The Boy by Madhuri Blaylock – Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Madhuri will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Character interview – WYATT CLAYWORTH

Full name: WYATT FINN CLAYWORTH
Age: 20
Occupation: Ramyan Warrior

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Protecting those I love from harm

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I’m no longer certain there is a state of perfection, but if there is, it somehow involves Dev

What is your current state of mind?

Conflicted. I’m happier than I ever thought possible, on so many different levels, but there is a constant undercurrent of anxiety running through my entire life, a concern for everyone I love.

What is your favorite occupation?

I’ve only ever known the life of a warrior

What is your most treasured possession?

My blade, Odara

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Dev

What is your favorite journey?

Crossing the plains of death to return to Dev. It was absolutely brutal and so very worth it.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My “new” eyes

When and where were you the happiest?

The day at the lake with Dev. That’s all I’m going to say.

What is it that you most dislike?

This will sound strange coming from a trained killer, but I hate violence. Abhor it.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing love.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Lying in bed with Dev, pretending we have no cares or concerns

Which living person do you most despise?

The so-called head of The Sanctum, Carter Breslin, with his wife, Ava, a close second.

What is your greatest regret?

I think at one point in time, I would say not disarming Max that night in the park, but that’s no longer my answer. My greatest regret is the years I spent blindly fighting for The Sanctum.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to paint like the Human masters Picasso and Van Gogh

Where would you like to live?

Wherever Dev wants to live. And where I can keep her safe, but do NOT tell her I said that. It will totally piss her off and I’ll never hear the end of it.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Loss of love and affection. Trust me, there is nothing worse.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Honor

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The same, honor.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

The need to make others believe everything is all right.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Violence and duplicity. I know that’s two, but whatever.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their integrity and sense of humor – again two things. Don’t worry, I know how to count.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

I’m assuming you’re asking about Human fiction since you probably haven’t read much Magical fiction. The Buendia family of the Human classic One Hundred Years of Solitude are my favorite – I come back to their story again and again.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Dev and my best friend, Ryker Morrison.

Which living person do you most admire?

Hands down, Ryker.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Patience. Screw patience.

On what occasions do you lie?

To protect those I love, but it always comes back to bite me in the ass.

How would you like to die?

I’ve already died. I have no desire to do it again.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

Ha! That’s easy – a Ramyan Warrior.

What is your motto? It’s all about her.

MEDIA KIT The_boy_final“Every now and again an excellent novel will come forth dealing with fantasy and magic that will just grab and hold my attention from beginning to end. That is exactly what THE GIRL did.” — OOSA Online Book Club

In THE GIRL, Madhuri Blaylock introduced readers to the world of The Sanctum, one corrupted by greed and savagery and hellbent on achieving a single goal: destroying the prophesied hybrid. When one of its most celebrated warriors questioned his allegiances, age-old secrets were unveiled and violence erupted. The journey becomes more perilous and intense as the trilogy surges forward with

THE BOY

Can you cross the plains of death, collect every piece of your soul and make it back to the land of the living?

And if you complete the journey, will your loved ones welcome your return?

The Ramyan have been answering such questions since the creation of The Sanctum. A mysterious sect of Magicals, haunting the blank spaces of time and memory, they serve no one but themselves and their higher purpose. They exist on a plane removed from earthly matters, shifting easily between the living and the dead, moving in time to the beat of their own drummer.

At least they did. Dev and Wyatt change all of that when the prophesied hybrid lands on the steps of Rinshun Palace, seeking help for the wounded Class A Warrior. That decision alters lives and sets old agendas back on course. But at what cost to Dev and Wyatt? And does that really even matter?

“The characters in Madhuri Blaylock’s novel…are well written and unique, and the story is just fantastic…I just loved every page of the story!” – Readers’ Favorite

Enjoy an excerpt:

The first sense awakened was smell; the first familiar scent was jasmine. It was not overpowering, as it tended to be at times, but rather just a hint in the air, enough to arouse a memory.

Shopping in the market and the vendor giving her a string of flowers for her hair. She wanted to weave them into her braid but there was no time. They were simply wrapped around her neck, a sweet-smelling chain, but not half as pretty as they would have looked in her hair.

The green grass.

Her sight returned next and she thrilled at the vision before her, the tall grass of her home, so lush and brilliant. So soft to her touch which followed and soon she could feel her body returning to itself, feel the ground below her and hear the life around her.

Sound.

The water of the channels, lazily rolling along, the birds calling to one another in an endless conversation of nonsense and the branches of trees, swaying in the wind, scratching against each other.

And finally taste.

Metallic.

Iron.

She wiped her mouth and the back of her hand came away red.

Blood.

She sat up and spit. Bright red against the brown of the dirt. She didn’t care. The blood was insignificant; the boy was of much more importance.

The fact that Dev could sit up at all was amazing, a testament to her minute learning curve. Only her second time toying with portal travel and she had no broken bones, not even a scratch she realized as she studied her arms and legs. She stood up slowly, her legs feeling a bit shaky, and wobbled around like a newly-birthed colt. She stretched her arms above her head and shook them out, needing to get the blood flowing through her limbs properly. All the while, she scanned the area for his dark hair, his fair skin.

Wyatt.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Author Photo 1Madhuri is a Jersey City Heights girl via Snellville, Georgia, who writes paranormal fiction and is slightly infatuated with tattoos, four-inch heels, ice cream, Matt Damon, scotch, Doc Martens, Laini Taylor, photo booths and dancing like a fool.

She’s currently working on The Sanctum trilogy and hopes one day soon, everyone is walking around with copies of The Girl and The Boy in their pocket or on their Kindle.

She wants to get a goat and a burro, but since she lives in the city, will settle for some chickens.

