Coming to Rosemont by Barbara Hinske – Spotlight and Giveaway



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Forensic accountant Maggie Martin survives the sudden death of her husband, the charismatic President of Windsor College, only to uncover the secrets of his carefully-concealed double life. Dealing with the financial and emotional wreckage left in Paul’s wake, she is stunned to learn he inherited an estate known as Rosemont in the seemingly-serene Midwestern town of Westbury. Why had he never told her?

Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a fresh start in Westbury. Behind closed doors, however, lurks a cadre of evildoers, playing with multiple wild cards of fraud, embezzlement and arson.

With a quiet, orderly – and distinctively solitary – life in mind, Maggie is instead thrown headlong into a crusade against political corruption, where defeat and retreat are not an option. Still bearing the scars of betrayal, will she find joy, romance and possibility in Westbury?

This fast-paced, smart novel has enough twists and turns to make the reader want to buckle in!

Enjoy an excerpt:

“What do you mean, mom? Fresh start? I don’t get it,” Susan finally replied.

“You know how awkward things have been for me with the College crowd. The new President and his wife are headed in a different direction and don’t want me hanging around. I don’t feel like I fit anywhere anymore. Helen is the only friend that I continue to see,” she said. Maggie raised her hand to hush their objections. “You both have your own lives. I need to have mine. I can run my business from anywhere with a phone and a computer.”

“So you’re thinking of moving there?” Susan choked.

“That’s exactly what I’ve decided to do,” Maggie replied with her best attempt at a firm, confident voice.

“But you don’t know anyone there,” Susan protested.

“Won’t you rattle around in that huge house all alone? Won’t that make you feel more alone?” Mike interjected for the first time.

“You know, that’s the part I’m most sure of. That I won’t be lonely in that house. When the front door closed behind me that first night, I knew I was home. I never told you, but I checked out of the hotel and moved into Rosemont the night I arrived,” Maggie said. Mike and Susan exchanged a skeptical glance. “And you know, the most extraordinary thing happened the next morning. I adopted a lost dog. Or more accurately, she adopted me,” Maggie said, and told them about Eve. “So you see, I won’t be alone there,” Maggie finished.

Both children remained silent. Astonished, Maggie thought with a measure of satisfaction.

About the Author:

Barbara Hinske is a practicing attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. She has two grown children with her exceedingly kind and good second husband, who died of cancer in 2006. Lucky in love, Barb married another exceptional man and father of two in 2010, and they live in their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs.

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Website: http://barbarahinske.com/
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Tale of Treasures by H.F. Parkhurst – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a grand prize of a $50 BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour and a second winner will win a $25 BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A four hundred year quest for a mysterious lost treasure; bloodthirsty Pirates; plundering Conquistadors; noble Indians; and a sinister and secret religious Order are the tantalizing ingredients stirred together in the turbulent, steamy, and exotic Spanish Main, of yesterday and today.

To the rhythmic background of classic R&B soul music, Harry Carlton and his new love Helen are unexpectedly thrust into a violent encounter with ruthless and malevolent forces and a rogue’s gallery of dastardly villains. These two, near their fifties, are not kindly white-haired grandparents ready to sit sedately in rocking chairs. Instead, they confront danger with bravery, and battle dishonesty and injustice with valor. They discover a priceless, lost artifact treasure of the ancient Indians of South and Central America. In the struggle to return the treasure to its rightful owners, they must outwit the assortment of murderous villains, and stay alive.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Aye, Capt’n.” Nate demonstrated their devious attack plan with tankards and bowls from the table. “By the time them Spanish scum be figuring what to do, we be attacking from three directions, be raking their sails and rigging, and be a blasting their ships into submission.”

The Sea Dragon crew had gathered around the three captains, and peered on silent and expectant. Always thirsty, many hoisted tankards of ale as the discussion lengthened, and Captain Nate fought the sea battle on the tabletop.

Mary pointed to the bowl representing Alonso’s ship. “This be your chance to show the fancy Spaniard who be the better man, and grab ye a share of rich booty?”

Goode scratched his beard and his broad belly. He squinted and with an intent eye peered at the layout of tankards and bowls. First, he gazed with skepticism in one direction, then another. He reached for his tankard and took a long swallow. With a broad grin, he lifted his tankard. “We sail me hearties.”

“Hoorah!” yelled the boisterous crew. They swilled drinks and trooped for the docks and Sea Dragon. On the evening tide, the pirate ships raised anchors, hoisted sails, and raced like lethal sharks across a moonlit sea to Old Man’s Cove, a thirst for gold singing in their blood.

About the Author:

H.F. earned double finalist honors in 2011 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards. Born and raised in the northeastern United States, he’s lived in the south, southwest, and mid-west of the US, as well as Asia, Australia, and Europe. A student of traditional Chinese martial arts for the last sixteen years, he practices daily. After forty years as a successful, international architectural interior designer of offices and hotels, he sought a new creative outlet.

In a turbulent time of global conflict, he seeks to be an ardent voice of reason speaking against illogic and the darkness of injustice, violence, and hatred pursued by the irrational and fanatic zealot faithful, worldwide.

An Objectivist, his novels reflect his commitment to logical thinking and the right of free people to rationally choose a destiny in their own best self-interests. He enjoys spinning outrageous tales based on his fertile imagination and real life experiences. Married, he lives with his wife in Florida. Currently projects are two novel series: an Epic Fantasy and an Action/Adventure. Also in the works are sci-fi novels and short stories.

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Interview with Dr. Barnes from Night Clinic by David Gelber – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David will be awarding a $50 Amazon/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.

Dr. Barnes is an Internist who stared moonlighting at the Night Clinic during his residency in Internal Medicine. He encounters a steady stream of unusual patients, yet cares for each with unique insight and compassion. I sat down and chatted with him recently.

Interview with Dr. Barnes

How did you first come to work at the Night Clinic?

I had some free time and I’m always in need of some extra cash. A hundred bucks an hour is pretty good when you’re living on a medical resident’s salary. Although, in retrospect it wasn’t enough.

