving adult children assemble for the reading of her will. For the grieving youngest sibling, Lacey, life is about to come crashing down as a deep secret is revealed. The fall-out affects every member and they struggle to regain the happy family unit they once shared. Each of the siblings, take the reader on a journey as they try to come to terms and learn to handle this huge revelation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Bradford, a mother and an expert in hugging, is a published writer of short stories in magazines, newspapers and anthologies both in Ireland and internationally. Her first novel ‘My Husband’s Sin’ is with Tirgearr Publishing. She also writes historical westerns and erotic romances. Mary also writes plays and has seen her work short-listed and performed.

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#LASR_Anniv Fling! by Lily Iona MacKenzie

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Fling“Fling! is both hilarious and touching, the madcap journey of an aging mother and her adult daughter from cold Protestant Canada into the hallucinogenic heart of Mexico’s magic, where the past literally comes to life. Every page is a surprise… A scintillating read.”
–Lewis Buzbee, Author and Professor of Creative Writing, University of San Francisco

When ninety-year-old Bubbles receives a letter from Mexico City asking her to pick up her mother’s ashes, lost there seventy years earlier and only now surfacing, she hatches a plan. A woman with a mission, Bubbles convinces her hippie daughter Feather to accompany her on the quest. Both women have recently shed husbands and have a secondary agenda: they’d like a little action. And they get it.

Alternating narratives weave together Feather and Bubbles’ odyssey. The two women travel south from Canada to Mexico where Bubbles’ long-dead mother, grandmother, and grandfather turn up, enlivening the narrative with their hilarious antics.

In Mexico, where reality and magic co-exist, Feather gets a new sense of her mother, and Bubbles’ quest for her mother’s ashes—and a new man—increases her zest for life. Unlike most women her age, fun-loving Bubbles takes risks, believing she’s immortal. She doesn’t hold back in any way, eating heartily and lusting after strangers, exulting in her youthful spirit.

Readers will believe they’ve found the fountain of youth themselves in this character. At ninety, Bubbles comes into her own, coming to age, proving it’s never too late to fulfill one’s dreams.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Canadian by birth, a high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in her early years, Lily Iona MacKenzie supported herself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored her into the States). She also was a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (and almost got her legs broken), founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative writing and one in the Humanities). She has published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir in over 140 American and Canadian venues. Fling, one of her novels, will be published in July 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Bone Songs, another novel, will be published in 2016. Her poetry collection All This was published in 2011. She also teaches writing at the University of San Francisco, paints, and travels widely with her husband.

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#LASR_Anniv The Master Passion by Juliet Waldron

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MasterPassionTHE MASTER PASSION is the story of the marriage – called by some a misalliance – of Alexander Hamilton, our First Secretary of the Treasury, and Betsy Schuyler. Although born poor and illegitimate, Hamilton courts the daughter of Major General Schuyler, an American princess.

Hamilton is one of a trinity of Founders who seem to have been created on purpose to invent our nation. Like all mission-driven men, he is preoccupied, often absent, and not the best provider. The trials of making ends meet and raising an ever growing troop of children are Betsy’s. This woman-behind-the-man is barely known, but through war, Indian attacks, multiple births, epidemics, infidelity, unending politics and dire tragedy, Betsy is the force which holds the family together.

Betsy’s passion is Alexander, but, sometimes, even more than this wife, Alexander loves America.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Juliet Waldron has lived in many US states, in the UK and the West Indies. She earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage.

Thirty years ago, after her sons left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for her readers. She’s a grandmother, a cat person, and a dedicated student of history and archeology. Her mother took her to Nevis, to see Hamilton’s birth place, when she was just eleven years old, so this fascinating historical person has been in her life for quite a long time.

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