To learn more about her, you can follow her blog at madhuriblaylock.wordpress.com, follow her on Twitter at @madhuriblaylock or like her on Facebook.

She’s totally chatty so drop her a line any time.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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If I Say Yes by Brandy Jellum – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Brandy will be awarding a Swag Prize Pack to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour.

Cover_if i say yesElizabeth Lewis was the child of Hollywood’s darling couple, until her father murdered her mother.

Six years later, she has traded her flashy, luxurious lifestyle for one of safe anonymity as a literary agent. With a different name and appearance, Liza Winter is living the life of her dreams—one where she’s known for who she is instead of what her father did. Except her apartment should be condemned, her car only starts when it wants, she hates the romance genre she has been assigned, and the CEO’s deliciously attractive nephew is out to ruin her carefully laid plans.

Reid Harder has never met an obstacle he couldn’t overcome. When his new position in the romance department comes with a benefit his uncle didn’t mention, he decides to wage a war against the intelligent, beautiful Liza to destroy every argument she has for turning him down. Still, the closer he gets to winning the prize, the more he realizes that the woman is keeping secrets that may endanger not just her life but his.

Will Liza overcome her mistrust of Reid to reveal her secrets before he learns the truth and walks away? Or will a grudge-wielding apparition from her past make her the next deadly Hollywood headline?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Prologue

Six years ago

Blood covers every surface. On the pristine, white marble flooring, the grand staircase and handrail, and what used to be a tall, square wooden end table by the large double doors I just walked through. The table now lays scattered across the foyer, broken into jagged pieces. The large, antique ceramic bowl that served as a key holder had set on the table, but now, it too is scattered amongst the broken wood and the blood bath. I follow the trail of dark crimson fluid up the stairs, my hands shaking and my breath catching. Upstairs is worse, far worse. The plush white carpet is saturated a deep shade of red; splatters and droplets are everywhere.

My heart is pounding, urging me to go, to leave, to run and call for help. My head tells me otherwise, to follow the trail of blood down the hall. The blood is smeared on the walls, as if someone was trying to grab ahold of something to prevent being dragged this way. The trail leads to my parents’ bedroom. My heartbeat quickens, and a bead of sweat forms along my hairline. The door to my parents’ room is slightly ajar, and I nudge it open a little farther, just enough so I can slip past the door.

A piercing scream escapes, and I quickly clamp a hand over my mouth. My eyes are glued to the sight before me. There’s no mistaking the familiar blonde hair attached to the crumpled body on the floor, discarded as though she is a piece of garbage that nobody wants. Just left there with a pool of blood surrounding her body. The blonde hair, the only thing I share with my mother, is drenched in the dark fluid. Another cry escapes my lips as I rush across the floor and collapse next to her, brushing the hair out of her face. My heart drops to the pit of my stomach, and I feel bile rising to the back of my throat.

I can hardly recognize my mother’s soft, delicate face; she was a natural beauty, one that everyone wanted to star in their next movie at one point in her life. Her face is mangled with large, jagged cuts that run across it. The blood is already starting to dry. Examining the rest of her body, I see she is covered from head to toe with multiple stab wounds. Under the cross-hatch of wounds, I can see faint bruises forming from the multiple contusions she has suffered as well.

“Mom,” I whisper. I scoop her body into my arms and pull her close to my body. Her head rests against my chest as I begin to rock back and forth. “Don’t be dead…please, don’t be dead.” I know my plea is useless; she is already gone. The amount of blood throughout the house and pooling around her, and the blank expression in her blue eyes is proof enough. Tears form in my eyes. “You can’t be dead.”

I cry out loud, and my body begins to shake involuntarily. “I didn’t mean what I said…I forgive you.” My voice breaks and barely comes out. I think back to the last conversation we had. Which, honestly, isn’t anything outside the norm, since we fought constantly the little time we are around each other. We had a toxic mother-daughter relationship. If there’s an award for worst parents ever, mine would win, hands down. But today, today’s argument was different. It had been the final straw in her attempt to break me down. I had yelled at her, uttering all the same obscenities and same ‘I hate you.’ I had told her that she was the worst mother in the world and that I would be better off if she would just die. I never really meant that last part. No matter how unloving, cruel, and horrible they were, neither of my parents deserve to die, at least not like this.

I shake my mother slightly, but she doesn’t stir. Of course she doesn’t; she is long gone. “Please…please… just come back.” I choke out the last three words. It doesn’t matter that I have spent a lifetime hating her nor does it matter that she took the one thing that made me happiest in the world right out from under my nose. At the moment, I could care less about all the horrible things she has said and done. Nothing, I repeat nothing, she has done warranted her death. I begin to cry, sobbing uncontrollably. I cry because however rotten she was, she is gone, and I never got to say goodbye or to take back any of the things I have ever said to her.

“It’s a shame things had to end like this.” I snap my head up and find my father leaning against the door frame. His dark brown hair is a tousled mess. He is still wearing the charcoal suit I last saw him in, minus the jacket and tie. His forehead is creased, and his dark brown eyes, the exact same shade as mine, narrow. In one hand, he is holding a large, white, terry cloth towel stained with blood. In the other is a large butcher knife dripping blood. His lips quirk up into a sinister grin that sends a chill down my spine. “You can’t really be sad, can you? Not after what she did to you…to me…to us.”

His words linger in the air.

“Y-Y-You did this?” I ask weakly.

He struts across the room toward me, and I pull my mother closer, as if I can protect her from any further harm. I glance up at him hovering over me, and my eyes flicker to the knife in his hands. My father follows my gaze and smiles. He tosses the knife onto their oversized poster bed and wipes his hands off with the towel before tossing it onto the bed as well.

