Welcome to Wonderland by Bobbie Candas – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bobbie Candas 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.

A recently fired biologist with mommy issues, a successful entrepreneur with a dead wife, and an immigrant hiding from gang violence…These three have only one thing in common.

They’re all screwed up

Biology researcher, Violet Hill, was just let go and is devastated. She found the solitary lab and long hours the ideal respite for her anxiety issues–doing meaningful work while avoiding people and conversation. Now unemployed, with diminishing finances, Violet is forced to face the enemy, her mother.

For years, Turner Cooper was consumed with building his company’s client roster, until the sudden death of his wife throws him totally off kilter. Now, instead of work, Turner’s guilt and alcohol issues consume him.

Living a reclusive life in Dallas, Rosario Guzman is hiding from a Mexican cartel while working in the shadows at three part-time jobs. Finally, the item she covets the most, a Green Card, arrives in her mailbox. But Rosario quickly realizes the paper card doesn’t solve all her problems.

While navigating social issues, private demons, and nightmare memories, these three lives collide as they find each other at a place none of them ever imagined they’d be working at. As their mutual relationship evolves, Violet, Turner and Rosario lean into each other and unexpectedly find their lives unfurling in remarkable and magical ways.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Violet is Blue
Violet Hill

Mother considers me awkward, graceless, and socially challenged, but always has hope for improvement. I disagree and think of myself as critically shy. Is there such a diagnosis? I’ve learned I do best when I can control limited social encounters. That’s why I’m better working alone, in a world I’m comfortable and familiar with, the study of soil, seeds, and grasses.

I’ve been working as a research assistant with Dr. William Hirshfield. After finishing my masters at UT in Austin, I gratefully found my hidey-hole at the UT School of Environmental Sciences. After being hired, I realized it was the perfect job for me. For a year, we’ve been running experiments and collecting data on soil absorption, attempting to come up with a microbial substance that will turn arid lands into potential blooming fields of agriculture. All well and good for keeping me in my cozy, solitary research lab, but with the added bonus of working toward saving a warm and crowded planet.

Then yesterday happened.

Dr. Hirshfield called me unexpectedly to meet in his office. We normally only met every two weeks for consultations on experiments. I sat down across from his desk, with my sweating palms gripping the arm rests of the chair. The meeting opened with congenial small-talk. I said, “Hello.”

As with most people I conversed with, I found it difficult looking at Hirshfield when he spoke. Today I found his floorboards especially interesting. Wide wood panels which had me wondering, were they deliberately distressed or actually marred from age? As he shuffled papers on his desk I reached down and touched the floor. Definitely faux distressed.

He nervously coughed and then continued, “Violet, I must say, your work has been exemplary, but…”

Oh shit… The proverbial but. I shuddered slightly.

As I pretended to be intrigued with the floor, Hirshfield said, “I’m afraid I have some bad news to share.” He coughed again. “I’ll just get right to it. I hate to tell you this, but our next year of NIH funding has been cut. They haven’t renewed the terms of our project at the previous level and claim our results are not going as quickly as we initially projected.”

He seemed to be talking to himself now, explaining his problems to the ceiling as my eyes nervously flitted up occasionally to watch. “Seems our study is on the low end of their priority scale regarding research grant money. But our idea has so much merit! It dovetails perfectly with climate change issues and food production for overpopulated areas. Anyway…it’s probably all politics. Therefore—” He coughed a third time. Nervous tick or avoidance? Either way, not a good sign. “I’m having to cut most of my research staff, including your position.”

Please no. Had I heard correctly? I was praying he’d single me out as too good to let go. But of course not. My eyes became moist and my body went cold. I had finally found my place in this chaotic world, my comfy, musty den. Where I could reach my fingers deep into sandy soil and disappear into another world within my microscope. I’d clock in for hours of uninterrupted work, eat a sandwich over my work station by myself, needing to only interact with others regarding information I was knowledgeable about.

Now apparently all that was gone.

And what remained? Going home to Mother? I was devastated. I felt like laying down on those faux floorboards and curling up in a ball.

“Dr. Hirshfield, p-perhaps p-part-time. Tw-Twenty-five hours a week?”

In case you missed that, I have a noticeable stutter, which seems to come into full bloom during times of stress.

“I only wish that were possible, Violet. The grant has been downgraded to include lab equipment, supplies, and compensation for only a few key personnel. I’m so sorry. This has all come as quite a surprise. So, we’re making adjustments immediately; I can keep you for another two weeks. I wanted you to hear it from me, personally.”

I mumbled, “Th-Thank you,” then stood up, wrapped my arms across my chest, and meekly asked about a possible reference letter. He went back to shuffling papers and nodded, agreeing to my simple request. I quickly walked out with my head down, making my exit before he had the chance to shake my perspiring palm.

