Black Diamonds by Vogue – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_BlackDiamondsWithin the last year, acclaimed fashion designer, Carmen Davenport, has witnessed the ups and downs of being romantically linked to one of New York’s most prominent men. On the heel of her engagement to Jay Santiago, a Puerto Rican businessman, she learns her oldest daughter has been kidnapped. A direct result of an ongoing war between her fiancé and a disgruntled drug kingpin, Carmen becomes determined to put an official end to the conflict.

She sets out to track down her daughter only to be met with unforeseen obstacles. A criminal investigation, led by her soon-to-be ex-husband, Michael Kane, leaves her fiancé behind bars. Due to Jay’s incarceration, Carmen is placed in the care of his estranged cousin, Gully. He constantly reminds Carmen of the price of fame, ultimately forcing her to take matters in her own hands. Determined to bring her daughter to safety, she takes a no holds barred approach to ensure her daughter’s return.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Carmen raised her brow before looking at the alarm clock. It was a little past twelve, which meant she had been sleep for only three hours or so. Somehow, in between that time, something had happened to prompt a phone call. Instead of instantly thinking the worst, she told the man she was indeed Carmen.

“Mrs. Davenport, I hate to disturb you at this hour, but I am Detective Morris from the Copperton City Police Department. I’m calling because your vehicle was located at the corner of Middleton Avenue. For some reason, no one was in it. Now, the number I’m calling is a New York number. Did you recently move to Copperton City from New York?”

“No, no,” Carmen repeated as she continued to wipe her face. “I’m not in Georgia. I have two daughters who are. The car is a Lexus, right? You said you located it where?”

“Mrs. Davenport, the car is a Lexus, and it’s in your name. We located it at the corner of Middleton Avenue and Parrish. No one was in it, but the front windshield has been shattered as well as the driver’s side window. The car is badly damaged, but no one took anything. There was even a purse and cell phone located in the car. A wallet was also there with money, debit cards, and credit cards still inside. The driver’s license we found was for a Kristian Kane. Do you know her?”

“That’s my daughter,” Carmen yelped, now fully awake. She pushed the bed sheets away from her just as Jay’s arm latched onto hers.

“Who is it?” Jay asked, sitting up as well.

Carmen shook her head at him, pulling her arm away from his. To put even more space in between them, she stood from the bed, heading towards the balcony.

“Ma’am, most of the time in these situations, we find a victim and their property is gone. Since there wasn’t a victim found, we are ruling this as a kidnapping. We would like for you to come down to the station in the morning. That will give us enough time to piece together the details. Will you be able to make it by let’s say ten o’clock?”

While her face once held an expression of concern, it now became enraged at the detective’s words.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_BlackDiamondsBorn and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Vogue’s journey through the world of creative writing first began in middle school with poetry and songwriting. While the mix of rhythm and words was the initial passage to self-expression, it was the discovery of prose that opened the door to a world of endless possibilities. An avid reader of Urban Fiction, Vogue felt the need to create literary works that had an equal balance of street lit, drama, romance, and faith-based undertones.

A graduate of Winthrop University (Rock Hill, S.C.), possessing a bachelor’s degree in social work, Vogue, first birthed the idea of The Diamond Collection in the halls of her alma mater. In 2003, she put pen to paper and thus was created, Diamonds In The Rough, part one of The Diamond Collection series.

By 2010, Vogue had written drafts of the entire ten book series and in June of 2010, Diamonds In The Rough, was published for her to share with the rest of the world. Soon followed by Diamonds Are Forever in October of 2010 and The Ace of Diamonds in February of 2013, Vogue joined the league of other writers, determined to make her mark in the literary world.

Still writing, Vogue released the fourth book in the series, Black Diamonds, on July 4, 2015. She is currently working on Diamonds N’ Roses, the fifth installment of the series.

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You are Dead by Peter Grace

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Peter James, whose newest book in his Roy Grace series, You Are Dead, releases today.

10_6 peter james book coverYou Are Dead (Minotaur Books; October 6, 2015; $26.99) is the eleventh thrilling crime novel in Peter James’s Roy Grace series.

The last words Jamie Ball hears from his fiancée, Logan Somerville, are in a terrified cell phone call. She has just driven into the underground car park beneath the block of apartments where they live in Brighton. Then she screams and the phone goes dead. The police are on the scene within minutes, but Logan has vanished, leaving behind her neatly parked car and cell phone.

That same afternoon, workmen digging up a park in another part of the city unearth the remains of a woman in her early twenties…who has been dead for thirty years.

At first these two events seem totally unconnected to Roy Grace and his team. But then another young woman in Brighton goes missing—and yet another body from the past surfaces. Meanwhile, an eminent London psychiatrist meets with a man who claims to know information about Logan. And Roy Grace has the chilling realization that this information holds the key to both the past and present crimes. Does Brighton have its first serial killer in over eighty years?

About the Author:10_6 Peter-James-author-photo-2Peter James is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace thriller series. Before writing full time, James lived in the U.S. for a number of years, producing films including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. A TV adaptation of the Roy Grace series is currently in development, with James overseeing all aspects, including scriptwriting.