“Of course I did,” he sneers. My father smiles, not showing one ounce of remorse for what he has done.

“Why? Why would you do this?”

“The bitch had it coming.” He smiles again and sends another wave of chills down my spine. “I did it for us, but more importantly, I did it for you, Elizabeth.” Then he lunges for me…

 

Author Pic Brandy JellumBrandy’s passion for writing began long before she actually sat down to write. As a child, she has had an obsession with reading, everything from the classic stories by Jane Austen to YA Fiction by Richelle Mead. Finally, in 2012, she decided to create her own stories for people to fall in love with. Brandy bounces back and forth writing both Romance and Young Adult Fiction (which is mainly just for fun).

At the beginning of 2014, Brandy signed a contract with publishing company Booktrope. She is very excited about the next chapter of her life and cannot wait to share her books and passion with readers.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing after her husband, her four children and her black lab, Diesel. Or curled up on her favorite corner of the couch with her newest book.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://brandyjellumbooks.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrandyJellum

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brandy_Jellum

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/If-Say-Yes-Something/dp/162015367X/ref=la_B00K1VAC7Y_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400799027&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-i-say-yes-brandy-jellum/1119337250?ean=9781620153673

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Q&A with Vanna Tessier

Where is your favorite place to write? Please describe your writing place.

My favorite place to write is in my studio that is divided from my kitchen
by the cupboards, near the pantry. I know I’d never go hungry with food so
close to me. But I have to be careful not to eat all the time instead of working
on my computer. The keyboard is patiently waiting for me every day with all
the new words and adventures anyone could possibly want. There could be
no better place to write.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? The least favorite part?

Dialogue is my favorite part of the writing process. It can sound natural
and spontaneous in a given situation. That could add a sense of truth
in a work of fiction. Dialogue can also reveal a particular character by
the words he or she uses. If the protagonist for example uses French words,
he or she might be French.

If the computer breaks and lets me down, it would be unpleasant, disrupting
my writing process and my train of thought.

How much time do you spend writing each day?

I enjoy writing and I spend as much time as I can doing what I like doing best.

Do you write on a computer, typewriter or pen/paper?

It would take too much time to write with the typewriter or pen and paper. It
takes long enough to write a novel with the computer. I always promise myself
to be faster.

Who are some of your influences?

Mark Twain offers fantastic adventures in Tom Sawyer.
Alice Munro is inspiring with her unique short stories in Runaway.
Isaac Hooke dares surprise the reader with his book The Forever Gate.

shooting picasso coverThe 9/11 surprise attack on the World Trade Center creates unimaginable chaos and grief in New York City. Ruthless opportunists try to take advantage of the ensuing panic, but a promising young reporter known for her no-holds-barred story-chasing hunts them down and soon finds herself at the heart of a criminal underworld.

How deep into that underworld, and her own past, is she willing to go? And more importantly, will she have the strength to face a drastic life change?

About the Author: Shooting Picasso Author PicVanna Tessier writes about the world we live in today. She believes reason and modern technology can enrich the quality of life allowing us to face changes affecting modern society.

Her fiction is at times broadcast on CBC Radio and her book reviews appear in The Edmonton Journal and The Edmonton Sun.

Gypsy Drums, her collection of short stories, was a finalist for the Howard O’Hagan Award. Another collection of short fiction, Thistle Creek, appeared before her book Sandweaver. She translated from Italian, The Last Waltz of Chopin, a novel by Gilberto Finzi.

In 2002, Peppermint Night won The Poets’ Corner Award.

She examines the challenge of survival within a forever mutating environment influenced by the onerous demands of our civilization coping with the threat of terrorism.

The author agrees we could find a refuge within the realm of our imagination leading us to discover a balance between reality as is and as we would like it to be.

Buy the book at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CWU0420.

Deadly Errors by Allen Wyler – Excerpt

We are happy to spotlight an excerpt from Allen Wyler’s Deadly Errors, a medical thriller.

6_27 deadly errorA comatose man is given a fatal dose of insulin in the emergency room, even though he isn’t diabetic. An ulcer patient dies of shock after receiving a transfusion of the wrong blood type. A recovering heart patient receives a double dose of medication and suffers a fatal heart attack. Brain surgeon Dr. Tyler Matthews suspects that something is seriously wrong with the hospital’s new “Med-InDx” computerized medical record system. But he doesn’t suspect that there’s something murderously wrong with it.

As Matthews begins to peel back the layers of deception that cover the deadly errors, he crosses powerful corporate interests who aren’t about to let their multi-billion dollar medical record profits evaporate. Now a target, Matthews finds himself trapped in a maze of deadly conspiracy, with his career, his marriage, and his very life on the line.

Once again, Wyler blends his unparalleled expertise as a world class surgeon with his uncanny knack for suspense to create a true “best-of-breed” medical thriller. Deadly Errors is a lightning-quick action procedural that is destined to win new fans to the medical thriller genre.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Is this how you found him?” Robin Beck, the doctor on call, asked the paramedic as she quickly ran the back of her fingers over Tyrell Washington’s skin. Warm, dry. No fever, no clamminess. Black male. Age estimated in the mid-sixties. Half open eyes going no where. Findings that immediately funneled the diagnosis into the neurologic bin.

“Exactly as is. Unresponsive, pupils mid position and roving, normal sinus rhythm. Vital signs within normal limits. They’re charted on the intake sheet.” Breathing hard, the paramedic pulled the white plastic fracture board from under the patient, unofficially consummating the transfer of medical responsibility from Medic One to Maynard Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

“History?” Beck glanced at the heart monitor as that the nurse pasted the last pad to the man’s chest. Heart rate a bit too fast. Was his coma cardiac in origin?