Why is that?

Caring for international spies, mythological beasts, criminals, patients in the process of zombification and other bizarre folks is just not what one usually does as part of medical practice. I mean, whatever happened to the mundane diabetics or people with high blood pressure?

Surely you get your share of those patients.

I suppose I do. But, I see far more than my fair share of wierdos.

Are the patients you cared for as part of your residency different from the population you encounter at the clinic?

As different as night and day. Most of my residency was at University Hospital, filled with rich widows complaining of swollen legs or businessmen with high blood pressure, usually caused by worry over having only a hundred million in the bank instead of two hundred. Night clinic is for the people at the other end of the economic spectrum. We see alcoholics who are slowly drinking themselves to death and want us to slow down the inevitable, gang members after there’s been a rumble, addicts, hookers and the bizarre individual who only dares go out at night, shunning “normal” society. One of my favorites is Caleb, the street artist. I’m sure you’ve seen his work around town. He has some sort of ESP, his drawings and paintings have an intuition that could only come from some sort of mystical inspiration. I’ve never seen anyone like him at the University hospital.

Now that you’re finished with residency you work at the clinic full time?

Yes. I still work nights, often with Nurse James, usually five nights a week. The other docs at the clinic hate night work, most only work one night a month. There’s a big difference between days and nights at the clinic. Daytime is like any other doctor’s office, diabetics, hypertensives and such coming in for routine check ups. At night we’re more of an urgent care clinic, catering to creatures of the night, but seeing a wide range of urgent and emergent conditions.

Who is your most memorable patient?

I hope I don’t violate any HIPAA regulations, but I’d have to say it’s Medusa.

You mean Medusa, the ugly mythological monster who turned anyone who gazed upon her ugliness to stone?

Yes and no. She is the Medusa of mythology, but she is definitely not ugly. Alluring, sexy, beautiful, enchanting those are the words I would use to describe her. Her beauty is timeless and one winter day she strolls into my clinic announcing she’s cold. I felt sorry for her, dressed in a thin shirt and dress, so I gave her a cup of tea and a warm place to sit and she was content. Later she became the clinic’s savior. Now, if you want an interview, just track her down. She can tell you stories about famous people you just would not believe. King David, Pontius Pilate, King Arthur, Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra and so many more were part of her life, or, rather, she was part of their life. She’s married to a rich businessman at the moment. All I can say about her is that every man who gets a glimpse of her wants to get to “know” her better, if you get my drift. If you want to interview a truly interesting person, give her a call.

Does working at the clinic tax your medical skills in any way?

No more than working any other place. Sick people are sick people. It’s an unfortunate fact that rich, poor, fat or thin, man or woman, monster or god, everybody gets sick or hurt. Sometimes I need to search the innermost recesses of my brain to make a correct diagnosis or find the proper treatment. Luckily, I’ve had a very thorough medical education and, knock on wood, I’ve managed quite well so far.

Why do you think so many unusual patients show up at your clinic?

I think we provide excellent care and we don’t ask too many questions.

That could be said of most medical clinics, but they don’t treat spies or get mysterious packages delivered or give birth to dragons.

I see you’ve done your homework. I guess you are correct that we get more than our share of unusual patients. I think it’s because of Nurse James. She just attracts very bizarre types.

She did marry you.

Touche.

MEDIA KIT Night_Clinic_Cover_2d“Night Clinic” is a collection of short stories which tell the unusual events which occur at the free clinic attended by Dr. Barnes and Nurse James. Monsters, magical beasts, villains along with ordinary folks come to the clinic looking for health and hope.

“Night Clinic” is a unique melding of medicine and magic.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I glanced at Mr. V. M. Pire’s chart before going into the room. The space for age was left blank, his vitals were: BP 60/30, heart rate 40, respiratory rate 12, temperature 92.

“Miss James, are these vitals correct,” I asked, not believing the numbers.

“Took them three times, Dr. Barnes, but there’s no need for alarm. You’ll see what I mean when you see Mr. Pire,” She answered in her most professional tone.

This night gets more bizarre every minute. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, knocked on the door, and went in to see Mr. V. M. Pire. I saw a pale young man sitting on the chair in the corner, dressed in black pants, black shirt and wrapped in a black coat. Even with his coat he looked cold, shivering, his arms held tightly across his chest.

“Good evening, Mr. Pire. I’m Dr. Barnes. What brings you in here today?” I asked in my usual doctor’s bedside tone.

“What’s that supposed to mean? Do you think that I changed myself into a bat and flew in. Or maybe I just danced along the full moonbeam. I know what you’re thinking: Another deluded, crazy who can’t cope with reality,” he spouted with venom in his voice.

“Actually, the way this night has been going, I was truly expecting a vampire. Who else could have vital signs like yours and not be in a coma? So tell me, what’s the problem? If you don’t want to say, you are free to leave. I have plenty of other sick people to attend to.”

He calmed down, stood up, and started to pace around the room.

“I’m… I’m not sure where to start. You see, I… I’ve been having these fantasies and, well, with the full moon and everything, I just couldn’t stand it. I even went to their meeting, thought about joining in their activities.”

He paused for a moment. I could see he was upset and I tried to calm him down. I put my arm around him and lead him to the chair. He almost had tears in his eyes. “Go on,” I said in a soft voice. “What are these fantasies?”

He looked at me with his dark, deep set eyes. “To be a wewuff,” he whispered in a muffled voice.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you said,” I replied with true concern in my voice.

“To be a WEREWOLF,” he answered loudly. “It’s driving me crazy. I know it’s ridiculous. I mean, I’m a vampire, the best of the best. Last month I downed six units of AB neg in under thirty seconds, all from the same vic… same donor.”

“Sit down and tell me about it,” I suggested, doing my best to imitate a Psychiatrist.