James’s novella ‘The Perfect Murder’, started its world stage premiere in 2014, and his first Roy Grace novel Dead Simple has now been adapted for stage, and will tour the UK in 2015. In 1994, in addition to conventional print publishing, James’s novel Host was published on two floppy discs and is now in the Science Museum as the world’s first electronic novel.

Famed for his in-depth research, in 2009 James was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, and in 2013 he was awarded an Outstanding Public Service Award by Sussex Police with whom he rides along regularly. He has also been out many times with the NYPD and the LAPD in the US and with many other police forces around the world, as well as doing extensive research with offenders in prisons and psychiatric institutions. He has served as two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and is a board member of the US International Thriller Writers.

He has won numerous literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize for Perfect People in 2012. James’s novels have been translated into thirty-six languages and three have been turned into films.

All of his novels reflect a deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in–depth research and has unprecedented access, as well as science, medicine and the paranormal. A speed junkie, who in his teens was selected to train for the British Olympic Ski Team, he holds an international motor racing license and switches off from work by racing his classic 1965 BMW. James divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and near Brighton in Sussex.

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My Day Behind the Scenes by Ellen Byerrum – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ellen Byerrum will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My Day Behind the Scenes

What is my writing day like? It depends on what part of the process I am in. Toward the end of a draft, I might work steadily for eight or ten hours, or more. So let’s go to the start of a new book, where I tend to be out and about a bit more.

My day begins about 7:30 a.m. I pour myself out of bed and get ready for a water aerobics class at 8:30 a.m. at a regional indoor pool about two blocks from my home. After some Greek yogurt and possibly some coffee, I grab my gym bag and I’m off. I need exercise as much for my brain as for my body. A vigorous workout settles my mind, and I often come up with ideas for the book, or another book. I might overhear some memorable dialogue, come up with a connection, solve a story problem. I love to swim, I love the water, and I like it warm.

After the pool, I shower, dress, and put on makeup. I believe makeup is an act of public service. You’re welcome. Also, I am not a person who can write in pajamas, though I understand there are many people who do, so I’m dressed before I start writing. I go home around 10 a.m. and fire up the computer, where I tend to my business, check in with Facebook, maybe Twitter, and deal with email. It’s the usual procrastination, but it’s important to check in with my readers and the writing world. I’ll organize my writing and my thoughts and later probably fix a small lunch.

The rest of the day is spent on writing, with short breaks. I might work at home, but on this day I’ll take my notes and my laptop and head for the library, which is about six blocks away. After being a reporter working in newsrooms for many years, I like working in different environments. I don’t like being cooped up at home. Some writers are reputed to be able to write only while facing a blank wall to eliminate distractions. I’d feel as if I were being punished. I enjoy the library because I can take the occasional 15-minute break and check out the magazines. Mostly I enjoy being out of the house and not worrying about housework, or answering the phone, or being interrupted.

I can write on the keyboard, but I still like to write by hand, especially in the first draft. The brain-hand-pen-paper connection seems stronger to me and the ideas flow in a different way. A purer way. That’s when the writing can surprise me. It’s much more satisfying than complaining that writing is hard, which I tend do a lot.

After a few hours at the library, I’ll walk to a coffee shop and continue writing or editing for another hour or so, until it’s time to go home. Often my husband picks me up.

My husband Bob just said, “Don’t forget napping!” Right. Naps are Heaven’s little rewards for living. My brain is tired, so I often take a half-hour nap in the afternoon or early evening. I deserve a nap.

At night, I’ll think about my work, possibly engage in a lively discussion with Bob over characters or plot or some fine point of the story. We’ll watch some TV or a movie, or if it’s a nice evening, we’ll take a walk. Then I check my email again and write a few emails and blog posts.

Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? Nonstop glamour, that’s the writing life.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheDollhouseInTheCrawlspaceIf you lost your memories, would you lose your soul?

“In my memories, my eyes are always green.”

After a devastating accident, a young woman finds herself recovering in a memory research facility. Her eyes are brown; her memories are broken. Years of her life are blank, yet she remembers being two very different women, one called Tennyson, the other Marissa. If she can’t trust her memories or her own eyes, who can she trust? To save her sanity and her life, she begins a secret journal between the lines of Homer’s Odyssey—and her own harrowing odyssey into madness and murder. Lost among her shattered memories, can she find her true self?

Enjoy an excerpt:

January is an empty page in the calendar. February never happened at all. I started to wake up in March, along with the forsythia bush that grows outside the bedroom of my suite at the Campus. Before that, time is a blur. Not just January and February. My entire life. Aside from the shadows in my dreams and an occasional voice, the bright yellow flowers of late March on stark brown stems are the first things I remember clearly, as if I had just been born. Every day the blossoms grow thicker and the green leaves push through bare stalks. It’s the forsythia that told me to start living again. That and my nightmares. I started to look for the magnolias, the daffodils, the tulips. I remembered tulips. If they could erupt out of the dormant soil, maybe I could as well.