A respiratory therapist poked his head through the door. “You call for respiratory therapy?”

She held up a “hold-on” palm to the paramedic, told the RT, “We’re going to have to intubate this man. Hang in here with me ‘til anesthesia gets here.”

The tech nodded. “You called them yet?”

“Haven’t had time. It’s your job now.” Without waiting for an answer she rose up on tip toes and called over the paramedic’s head to a second nurse plugging a fresh line into a plastic IV bag, “Glenda, get on the horn to imaging and tell them we need a STAT CT scan.” Better order it now. The scan’s status would be the first question out of the neurologist’s mouth when asked to see the patient. Nervously fingering the bell of her stethoscope, she turned to the paramedic. “I need some history. What have you got?”

“Nada.” He shook his head. “Zilch. Wife’s hysterical, can’t give us much more than she found him like this.” He nodded at the patient. “And, yeah, he’s been a patient here before.”

A phlebotomist jogged into the room, gripping the handle of a square metal basket filled with glass tube Vacutainers with different colored rubber stopper, sheathed needles, and alcohol sponges. “You call for some labs?”

“Affirmative. I want a standard admission draw including a tox screen.” A screen blood test for coma producing drugs. Then to the paramedic, “Did the wife call 911 immediately?”

He shrugged, pushed their van stretcher over so his partner standing just outside the door could remove it from the cramped room. “Far as I know.” He paused a beat. “You need me for anything else?”

“That’s it? Can’t you give me something else to work with?” She figured that under these circumstances a hysterical wife was of little help in giving her the information needed to start formulating a list of possible diagnoses.

His eyes flashed irritation. “This was a scoop and scoot. Alright? Now, if you don’t need me for anything else…”

She waved him off. “Yeah, yeah, thanks.” She wasn’t going to get anything more from him now. At least knowing the patient had been treated here before was some help.

She turned to monitor. Blood pressure and pulse stable. For the moment.

She called over to the lead nurse. “We got to get some history on him. I’m going to take a look at his medical records.

At the work station, Beck typed Tyrell Washington’s social security number into the computerized electronic medical record. A moment later the “front page” appeared on the screen. Quickly, she scanned it for any illness he might have that could cause his present coma. And found it. Tyrell must be diabetic. His medication list showed daily injections of a combination of regular and long-lasting insulin. Odds were he was now suffering a ketogenic crisis caused by lack of insulin.

Armed with this information, Robin Beck hurried to the admitting desk where Mrs. Washington was updating insurance information with a clerk.

“Mrs. Washington, I’m doctor Beck… has your husband received any insulin today?”

Brow wrinkled, the wife’s questioning eyes met her. “No. Why?”

Suspicions confirmed, Beck said, “Thank you, Mrs. Washington. I’ll be right back to talk to you further.” Already calculating Tyrell’s insulin dose, Beck hurried back to Trauma Room 3.

“I want 15 units of NPH insulin and I want it now.” She figured, Let him start metabolizing glucose for an hour before titrating his blood sugar into an ideal level. For now she’d hold off calling for a neurology consult until assessing Washington’s response to treatment.

“Mama, what’s happened to Papa?”

Erma Washington stopped wringing her hands and rocking back and forth on the threadbare waiting room chair. Serena, her oldest daughter crouched directly in front of her. She’d called Serena – the most responsible of her three children – immediately after hanging up the phone with 911.

“I don’t know, baby… I just don’t know.” Her mind seemed blank, wiped out by the horror of what life would be like without Tyrell.

Her daughter reached out and took hold of both her hands. “Have the doctors told you anything yet?”

“No baby, nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“No, wait…” Amazed that she’d completely forgotten. “A lady doctor came, asked had Papa been given insulin today.”

“Insulin? Why’d she ask such a thing, Mama? Papa doesn’t take insulin!”

A Message from the Author

In November 1999, the Institute of Medicine concluded a study entitled, To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System. It focused attention on the issue of medical errors and patient safety by reporting that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals each year from preventable medical errors. This makes medical errors this country’s eighth leading cause of death — higher than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. About 7,000 people per year were estimated (at that time) to die from medication errors alone. In spite of efforts by health care providers to decrease the rate of these preventable errors, they are still a cause of morbidity and mortality.

How can you, as a consumer, limit your risk of becoming the victim of an error? Numerous studies have shown errors to be lower when using computerized medical records. Does your doctor use a computerized system? Also, errors occur more commonly during “hand offs,” when care is passed between providers. Examples are: a change of shift for hospitalized patients, or when doctors refer a patient to a specialist. Always make sure your personal health information is passed accurately between providers. You might consider keeping a copy of vital information such as your prescription drugs and their dosages. Always be sure to check prescriptions when accepting medications from pharmacies, especially if receiving generic drugs. If a pill doesn’t look familiar, verify with the pharmacist the dose and drug. Although errors are unlikely to be reduced to zero, consumer vigilance by lower the rate to more acceptable levels.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR6_27 AWHeadshot2Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.  www.allenwyler.com

CALCULATED by Renee Novelle – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Renee will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to two randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

An investigative journalist gets an unlikely tip from a mysterious informant. Dismissing it as impossible, she disregards the information and drops the story. Until the informant turns up dead, as predicted.

Plunged into the murky waters of a seedy underground prostitution ring, this psychological thriller provides twist upon dark twist in a story that would ultimately pin the church and several government officials in the largest murder cover-up the city has ever witnessed.

But is it true, or has the journalist merely been used as a pawn in a greater scheme? And how many people is she willing to sacrifice trying to figure it out?