“I guess it started last full moon. I was out at night, like usual, and as I was flying around the neighborhood, thinking about dinner, I saw a whole pack of them, werewolves. They were circling around some helpless wino and then they attacked. After their kill they all howled at the moon, gave each other high fives, and then there were the girls. Dozens of them, all gathered around these vicious beasts, oohing and awing. Meanwhile, every night I’m out, shivering, looking for blood. Alone, hated by everyone, even other vampires who would just as soon cut your head off as share a drop of their precious stash.”

“It must be a tough life,” I observed.

“You don’t know the half of it, Dr. Barnes. So, a couple of weeks ago, I’m laying in my coffin, trying to sleep. It must have been noon, and I start to thinking, Wouldn’t it be great to be a werewolf? Get to wear a fur coat, not be cold all the time, only worry about being a vicious monster once a month. Then I say to myself, ‘Get over it, you’re a vampire, you’re better than them.’ But, I can’t get over it; I can’t get the thoughts out of my head. I tried to talk to one of the Elders. Well, you would have thought I was wanting to become a priest, the way he reacted. After that I got scared, I guess, and then I went to see them tonight. All the werewolves were gathered together, I even went inside, tried to meet them. As soon as they saw me they surrounded me. ‘Look at sissy boy,’ they taunted. ‘Afraid of the big bad wolf?’ I tried to talk to them, but they just laughed. I left, feeling more and more depressed. I just wanted to end it all. I even broke into the hospital and stole this.”

He held up a case of thrombin.

“A couple of swigs of this, then all my blood congeals and it’s the end. Well, I got scared and I wasn’t sure what to do. I saw the Clinic sign and decided to stop in. So, here I am.”

I stared at him for few moments, not sure what to say or do.

About the Author: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADavid Gelber, a New York native, is the seventh of nine sons and one of three to pursue medicine. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and went on to graduate medical school in 1984 from the University of Rochester.

He completed a residency in General Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and Nassau County Medical Center on Long Island, NY, in 1989. Dr. Gelber now is in private practice in Houston, TX.

Gelber has been performing surgery for more than 25 years, but over the last few years he began to pursue his passion for writing, initially with his debut novel, “Future Hope”, followed by its sequel “Joshua and Aaron.”

These were followed by two books about surgery “Behind the Mask” and “Under the Drapes.” The apocalyptic “Last Light” and historical fantasy “Minotaur Revisited” round out his published works, while numerous articles have appeared on his blog “Heard in the OR.”

Now he presents “Little Bit’s Story” and his collection of magical medical short stories, “Night Clinic.”

He has been married to Laura for 28 years and has three college aged children. He and Laura share their home with five dogs and numerous birds.

Heard in the OR | Website | Goodreads

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Interview and Giveaway: Mingmei Yip

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Mingmei Yip, whose newest book Secret of a Thousand Beauties has recently been released. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a copy of the book — please make sure you leave your email address.

Mingmei’s maternal grandmother was the owner of the Pepsi Cola factory in Vietnam before the liberation. She was barely able to read, but took over the business after her husband died suddenly of a stroke in his early 40s.

“My mother always boasted about Grandma’s success and showed me pictures, now lost, of Grandma beside Joan Crawford, then at the peak of her Hollywood stardom, and Wu Tingyan, the Vietnamese president,” she said. “My grandmother came to visit from time to time, but like so many old generation Chinese woman, she lavished attention on my brother but ignored me because I was a girl – ‘money-losing merchandise.’ She never spoke a word to me, nor even looked in my direction. I reciprocated, sitting wordlessly in my high chair and staring out the window, absorbed in my daydreams. This ‘cold war’ culminated when one day Grandma suddenly asked my mother, ‘Is your daughter retarded?’

“Whatever my mother thought about this, she always had faith in my future. Once when on our way to a Chinese opera performance, I saw the crescent moon and blurted out: ‘Ma, look, the moon is like my clipped fingernail!’ Amazed, Mother shot back: ‘Wah! Mingmei, you’ll be a writer someday!’

“And that planted a seed in my young mind that I’d be a writer someday.”

Mingmei had her first essay published in an art magazine when she was 15 and she’s been writing ever since. She currently has fourteen books published, including two children’s books in English, which she also illustrated, and five books in Chinese. Her children’s books are Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories and Grandma Panda’s China Storybook – Legends, Traditions, and Fun, both published by Tuttle Publishing. Her Chinese books include three on music, one on Zen Buddhism with her painting and calligraphy, and a collection of her essays.

After writing seven mainstream novels, she is thinking about branching out to write a thriller or mystery. Currently, she’s mostly reading ghost stories because her next novel will be about witches, shamans, a ghost-haunted lake, and many things metaphysical.

“Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?” I asked. “If so, what do you do about it?”

“A while ago I was in a writers’ networking party and someone asked me what does writer’s block really mean. I think it means different things to different writers.

“To begin a new novel what I need is a new idea. Once I have that, I’ll think of the ‘what if.’ I’ll also start to read all the materials on the subject I’m going to write about, be it a spy or gangster in my Skeleton Women and The Nine Fold Heaven, a prostitute in my Peach Blossom Pavilion, or an adventurer in my Song of the Silk Road. The first few chapters are always easy to write, for it’s the beginning and I have enough ideas in my mind. However, after the six or seven chapters, the question ‘What’s next?’ will pop up to my great alarm. If I can’t figure out what to write for the eight chapter, then I can’t write the following nineth, tenth, eleventh…and that’s very scary.

“Whenever I encounter this, I’ll always read a book, a magazine, or watch a movie. Somehow a scene, a conversation, a gesture will trigger ideas and inspirations.

“As I said to my writer friend, ‘One time I read in the newspaper that a baby girl fell into a well and survived, that gave me the idea to write in my second novel Petals from the Sky about a young woman being accidentally pushed down a well and got enlightened in the dark.’

“If I’ve read a lot, sometimes my writer’s block would even be solved in dreams. I believe it’s because the information I received have re-arranged itself in my subconscious.