Giles insists it was the constant care of the superior medical staff at the Campus who tended to me after the accident who brought me back to the land of the living.

I was heavily medicated, he says, and I needed to recover from my physical injuries, as well as the injuries to my soul. There were hours and hours of physical and mental therapy. But my mind was still caught by the Fog. Slowly, Dr. Embry says, he’s trying to wean me from the heavier drugs, though there are still the “maintenance” meds, which he insists are necessary. Pills that dull my brain and my senses, the pills I now ditch on a regular basis. Pills whose names I didn’t recall or want to recall.

He holds the threat of more medication over my head. I want to throw something at him that would wipe that smug expression off his face.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheDollhouseInTheCrawlspaceEllen Byerrum is a novelist, playwright, reporter, former Washington D.C. journalist, and a graduate of private investigator school in Virginia. The Dollhouse in the Crawlspace is her first suspense thriller, which introduces Tennyson Claxton, a woman with two sets of memories from two very different women.

Ellen also writes the Crime of Fashion mysteries, which star a savvy, stylish female sleuth named Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C. (“The City Fashion Forgot”).Two of the COF books, Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover, were filmed for the Lifetime Movie Network and can occasionally be seen on odd dates and odd times in the middle of the night. The latest book in that series is Lethal Black Dress, but there will be more to come.

She has also penned a middle grade mystery, The Children Didn’t See Anything. She occasionally writes a newsletter that contains her latest publishing information.

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The Frailty of Things by Tamsen Schultz

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tamsen Schultz will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble 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_TheFrailtyOfThingsIndependence. Kit Forrester is a woman who wears her independence like armor. Despite keeping secrets and hiding her past, she’s built a life she loves and is accountable to no one. Until, that is, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals sets his sights on her and she must weigh the risk to one against the chance of justice and closure for many—a decision Kit couldn’t make on her own even if she wanted to.

Certainty. As a man who makes his living in the shadows of governments and wars, certainty isn’t a part of Garret Cantona’s vocabulary, and he’s just fine with that. But when Kit walks into his life, he realizes he’s never before been so sure about anything or anyone. Suddenly, he finds he’s looking at the world, his world, in a different light. And now that he is, he’s determined to protect it, and her, in whatever ways he can.

Frailty. No one knows better than Kit and Garret that an appreciation for what is, or what was, or what might be, can be born from the uncertainty and fragility of life. But when a hunt for a killer leaves Garret no choice but to throw Kit back into her broken and damaged past, even his unshakable faith in what they have together might not be enough to keep it from shattering into a million pieces.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“We need to talk,” Caleb said. Kit didn’t respond for a moment. She and her brother didn’t talk. They never talked. Not anymore. There had been a time in their lives when that hadn’t been the case. There had been a time when she’d idolized her older brother, when he’d looked out for her, when they’d gone fishing together, and when she had believed that he had an answer for everything.

But that time had long ago passed, and they hadn’t been in each other’s presence for more than a few days a year for over a decade. Kit started to speak but stopped short when a second figure emerged from the passenger side of Caleb’s car.

She was glad her face was hidden in the shadows of her hat and scarf as Garret Cantona, her brother’s right-hand man, straightened to his full height. Kit was tall, easily five foot eleven, but Garret’s six-foot-three form dwarfed hers. Like Caleb, he wore jeans and work boots, but rather than a jacket, Garret sported a black sweater and a gray beanie. She knew the hat covered light-brown hair that, if it got too long, curled in ways that bothered him. And she felt, more than saw, his light-blue eyes—eyes rimmed with thick, black lashes—studying her.

“And I see you brought your Mini-Me,” she added, forcing her gaze from Garret back to her brother in time to see a look of irritation flicker across Caleb’s face.

About the Author: Tamsen Schultz is the author of several romantic suspense novels and American Kin (a short story published in Line Zero Magazine). In addition to being a writer, she has a background in the field of international conflict resolution, has co-founded a non-profit, and currently works in corporate America. Like most lawyers, she spends a disproportionate amount of time thinking (and writing) about what it might be like to do something else. She lives in Northern California in a house full of males including her husband, two sons, four cats, a dog, and a gender-neutral, but well-stocked, wine rack.

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Dos Angeles by Michael O’Hara – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Dos Angeles, the first in a franchise of mysteries featuring Paco Moran, puts the multicultural thirty-something ex-LAPD homicide detective turned reluctant private eye on the trail of a beautiful young Latina on the run with ten million dollars in cash. Half Anglo and half Mexican, Moran is a transitional character equally at home working in Beverly Hills or blue collar Boyle Heights, the tough East Los Angeles neighborhood where he was raised by a single mom. In his debut case Paco quickly learns he will be the fall guy if he doesn’t track down the young immigrant who allegedly stole a small fortune from a sleazy Hollywood producer secretly laundering money for a notorious drug cartel. Paco’s frantic search takes him on a roller-coaster ride through a shadowy place he calls Dos Angeles a city within the city and a virtual country unto itself.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Dante Pirelli thought the timing could not have been better to get out of town and spend a week in Maui at the oceanfront condo he owned on Kaanapali Beach. For days all the local media could talk about was the potentially record-breaking heat about to hit Southern California. Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles were expected to soar above a hundred, and out on the western edge of the San Fernando Valley where Pirelli lived it would probably be ten to fifteen degrees hotter.