Enjoy an excerpt:

When she arrived at the little facility her building provided, a quick look around confirmed she was the only one there. Just as she’d hoped, and exactly how she liked it to be. Smiling in satisfaction, she flipped on the television that was perched on the wall, and turned up the music on her iPod as loud as she could handle it. The multiple distractions would help her get through the extra mile she was planning to conquer. With chilled water bottle in place, she cranked up the treadmill to a nice brisk pace.

As her breathing picked up speed and her muscles began to warm, Ana’s eye caught a red flash along the bottom of the screen. Breaking News filled the bar, and the too-chipper-for-their-own-good reporters were suddenly getting serious. Since the volume was still muted, Ana couldn’t understand exactly what was going on, only that they were showing the wide stretch of river that ran along the outskirts of the city. She wiped the first beads of sweat from her brow, and used the remote to turn the volume of the television higher while simultaneously adjusting her music.

As the reporters spoke, home-video footage of something floating in the water rolled before her eyes. The camera zoomed in, the frame ever so shaky, and it became clearly apparent that the “something” was a person – face down with long brown hair spread out like a Catholic halo. It appeared another victim had been pulled out of the water; the count was quickly tallying up. A young woman this time, and possibly one who had gone missing the night before.

Ana’s pulse skipped a few beats as they replayed the video over and over. There was something familiar about the long, lean body. Slowing the treadmill to a stop, she ripped the ear buds from her head to give the segment her entire attention.

…it appears at first glance that the victim suffered from a deep cut to the throat, and received multiple stab wounds to the chest…

The beads of accumulated sweat turned cold on Ana’s brow. She immediately reached for her phone and dialed Kylie’s number.

“What the hell, Ana?” Came her friend’s groggy voice.

“Turn your TV on. Channel four. Hurry.” Ana said, eyes transfixed to the screen in front of her. “Recognize that face?”

…It’s thought the victim may be one of the young girls recently reported missing. The screen flashed candids of three possible women. All brunettes. All tall and thin. All roughly the same age. Among them was a photo of Mara, just as Ana had expected there would be.

But the body was too bloated and disfigured to be absolutely certain, and an autopsy would be needed.

… The body will be taken in for processing where officials hope to shed more light on the case in the near future. In the mean time, they’re cautioning residents to avoid….

“Did you see that?” Ana’s voice escaped in more of a demand than a question. “Please tell me I’m seeing things.”

“Oh my god…” Kylie whispered into the receiver, confirming the dread that was building in Ana’s stomach. “Do you really think it’s her?”

“I know for a fact it is.” Ana declared, the pull in her gut getting stronger by the minute. “The autopsy will confirm it.”

“So, what does this mean exactly now?”

“That maybe I should have been listening a little closer when I was talking to Mara.” She said with regret as she swiped her forehead with the back of her hand. “And maybe I should have asked more questions. There’s a story here, I’m sure of it now.”

“What are you going to do?” Kylie’s voice was decidedly more alert now.

Ana shook her head. “I have no idea.”

Though if she were to be truthful with herself in that moment, she’d already made up her mind. Ana flipped off the television, and left the little gym to get started.

About the Author:

Formerly a freelance journalist, Novelle has found placement of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her writing to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She has launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.

In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Women’s fiction, Chick Lit, and New Adult.

Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, summa cum laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you’re meant to be.

You can find out more about her books and connect with her here:

Website: www.RSNovelle.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/RSNovelle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReneeNovelle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RS_Novelle

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, or Smashwords.

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A Day in the Life of G.X. Chen – guest blog and giveaway

Welcome to G. X. Chen who is visiting with us today. Her novel, The Mystery of Moutai, was released in April. Leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle version of the book.

A Day in the Life of G.X. Chen
This is my typical workday, when I’m not traveling or on vacation, which is quite hectic.

I get up every morning around 5:00am and spend 30 minutes reading my e-mails. From 5:45 am to 6:45 am I do 30 minutes cardio exercises and 30 minutes core exercises. I spend more than 30 minutes eating breakfast while reading Wall Street Journal. I like the newspaper because it has the most balanced reporting. I always read the highlights of the day first (What’s News), then move on to the odds and ends at the bottom of the front page, which is always an interesting read. I leave my house around 7:30am, walking 1.2 miles to my office. I only take the subway when it’s raining or snowing. From 8am to 4pm, I am hard at work.

I’m normally home before 5pm. From 5pm to 7:30 pm is the time I concentrate on writing. I like to think about the story on the way to work and back so if I run into anyone on the street, I don’t notice because I’m always thinking or daydreaming. I never spend more than 20 minutes preparing dinner; always cook something I can roast in the oven. I spend an hour or more after dinner reading the newspaper before going to bed at 9 pm.

The only differences during the weekend: I go shopping in the morning, write in the afternoon and read a book or watch TV at night. I just finished reading Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray and love it.

6_2 book coverA teenager returns home from school to find a gruesome scene: the apartment he shares with his mother, Shao Mei, in Boston’s Chinatown has been ransacked and she is dead. There is a bottle of Moutai—the most exotic and expensive Chinese liquor—left at the scene and traces of rat poison in one of the two shot glasses on the kitchen counter. This was evidently a homicide, but who could possibly be the killer?

Ann Lee and Fang Chen, close friends of the victim, team up with the Boston police to solve this mystifying crime: why would anyone want to murder a harmless middle-aged woman, one who worked as an unassuming mailroom clerk, with no money, no connections, and presumably, no enemies?

Realizing that important clues behind the motive may be buried deep in the victim’s past, they travel to Beijing, where Shao Mei spent more than fifty years of her life. While there, surrounded by the antiquities of China’s rich and complex history, they stumble unwittingly into a cobweb of mystery and danger. Fearing for their lives but determined to press on, they end up unearthing a scandal more deceptive and far-reaching than either could have imagined.