“Reading or watching a movie to get ideas always work for me. This even makes me wonder that there’s some writing angel around to help – as long as we persevere. Like the phrase ‘Knock, and the door will open.’ So when you have writer’s block ‘Read, you’ll always find ideas.'”

Mingmei doesn’t outline her stories, but she lets her characters lead her along.

“Outlining won’t work for me because once I start to write, my story grows its own feet and walks off in a completely different direction,” she explained.

The first thing she needs is an engaging situation. For her debut novel Peach Blossom Pavilion, she decided to write about the last Chinese high class prostitute. For her second novel Petals from the Sky, she had an idea about a would-be nun who falls in love. Her third novel, Song of the Silk Road, is the journey to self-discovery of a young woman who travels the ancient Silk Road in search of adventure – and a three million dollar reward.

She writes full-time, but in her spare time she practices the guqin – the most ancient Chinese silk-stringed instrument, which she performs frequently. She also does storytelling and teaches calligraphy and painting workshops, most recently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The protagonists of Mingmei’s books are brave, strong women who are relentless in overcoming hardship and tragedy to live life on their own terms and achieve happiness.

“It is hard now even to try to imagine the hardships women had to endure in traditional China – marrying to a dead fiancé, making them the slaves of the dead man’s parents, or forced into prostitution, yet not even allowed to keep their babies,” she told me. “Some of my characters are inspired by the lives of actual women, including Camilla the singer-spy in my novels Skeleton Women and The Nine Fold Heaven, and the teenage prostitute Xiang Xiang in my debut novel Peach Blossom Pavilion (now in its 5th printing!) I feel honored to be able to give these silenced women their voice. Also, in writing about them, they have become my teachers of curage, determination, and compassion.”

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

“It’s never easy to be a writer, especially when you start out. I think to be a writer, it is still essential to master the basics. Not only voice, characterization, dialogue, plot, but also sentence structure, its rhythm and music. I always try to vary the length of my sentences and start each one with a different subject. It’s essential to spent whatever time it takes to find the right word. Sometimes, it is a single word that brightens a whole paragraph.

“There is a Chinese saying ‘Slap on the thigh and exclaim!’ That’s how the readers will react to a good choice of word. Readers may not be aware of the meticulous hard work behind a smooth sentence, but if you don’t pay attention, they will soon become bored.

“I also think it’s good for authors to attend other cultural activities such as movies, concerts, art exhibitions. Have as diverse a background as you can cultivate, that really helps.”

Enjoy the book video:

About the Author:12_5 mingmei yip author photo Mingmei Yip believes that one should, besides being entertained, also get something out of reading a novel. Her new novel is Secret of a Thousand Beauties, coming out December, 2014 by Kensington Books. Her other novels include: Skeleton Women Femmes Fatales); The Nine Fold Heaven, story of an ex spy and night-club singer undertaking a dangerous journey to look for her long lost lover and son; Peach Blossom Pavilion, story of the last Chinese Geisha; Petals from the Sky — a poignant Buddhist love story about wisdom, compassion, when to persist and when to let go; Song of the Silk Road , an adventure, love story between an older woman and a younger man with a three million award on China’s famous, dangerous route.

Besides writing, Mingmei is accomplished in many other fields. A professional player of the Guqin, Chinese zither, she was recently invited by Carnegie Hall to perform in “A Festival celebrating Chinese Culture” program. She had her solo Goddess exhibition at the New York Open Center Gallery to great acclaim and held calligraphy workshops at the City University of New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has lectured extensively on Chinese art and culture at Oxford University, Columbia University, Beijing University, University of Paris, Vassar College, Williams College.

Mingmei is also a children’s book writer and illustrator. Her two children’s books are Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories and Grandma Panda’s China Storybook, both by Tuttle Publishing.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Goodreads

12_5 BOOK COVER MINGMEI YIPSpring Swallow was promised in marriage while still in her mother’s belly. When the groom dies before a wedding can take place, seventeen-year-old Spring Swallow is ordered to become a ghost bride to appease his spirit. Under her in-laws’ she will be little more than a servant, unable to know real love or bear children. Refusing to accept her fate as a “bad-luck woman,” Spring Swallow flees on her wedding day.

In the city of Soochow, Spring Swallow joins a community of renowned embroiderers. The women work for Aunty Peony, whose exquisite stitching once earned her the Emperor’s love. But when Aunty Peony agrees to replicate a famous painting–a lucrative assignment that will take a year to complete–betrayal and jealousy emerges within the group. Spring Swallow becomes entangled in each woman’s story of heartbreak, even while she embarks on a dangerous affair with a young revolutionary. On a journey that leads from the remote hillsides around Soochow to cosmopolitan Peking, Spring Swallow draws on the secret techniques learned from Aunty Peony and her own indomitable strength, determined to forge a life that is truly her own.

Balancing Life and Writing by EJ Hanagan – Guest Blog and Giveaway

11_17 VBT_SavingJason_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. EJ will be awarding a $50 Starbucks GC to a randomly selected winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops.

Balancing Life and Writing

When I decided to leave my day job and focus solely on writing, I envisioned a world with endless amounts of time where I could just sit in front of my laptop and dream up characters and plot. I fantasized about getting comfy with a cup of coffee and creating, as the hours would pass by in a cozy cafe.

One thing that non-writers may not know though, is that with writing comes research. And depending on your story, that could mean lots and lots of research. It could mean traveling countless miles to interview someone for a topic, or it could mean that you spend hours on Pinterest searching for the perfect 60s wedding dress for the main character in your next scene. So, with that said, writing is just never simply “writing” alone and the hours of pounding the keys that I dreamed of, turned out to be a bit different. I squeeze in writing and marketing time while my one year old daughter naps and often times I’m cut off mid-sentence when I hear a sweet little squawk erupt from her room down the hall. Also, while my dogs tend to spend most of their time sleeping, it’s not rare for me to be interrupted by a barking fit every now and then. It’s usually a squirrel trying to break into our backyard or something harmless like that, but it usually gets me out of my chair to assess the situation, thus taking away from more of those endless writing hours that I dreamed about.