An added benefit was that Vyna, his beautiful young trophy wife, was excited about getting away, too. That meant there could be lots of sex on the holiday agenda. Vyna had been suffering with a bad case of the blues lately, but when she was in a good mood she could be a real tiger in bed.

Just as the stretch limousine arrived that would take him and his family to the airport, Pirelli gave a final briefing to Maria Rojas, the young woman he was leaving behind in charge of his sprawling, Tuscan-style estate.

“Remember, always keep ice in the dog’s bowl. And make sure you’re here for the gardeners and pool man. Any problems with anything you got the numbers to call.”

“Yes, sir,” Maria nodded with a nervous smile. Although confident, she could handle everything expected of her she was anxious about being left alone in such a big, fancy house. Still, she was going to be paid double her normal salary and Mr. Pirelli had said she could use any of the home’s resort-like amenities, including an amazing circular pool with a cascading waterfall and thirty-foot water slide.

Six days into her stay Maria’s only real challenge had been coping with the boredom. Outside of taking care of Mrs. Pirelli’s needy French Pug and dealing with the regularly scheduled service people, there had been very little to do. As predicted, the scorching weather the Spanish press was calling Los Días de Infierno had arrived with a vengeance. It was so hot during the day she rarely went outside, and she soon got tired of watching non-stop telenovelas. All the idle time made her realize how much she missed her regular routine at Mr. Pirelli’s film company. She liked how busy it always was and how the hours just seemed to fly by. Work—like prayer—kept her from worrying about her recent troubles.

About the Author:

Emmy nominee Michael O’Hara– who has written and produced some of the highest-rated television movies and miniseries in recent memory – is adding author to his resume with the August, 2015 the publication of his first novel, Dos Angeles.

The book, featuring a bilingual and bicultural private eye named Paco Moran, centers around Moran’s desperate search for a beautiful young Latina immigrant who stole ten million dollars from the mob. In a pre-publication review American Book Award winner Peter Quinn said: “Paco Moran’s debut in Michael O’Hara’s Dos Angeles is fast-paced, finely crafted, and full of surprises. It’s noir fiction for the 21st century, a helluva ride from the first page to last. Here’s hoping O’Hara brings Paco back very soon. I can’t wait!”

A former award-winning journalist and NBC Vice President of Media Relations, O’Hara made an auspicious debut as a writer/producer with “Those She Left Behind,” a critically acclaimed family drama that continues to be the highest-rated TV movie (25.1/38 share) on any network in over twenty years. It starred Gary Cole and Colleen Dewhurst (who won an Emmy Award for her performance). That success was followed by the widely praised NBC movie “She Said No” which won an American Women in Radio & Television Award for Best Television Dramatic Special.

O’Hara next wrote and executive produced “Switched at Birth,” the blockbuster NBC miniseries that earned an Emmy nomination as Best Dramatic Special and remains the highest rated (22 rating/33 share) miniseries on network television since its initial telecast over two decades ago. He was also the writer and executive producer of “Murder in the Heartland,” a celebrated ABC miniseries which garnered a Casting Society of America Award and two Emmy nominations. Right after that he created and executive produced the first of 22 “Moment of Truth” movies for NBC, establishing one of the most successful film franchises in TV history.

O’Hara also wrote “She Woke Up Pregnant,” the pilot for ABC’s ‘Crimes of Passion’ franchise. It scored an impressive 13.4 rating and 21 share, making it the highest-rated ABC movie of the year. He went on to write “One Hot Summer Night,” another ‘Crimes of Passion’ thriller that was ABC’s highest-rated Thursday night movie of the season. Other producing credits include two CBS projects: “Twilight Zone – Rod Serling’s Lost Classics” and “A Child’s Wish,” which was filmed in the Oval Office and featured a cameo appearance by then President Bill Clinton. In addition he wrote and executive produced NBC’s “In His Life: The John Lennon Story” and “1st to Die,” a two-part NBC miniseries based on the best-selling novel by James Patterson.

Overall O’Hara has produced four miniseries and 33 Movies of the Week. Besides his Emmy nomination, other honors include: a Christopher Award (“A Child’s Wish”); a Prism Award (“The Accident”); a Humanitas Award nomination (“Heart of a Child”); a National Easter Seal Society Award (“To Walk Again”); an International Health & Medical Film Award (“Heart of a Child”); and the Media Award from The National Council on Problem Gambling (“Playing to Win.”)

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A Day with Me Behind the Scenes by Melanie Surani – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Melanie Surani will be awarding a $30 Starbuck Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Day with Me Behind the Scenes

You’re never supposed to start a book with the character waking up, but here we go.

My alarm goes off (it’s Björk’s Frosti). Snooze.

The second time it goes off, I get out of bed because my cat heard the alarm and she’s crying outside my bedroom door. I go to the bathroom, where she drinks out of the sink.



While I’m still bleary-eyed, I get into my laptop and if nothing distracts me, I work on one of many manuscripts. Usually by then, my email has refreshed, the cat jumps on my lap, and my husband wakes up.

I get ready for work (stand in front of my closet for 10 minutes, then throw on any old thing and put on my makeup).

Me: “I don’t wanna go to work.”
Husband: “I know, sweetie. You’re getting late.”

Walk half a mile to the subway station with my earbuds in. I might be listening to anything from Turkish pop to Lady Gaga to whatever. Anything to drown out the city noise.

Enter the subway platform and immediately think, “HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THERE TO BE SO MANY PEOPLE?” (every morning)
If I get a seat, I read my Kindle. If I have to stand, well, I’m just standing, trying not to get my butt pinched. Usually halfway through the trip, I’m trying desperately not to freak out.

1.5 hours later…

Get to work at the barber shop and tell everyone my “weekend”* (*consecutive days off) was fine and that I didn’t do a whole lot. Haha. Some of my better ones ask about my books and if I got any writing done. They ask about the ones being published and genuinely seem happy.

Clients want me to go a little shorter. Can you cut the top again? Can you make the back square instead? Can you just cut in the part line? Can you make it less but not take any length off? Well … It’s fine. Yeah. I guess it’s fine. Can you make the sides shorter, though? Sorry. Are you gonna fix it? Oh tip is cash only? Is it okay if I get you next time?

I go home (repeat morning journey, but sometimes with rowdy people).

If I’m not already peeved, the packed subway back to Queens seals it. Instead of reading, I get out my phone and take notes about my day. That one guy who was a dick. The one who told me an interesting story about how he met his partner. That adult person on the seat in front of me who won’t stop swinging her damn feet.

Walk half a mile from the station home. There’s so much garbage on the sidewalk, I want to scream. But stopping for a few groceries first.

The elevator in my building has a baby in it, but I get in anyway. This person lives on my floor just like everyone in the building, it seems.

As soon as I unlock my door, the cat bounds from wherever she was and yells at me and rubs my legs. The husband gets me after she’s done.

“Sit for a minute! How was your day?”
“THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE IN NEW YORK AND NONE OF THEM KNOW WHAT THEY WANT WITH THEIR HAIR!! I just wanna be a writer and not touch people all the time.” (cries)
“(comforting remarks)”
“People are bastards.”
“I know, sweetie. Everyone’s a bastard. Hungry?”



I get out my laptop and make a few notes on a new story. I edit an older story. Then spend the rest of the evening “marketing”* (*goofing off and talking to people) on social media.

“Let’s go to bed”

I read a book until I can’t keep my eyes open. Then I dream about something amazing that never seems quite as interesting when I wake up.

MediaKit_BookCover_AwakeIn author Melanie Surani’s edgy thriller novel, opera singer Joshua Gray wakes in an eerie art museum exhibit. He comes to believe he’s been kidnapped and abandoned. And he isn’t the only one…

As Josh and four others struggle to piece together their new reality, they discover the museum’s main building has been razed and the place is boarded with no obvious exit. Who left them in the museum and why? How can they escape? The only link that binds them together is a mysterious woman named Blair, who they each encountered before blacking out. Josh unexpectedly finds himself drawn to one of the other captives, a long-time fan named Sophia. Their attraction plunges the group into a dark pool of suspicion. When allegiances shift and pieces connect, the strangers are forced to reassess their situation. Is the real danger inside or outside of the museum?

Suspenseful, romantic and filled with drama, Awake will keep you up all night.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Blair didn’t go to the theater for a night of opera, but to kidnap Sophia Stewart. At the last minute, she bought a ticket and followed cues around the old, gilded theater to her seat in the topmost balcony. The seating sloped straight down, in hopes of giving each ticket holder the best seat in the house, though Blair’s spot in the nosebleeds barely made the trip upstairs worth taking, if her goal had been to see anything on stage.

The house lights dimmed and rose again, signaling everyone to take their seats.

Sophia had already taken her spot, smoothed her dress and glanced around with shining, eager eyes. Her hair hung over her shoulders in loose brown waves, pinned over one ear with a peacock feather. The seat beside her was empty.

She’s waiting for a date. Two for one if he’s good looking.

Despite the suits and pearls and floral ensembles around her, Blair hadn’t dressed for a fancy night out. She hadn’t been to an opera or symphony in so long she didn’t realize dressing up was still a big deal at these things. A blue button-down shirt, dark jeans, and a ponytail were all Blair could muster on her rush to get to the theater.

Everyone’s sure to remember Sophia’s purple sequined dress, even if they don’t remember me.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_AwakeMelanie Surani is a blogger, hair stylist, and author with a heart for international travel. When she isn’t cutting hair, Melanie is thinking about ways to kill people (for mystery novels). She lives with her husband and cat in New York City, where she is hard at work on her next book with Booktrope Publishing. Melanie is a member of the International Thriller Writers society. Follow her adventures at her blog.