About the Author: 

6_2 GraceG.X. Chen is a freelancer who lives in Boston with her husband ( both of her mystery novels are based in Boston). She permanently moved from China to the US after Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Previously published books include The Mystery of Revenge (a mystery novel) and Forget Me Not: A Love Story of the East (a historic fiction/romance) and several other novels in Chinese. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gxchen1

Website: http://gxchen.tateauthor.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6978127.G_X_Chen

Amazon ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JOWF4Y2

Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mystery-Moutai-G-X-Chen/dp/1496055497

 

 

Q&A with Vanna Tessier

Why do you write?

I enjoy writing and story-telling. Some stories, either happy or sad, have to be shared. They may record our present way of living, warts and all, or an ancient way, or even a future way of life.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

The harrowing 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, touched me and the rest of the world. I felt disturbed and writing was one of the ways to deal with reality and with what happened.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I prefer to keep myself going and writing full-time. I would need more than 24 writing hours a day!

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I have to find the time to write. It’s better for me to write in the morning before I do my house chores. Also, I must spend about 30 minutes a day exercising, lifting weights and running on the spot to keep in shape.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I’d like to write 5 days a week. But sometimes I skip a day or two and I try to make it up on the weekend.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Yes, I aim for a few double-spaced pages a day. It would be nice to have 4 or 5 pages done every day. Often, however, I must rewrite and go over those same pages to see if they run and can be read smoothly. This may prolong the writing process, but it’s worth it.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on computer. Or else I could never get anything done.

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas may come from different sources. They could develop from reality or my own fantasy. Reality can be transformed when it is seen through the kaleidoscope of fantasy.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I might start with an idea or with a sketchy plot in mind. I always change it, or let the characters be themselves so that they can choose which way to go.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I started out with poetry, short stories and reviews. I wrote a young/adult novel. I felt I had to write more and dedicated plenty of time to a serious and disturbing subject for a novel like Shooting Picasso.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I find that writing the beginning of a book is very hard. I mean, you have to make sure that the person who opens the book likes what he reads.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Shooting Picasso attracted my interest. The subject was, and still is, sensitive and got me emotionally involved. It was difficult to deal with the pain of death and loss. I even attempted to understand how could the terrorists plan and execute such a horror. But I couldn’t find an answer that would satisfy reason.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

The computer makes things a bit easier for an author. But sometimes it can trick you. It may substitute, for example, the ‘e’ in ‘bed’ with an ‘a’ becoming ‘bad’. That would change the meaning of the whole sentence.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It takes me too long to write a book. I worked for years on Shooting Picasso. I’m planning to write the next book much faster, taking only a few months.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

I’m not immune to the writer’s block. There could be a phase in your career when you must take care of many other things and can’t focus on writing.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Even going through a period with the writer’s block, I can read and read until I’m ready for a short piece like a review. Once you start, who is going to stop you?

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

shooting picasso coverThe 9/11 surprise attack on the World Trade Center creates unimaginable chaos and grief in New York City. Ruthless opportunists try to take advantage of the ensuing panic, but a promising young reporter known for her no-holds-barred story-chasing hunts them down and soon finds herself at the heart of a criminal underworld.

How deep into that underworld, and her own past, is she willing to go? And more importantly, will she have the strength to face a drastic life change?

About the Author: Shooting Picasso Author PicVanna Tessier writes about the world we live in today. She believes reason and modern technology can enrich the quality of life allowing us to face changes affecting modern society.

Her fiction is at times broadcast on CBC Radio and her book reviews appear in The Edmonton Journal and The Edmonton Sun.

Gypsy Drums, her collection of short stories, was a finalist for the Howard O’Hagan Award. Another collection of short fiction, Thistle Creek, appeared before her book Sandweaver. She translated from Italian, The Last Waltz of Chopin, a novel by Gilberto Finzi.

In 2002, Peppermint Night won The Poets’ Corner Award.

She examines the challenge of survival within a forever mutating environment influenced by the onerous demands of our civilization coping with the threat of terrorism.

The author agrees we could find a refuge within the realm of our imagination leading us to discover a balance between reality as is and as we would like it to be.

Buy the book at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CWU0420.

Five Things We Might Not Know About Lawrence Kelter


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leave a comment or ask the author a question to be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon/BN gift card or one of five autographed copies of the book (US & Canada only). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Things We Might Not Know About You

Fun Fact # 1: First and foremost I have to give mad props to New York Times best-selling novelist, Nelson DeMille, who of his own volition, actually picked up a pencil and edited portions of my first manuscript. I still have his hand-edited pages safely tucked away. Way before he ever said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he said, “Kid your work needs editing, but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having writing talent. Keep it up.” I’ll always be indebted to that man. To this day I still can’t believe how selfless he was, and generous he was with his time. What a guy! And one of my all-time favorite writers.

Fun Fact #2: I was part of a small writer’s workshop led by the late soap opera legend, Ann Loring. Some of you may remember Ann for her role as Tammy Forrest in the soap opera Love of Life. She was a star of that sitcom for fourteen years and won three Emmy Awards. Ann really helped me to develop my sense of drama. The knowledge she imparted to me was priceless. We’d meet every Friday night and review our week’s work. I had an insane amount of fun. Under her tutelage I penned an original screenplay that finished prominently in the Nicholls Fellowship Awards program. The Nicholls Fellowship is sponsored by AMPAS, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. You know, the people who give out the Oscars.

Absurd Fact #3: I was voted The Individual Least Likely to Visit a Library while in high school. If you don’t believe it I’ll scan my high my yearbook and post it on Facebook for the entire world to see. Just a painful heads-up—my yearbook picture is absolutely dreadful. Talk about an awkward age?