I spent the next few weeks desperately attempting to find a position with another research team within the department. There were several available for volunteer and credit work, but all paid positions were fully staffed. Although my educational credentials were excellent, my interviewing skills were a little shaky. I considered customer service positions, but they never seemed a good match, and I truly wanted to continue within my field of study.

At the end of the two-week period, I decided to call in for financial reinforcement. Via email, I sent my mother news of the change in job status, then requested funds to keep me in Austin while I continued to look for work, but instead of an electronic deposit, she offered this:

Dear Violet,
So sorry to hear about your job loss. I know you’ve been happy with your little research position. Sometimes these minor hiccups work out for the best. I think you need more stimulation and interaction in your work. When I visited, your lab job seemed so sterile and lonely. I’m sure I can line something up for you through my contacts in Dallas. Come home, darling. The guest house was recently redone and you’re welcome to use it. It’ll be fun hanging out together again. I believe I’ll call Lexy and see if she can revise her schedule and set aside sessions for you. What day should I expect you? Can’t wait to catch up! –Mother

She was not going to be sympathetic to my cause. I made a second stab at job hunting, knowing it was only a delay tactic. Was I being an ungrateful little bitch? Sort of. But I knew I’d have to deal with my mother’s incessant smiling face, popping in without warning, spewing false cheer, urging me to conform to her standards, and always sending out subliminal messages regarding her underlying sense of disappointment in me.

It had been five years since I’d lived at home. My first year in the dorms had been a disaster. I was happier on my own, renting an apartment for three years while earning my bachelor’s and another two for my masters, comfortably surviving in my small, quiet efficiency.

In contrast, Mother’s home was palatial, but for me it was a luxurious prison sitting on a green oak-studded hill overlooking White Rock Lake in Dallas.

I dragged out my move. I felt no incentive to rush home knowing what lay ahead; struggling through painful interviews, going through clothing issues and social events with Mother. Yes, still a tender issue at age twenty-four. Then, once again, I’d start sessions with my speech therapist, Lexy.

Unfortunately, research assistant’s pay was low, Austin rents were high, and the guest house at Mother’s was free. Economically, it made sense. Emotionally, I was an unhappy wreck.

And who could I complain to? Call 911 — My mother is inviting me to move into her newly renovated guest quarters. Put her on trial? — She insists on buying me new clothing suggested by her personal shopper at Neiman’s. Lock her up? — She’s offering me therapy for an affliction which admittedly has recently become worse.

I was a pathetic whiner. Time to get up, pack it in, and get moving.

About the Author:

Bobbie Candas lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Mehmet Candas, a stray gray cat, and a jealous tabby who does not enjoy sharing affection with the interloper. Bobbie attended The University of Texas in Austin, earning her degree in journalism. She took a detour with a career in retail management, and found her happy place when she returned to writing fiction about nine years ago.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | https://www.instagram.com/bobbiecandas

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Lost and Found of Green Tree by Bobbie Candas – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bobbie Candas 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.

Both heart-warming and gut-wrenching, the merging stories of Mariah and Nanette reveal their grit and determination as they attempt to carve out a better life for themselves during one the twentieth century’s most arduous decades.

Growing up in the rural village of Green Tree, Nanette is convinced she’s meant for a bigger life, perhaps in the spotlight of Hollywood. But selling popcorn in a Minnesota movie theater is a far cry from the glamor she dreams of; nevertheless, Nanette is undaunted by challenges.

Mariah, living just outside of Green Tree, yearns to move off the family farm and take on a modern job in a bustling city, but she’s sidetracked by love. By eighteen, she finds herself married to her high school sweetheart, giving birth to twin daughters, and living only a few miles from the home she grew up in.

As the economy worsens during the Great Depression, Nanette’s and Mariah’s lofty goals are forced to change as early tragedies confront both women. Brought together by a mutual friend, Nanette extends a generous offer to Mariah, but in time she exacts a frightening price.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I had no idea how long I laid in bed, but the pain was so severe, sleep was impossible. Something had to be wrong. I had drenched both sheets with my sweat. I eventually grabbed a shoe by the bed and began flailing it against the floor.

Clarice came quickly up the stairs and turned on my bedroom lamp, asking, “What is it?” She reached over to touch my head. “God, Nanette, you’re still on fire. Something’s wrong. I’ve never seen anybody this sick or feverish. I think we should consider a doctor.”

“What about your mother?” I asked breathlessly.

“I don’t think her stuff would fix this. We need the real thing and we need to hurry. You may have an infection. We need to get you to the hospital.” I stared blankly as Clarice paced back and forth, running her hands through her hair, genuinely concerned.