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Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip Cash – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a $50 Amazon gift card or other seven other prizes! The author, Michael Phillip Cash, is joining us with a character interview with Alastair Verne.

Please see our review for this book here.

Michael Phillip Cash: Hello! And welcome to the Late Show with Michael Phillip Cash! Just kidding, I would never want to put Stephen Colbert out of work. This is Live with MPC! Today’s guest is a classic character from one of my most popular novels, Witches Protection Program. Would you please, put a warm welcome together for the one, the only, Alastair Verne.

Alastair joins in.

MPC: Mr. Verne…

AV: Please, Mr. Cash. I would hate to correct you but Mr. Verne is my father. I give you full permission to call me Alastair.

MPC: Why thank you Alastair! So Witches Protection Program…

AV: …The one and only…

MPC: The one and only Witches Protection Program. I hear you have a new partner.

AV: Indeed. I have been so fortunate to be named as a partner to Mr. Wesley Paul Rockville.

MPC: How did that come about?

AV: Well, being that I work for a secret government agency, I’m not at liberty to say. But I can certainly tell you there was an incident regarding some transport that went…a little haywire.

MPC: How “haywire” did it get?

AV: You are quite clever Mr. Cash. All I can say is, my partner was told not to look at the inmate in the eyes.

MPC: And what happened?

AV: Read the reports in Witches Protection Program and you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

MPC: I certainly will. Now yours and Wes’s first assignment…

AV: Ah yes, good old Pendragon Cosmetics.

MPC: What was going on behind the scenes at Pendragon.

AV: From what my sources have told me, an evil and powerful witch named Bernadette Pendragon has put her DNA in a face-cream to sell all over the world.

MPC: What’s the problem with that?

AV: She wanted to enslave and punish all men on earth.


MPC: All men?

AV: Every single one of them. Including you.

MPC: (Gulp)

AV: You don’t mess with a Category 10 Willa.

MPC: Define Willa for our readers in readerland.

AV: There are two factions of witches…some say there is actually a third but we have yet to find them. Anyway, I digress. Two factions of witches, the Davina and the Willa. The Davina are the good witches, women in the arts and sciences who want to do good for society. And the Willa…

MPC: Not so good…

AV: I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Willa are seeking world domination. They are destructive and seductive and will stop at nothing to get what they want. When a Davina is threatened by a Willa, it is our duty in the WPP to protect them.

MPC: Now Morgan…

AV: Hmmm, Morgan Pendragon. Lovely girl.

MPC: Are you familiar with her?

AV: You can say that.

MPC: How so?

AV: Let’s just say I’ve read a lot about her in the tabloids. Life must be hard being a twenty-something heiress to a billion dollar empire.

MPC: Is she a Willa or Davina?

AV: Next question.

MPC: (Clears throat) What’s next for you and Agent Rockville?

AV: I’ve already been told there are some new adventures and mysteries up ahead.

MPC: Care to elaborate?

AV: My dear Mr. Cash. As a protector of the craft, it is my duty to ensure all Davina’s are kept in a safe and secure environment without the threat of a Willa in sight. I could not divulge any information, except the fact that there is a hitman witch lurking in upstate New York, near an old cabin outside Binghamton, I’m told. Wes and my responsibility is to check it out.

MPC: And after that?

AV: You are quite the curious cat, Mr. Cash.

MPC: I’m very creative.

AV: (Eye roll) Right. Anyway, Wes and I have a large function to attend at the Museum of Natural History. Apparently, Wes’s sister has just been named the Attorney General. She apparently has some big things in store for our department.

MPC: Care to elaborate?

AV: Not at this time. That should be all.

Alastair yanks off the mic and walks away.

MPC: Well you heard it here folks! That was Alastair Verne, lead agent in the Witches Protection Program. Seems like with the first case almost closed, there are going to be MANY more adventures for him and Wes Rockville with the Witches Protection Program. I can’t wait to find out more!!

9_18 Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip CashWes Rockville, a disgraced law enforcement agent, is given one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232 year old secret government organization. The Witches Protection Program. His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company’s diabolical plan of using witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds.

Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in both witches and himself. Filled with adventure, suspense and a rousing good time, Michael Phillip Cash creates a tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern day New York City.

About the Author:9_18 Michael Phillip Cash Author Photo Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He’s written ten books including the best-selling Brood X, Stillwell, The Flip, The After House, The Hanging Tree, Witches Protection Program, Pokergeist, and Battle for Darracia series.

Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island. He writes full-time with his screaming kids in the background.