Not So Fun Fact #4: I was The Replacement Baby—at least that’s what I used to call myself. Sadly, my parents lost a child. My sister was only eleven years old when she passed. I was born almost one year to the day that she died. My father was about fifty-years-old at the time. I really don’t think my parents would have had me were it not for the tragedy of losing my sister. Now here’s the part that few know. The opening scene in Don’t Close Your Eyes, the very first book in the Stephanie Chalice Series is based on my older brother’s account of the night my sister passed away.

Believe it or Not Fact #5: Like the fictitious Dr. Hannibal Lecter I have six fingers on my left hand. No not really. The extra finger is on my right hand. No not really. Would you believe that I have a Siamese twin? Not buying that one either? Tough crowd. How about a Chinese teapot? A Swedish Car? A love of Italian food? If you said yes to any or all of the last three your right on the money—good detectives. Stephanie Chalice is also a pretty savvy detective. There are a total of five books in her series, which include Don’t Close Your Eyes, Ransom Beach, The Brain Vault, Our Honored Dead, and now Baby Girl Doe. The series has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide and topped bestseller list in the US and UK. Here’s a short teaser for Baby Girl Doe, the most recent release.

BABY GIRL DOE
Everyone deserves a well-earned vacation, don’t they?

Guess again!

Plans have been made and the bags are packed but Detective Stephanie Chalice is having about as much fun as Michael Vick at an ASPCA fundraiser.

In her latest adventure, “Baby Girl Doe,” the fifth book in the international best-selling Stephanie Chalice Thriller Series, Chalice tackles murder, arson, abduction, and government secrets held as closely to the vest as those related to the existence of UFOs at Area 51 in Roswell, New Mexico.

The new story finds Chalice and her eye candy husband, Lido on the East End of Long Island, vacationing with Max, their new arrival. Things go wrong from the very start. Their vacation rental burns to the ground, bodies pile up, and just to make things interesting, Lido . . . All I’ll say is that you’ll never believe it.

Chalice may be out of her jurisdiction but she’s never out of questions or determination and soon connects two unsolved homicides. As always, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and her initial findings plunge her deeper and deeper into the most extraordinary investigation of her career.

Baby Girl Doe was released on May 1, 2014 in e-book and paperback formats. Pre-release ratings are averaging 4.7 out of a maximum 5 stars.

About the Author:

A resident New Yorker, Kelter often uses Manhattan and Long Island as backdrops for his stories. He is the author of the Stephanie Chalice Mystery Series and other works of fiction.

Early in his writing career, he received support from best-selling novelist, Nelson DeMille, who reviewed his work and actually put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first novel. When completed, DeMille said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum.”

His novels are quickly paced and feature a twist ending.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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No Hard Feelings by Marta Tadori – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marta will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Some secrets can’t stay hidden, especially when they involve murder…

Liz Farrell is still reeling over the murder of her mother almost a year earlier at the hands of her father, Leo Bauer, when she receives the startling news that she’s inherited her estranged father’s sizable estate. Unable to come to terms with her father’s unspeakable legacy, Liz and her grandmother, Kate Stanton, visit Leo’s property in Benedict Canyon, desperately hoping to find closure. Instead, they find a bunker hidden under an old hunting lodge that had been used by Leo at one time to hold Liz’s mother captive. Horrified by the discovery, Liz immediately orders the bunker filled and the lodge destroyed but the ensuing demolition quickly comes to a grinding halt after a man’s remains are discovered in a shallow grave at the base of the old lodge. Once the press get wind of the gruesome discovery, rumors quickly surface, linking the remains to a murder spree that took place at the same address almost half a century earlier; a murder spree conveniently covered up by the governor at the time who also happened to be Leo Bauer’s stepbrother. Liz and Kate’s efforts to uncover the truth behind the murders are soon hampered by family secrets and a killer who’s intent on finishing the job started almost fifty years ago.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Karen Devane pulled into the parking lot of her cousin’s apartment building with a squeal of tires. She drove around, trying to find a parking spot. Finally, she gave up and pulled into a tow away zone. Picking up the pizza box on the seat beside her, she hurried into the building before waiting impatiently for the elevator to take her to the second floor. Rushing down the corridor, she stopped in front of the door marked 10B and rapped on it. A second later, she rapped again, this time more impatiently.

“Who is it?” came the muffled question from the other side of the door.

“It’s me,” Karen replied. She heard a few locks turning and the door was thrown open a minute later by Liz, wearing a bathrobe and a forlorn expression on her face.

“Hi.” Her eyes were puffy and red, and it was clear that she’d been crying.

“Hi yourself.” Karen charged into her apartment, not waiting for an invitation.

Liz followed behind, watching wordlessly as Karen marched into her kitchen and began opening cupboard doors, looking for plates. Everything about her small apartment, from her dining room table to the small balcony that was a myriad of colors and scents, was neat, orderly, and inviting. “Cupboard on the right of the sink, second shelf,” Liz told her automatically, pulling up a chair to the other side of the counter. “What are you doing here … or is that kind of a stupid question?”

Karen gave her cousin a pointed look. “What do you think? Grams told Mom what happened at the attorney’s office and Mom told me.” She flipped open the lid of the pizza box and extracted two cheesy slices before plopping them on a plate and handing it to Liz.

“Figures.” Liz listlessly picked at the crust of her pizza.

“You might as well get used to how things work in our family.” Karen helped herself to several slices of pizza and went over to sit beside her cousin. “Want to talk about it?”

Two lone tears slid down Liz’s cheeks. “What’s there to talk about? How totally screwed up my whole life has been, or how screwed up it is now?”