Another balance issue is the whole reading thing. Every writer knows that in order to get better, we need to READ. It’s basically like creeping on other author’s to enhance our own work. So, since most of my time at home is spent writing, marketing, mommying and taming my wild dogs, I use my gym time to read. Thanks to my handy little kindle, I can climb the Stairmaster or run on the treadmill while I study the work of my fellow authors. Music can be blaring in the background and weight lifters all around me may be grunting, but I love to read so much that I manage to block it all out and escape into a story while I sweat.

Like all jobs and hobbies, if you love it enough, you manage to squeeze it all in. I’d rather congest my life with a million little things that I love and be fluttering around searching for more time, than do one thing that I only semi-like all day long. Maybe that is why my days go by so fast.

11_17 Cover_Saving JasonJason Barnes is a free spirit. Underneath that fun-loving surface lurks a severe case of PTSD, his personal souvenir from the war on terror. After his young marriage breaks up, he bounces from girlfriend to girlfriend, never allowing himself to get too close, all while maintaining a friendship with his ex-wife, Samantha Colton.

Everything changes when he meets Abby Jacobsen, a smart and sassy artist – but with love comes jealousy, and Abby doesn’t stand for Jason’s cozy friendship with Samantha. Two hours after a heated argument causes Jason to storm out of their apartment, Abby receives a phone call from the intensive care unit of a New Hampshire hospital. The hospital walls close in on Abby and Samantha as they are forced to make tough decisions while trying hard not to kill each other. The two form a rare bond when Emma Jane, Jason’s mom, arrives on the scene. Three weeks after Jason’s accident, Abby is left alone and hovering over a handful of positive pregnancy tests. During her pregnancy, Abby works with Samantha to dig up clues of Jason’s past. As the truth is discovered, their worlds are irreversibly changed.

An emotionally-moving look at PTSD and the intersection of three lives, Saving Jason is a riveting glimpse into unexpected friendships and the ripples we leave without our knowledge.

This book is currently only available through Amazon.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jason pinned his body as tightly as he could against the rigid edge of the climbing rock at Heartbreak Park. Fingers clenching the pointed edge, he raised his right leg, feeling for a protrusion to rest his foot. He looked down at the ground twenty­five feet below, where the mix of leaves coated in a fiery red and orange served as a bed for his rock climbing gear. It was the first time he’d attempted a free climb without the safety of a harness attaching him to the side of the boulder. A rush of fear passed through him when he took his next step. Putting all of his body weight into that step, he was no longer supported by the ledge; instead he was falling to the ground, face scraping against the serrated boulders along the way. Time stood still for the thirty seconds that his body descended to the ground. Silence softened his busy mind and the world was calm until he landed in a pile of leaves on top of his gear. The last thing he saw was a set of piercing silvery blue eyes flashing across his vision like lightning in the midst of a storm.

About the Author: EJ Hanagan is a fitness fanatic, obsessive reader and animal lover. She currently lives in a sleepy little beach town just outside of Boston with her husband, their new daughter, and the family’s two giant Newfoundland dogs. After spending four years in the Air Force, she put her fire for fitness to good use and worked as a personal trainer while attending college. EJ credits the amazing, brave people she met in the military for giving her the passion and focus to raise awareness for veterans with PTSD. Her hope is to bring the invisible scars of war to the surface through her writing and community involvement.

You can learn more about EJ, her books, and her charity work at her website or connect with her online at Twitter and Facebook.

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One of My Own Writing Quirks by Benjamin DeHaven – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a $50 Amazon/BN gift card or 1 of 5 signed hardcover copies of Confessions of a Self-Help Writer. (US only) Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

One of my own writing quirks
I have to write with a legal felt tipped pen and after I have the long hand version I usually use dictation software to read the story out loud. It’s amazing how many problems you will find when reading something out loud. Its funny, because I type quickly, but, just can’t think clearly when typing
My weirdest quirk is-I don’t like people to look at me when I am writing. I feel like an asshole. But I don’t feel weird editing in public. Which seems strange-because how in the world would the people watching know the difference. I guess I feel like I am “wide open” when in the groove and don’t want to let too many people see that.

MEDIA KIT Confessions_updated_highResA ghost, a philanthropist, a con man, a devout Catholic, a gigolo, a savior, an heir, a common man, and an addict are just some of the words used to describe Michael Enzo, who some sources credit with ghost-writing more than 108 self-help books on behalf of celebrities, politicians and business leaders. After failing to make what he considered to be a positive impact on society he began to destroy those closest to him including Benjamin DeHaven, the author of this book, and former collaborator. Defrauding an industry for almost 20 years by exploiting people’s insecurities and profiting from them, more than likely these friends contributed more to the field of self-help, while profiting from it, than they will ever know. Believing they could only understand people’s problems by suffering along with them, they lived on the razor’s edge. If you’ve ever picked up a tell-all biography of a celebrity or a title from the self-help section at the bookstore, certainly you would question the source.This is an inside look at the mind of Michael Enzo and it is the author’s hope that people will start helping themselves again after reading it. Discover what turns someone from preaching salvation towards seeking its destruction. You won’t believe this could be true.

About the Author:A Graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, Benjamin DeHaven keeps his heart in Chicago and his soul in New Orleans. He holds a MBA from Tulane and a film degree from Columbia. Once ejected from a community college for arguing Frost cried out for acceptance in Birches, he has since written screenplays, traded futures in Madrid, and was Editor in Chief of the Nola Shopper Newspaper, a free art newspaper and the 2nd largest monthly paper in the New Orleans, MSA. . He also has a “shout out” in a Jay “Z” Song.

DeHaven, who currently resides in Las Vegas began his writing career with Stone United, a Chicago based Film Company, which works primarily in independent film. As an unknown fiction writer, he feels the best description of himself, is a sarcastic one and is as follows:

Benjamin W. DeHaven was born on a pool table after a Waylon Jennings’ concert in 1977. His personal success is outweighed only by his stunning good looks and adherence to unwritten moral guidelines. He has been described as a thinking man’s Tucker Max as well as an idiot’s Hunter S. Thompson. His goal is to die from an unwavering commitment to be more like Hemingway.

He and Michael Enzo were friends.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ YouTube ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Goodreads
Buy the book at Barnes and Noble or Amazon

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Good Faith by Liz Crowe- Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes will be awarded via Rafflecopter as follows:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire pre-loaded with all Liz Tri-Desitny titles
FIRST PRIZE: $50 Amazon Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card
THIRD PRIZE: full ebook set of STEWART REALTY SERIES up to Good Faith (8 books in all including the prequel House Rules)

*****Book is on sale for $0.99*****

Strong personalities—volatile marriages—stressful careers—conflicting goals—difficult children.

Contemporary challenges facing close-knit families form the crucible that forges a new generation.

Brandis, Gabriel, Blair and Lillian emerge from the entanglement of their parents’ longstanding emotional connections, but one’s star will burn brighter – and hotter – than the others.

With a personality that consumes everyone and everything in its path, Brandis Gordon struggles to maintain control as he ricochets between wild success and miserable failure. His life proves how even the strongest relationships can be strangled by the ties that bind.

Brandis and Gabe Frietag are as close as any brothers, bound by both loyalty and fierce rivalry. The strength of their ultimate alliance is tested time and again by Brandis’ choices.

Companions from birth, Blair Frietag and Lillian Robinson share loner tendencies, but come to rely on each other through adolescence. As they mature, both are forced to confront their feelings for the men they knew as boys.

Somewhere between the tangle of good memories and bad, independence and addiction, optimism and despair, the intertwined destinies of the new generation finally collide, leaving some stronger, others broken, but none unscathed.

As a chronicle of three families navigating the minefields of teen years into the turbulence of young adulthood, Good Faith holds up a literary mirror to contemporary life with joys and temptations unflinchingly reflected. Its fresh, real-life voice portrays the sheer volatility of human nature, complete with the hopes, dreams, and unexpected setbacks of marriage, parenthood and “coming of age.”

Enjoy an excerpt:

That morning his father had roused him from a sound sleep. He’d blinked, confused, by the angle of the sunlight. He rarely slept much past eight since he usually had some sort of training or the other.

“Let’s go son. Time for lunch.”

Brandis had dragged himself up, his limbs feeling like they weighed a thousand pounds each. His brain buzzed with a strange sort of energy, his typical state, and not at all welcome considering it normally didn’t hit him until later in the day. The conversation his father began as soon as they were seated at their usual diner did not help.

“So, listen, Brandis. These girls…Katie’s friends from college….”

Brandis sipped his ice water, waiting for his father to finish the thought. His heart pounded, and his face flushed hot with embarrassment.

Jack sighed, as if exasperated that Brandis didn’t pick up the thread on his own, leaving him to carry on with the awkwardness about to ensue. Then he leveled his gaze, his face open, not angry or judgmental. “I think that you may be in for some…I mean, they’re…shit.”

“If you are gonna tell me where babies come from again,” Brandis said, after deciding to ease his father’s obvious distress. He cocked an eyebrow and half a smile. Jack seemed to relax somewhat as Brandis continued. “Don’t bother. I already know.”

He flashed his brightest smile up at the middle-aged woman who stood at their table, coffee pot in hand. She blinked rapidly at him, and at that precise moment, Brandis got his first flash of…something…about his power. Up until now he’d merely been “Brandis the trouble maker, the causer of strife.” Suddenly, he felt strong, amazingly so, stronger than even the man sitting across from him, a taller, older version of himself. His body tingled all over, as he tested the smile out again on the woman, making her slop some coffee out onto the table. His father frowned, but then chuckled as the woman walked away after they gave their orders.

“Son,” he said, leaning back and cradling the coffee mug to his chest. “Your adventure has only just begun.”

“Huh?” Brandis picked up his cup but didn’t drink any. He hated coffee, but had ordered it in a burst of need to be more like Jack. As he sipped the bitter stuff, he was transported back years before when he and his dad would spend every single Saturday morning together, eating breakfast at this very diner. He had adored the man, he remembered distinctly. His chest hurt at the simplicity of their relationship then. He looked away from Jack’s deep blue, knowing gaze.

The subject changed of its own accord, and Brandis let it. Although part of him wanted to ask for advice, a much bigger part would not allow the words past his lips.

They ate, discussing the upcoming football season and Brandis’ part in it. The recruiting company Jack had contracted last year to video his every move would start up with the first game. He’d made varsity again, technically as backup quarterback to a senior boy. Brandis didn’t see this as a setback and had every intention of starting under center by the second or third game.

Finally, when they pushed their empty plates back and sat looking at each other, Brandis felt more comfortable in his father’s presence than he had been in a long time. Jack said, “I am pretty sure at least one of those girls sleeping in the basement is determined to change the status of your virginity for you probably as soon as tonight.”

Brandis choked on the last sip of lukewarm coffee. His face burned, and his body tingled again. “I’m…it’s…uh….” He clutched the napkin in his lap unable to meet his father’s eyes.

“No need to say anything. Let’s just say your mother is an astute reader of female intent. While I was busy admiring your sister’s friend’s ass, she apparently read the girl’s mind or something.” Brandis’ face flushed even hotter.

He resisted the urge to protest, to proclaim his innocence of such things. Because he wanted it back—those mornings between them, father and son, man and boy, not this awkward, man and almost-man bullshit. Because while the thought of one of his sister’s college friends popping his cherry remained a pleasant fantasy, it also made him feel older than he wanted to be right then.