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Picture Me by Amy Schisler – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amy will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Melissa Grant has escaped the clutches of death, not once, not twice, but three times. While she considers this to be divine intervention, her assailant is sure that her luck will run out, and the authorities are suspicious that Melissa isn’t as innocent as she seems. Implicated in the murders of two of her closest friends, and running from both a hit man and the law, Melissa does what is thought to be impossible in the 21st Century – she disappears. Julie Lawson has no family, no friends, and no past. She spends her days photographing the country and her nights tossing and turning as nightmares plague her sleep. While passing through the town of St. Brendan, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Julie finds some things she hasn’t had in a very long time – a home, friends, and love. For the first time in two years, Julie can see her future, but she can attain it only by surviving a predator from her past. Eric West has a past of his own that he is trying to forget. His return to his hometown keeps his demons away until he meets Julie, and she stirs up emotions in him that he hasn’t felt in a long time. As he slowly begins to let go of this past, Eric tries to break down the walls that Julie has so tightly built around herself. Gaining her trust one small act at a time, and hiring the best investigator in DC to dig for answers, Eric opens the Pandora’s Box to Julie’s past which threatens all of their futures.

Enjoy an excerpt:

With her heart beating wildly, under the cover of the loud music, she tiptoed toward the bedroom window where the fire escape was. Praying that the man would not turn toward the bedroom, she quietly raised the window while holding her breath and praying it wouldn’t make a sound. Not daring to look back, she dropped herself onto the landing, sucking in frigid air and almost choking as her feet hit the icy metal.

Melissa flew down the fire escape slipping and sliding on the smooth, glassy coating. Her bare foot slipped out from under her on the last step sending her reeling back onto the stairs and hitting her head. Looking up, she saw the masked man lean out of the window above her.

Melissa had no time to even check her head for blood as she wrenched herself from the sidewalk and ran for her life.

About the Author:

Amy MacWilliams Schisler, of Bozman, has been writing all of her life for fun and as a freelance writer. A graduate of University of Maryland College Park with a Masters of Library and Information Science, Amy has resided in Talbot County for 21 years. She was employed as a school library media specialist at White Marsh Elementary and Chapel District Elementary and a reference librarian at Chesapeake College. For the past eight years, she has operated her own computer tutoring service working primarily with senior citizens while spending as much time as possible writing. Amy was a contributing editor for the reference series Best Books For Libraries 2004 Edition and is included in Who’s Who Among American Women.

Schisler’s first children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad, is an autobiographical work about spending a day harvesting the Maryland Blue Crab and is available in local stores and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as well as on Amazon. Sarah Book Publishing released Schisler’s novel, A Place to Call Home, in August of 2014. A revised second edition was released in March 2015.

Picture Me, A Mystery was released on August 17, 2015. The book follows the plight of a young woman as she journeys across the country assuming one identity after another in order to stay alive. When she lands in a small port town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and meets the man of her dreams, she lets her guard down and puts her heart and her life in danger.

A former librarian and teacher, Amy now lives in Bozman, Maryland with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs where she is very involved in her local community. Amy is the leader of Girl Scout Troop 453, Director of Summer Roundup Girl Scout Camp, and active in her family’s church and school. Email the author at

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Amy’s newest book is available on Amazon.

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Entropy by Robert Raker – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

Cover_EntropyWhen a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s. United in a situation not of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into their intersected, yet isolated lives.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The Diver

The bloated, distended corpses of the people whose shortened lives I had retrieved from the water were clearly visible in the immature patterns of condensation that evaporated gradually on the mirror.

You can find a longer excerpt here.

About the Author: Robert Raker_AuthorPhotoRobert Raker graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he enjoys art, music, literature and live theater. He is currently working on his next novel.

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Thursday’s Child: Far to Go by Polly Becks – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Polly is awarding one randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter one 3-foot long stem rose in a glass vase from or similar florist; US only. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A percentage of the sales of this book will be donated to Children’s International, a not-for-profit organization very close to Polly’s family’s heart. Past books in the series have benefited The American Red Cross, The American Cancer Society, Tuesday’s Children [a 9/11 charity], and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

A mystery is introduced in No Ordinary Day, the first book in the Extraordinary Days series that is carried through all eight volumes and solved in the last book, Sunday’s Child: Born on the Sabbath Day, due out in January of 2017.

In the late spring of 1991, a flood and fire of historic proportions tore through the pretty resort town of Obergrande, New York, in the central region of the Adirondack mountains.

The twin disasters destroyed a large part of the east side of the town that bordered the Hudson River and Lake Obergrande.

In the aftermath, a new dam was built, and that damaged part of the town “drowned,” covered by the new, larger lake.

During that terrible flood, five kindergarten girls were trapped in their drowning school, huddled together as the water rose higher, rescued just in the nick of time. The nightmare bonded them, and three others like them, to each other for life.

These are their stories.


International attorney and human rights advocate Elisa Santiago believes she has life under control—an impressive career, a solid group of friends in Obergrande, and a handsome law partner for hot “car action” when she needs release. Little does she know that her entire world is about to burn down when she discovers that nothing she believes she knows about herself and her past is true. Can the gorgeous former CIA operative, acting as her guide and guard as she returns to Colombia, the land of her birth, looking for answers, set her world on fire in a good way?

THURSDAY’S CHILD: Far to Go is the fifth book in the eight-book series The Extraordinary Days by breakthrough novelist Polly Becks. The first book, No Ordinary Day, tells the tale of an epic tragedy that changes life forever in a small town in the wild, mystic Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and the mystery surrounding that tragedy.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Present day, Sunday, September 8th, 2:11 PM
Le Mille Neuf, 1009 Rue de Bleury, penthouse, Montreal

The young man at the front desk in the luxury apartment building looked up in surprise at the quartet of women making their way across the lobby, carrying what looked like a variety of flowers, sweets, and boxes, chatting happily amongst themselves as every male head in the lobby turned in their direction.

An older man in the uniform of a professional driver or chauffeur was following them, his arms piled high with packages, puffing slightly.

The women, who were carrying on an intense four-way conversation between them, did not notice the attention they were garnering like magnets. They ranged in height from just over five feet to just under six, with a variety of body types, hair and skin colors ranging from alabaster to ebony, and clothing styles, all of which had some sort of bright artistry to them.

They stopped in front of the desk.

The tallest of the group, a fair-skinned beauty with gray eyes and shoulder-length brown hair atop a tall, willowy figure, smiled down at him.

“Penthouse deux, s’il vous plait,” she said politely in a perfect French accent.

The young man slid his swivel chair quickly under the desk to shield his lap from view.

“Qui appelle?” he asked in a French-Canadian accent. “Er—whom shall I say is calling?” He picked up the phone.

“The—uhm—Fivesome,” Briony Windsor, known as Sarah to her friends, said.

The young man waited for an answer, requested permission for entry and, receiving it, directed the four women to the penthouse elevator, only to discover they had started across the back lobby while he was hanging up.

They already knew where they were going.

“Has anyone heard from Sloane’s father recently?” Dr. Corinne Byrnes, a veterinarian and the second-tallest member of the group asked the others as they entered the elevator and pushed the button for the top floor.

“I spoke to him last night,” said Reverend Grace Fuller, the Associate Pastor of the Obergrande Community Church back in New York State. “He says she seems to be doing better, as long as she rests. Apparently he hasn’t been entirely successful at keeping her in bed.”

“Shocker,” mused Elisa Santiago, esq., a practicing attorney and civil rights advocate who divided her time between law on the international stage and a quiet practice back in Obergrande, the pretty Adirondack hometown of the four young women and the friend they had come to visit. At five-foot-three, she was petite, like Grace, and extraordinarily well put-together, every detail of her wardrobe perfect, just as every detail of her business and personal life seemed to be.

“Well, between us we have plenty of things to keep her amused in bed,” said Briony. “Although that’s like selling ice to penguins; Sloane has made of art of being kept amused in bed most of her life.”

“Truth,” mused Corinne as the elevator doors opened, providing a stunning view of downtown Montreal and its exquisite spires.

The four women hurried down the sunlit hallway of windows to the door where the number 2 was elegantly displayed.

Elisa pushed the doorbell.

A tall, strapping, dark-haired man with a finely-featured, neatly-bearded face opened the door a moment later.

All four women blinked in surprise.

“Dr. Marlowe?” Elisa’s voice broke the silence.

The man’s dark blue eyes blinked as well.

“Come in, ladies,” he said quickly.

The women looked at each other, then followed him into the penthouse.

“What’s he doing here?” Grace whispered to Briony. “Sloane told me they couldn’t stand each other.” Briony shrugged.

“Perhaps they’re working on the Quadricentennial?” Elisa suggested as they passed through the elegant central foyer into the open living area, a high-ceilinged room ringed with floor-to-ceiling windows.

She turned to Corinne, the only one not to have met Nathan Marlowe. “He’s a world-class history professor here at McGill and in New York at NYU, a specialist in the Adirondack Park area and particularly in Obergrande. Sloane’s mother hired him to do the authentication and other research for the town’s four-hundredth anniversary next May.”

“Well, if her mother likes him, I can see why Sloane can’t stand him,” said Corinne. “Those two can’t agree on whether the sun is up or not.”

Dr. Marlowe was standing at the far left edge of the open sitting area, next to the door that led to Sloane’s bedroom suite.

The women and their driver, still lugging their packages, followed him.

A glorious spicy smell filled the air near the kitchen.

On their way past a recessed alcove in which a towering animal cage stood, Corinne paused and clicked softly at the sweet, melon-sized animal inside it.

“Hiya, Pfeffernusse,” she said. “You’re lookin’ good, gurrl.”

Ed Hillenbrandt, the driver, waited until she was following the other girls again, then paused in front of the cage himself.

“I still say you would make a nice hat,” he whispered.

Pfeffernusse just stared at him with her big black chinchilla eyes. Then she flicked her large ears and spun around, her white belly disappearing from view as she turned her gray-blue back to him.

“You’re not by any means the first female to give me the cold shoulder, ma’am,” Ed said as he went to join the women.

About the Author:

Polly Becks has been making her living writing for more than twenty years, as well as working as an editor, curriculum developer, and teaching secondary-school Spanish. She has more than 350 books to her credit, mostly educational materials, as well as professionally published fiction in both the adult and YA market in a variety of genres, plus more than 30 Children’s books. She is excited about exploring the digital literature frontier and is honored to be the launch series for GMLTJoseph, LLC.

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