She stopped pacing, looked at her watch, and announced. “My neighbor has a car, but it’s four in the morning. I don’t think I can ask her. Besides, she hates me. The kids are always running through her garden.”

I whispered, “Does she have a telephone?”

“I think so.”

As she headed to the door, I called out, ““Wait—tell her it’s an emergency. Call the police. Ask for Officer Olsen; I know him.”

About the Author: I’m a Texas girl: grew up in San Antonio, went to school at UT in Austin where I earned my degree in journalism, and settled in Dallas where I raised a husband, two kids and a few cats. My husband, Mehmet, and the cats will probably disagree on who raised who, but I’m a sucker for a robust discussion.

For years I was involved in retail management, but have more recently focused on my writing, taking deep dives into the lives of my characters. When you can pry my fingers off the keyboard, I enjoy entertaining, sharing food and drink with friends and family. I enjoy shopping, usually on the hunt for apparel, with a special weakness for shoes, and will frequently jump at the opportunity of an unexpected trip to a far-away place.

And I always make time for reading. I keep a stack of novels ready and waiting on my night stand, with a few tapping their toe in my Kindle. I bounce around genres, and I’m always ready for a good recommendation.

Novels by Bobbie Candas:
The Lost and Found of Green Tree
Imperfect Timing
Luck, Love and a Lifeline

Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Instagram

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Imperfect Timing by Bobbie Candas – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
The author will award a $30 Amazon/BN gift card as well as a print copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner (book available for continental US only). Clkck on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Time is ticking on this second chance at romance…

With a recent promotion and loads of confidence, Chloe Stevens has landed in sunny LA as a sales director for a leasing company. Quickly picking up on successful business strategies, Chloe also zeros in on a challenging romance option, Zane Shepard, an LA city planner. Chloe and Zane quickly discover an intriguing lust/love attraction, eventually transforming it into the perfect relationship.

After a year, Chloe is ready to take the next step, cohabitation, but instead, Zane blindsides her with the unexpected news of a breakup.

After months of sleepless nights doubting herself, Chloe decides their breakup stemmed from the issue of bad timing; she was ready to commit and he wasn’t. Armed with her theory of choosing future relationships based on matching timelines, Chloe packs up her damaged heart and moves home to Dallas. She quickly lassos a new love interest, Trey Morgan; a boyfriend with good timing who’s ready to take the plunge.

Twenty years later, Chloe’s world unravels when she discovers her marriage to Trey is riddled with infidelity and lies. Taking on a new job, she’s forced to confront her past and rebuild the confidence she had in spades when she was younger. Unexpectedly, she has a chance to take a second stab at romance, but finds her good timing mantra severely tested.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Coupling up, making that long-term commitment. Everyone says it’s all about that one-in-a-million someone, fate and a chance meeting, that special sparkle in the eyes. Bullshit. I say it’s all about timing. A couple can be absolutely smitten, madly in love, devoted initially, but if the timing’s not right, forget about it.”

I was explaining my theory to Mimi, a bored co-worker, and she wasn’t buying it. Perhaps I was sounding a little too passionate. After all, it was only lunch, with no liquor involved. I’d taken her out for sushi and as Mimi looked around at the lunch crowd, she sipped her water and decided to engage.

“OK, Chloe, so you’re saying all these co-habitating couples right here, are not or weren’t necessarily in love when they committed. It was only a matter of good timing for all of them; chemistry had nothing to do with it? People are only settling because they’re in the right spot at the right time.”

“Bingo; exactly. I’m not saying one hundred percent have settled. A few got lucky right off the bat with the right-place, right-time thing, but yeah, a whole heck of a lot of people are married to a person because someone wandered by, caught their eye, and lassoed them in when they were ready to say yes.”

Three months of sleepless nights, tangled in sheets, with my mind running in circles ruminating on what had gone wrong, had led me to the conclusion of lousy timing.

About the Author:I’m a Texas girl: grew up in San Antonio, went to school at UT in Austin, and settled in Dallas where I raised a husband, two kids and a few cats. My husband and cats will probably disagree on who raised who, but I’m a sucker for a robust discussion.

For years I’ve been involved in retail management, but have also really enjoyed writing, taking deep dives into the lives of my characters. When you can pry my fingers off the keyboard, I’ve been known to imbibe in a few glasses of wine and have been spotted forking into some decadent desserts while gathering with friends and family. I enjoy shopping, usually on the hunt for apparel with a weakness for shoes, and will frequently jump at the opportunity taking an unexpected trip to a far-away place.

In addition, there’s always time for reading. I keep a stack of novels ready and waiting on my night stand, with a few tapping their toe in my Kindle as well. I bounce around genres, snoop around the best-seller lists, and on the ready for a good recommendation.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Instagram

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway