Talking Etiquette with Sally Orr – Guest Blog and Giveaway

2_11 sally orr To Catch a Rake coverThis post is part of a virtual tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of When the Rake Falls, along with a special note from the author, Sally Orr.

Talking Etiquette with Sally Orr
If you open a nineteenth century etiquette book like, The ladies’ hand-book of etiquette and manual of politeness, you will find rules for everything. Rules on how to properly address a letter, how to meet someone in a demure fashion, what to do if a gentleman is vulgar, or how to stand or walk the proper distance from your betters.

Huh?

Many of these rules are common sense and still apply today. Some however, to repeat a cliché, have gone with the wind. For example, anyone familiar with social media must realize that nineteenth century rules of modesty have been forgotten.

One of the charms of historical romance is to spend a few moments in the graceful past. While I’ve never come across someone standing a few paces behind a Duke in romance novels, there are many other aspects of etiquette that do grace their pages. Who does not like a gentleman who would place his cape over a mud puddle so a lady may not get muddy?

Sigh.

One other form of etiquette I admire is the habit of taking a bow of respect. Forget the etiquette of gentlemen standing upon a lady’s entrance (that might resemble whack-a-mole and give me an outbreak of the giggles), but who wouldn’t enjoy a brief bow of respect every once and awhile? I wonder if my husband would do this? He’ll give me a wink and probably say, “I’ll give you an occasional bow if you walk two paces behind me.”

Here’s an excerpt from TO CATCH A RAKE when the hero behaves like a gentleman, even though he might not be feeling that way:

Halfway to his destination, he observed three lovely ladies approaching him on the pathway. The first lady caught sight of him at a hundred paces and stopped in her tracks. The other women then stopped too. The group conversed for a minute before giggles erupted.

George hated giggles. Women were not high on his list of favorite things at the moment. They ranked right up there with over-flowing privies. None of them could be trusted, because they were all inveterate tittle-tattlers, bags of maudlin sentiment, and silly book writers.

“Oh look, that’s the very man himself,” the first lady said, immediately pulling back her hand when caught pointing at him.

He lengthened his stride, hoping to pass them in seconds.

“Are you certain?” the second lady said.

The first lady furtively nodded.

Ten feet before their paths crossed, he caught a white flash out of the corner of his eye. Upon further examination, it appeared the first lady had dropped her handkerchief on the pavement in front of him. He ground his teeth. Then swore he had no intention of picking it up. Very likely his chivalry toward the fairer sex may have escaped him permanently. He quickened his step.

A foot away, the second lady dropped her handkerchief right in his path. If he stepped on it, the handkerchief would be ruined, so he had to stop. Glaring downward at the offending cloth, he mumbled a strong swear word under his breath. He inhaled, tipped his hat, and bowed. “Ladies.” He then addressed the third one. “Would you care to drop your handkerchief too? It’s more efficient if I pick all three up at the same time. Besides, I would hate to leave a member of your party out of my gallantries.”

All of the ladies beamed.

The third one shook her head. “I forgot to bring my handkerchief,” she said in a disappointed tone.

He feigned a smile. “My loss.”

They all continued to smile and repeatedly nodded at each other.

He bent over to pick up the two white linen squares. At the very moment his hand grabbed the first one, a flash of silver and a heavy thump sounded as a silver reticule dropped on the pavement in front of his nose.

Seemingly without a handkerchief, the third lady had thrown in her reticule.

A moment of uneasy silence followed. Finally, he straightened and burst out in laughter.

The three women joined him, and they all laughed together.

After regaining his composure, he shook his head and bent over to pick up the small collection of items on the pavement. He then gracefully handed each piece to the correct owner, followed with a deep bow.

“Thank you, sir.”

“Thank you, Miss . . .”

“Goddess,” she said, looking entirely pleased with herself.

“And I’m Miss Widow,” her companion added.

Her friend nudged her arm. “Miss Widow Maker, dear.”

“Yes, I make widows.”

He chuckled and doffed his hat. “Ladies.” Once on his way again, he heaved a sigh of relief. Thankfully, he acknowledged his anger did not apply to all women—just one.

What is your favorite form of etiquette practiced by romantic heroes?

No Good Rake Goes Unpunished

When George Drexel used his vast experience with women to write and publish The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide, little did he realize the havoc it would cause. Now years later, the rumor of a second edition has London’s naughtiest widows pounding on his door, begging to be included. But George has given up his roguish ways and wants nothing more than to be left alone with his architectural pursuits…until beautiful Meta Russell tempts him from his work and leaves him contemplating an altogether different sort of plan.

The handbook may be years out of print, but it still has the power to ruin lives. Desperate to save her sister—whose inclusion has left her jilted—Meta tracks down the rake responsible, only to find a man who steals her breath and leaves her reeling. Banding together to put things to rights, George and Meta find themselves drawn inexorably together…but can Meta truly trust her heart to a man who wrote the book on being a rake?

About the Author:2_11 Sally Orr photoSally Orr worked for 30 years in academic research, when one day a friend challenged her to write a novel. Since she is a hopeless Anglophile, her books are by default Regency romances. She lives with her husband surrounded by books, modernist mid-century dishes, and English cars in San Diego, California.

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What Kind of Writer Am I? by Nino Gugunishvili – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nino Gugunishvili 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 the tour.

What kind of writer am I

Hello everybody and a very special THANK YOU for hosting me on your blog! This really is a privilege to me, needless to say how thrilled and excited I am being here. Today I would like to talk about the topic: What kind of writer am I… but before that I guess, I should introduce myself to you.

My name is Nino Gugunishvili. I live in Tbilisi, Georgia, a beautiful Eastern European country which you should definitely put on your next destination list! I’ll gladly be your host and show you some secret gems of it around.

My professional and educational background is in film, television and arts management. My debut novel Friday Evening, Eight O’ Clock was largely influenced with my personal and professional experiences. If talking about an inspiration where it came from, I would definitely mention film and literature.

There’s a saying: “If you can’t find a book you want to read, write it yourself.” To a large extent that could apply to my own writing since I’ve always been an avid reader of such authors like Helen Fielding, Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Elizabeth Gilbert, Anna Gavalda, Nora Ephron, Ann Patchett, Jennifer Weiner, Lee Harrington, John Grogan, and many, many more whose brilliant, extraordinary talent I greatly admire.

For me writing always was and still is an ultimate, most enjoyable process where I can invent a different reality out of nowhere. Nevertheless, honestly, I never thought that I would write a novel. It was more of an unrealistic dream, something I would think of for the future, which turned out to be winter of 2013.

It almost began like a game. I just came from a trip to a winter resort with my closest friend, where we caught a terrible flu. We both stayed at our homes and she texted me saying, she was working from home, just like Carry Bradshaw and wouldn’t mind reading something to entertain herself. I jokingly suggested writing something for her and that’s how it all started. Every single day I wrote several pages on a certain topic and sent them to her. Then, another friend joined and we even created a closed group on Facebook where I posted each and every day.

I remember standing on my apartment balcony when a phrase came out of nowhere to me: “Balthazar Hamish woke up in a grumpy mood that morning” which eventually became the first sentence of my future book.

During the period of writing, I got practically unsocial. All I was thinking about was the plot and the characters, but when I wrote I never knew what was coming next. That’s why I guess, I’m not a plotter or a planner. Usually I worked for several hours a day. Sometimes I came up with a full chapter, or a scene. It all came out really spontaneously. I hated anything or anyone disturbing me from my writing, stealing that time from me.

In the summer of 2013 the first draft of my debut novel was ready and for many people it was a huge surprise! Finally they understood why I was always hurrying home or not even answering their calls. I hope they forgive me now. Even today, while working on the draft of my second novel, I still have the same routine. I write during the first half of the day and do not stop until everything I thought about is on paper. I need to have a character with a name, no matter men or women. I need to know what exactly they look like. As soon as I come up with the names I visualize their habits, tastes and the manner they speak in. I visualize every tiny detail. Here’s an example: I knew that the main protagonist Tasha, would have a dog, a Labrador retriever, or that another character, Balthazar Hamish would have a headache in the opening scene, or, that he’ll have a deputy – Liz Foster. I also knew that Tasha would be straight-forward, unconfident and funny. These were certain hints as the plot evolved. Practically all action in the book is built on a dialogue. Places and settings are seen through the prism of characters, their feelings, emotions and moods.

For me, this is the story of moving out of one’s comfort zone while entering an unfamiliar cultural and social landscape. It’s about establishing yourself while pursuing your goals and dreams. It’s about relations that we have with our families, friends, colleagues, it’s about love, career driven choices we make and betrayals we face. It’s about decisions that define or affect us.

Originally the book was written in Russian, which is second to my native language, and then I decided to give it a try and translated it into English. You would probably ask why? Well… although it may sound very ambitious, I wanted to attempt and enter the market that has a long tradition of the women’s fiction genre. That was the start of a long journey that every new author undergoes… A long process of rewriting, polishing, finding an editor, editing, sending it to the publisher and waiting for the day when the book would finally be out. I chose the self publishing route as it gave me more freedom and more involvement in the actual process as an author. Overall it was a very enriching, challenging, fulfilling experience that I wouldn’t trade to any other.

That day when I first held the author copy of my book was magical. I got a call from a DHL saying they had a parcel for me. I ran home breathless from the park where I was walking my dog. There it was… my book…. finally live with a beautiful cover – a girl standing on the road, unaware of turbulent, funny, unforgettable adventures that were ahead of her. This time, my own publishing journey was over while hers was just about to start.

MediaKit_BookCover_FridayEveningEightOClockTasha is a dreamer in search of a new dream.

She’s bored with Pilates. She’s never tried yoga. She doesn’t even have a driver’s license. She lives a pretty ordinary life as a freelance writer who battles the occasional flow of melancholy with the regular flow of martinis. Nestled into her couch, her television remote in one hand and a cold adult beverage in the other, she’s found a favorite way to pass the hours on a Friday evening. It’s comfortable and familiar, but it’s not exactly an exciting way to live. With two of her closest friends, a bossy mother, an eighty-two year old grandmother, and Griffin, her fat yellow Labrador at her side, she knows that there has to be something better out there.

But where?

When she gets an unexpected offer to relocate to France to write a magazine column, she thinks her circumstances are improving. But life in a new country isn’t all pêches et la crème. Now far away from her comfort zone, Tasha must find the inner strength to start a new career and navigate the bizarre and unknown world of professional jealousy, intrigue, and conflicting personalities in a very foreign land.

It’s enough to make a girl yearn for those quiet nights on the couch.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Hey Liz, it’s me, what’s up?” Balthazar finally got through to her. “Listen, where did you get it?”

“Get what?”

“That unromantic goddess piece. Very nicely done, Liz. Find the author as soon as possible, please. I need her here. You can do it, right?”

“Sure I can, Balthazar. The only thing is, she lives in another country. It will probably take time.”

“Hope you can arrange everything, her work permit, visa, and all. I need her as a columnist. I’m thinking of starting a new column right away. Well, that’s all I wanted to say. See you later, Liz.”

What an asshole! thought Liz, with her lips pressed to her old cell phone. She didn’t have time to buy a new one. She barely had time for anything more than her job lately. She was becoming a workaholic and hated herself for that discovery. Okay, fine! I will try to reach the unromantic goddess by phone and send her an email. That’s it. Come on, Balthazar, the new issue is just a week away, and I don’t think it’s perfect timing for a newcomer to come in. I’m not your secretary, after all!

Liz took a last sip of coffee and suddenly brightened. A good cup of coffee always changed her mood.

She opened her laptop and easily found what she was looking for in her database of new authors. There she was. Her name was Tasha. She looked young and wore big glasses. Her haircut was simply awful.

That’s fine. Her haircut can be changed, Liz thought as she started typing an email.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_FridayNightEightOClockNino Gugunishvili holds an MA in arts and has worked in film and television industries. Friday Evening, Eight O’clock is her first published work of fiction. She lives in Tbilisi, Georgia.

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Baked by Colleen Charles – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Colleen will be awarding a $25 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. NOTE: THIS BOOK IS FREE!

perf5.000x8.000.inddAlly

The first time I saw Gabe in my sensual cupcake bakery, I had no idea who he was. All I knew was chiseled perfection like him could never really want a girl like me. That didn’t stop me from craving and lusting after everything I could never have. Success.
Gabe.

And I was trapped in a twisted frenemy relationship with my douche bag ex fiancee. I never would have dreamed who Gabe really was, what he wanted and why he wanted it.

Gabe

My f*cked up family taught me a lot. Take rather than give. Anything. Everything.

Ally made me feel clean. Whole. I’d do anything to have her and even more to keep her. In spite of my past but more importantly … because of it.

I took her tenuous control and worshiped her killer curves. I never suspected she’d steal my heart.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Blackness and strange noises rang through the gloom. What was this? I floated through it, as though I didn’t have a body, couldn’t feel any sensations. I was pretty sure I’d died, but heaven was black and smoky. Or had I gone to hell?

Then, there were voices, strange tones which skipped and repeated.

“Miss?” A gravelly voice, deep and comforting pierced the despotic darkness. “Can you hear me?”

Strong arms enveloped me, lifting me from the floor. I cracked an eyelid and slammed it shut again immediately. The smoke remained thick and the burning was so bad I couldn’t see through the moisture pooling in my eyes, the flood of tears protecting them. The crackle of fire returned in a rush and my body turned rigid in response.

“It’s okay. I’ve got you,” he murmured, and folded me closer to his hard chest. Safe. I felt safe in his arms. He took measured steps. “Is there anyone else in here? Anyone who needs help.”

I shook my head as a bout of coughing took over any ability to speak. Shouts rang out, men rushed by, disturbing the smoke, creating a whirlwind of warm air which brushed the sweaty strands of hair clinging to my forehead. It felt like a film of smoke and perspiration had encased my entire body.

“Codsworth,” I choked.

“What?” he asked. He had to be a fireman. Fresh air now. Or, was it him? He had the most amazing smell. I couldn’t open my eyes, could hardly breathe, but the scent of some woodsy cologne — Gucci? — permeated my nostrils through the haze of soot that lingered there.

“Codsworth,” I repeated. “My cat. He’s upstairs.” I clutched his arm with all my remaining strength. “Please …”

“Don’t worry,” he replied. “I’ll get him for you.” He quickened his pace and I clung to him with arms like noodles, resting my head against the fire retardant suit. He was as hard as a rock and for some reason, I felt like everything would be okay as he took charge.

The air grew clearer; there was a rush of wind and sound. Sirens blared, people chattered.

“Oh my God, can you believe it,” a woman said nearby.

“It doesn’t look too bad.” That was a man’s voice. Spectators probably, but my eyes were too scratchy to open yet and I didn’t even want to try.

“Here, take her,” the firefighter carrying me said, his deep voice raspier with the smoke. Then he placed me on a bed, a stretcher. Fingers brushed my ear, and the heat of his breath penetrated. “I’ll come back after I’ve found Codsworth. You’re safe now,” he promised, all calm confidence.

My skin erupted in tingles as gooseflesh spread across my skin. I forced my eyes open, staring through the blur of tears, but he was already gone.

“Who—?”

“You’re fine now, just relax.” A woman in a paramedic outfit appeared beside me and placed an oxygen mask on my face.

I frowned at her, my eyes had cleared pretty fast, though my chest still felt croaky. My limbs were floppy too. None of it mattered compared to losing the bakery. Or Codsworth.

I tried to pull the mask off, but she stopped me.

“No, you rest now. There’ll be enough time for talking later.” The medic lifted a flashlight and checked one eye then the other. “Looks okay there.”

I let her carry on with her protocol, but I felt stronger by the minute. I’d inhaled a bit of smoke. I’d not been burned to a crisp. The blessed oxygen flooded my lungs, clearing my mind and body. But still, I was exhausted. To the bone.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_BakedColleen Charles is the pen name of Tami Stark, #1 Bestselling Author on Amazon.

Colleen Charles held a leadership position for a fortune 500 company for 26 years while writing suspenseful romance by night. Thrilled that she’s now able to write full time, she can’t wait to spend more time connecting with her readers. She’s also a certified life coach and a Reiki Master. She loves reading and writing stories that entertain and sweep women away from their everyday life. Colleen has shown and bred Arabian horses for over 30 years and lives in the Midwest with her human and furry families. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for underprivileged girls and homeless pets.

Baked is FREE on Kindle or Nook during the tour.

FOUR FREE BOOKS: check out Colleen’s website.

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Hit the Billionaire Jackpot by Nana Malone and Misty Evans – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25.00 gift card to Amazon or iBooks or one of three digital copies of Hit & Run Bride.

2_10 book coverAs the new president of the 3 Wishes Foundation, Jenna McIntyre gets to make dreams come true for kids with disabilities. Once in awhile, she gets to make her own dreams come true as well. Like meeting her teenage crush, pop star Hawke Thorn, whose angsty songs helped her recover from a hit-and-run accident ten years ago and who is now one of the nominees for the 3 Wishes Donor of the Year event in Las Vegas. Jenna’s based her “ideal man” checklist on Hawke and now has the chance of a lifetime to actually land Hawke himself. But catching Hawke’s eye requires the romantically-challenged Jenna to seek love lessons from the other nominee—sexy, opinionated, billionaire playboy Jacob Swinton.

Jacob Swinton may have a secret soft spot for kids and family, but there’s no way he’s making that public knowledge. His continuing success depends on the world seeing him as a self-possessed, calculating businessman. He’s never had to compete for anything, so when he finds out he’s not a shoe-in for the 3 Wishes foundation Donor of the Year Award, and his competition is drunken, slovenly, pop star Hawke Thorne, Jacob says game on. What’s there to worry about? But when Jenna asks him for love lessons, he has no idea the real competition is for her heart.

About the Authors:

2_10 NanaMaloneUSA Today Bestselling Author Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin on a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana at a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since.

With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters. Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana meantime works out her drama, passion, and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Nana is the author of twenty novels. And the books in her series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists as well as the iTunes Breakout Books list and most notably the USA Today Bestseller list.

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2_10 Misty Evans PhotoUSA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

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By Break of Day by M.L. Buchman – Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized to celebrate the release of M.L. Buchman’s new book By Break of Day. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a Night Stalkers bundle of books.

This month, M. L. Buchman raises the stakes—and the heat—in By Break of Day, the latest in his acclaimed Night Stalkers series. To celebrate Buchman joins us on the blog to share an excerpt and answer a quick Q&A!

Can you tell us one thing we may not know about you?

I have a black belt in Taekwondo. Everyone kept telling me how impressive it was that I had earned one when I was fifty. And all except my wife missed the real reason. I got one because I wanted my kid to have one also before heading off to college. We earned it together. The day college began, I stopped.

2_10 buchman book coverNAME: Kara Moretti
RANK: Captain of the Army’s stealthiest remote piloted aircraft (Don’t call it a drone)
MISSION: To be the eyes of the team

NAME: Justin “The Cowboy” Roberts
RANK: Captain of the Army’s most powerful helicopter
MISSION: To redeem the past, at any cost

They Put Life, Limb, and Heart on the Line
Two new captains join The Night Stalkers with two different strategies in life, love, and combat. When Brooklyn-raised Kara joins the crew, she knows one thing as an absolute truth: to stay safe, keep everything and everyone at a distance. Born in Texas, Justin knows only one honorable way to make up for losing his first crew to a suicide bomber: he flies with all his heart. When Kara and Justin collide on a top secret mission deep in the Israeli desert, then the battle truly begins.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Captain Justin Roberts flies a massive Chinook twin-rotor helicopter. Captain Kara Moretti flies a drone and is trying out to be the Air Mission Commander during a training exercise.

Captain Justin Roberts gave the collective control between his knees a little nudge forward. Fifteen tons of helicopter carrying a platoon of U.S. Rangers and their gear eased forward as smooth as a baby’s behind.

Every single time he flew his big MH-47G “Golf” Chinook helicopter, it was a surprise—a surprise of how much fun it was. Like they were meant for each other since long before they met.

SOAR only flew three primary types of helos, all deeply modified to the 160th’s specification. The Little Bird, the Black Hawk, and the Chinook Golf. His girl was the monster of the outfit. Calamity Jane was definitely a Texas-sized lady: big, powerful, and dangerous.

“I feel the need for a song.”

“Oh God, spare us.” Danny Corvo spoke up from the copilot seat. From there he was Justin’s second set of eyes and the master of the helo’s general health and well-being.

“Oh, give me a home,” Carmen cut in from her position at the starboard gun close behind Justin’s seat.

Carmen Parker was hot shit with an M134 minigun that could unload four thousand rounds-a-minute of hell on anyone who messed with her. She was also king, er, queen of the bird—the absolute last word on maintenance and loading.

“Where the Chinook helos roam.” Talbot George was always off-key at the side gun behind Danny’s copilot position, but he sang with heart, even if with a distinctly British accent.

“And the flights are at night every day,” the three of them sang together in splendidly awful harmony.

Danny groaned as if in the throes of death-by-torture agony.

As usual, Raymond Hines kept his own counsel at the rear ramp gunner’s post. The Chinook was the size of a school bus inside. Tonight, in the cargo area between the cockpit and Ray’s rear post, thirty U.S. Rangers and their three ATVs were counting on SOAR to sling them into position. The big rotors fore and aft let her lift her own weight in cargo; even in high-hot conditions the Chinook outperformed most everything around.

By the third chorus their harmonies were better, so Justin hit the transmit switch for the last of it. It got the answering transmission he was hoping for.

“Justin, honey?”

“Here for you, sweetheart.” Kara Moretti just slayed him. From the first briefing where she’d moseyed in all dark and Italian and perfect, his head had been turned hard enough that he kept checking his neck for whiplash. Then when she opened her mouth and poured out thick Brooklyn… Two months later and he still didn’t know what to do with that, not a bit of it. It was all… wrong, yet it was so right. Her voice should be some sweet bella signora, like the one he’d spent a week with while stationed at Camp Darby outside of Pisa on the Italian coast a couple years back.

Instead Kara was—

“You do that to me again and you’re gonna be singing soprano the rest of your life. We clear, Cowboy?”

—a hundred percent, New York. “Y’all wouldn’t do that to me now, would ya?” He laid it on thick.

“Castrate the bull calf? In a heartbeat. And I ain’t your sweetheart.”

“I’ll hold him down while you trim ’em,” Lola Maloney called in from the DAP Hawk.

He was about to say something about how it made the meat taste more luscious and tender—which was why they castrated most bull calves—but he couldn’t figure out how to phrase it without it sounding crude and perhaps tempting her to start looking for some neutering shears when Trisha cut in.

“Roger that! We’ll pin him, you chop and cauterize. Use a really hot iron.”

Claudia Jean Gibson at the controls of the Maven II didn’t speak much, but he could feel her out there agreeing with them.
Justin winced in imagined pain, as he was sure every man on the comm circuit did. He figured maybe it would be better if he kept his mouth shut. Once the women of the 5D got on a roll, wasn’t no man on God’s green earth who was safe.

About the Author: M. L. Buchman has over 35 novels and an ever-expanding flock of short stories in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year,” Booklist “Top 10 of the Year,” and RT “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of the Year.” In addition to romantic suspense, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.

In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.

He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing at .

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How to Wed a Warrior by Christy English – Spotlight and Giveaway

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A Lady’s Guide to Proper (Mis)Behavior by Mrs. Prudence Whittaker on Proper Ton Etiquette (with additions by Miss Mary Elizabeth Waters) “A lady never eats the last cake on the tea tray.” —Mrs. Prudence “A lady may eat the last tea cake, as long as she calls for more, or better yet, goes and gets them herself.” —Mary Elizabeth


This post is part of a virtual book tour to celebrate the recent release of How to Wed a Warrior, Book 2 in the Broadswords and Ballrooms series by Christy English. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of the first book in the series, How to Seduce a Scot.

2_9 How to Wed a Warrior coverHe’s the scourge of the Season…

Reasons to quit London:
1. It’s not the Highlands.
2. It will never be the Highlands.
3. It’s full of the bloody English.

When his wild spitfire of a sister makes a scene by drawing a claymore in Hyde Park, Highlander Robert Waters knows something must be done. To forestall the inevitable scandal, he hires widowed Prudence Whittaker to teach his sister how to be a lady—never expecting to find unbridled passion beneath the clever Englishwoman’s prim exterior.

Mrs. Whittaker is a fraud. Born Lady Prudence Farthington, daughter of the ruined earl of Lynwood, she’s never even been married. In order to make her way in the world, she has to rely on her wits and a web of lies…lies a sexy Highlander is all too close to unraveling.

He swears he will possess her; she vows he will do nothing of the sort. Yet as passions heat, Prudence comes to realize the illicit pleasure that can be had in going toe-to-toe with a Scot.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Robert’s eyes gleamed with mischief—and with something else, something darker, and a bit alarming. Pru’s stomach jumped at the sight of that heat, and a delicious shiver coursed through her.

When he spoke again, his voice was thick with the music of his homeland, and with something else. “Well, now, and don’t I love a woman with a backbone.”

“I’m sure you do. Now leave this room and go find one.”

“Aye,” he said, moving closer to her. She straightened her shoulders, and sniffed. His smile was infectious, and she had to work very hard not to give in and smile back.

“I do love a sniffing woman. A woman who knows her own mind, and isn’t shy about telling the world.”

“That is very edifying. I am sure there are many such women outside these four walls. Again, Mr. Waters, I bid you good day.”

Robert laughed and shook his head, stepping even closer until he was standing a mere two feet from her.

She took in the warm scent of cedar, and a hint of something else, some spice that was all Robert Waters and little else. She was sure that if he stood so close for much longer, she would lose the ability to speak at all.

“But you see, Mrs. Prudence, that’s the trouble. There are very few women beyond these four walls that speak their minds to a man and damn the consequences.”

“Honesty is its own reward.” Her heart thudded so hard that the pulse in her throat leaped. His eyes seemed to follow it, and then move up the line of her jaw, to her cheekbones, to her eyes.

“I wonder if it might reward me,” he said.

He closed the distance between them, and kissed her.

She had been kissed before, of course. She had been a debutante during the Peninsular War, when everyone thought that the young men around them were surely going to die. She had almost been engaged, and her swain had kissed her on the garden steps of her father’s house in the moonlight, so many years ago now that it seemed to have happened to another woman altogether. But this kiss was different, because Robert Waters offered it.

Pru shocked herself by accepting it for what it was—a warm touch in a world that was often very cold indeed.

She found herself pressed against him in the next instant. His hands did not come down on her. He did not touch her waist or her shoulders, but held his hands aloft, as if she kept him at gunpoint. She did not think of what that meant, but simply moved against him, taking in the heat of his body with her own. If only she might close the door and ignore her life and future and simply have him there in that lovely, overly luxurious room.

She felt his tongue on her lips, and she opened her mouth to his coaxing. He tasted of warm honey from breakfast. He tasted of man, and in some strange, indefinable way, of home.

He still had not touched her but to place his lips on hers. He withdrew his tongue, and then his mouth, and then stepped back, so that she was left alone, grasping at nothing.

About the Author:

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Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina.

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Still Counting by Phil Fragasso – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Phil will be awarding a $25 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_StillCountingAdam Donatello and Nina Morales share an immediate and powerful attraction, and their future together seems assured. But love is difficult enough without adding complications – real or imagined – to the mix. Nina sees life as a thousand shades of gray, while Adam tends towards black-and-white. He wants to move fast; she needs time. Nina sees her past liaisons with women as immaterial to their relationship, while her disclosure drives Adam to a state of irrational jealousy. He doesn’t know how he could compete with a woman; and his suspicions – which Nina views as hypocritical – lead them both to make decisions they may live to regret.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Nina got into the driver’s seat and I leaned in to kiss her. She shook her head.

“Kissing in the car is gross,” she said. “How many times do I have to tell you?’

I extended my arm towards her. “Can we at least shake hands?”

“We could, but that would be stupid.” Nina handed me one of those sleep masks that the airlines give you on red-eyes and international flights. “Put these on, please.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Do I look like I’m kidding?”

Actually she did. She had scrunched her face into a scowl and narrowed her eyes, but the combination was far more comical than frightening. Plus, she was struggling to keep from giggling.

“Isn’t it a little early in our relationship to get kinky?” I said.

Nina crossed her arms. “I’m not into kink and I’m not into backtalk. So put on the damn blinders or go back upstairs. Your choice.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I slipped the sleep mask over my head and adjusted the straps.

“Can you see anything?” asked Nina.

“Nothing at all.”

“How do I know you’re telling the truth?”

“Test me.”

“How many fingers am I holding up?”

“Four.”

“You little liar. You can see perfectly well.”

She pronounced “perfectly” the way I would imagine an English nanny scolding a wayward child.

“It was a lucky guess, I swear. I can’t see a thing.”

“I know. I wasn’t holding up any fingers. So at least I know you’re honest. I like that in a man.”

Nina shifted the car and off we went.

“So where we going?” I asked.

She poked a finger into my shoulder. “If I wanted you to know where we were going do you really think I would have blindfolded you?”

“Good point. So how was your day?”

Nina cleared her throat. “Did I say you could talk?”

I shrugged. Maybe this chick really was a psycho who forgot to take her meds this morning. “I guess I thought it was assumed. It’s kind of what people do on this planet.”

“Things work a little different on Nina’s planet. So I’ll do the talking for both of us.”

“Uh, okay,” I stammered. “Sorry?”

At that point the giggle Nina had been suppressing turned into full-body, spasmodic laughter. “You are way too easy. You’re like the most gullible person I’ve ever met.”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_StillCountingPhil Fragasso sold his first article at the age of 16. Since then he has written and published a wide variety of books, articles and essays. After many years as a corporate marketer, he left to pursue endeavors that were more fulfilling personally and more contributory on a societal level. Today he focuses his time on writing and teaching.

Buy the book at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

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Dark Confessions by Angie Sandro – Spotlight

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the launch of Angie Sandro’s Dark Confessions.

2_9 Sandro_DarkConfessions_ebookFor Sherrif’s Deputy Elizabeth Caine, seeing is believing. But in the past few months, she’s witnessed an otherworldy realm of ancient magic and ghostly spirits that defies explanation. When a friend connected to that world of witchcraft is taken captive by a ruthless criminal, Bess will risk anything to find her, even if it means enlisting the help of a former lover she can no longer trust.

Ferdinand Lafitte can’t tell Bess the truth about his feelings for her, not while a powerful spell binds him. But he can guide her through the lush bayou in search of Mala LaCroix, whose fate means as much to him as it does to Bess. Yet as their search reveals the darkest kinds of sorcery, they find themselves drawn together more passionately than ever before . . .

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Does that include working with me?” Ferdinand asks.

With a gasp, I turn. He lounges against the doorframe, and I’m caught in his trap again, mesmerized by sheer perfection. He reminds me of a priceless Egyptian statue, painstakingly carved from ebony by a master craftsman. A real piece of work, this man. More beautiful than anything I saw in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more cunning than a grifter running a long con.

I blink to dispel the haze clouding my eyes. “I don’t like the idea, but it seems I don’t have a choice.”

Ferdinand shakes his head. “You have free will. It’s a gift, which shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

I refrain from snorting. It’s not at all lady-like. “Well, if I did, then I’d still have you in handcuffs.”

Ferdinand’s dark eyebrows rise. “Is that so?” His gaze travels leisurely down my body, leaving a trail of heat that pools between my thighs. “Your wish is my command, Chérie doux.” His accent thickens. “Any time. All I require is for you to say the magic word. Merci.”

My breath catches. It feels like I’ve got a stray piece of apple pie lodged in my throat, and no matter how much I swallow, I can’t clear the block. “I need some water,” I choke out, eyeing the door. Why won’t he move?

“I’ll go with you.” He turns sideways, waving his arm for me to precede him. As if I want him hovering behind where I can’t see his hands. Oh God. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

Five quick steps take me to the door. My skin puckers as I brush past him. Every inch of me feels jittery, on edge, like I’m about to leap out of my skin. His long fingers skim the small of my back beneath the edge of my bulletproof vest, and a spark arcs between us. The resulting burst of liquid heat causes my overly sensitive nerves to tingle. My bound breasts ache from being confined.

The bathroom is only a few paces away, but I can’t reach it fast enough. Ferdinand almost walks on my heels. He’s so close that the space between our bodies hums with electricity. Does he plan on waiting for me to come out? That won’t do.

I throw open the door to the single stall bathroom and flip on the light. Ferdinand rocks forward on his toes, head close to brushing the top of the doorframe. My hand whips out, and I grab the waistband of his jeans and yank him into the room. The door slams shut behind us.

Confusion and hunger war within his dark eyes. The heady combination threatens to bring me to my knees. His long eyelashes fan down, then up. “Lieutenant Caine?”

“Shut up. Not another word.” I thumb the door lock. Neither of us can escape now. “I can’t…not one more second.”

His hand lifts, but I wrap my fingers around his wrist and shove it down. “Don’t touch me.” I can’t take it anymore. So why be miserable and keep fighting?

Rising onto my tiptoes, I grab his collar and drag him toward me. His lips part. Perfect. My mouth slams against his—hard and rough. I steal his kiss. The one owed to me. He’s been taunting me with the possibility for hours—holding this moment over my head while playing on my emotions. No more. It’s my reward for being so damn patient.

About the Author:Angie Sandro was born at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Within six weeks, she began the first of eleven relocations throughout the United States, Spain, and Guam before the age of eighteen.

Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father’s family in Louisiana inspired this story.

Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador.

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Kiss of a Stranger by Lily Danes and Eve Kincaid – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $20 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.

Maddie Palmer lost everything when her ex-husband betrayed her. Years later, she’s rebuilt her life. It’s safe and stable—everything she thought she wanted. Until a dangerously sexy ex-con appears in Lost Coast Harbor…

Gabriel Reyes just did six years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s returned, determined to expose the men who set him up. His best chance at redemption is seducing the straight-laced woman working for the enemy…until he realizes he’s the one being seduced.

As passion ignites, Gabe and Maddie find themselves drawn deeper into the corruption behind the town’s richest family… even while facing the greatest danger of all—losing their hearts.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I had a lovely night, not that it’s any of your business.” The lie rolled off her tongue.

Gabe didn’t move. “I’m sure he was everything a date could be. Polite. Clever. Though it’s hard to take a man seriously when he orders the butternut squash ravioli at a restaurant that serves steak.”

“He’s a vegetarian,” she said absently, before the full meaning of his words settled on her. “Wait a second. You watched me? You spied on my date?” Her voice rose with every word, and only her desire not to wake the neighbors kept her from shouting.

Gabe shook his head. It was a rueful motion, directed more at himself than her. “I started to. Then I remembered that was creepy as hell and went to the diner. Where I ordered steak and eggs, by the way.”

“Still, the fact that you thought that was okay, even for a second…”

He stood, the movement fluid and hypnotic, and she couldn’t take her eyes off him as he prowled toward her. “Don’t fool yourself, Maddie. I’m not okay. I forgot how to be okay long ago. That’s what you’ll get with me, but I’ll do my best to make it worth your time, if you feel like taking a risk.”

About the Author:

Like so many good ideas, Lost Coast Harbor was inspired by a few rounds of margaritas. One sunny afternoon, Lily Danes and Eve Kincaid went to a Mexican restaurant for snacks and tequila and left with the idea for a new series. Inspired by their love of noir movies and 1940s crime novels, they imagined a gritty small town full of crime and corruption, where intrigue and mystery can lead to love and passion.

Series Website | Author Website – Lily Danes | Author Website – Eve Kincaid | Goodreads

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Do You Believe in Ghosts? by Jenny Schwartz – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jenny Schwartz 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.

Do you believe in ghosts?

In Sky Garden, the heroine is a former stage medium. Lanie’s performance used to be one of revealing to audiences how the illusion of communicating with a departed spirit was achieved…and yet, there’s an ambiguity to the question. Lanie believes her stage experiences were a performance, but they were also something more. Something that possibly saved her from a serial killer.

Do I believe in ghosts? No, but I’m not an emphatic and convinced sceptic. I believe with Shakespeare that “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of…”. So Sky Garden explores that border country, just a little.

I wonder sometimes why I don’t believe in ghosts. Perhaps it’s that I haven’t had an eerie, inexplicable experience. I haven’t felt that tingle at the back of the neck, the sudden chill, a voice on the edge of hearing…

Or is it that I do believe in ghosts but that they scare me so much that I’m whistling in the dark, pretending they’re not real?

Not far from where I grew up is a neo-gothic, gorgeous building that houses the local Arts Centre. But originally, the building was the Lunatic Asylum and is reportedly well-haunted. Certainly, people suffered there. I’ve walked through the building and you can feel that the walls have echoed with agony of mind and body (I won’t tell you what the so-called “treatments” of the nineteenth century mentally ill included). Perhaps I simply want to believe that death is an ending, and ghosts don’t exist, continuing to suffer as they did in life.

Do you think ghosts are restless spirits, souls of the departed who have unfinished business, or are you a sceptic? Have you encountered a ghost?

MediaKit_BookCover_SkyGardenOn the rooftops of London, you can be anyone.

A year ago, Lanie Briers escaped a serial killer. She grew up in a theatre family and her act was mediumship, but not anymore. Life, now, is a hidden retreat above a quirky Bloomsbury museum, where she waits and watches.

Nick Tawes is an unexpected intrusion. He’s a landscape architect filming a television series on roof gardens, and he intends to build one in Lanie’s aerial territory. He has his own demons, old family troubles, that lure Lanie out of her refuge and into living again.

But as summer progresses and the sky garden grows, Lanie’s enemy is closing in–because some secrets must go to the grave.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Stories fed identity—and changed it.

Lanie had used stories to shock and survive. She’d used them carefully, crafting her old stage act of mediumship to draw out people’s stories and reflect them, eliciting gasps of awe at her insight. Magic, went the murmur. But it wasn’t magic. They were the same tricks conmen used.

And she’d used those tricks brutally, as the one weapon left to her. Survival had cost her the joy of performing.

But that was the past. She forced the memories away. Here was safe harbor, the library that was a sea captain’s final berth. A fantasy, but a comforting one.
She was searching for a spy glass to add to the photos she’d take when the electronic beep from the front door signaled the entrance of a visitor.

Showtime.

A tug at her jacket and a pat to her hair—Good, the chignon doesn’t wobble—and she was ready to perform.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SkyGardenJenny Schwartz is a hopeful romantic with a degree in Sociology and History — people watching and digging into the past. She lives in Western Australia and is working towards her dream of living by the sea. Jenny writes romantic suspense, as well as contemporary and paranormal romance.

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