About the Author:

By the time Marta Tandori reached fifth grade, she was an avid reader and writer with a stack of short stories collecting dust in a box under her bed but it wasn’t until she began studying acting in her early twenties at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York that Marta realized acting wasn’t really her passion – writing fiction was. What followed was years of writing workshops as well as correspondence courses in writing for children through the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut. She credits the award winning author, Troon Harrison, as the instructor who helped her find her literary voice. Marta’s first work of middle-grade fiction, BEING SAM, NO MATTER WHAT was published in 2005, followed by EVERY WHICH WAY BUT KUKU! in 2006. With her more recent endeavors, Marta has shifted her writing focus to mysteries and suspense having “strong female protagonists with closets full of nasty skeletons and the odd murder or two to complicate their already complicated lives”. To learn more about Marta, please visit her website at http://martatandori.com, her Facebook Author Page at www.facebook.com/MartaTandoriAuthor, or

Ten things you don’t know about H. A. Somerled – Guest Blog and Giveaway

NBtM Angels Betrayal Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a digital copy of the book–you can see the other stops by clicking the tour banner.

Ten things you don’t know about H. A. Somerled.

1. I am a Navy Veteran. I spent a short time in the Navy. I went in as a Russian linguist, but switched to French.

2. I’ve lived in Europe. I was stationed in Rota, Spain. It was really tough duty, as you can imagine. Beaches, bars and the warm-Spanish sun. I thank my lucky stars that Facebook wasn’t around back then, so many alcohol fueled nights – one involving a whip.

3. I’m well travelled. Living in Spain granted me the opportunity to take road trips to other countries. I’ve been to France, Portugal, Morocco, England. Post Navy, I visited Japan and Scotland.

4. I have four tattoos. Three I got while in the Navy, one just a few years ago. I have an arm band of these flowers that grew on my fence in Spain. I have my family’s coat of arms on my ankle. There is a ninja frog on my thigh, with the words “Grenouille Femme Fatale.” It was a tattoo that two of my friends and I wanted to get to represent us, three French linguists, who went through training and were stationed together. However, I was the only one who got it. My last tattoo is a pirate ship on my lower back, it has the saying, “Prepare To Be Boarded,” below it.

5. I’ve worked on a Dude Ranch in the mountains where one of my unofficial duties was bear control. I learned a lot about bear spray. Such as:

Don’t spray standing downwind.
Don’t spray while chasing the bear.
Don’t spray then circle around the building, it tends to linger in the air and you’ll run smack into the stagnant peppery cloud.
Don’t spray near any building’s air vents, unless you want everyone inside to enjoy it too.
Don’t use bear spray to season your eggs.

Luckily I had a paintball gun, which works just as well as bear spray.

6. Despite the previous entry, I am addicted to Sriracha sauce. I put it on almost everything. I’ve even made chocolate truffles out of them, which are not as disgusting as you would think.

7. Even though I am a published author, I stink at Words With Friends, and have yet to win a game. I even cheat and use an anagram finder.

8. I once scared Hugh Jackman. It was at the 2010 People’s Choice Awards, and I was a seat filler. I ended up in the second row, and the person I was filling in for, never returned, so I spent the almost the whole show in the second row surrounded by Hollywood’s finest. I was two seats in front of Kellan Lutz and Taylor Lautner, and three seats across from Nichole Kidman and Keith Urban. I was so close to Jackie Chan, I could have spit on him. Anyways, Hugh Jackman won for Wolverine and walked right by me. I stood up and “WHOO”-ed him, and he jumped away from me wide-eyed and probably thinking “Crikey- what a crazy sheila!”

In my defense, it was an award show. It wasn’t like I jumped out of some bushes and “WHOO”-ed him. And really, it was Hugh Jackman.

9. I am a classically trained chef. I went to the Art Institute of Colorado and worked in many places. Coors Field, Pepsi Center, Rock Bottom Brewery, a Beaver Creek ski resort, a Hilton Head beach resort, a Phoenix convention center, a Montanan dude ranch, a sorority, and most recently a chocolatier.

10. I have the most diverse taste of music than anyone I know. Jazz, Rock, Rap, Country, Classical, World, Folk, they are all represented in my collection. Artistic noise/music made with PVC pipes, yup, got it – I can even sing you a few bars of “It’s Raining Meat.” Pop-heavy one hit wonders, I admit, I still listen to “Gangnam Style,” and prance around the room while I do. Local gems yet to be discovered by the mass machine, absolutely, I even got their cd signed. I’ll make you a playlist.

I hope you enjoyed these intimate tidbits.

MEDIA KIT AngelsBetrayal HighResIt’s summertime and insects are not the only things flying in the London skies.

Oliver and Danny Murray return in this explosive second-in-the-series novel.

When two CIA agents appear in Oliver Murray’s office, he knows nothing good could come from it. An American drone has gone missing and the agents believe that one of their own may have taken it. The agent in question is Sara Parsons, also known as Fallen Angel.

Maintaining her innocence, Angel tries to find the real culprit, but when one of the agents sent to apprehend her turns up dead in her flat, Oliver has a hard time believing her. With the help from his brother, Danny, Oliver betrays his own instincts and decides to help Angel find the true murderer and drone thief.<\blockquote>

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author photoH. A. Somerled lives in the Missoula, Montana area. After an uneventful tour in the U.S. Navy, she followed her passions and enrolled in Culinary School. She graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art and has also completed a writing course from the Long Ridge Writer’s Group.

She has two dogs, a puggle named Fritter and a pug named Flapjack. She considers herself lucky to be single and claims she’s half the age she really is.

~ ~ Blog

Buy the book at Amazon