“So, I bought a box of condoms this morning,” Jack went on. “Put some downstairs in the side table drawer and the rest in your room. Use them please.” He sipped the last of his coffee, looked as if he were about to get up, then leaned forward, touching Brandis’ wrist. “Have fun. Don’t be an asshole to women. Let every experience teach you…something. Because you are nothing as a man if you don’t learn from every woman you…love.” Jack looked out the window onto the nearly empty parking lot. Then he turned back, tightened his grip on his son’s arm. “God, you are so…young.” His face fell a moment, then he perked up again, his eyes twinkling. “Okay, so, your mother told me to tell you not to let them corrupt you. But all I’m gonna say is this: always wear protection, no matter what, no matter how much you don’t want to. And don’t let your mom catch you in the act. I’ll handle her otherwise.”

Then he let go, stood and smiled, draping a friendly arm around Brandis’ shoulders as they exited the restaurant.

“You really didn’t tell me you were admiring Katie’s friend’s ass, did you, Dad?”

“No, son. I most certainly did not. You obviously misheard me.” Jack winked as he stood by the passenger’s side of his classic Corvette convertible and tossed the keys to Brandis. “Remember what I told you. Don’t ride my clutch.”

About the Author:

Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe lives Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

www.lizcrowe.com
www.brewingpasssion.com
www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans
www.twitter.com/beerwencha2
www.a2beerwench.com

www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes

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The background behind Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper by Zangba Thomson – Guest Blog and Giveway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Zangba will be awarding a print copy of Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper or a Bong Mines Clothing T-shirt (winner’s choice) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (US ONLY) Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The background behind Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper

 Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper is about three teenagers that spring into dangerous action to obtain financial aid for an uninsured Indian immigrant—who desperately needs a liver transplant to stay alive. The boys go on a dangerous mission to obtain the quarter of a million dollars needed for the woman’s surgery, but subsequently, little do they know that they will encounter huge obstacles and experience more than they have ever experienced before.

Three Black Boys originally started as a Hip-Hop song, and people wanted to know—what was the story behind the boys’ robbery attempt? At the time—I didn’t have an answer, but an idea sprung into my mind and months later I began adapting the three-minute-song into the short story—Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version. It’s not easy adapting songs into books, so I didn’t know what to expect, and after getting a good book review from Kirkus, I knew I had to get Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version in stores. That’s when I began to do a market analysis on the book industry, and it wasn’t until I read The Ten Awful & The Ten Wonderful Truths about Book Publishing that things began to make sense.

You see—independent authors have to go out there and make it happen because no one will make it happen for us. So, with my Industry Analysis’ knowledge taken into consideration, Craig Green (Captain of BME LLC Street Team) and I decided to test the street market first. So, we took a trip to Harlem, U.S.A., the Mecca or Capital of Black America, with 200 copies of Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version in the trunk of our vehicle. Questions were asked, and after hours of networking, Hue-Man Bookstore paid us in advance for several copies, and Black Star Music & Video Store and a prominent Harlem street distributor took many copies of Three Black Boys on consignment.

A week later, Black Star and the street distributor were sold out. The distributor asked me to do an outdoor book signing at one of his bookstands, which is currently located on the corner of 125th street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, across the street from the legendary Apollo Theater. Many books were sold that day on the street corner, and a new relationship between Harlem and Three Black Boys was established. And not too long afterwards, Hue-Man Bookstore set up an official in-store book signing for me, introducing me as a new voice in Literary Fiction. A month later, Molloy College in Long Island, New York, hosted my first successful college “Meet & Greet the Author,” in which I got the chance to perform the original Three Black Boys song in front of an intrigued English class.

Within a month’s time, we sold approximately 1,500 copies of Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version in the streets of Harlem—for $10 a copy. Three Black Boys was on every street vendor’s table in Harlem. Consumers, mostly women who had purchased the book, said they cried after reading Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version. That’s when I knew we were on to something big. But a week later, the street distributor told me that Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version was too small in page count to compete in the long run with The Coldest Winter Ever, Push, True to the Game and other full-length Urban Fiction novels. He said, “My customers want more for their buck!”

So, I went back into my creative shell and began writing my debut novel—Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper. The result was great! What started out, as a song—that was adapted into a Street Lit short story—was now an action-packed and multi-cultural novel—filled with drama, surrealism, and dark fantasy/thriller; and at that time—I didn’t know I was mixing genres together and establishing my own lane.

So, in conclusion, I want to end this guest blog with Mel Blanc’s famous catchphrase, “That’s All Folks!” And I want to thank Long and Short Reviews—for hosting this wonderful blogging event, and also I want to thank Goddess Fish Promotions—for organizing this magnificent “Virtual Name Before the Masses Tour” for Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper. (PEACE) and always remember that (P) Positive, (E) Energy, (A) Always, (C) Creates, (E) Elevation.

MEDIA KIT 3_Black_Boys_COVERTeenagers spring into dangerous action to obtain financial aid for a woman who has only a month to live. The setting is Queens, N.Y., home to Babita Harris, an Indian immigrant plagued with the deadly black fever disease. With a couple of months to live, Babita only hope of survival is a costly liver transplant. But with no health insurance, the chance of a surgery is slim. What she needs is a quarter of a million dollars in cash. Barnes, her only son, along with his two friends, Demus and Baker, spring into dangerous action to get the money. Although their road is paved with good intentions, the brothers in arms will experience more than they have ever experienced before.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Our front door is always open if you change your mind,” says Ojal.

“I know, Mama,” replies Babita, before laying the bluebird chime down on the table. “I think I will take this last opportunity to go outside and revisit the new addition to the back yard.”

The blue bird chime shakes without any assistance and Babita is startled.

“Better hurry up before the clouds begin to cry,” says Ojal with a smile.

Babita nods her head in agreement and makes her way into the back yard. There she sees a beautiful garden with assorted color roses. Out the corner of her eye, she spots a red rose positioned behind several thorny bushes. With caution, she reaches for the delicate flower, not knowing a parasitic sandfly is traveling unnoticed in her direction. The sandfly bites Babita’s outstretched arm. “Ouch!” she grimaces softly, and quickly retracts her hand back to her bosom. Immediately, she notices a small swelling forming on her arm, and in no time, blood oozes from her tiny wound. A strong wind blows and many dandelions fly in her direction. Lightning strikes, thunder roars its ugly voice, and light rain begins to fall. Babita, afraid of her hair getting wet, quickly retreats into her parents’ home.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT ZangbaThomsonZangba Thomson is the Creative Director at BME LLC, the author of Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper, co-author of Do Right Do Good (a self-help guide book towards vision fulfillment and entrepreneurship), a recording artist, and New York Life Coach Examiner. Zangba balances his career and family time on the scale of hard work and dedication, and his main areas of focus include his real life experiences, metaphysics, and spirituality. Zangba’s work reinforces the basic idea that goals are fulfilled when right decisions are made. Please visit his website at www.zangbathomson.com.

Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

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The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway



Enjoy an exclusive excerpt from The Beautiful American as part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jeanne will be awarding a photo/postcard collection from the 1920s (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920’s Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee’s magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will their reunion give them a chance to forgive past betrayals…and break years of silence to forge a meaningful connection as women who have shared the best and the worst that life can offer?

Enjoy this exclusive excerpt:

Lee sneezed and coughed into a handkerchief. “Wretched cold,” she complained. “Had it for weeks. So what did you think of my photos?”

I came back to the moment, to the teacup in my hand, the plate of cakes with their sensual promise of cream and vanilla. Lee wanted me to praise her photos. It was easy to do.

“They were magnificent. Dozens of gray tones.” I had remembered that much about photography. A rich photograph had as much color as the real world, except all the colors were some variant of gray. In some ways, perfumes were like black and white photographs. Most people will say of a scent “That is floral” or “That is citrus” when, in fact, the perfume has dozens, perhaps a hundred, different components. Art is all subtle variation.

“You remembered our discussions. I’m flattered.” Lee preened slightly, tilting her head and smiling more broadly, still dabbing at her nose.

“And the light in the photographs,” I said. “You made natural light seem precise, even staged, like in a painting.”

“Light,” she said quietly. “That’s always the most important element, isn’t it?” The smile disappeared. She looked out the window at the wet, dismal street. “During the blackouts I thought there would never again be enough light in the world, that it could never fall with a promise of grace instead of a threat. Have you seen Pablo’s Le Charnier – The Charnel House? All black and white and gray, like Guernica. For a while the whole world seemed black and white and gray. Even the battlefields. The blood turned gray. Did you see the exhibition in Paris, Art and Resistance? How come I didn’t see you there?”

Lee’s fingers tapped nervously on the table.

About the Author:

Jeanne Mackin is the author of several novels: The Sweet By and By (St. Martin’s Press), Dreams of Empire (Kensington Books), The Queen’s War (St. Martin’s Press), and The Frenchwoman (St. Martin’s Press). She has published short fiction and creative nonfiction in several journals and periodicals including American Letters and Commentary and SNReview. She is also the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers (Cornell University publications) and co-editor of The Norton Book of Love (W.W. Norton), and wrote art columns for newspapers as well as feature articles for several arts magazines. She was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and her journalism has won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, in Washington, D.C. She teaches creative writing at Goddard College in Vermont, has taught or conducted workshops in Pennsylvania, Hawaii and New York and has traveled extensively in Europe. She lives with her husband, Steve Poleskie, in upstate New York.

Website: http://www.jeannemackin.com/

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Penguin.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Lunch Visitors!

Top_Ten_Tuesday

Special thanks to our reviewer, Foxglove, for her input today.  You can see a sampling of her reviews, here.

It’s Back to School time, and I’m thinking about just who I’d like to share my lunch table with. You know, those ten intriguing and attractive people everyone wants to be around. My favorite genre for reading is paranormal romance, so my ten folks may be a bit…off the norm, shall we say. But just imagine the conversations to be overheard there. I will list in no particular order, as each person brings something unique to my table.

1. From Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters – Acheron Parthenopaeus…an eleven thousand year old Atlantean god, Ash has seen and done more than almost anyone else at the table, and the stories he can tell are fascinating.

2. From Jeanienne Frost’s Night Huntress – Mencheres, an ancient Egyptian vampire of unimaginable power, he could regale with tales of the golden days of Egypt and the Pharaohs.

3. From Sierra Dean’s Secret McQueen series – Secret McQueen, half-vampire, half werewolf, I’d love to get her perspective of life from both sides of her heritage, and how she stays strong when things are going crazy around her.

4. From J. Morgan’s Southern Werewolf Chronicles – Madison Lee, a Southern Deb who learned the hard way that what happens in Europe doesn’t always stay hidden or secret, and one night stands can have serious repercussions when your one night stand is with a sexy werewolf.

5. From J.D. Robb’s In Death series – Eve Dallas, the consummate cop of the future, determined to right the wrongs committed on her turf, and being strong enough to know when to be soft (with luck, her sexy Irish husband may stop by occasionally, and that would a big bonus)

6. From Dana Marie Bell’s Heart’s Desire series – Zachary Beckett, thought to be the weakest wizard in the cursed Beckett family, it would be hilarious to listen to him tell about his misadventures in magick, till he discovers his true heritage as one of Hecate’s Own, one of the most powerful of the generation.

7. From Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series – Charley Davidson, grim reaper and all around kick butt heroine, currently engaged to the son of Satan.

8. From Dana Marie Bell’s True Destiny series – Jordan Tate-Saeter, former human PI, now the more than human mate to two Norse gods, Loki and Baldur, and one of the sassiest females I’ve read so far.

9. From Dana Marie Bell’s Halle Puma series – Belinda ‘Belle’ Campbell, mate of Rick Lowell, alpha of the Poconos pack, and luna of the pack, the only puma to ever be in a position of power in a pack of wolves. I just know Belle would be the ‘class clown/joker of the group. Just watch out for the air horn, she’s deadly with it.

10. Again, from Dana Marie Bell (sensing a trend here?) from her Gray Court series – Robin Goodfellow, that tricky, sexy and very cunning head of Oberon’s Blades, leader of the high kings assassins and enforcers. Robin is a master at never being predictable.

I can guarantee that with this group, lunch time would never be boring.